Friday, 26 July 2013

Meet the Brownies!

Sea Champion Natasha Ewins tells us about her experience supporting marine themed activities with the Brownies...

"When a friend asked me to run a marine evening for a group of Brownies, I suddenly had a "like they have on TV" vision. You know, the one where everything turns to chaos—crying children and tantrums galore with you standing at the centre about to have a meltdown? Ok, perhaps that’s a little dramatic—how bad could a group of 7-10 year old girls be? Nonetheless, I realised I was going to need some help!

Luckily there are lots of Sea Champions in the Bristol area interested in teaching children about marine conservation. Enter Sea Champs Emily, Naomi and Helen. Emily was keen to have a chance to coordinate the evening and she did a fantastic job.

We arrived at the village hall and after a quick run through in the car park, a speedy A-Team style set up operation ensued. Shortly after the Brownies arrived, everyone settled and twenty pairs of expectant eyes were upon us.

Emily started us off with a great introduction explaining the work of MCS. Then the girls split into groups. One group donned tabards and litter pickers and helped us clean up our indoor beach for Litter Pick Panic, learning about where the litter had come from and how long it takes to break down. (Quick note, if you ever need to entertain a 10 year old just hand them a litter picker. Cautionary side-bar, this also causes high levels of excitability and shrieking!)

Meanwhile, back in the main hall the other group was discovering how dolphins use echolocation to find their food. The girls made a circle with three of them standing in the centre. One played the dolphin who was blindfolded and two others were fish. To play the game the dolphin shouted "dolphin", the fish shouted "fish" and the dolphin had to try and find the fish. Think Marco Polo with fins!

The two groups switched so everyone had a go at both activities. Then we brought all of the girls back together for "Paint-a-Fish". This is a brilliant campaign that engages the younger generation in the protection of fish stocks by colouring in a fish to be part of a huge virtual fish stock being submitted to the EU. Calm descended upon the hall as the girls furiously coloured away amongst a mass of felt tip pens and googly eyes.

Then at the end of the night there was just enough time to hand out a few MCS badges and stickers and join the brownies as they stood hand in hand in a circle, reciting the Brownie Promise."

A huge thank you to Sea Champion Emily for coordinating the evening and to Naomi and Helen for their brilliant support. Apparently the girls were telling all of their friends at school about it the next day!

If you'd like to find out more about running a similar evening or any of the activities we used then please get in touch with your Volunteer Coordinator.

Sea Champions hosting a "Marine Evening" with their local Brownie group

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