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Start of Year Challenges 2007

This is a series of challenges for Guides aged 10 and over that I used for the first meeting of the year in 2007. It has some local challenges. It is designed to get the girls busy, and to get them to come up with some program ideas for the year.

Theme: Patrol Challenges

Method: Program in a Plastic Bag (from Guides Tasmania website Purple Pages - click on PIPB)

How it Works

Numbered plastic bags or sheet protectors with instructions. Number girls in patrols.

Girl No. 1 comes up, picks a bag without looking at its contents, takes it back to the patrol. The patrol completes the activity.

Girl No. 2 chooses the next activity, and so on.

Download this entire activity here, or read on. If you need the file in Word format, please email me.


Instructions to Patrol Leaders

Your Patrol is to do as many activities as possible in the next 90 minutes, in no particular order. Try to do them without asking for adult help, but do ask for it if you really need it.

Each member of your Patrol should choose at least one activity. Do not read the instructions before choosing an activity.

Fill in each activity summary on the activity sheet as you complete it.

Activity Sheet

Patrol Name


What you did/score

Did you like this activity?


















































Activity 1 - Technology

Using one piece of A4 paper, create a bridge between two chairs spaced 18cm apart that is strong enough to hold a book.




Ruler or piece of cardboard with 18 cm measured out on it

Activity 2 - Candles

Tie your hair back. Light a match, then a candle, blow out the candle, light the candle etc. Keep score of how many times you can light one candle with one match.


One candle per person

One matchbox of matches

Activity 3 - Camp planning

Plan a patrol camp. Ask for a checklist if you are unsure of what needs to be planned.

Patrol Camp checklist
  • Indoor/outdoor
  • Where?
  • When?
  • Going into camp when? Coming home when?
  • Camp theme
  • Camp program – activities
  • Cost per person

Who will organise the following:

  • Guides’ Own
  • Campfire program
  • Duty roster
  • Transport
  • Menu
  • Food shopping
  • Activities

Activity 4 - Wide Game

Plan a one-hour wide game to be played outside on a normal Guide meeting night.

Choose where it will be, the theme, the activities. Give it a name.

Activity 5 - Knotting

Learn one new knot from a book.

Everyone must be able to demonstrate it.

Find out when it is used.

Know its name.

Ask for help to learn it only if you can’t figure it out.

Activity 6 - Camp Skills

Make up a personal kit list for a camp under canvas for two days and two nights.

Activity 7 - Dexterity

Complete a jigsaw upside down without peeking. When you are finished, turn it over to see the picture.

Activity 8 - World Thinking Day

Make a list of activities we could do for World Thinking Day 2007. Remember that this year is the 100th anniversary of the first camp (at Brownsea Island) that started Scouting. Remember also that Thinking Day is the birthday of both Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Lady Olave Baden-Powell, who started Guiding. See if there are one or two people who would like to organise a birthday party for them for the Junior BP Award and tell your leader.



















Activity 9 - Website

The District has a new website.

  • Write down the sorts of things you would like to see on the website.
  • Write down ideas for our Unit pages.

Activity 10 - Raft

Fill a metal bowl or a bucket with water. Make a raft each out of foil. Make a tiny fire on the raft, float the raft, and light the fire. See how long it burns.

Activity 11 - Gadgets

Make a clothesline for camp that doesn’t need pegs.

Activity 12 - Thinking

Each person has a chair. There is one extra chair. Get your Patrol from one end of the hall to the other without touching the floor. One of your members is blindfolded.

Activity 13 - Lifeline

Every member of the Patrol must throw a lifeline to a drowning person 6 metres away.

Activity 14 - Teamwork

Keep a balloon off the floor by teamwork for three minutes.

Activity 15 - Minutes

  • Stand in a circle. Every Guide closes her eyes. At the word “Go”, each Guide must estimate the length of a minute, and sit down when she thinks the minute is up. Ask a Leader to tell you who was closest.
  • How many times can each Guide touch all four walls in a minute? Write down your score.
  • Every Guide must balance on one foot for one minute. Ask a Leader to time you.

Activity 16 - Promise and Law

Your Patrol has been stranded on a desert island. You have no means of communication with the outside world. You have plenty of food and water.

Decide on rules for your new society.

(Then each group presents their rules, and a discussion takes place. As a large group, decide Unit Rules for the year.)