Hug a Tree for Brownies (Meeting)

This week, as the opening to our programming on orienteering, we will begin with Hug a Tree. Most guiders are familiar with the this program, but if you are not or need a refresher, check out the AdventureSmart Program here: AdventureSmart Hug a Tree. There, you’ll also find some of the resources I talk about here.

Activity DescriptionWho is leading it?Program to be coveredMaterials NeededTime needed
GatheringIt’s been forever!Owls & Jr. LeadersSpirit of Guidingn/a5-10 min
OpeningBrownie song & promise, new business, old business,meeting briefRainbow OwlSpirit of Guidingn/a5 min
Activity 1HUG A TREE–reviewRainbow OwlCamping Skills and Outdoor Adventuren/a5 min
Activity 2Hug a Tree and Survive StoryRainbow OwlCamping Skills and Outdoor AdventureHug a Tree and Survive Book from AdventureSmart5 min
Activity 3Hug a Tree True or False GameRainbow OwlCamping Skills and Outdoor AdventureTrue of False Presentation from AdventureSmart5 min
Activity 4Be Prepared NecklaceRainbow OwlCamping Skills and Outdoor Adventure-Whistle-flashlight-beads-compass-paraord15-30 min
Activity 5Sing Along– “If You’re Lost and You Know It”Rainbow OwlCamping skills and Outdoor AdventureSongsheet3-6 min
Activity 6Hug a Tree Story GameRainbow OwlCamping Skills and Outdoor Adventure-Hug A Tree Story Game story x115-20 min

Activity 1

Hug A Tree Review

This is just a super quick review of how to be safe outdoors. We will review the Buddy System and the four main points of Hug a Tree:

  • Tell an adult where you are going
  • If you are lost, hug-a-tree and stay put
  • Keep warm and dry
  • Help searchers find you by answering their calls

Activity 2

Hug a Tree and Survive Story

I use the colouring book from AdventureSmart: Hug a Tree and Survive. One day when we can have camps again, I may ask my Brownies to colour in a version for me to use!

Activity 3

Hug a Tree True of False Game

This game is also from the AdventureSmart program. I printed out the sheets and laminated them so we could play true/false together as a group, year after year.

Hug a Tree True False Game

Activity 4

Be Prepared Necklace

This is a super fun and practical craft. You can find out more about the necklace here: DIY Brownie/Spark Camping and Outdoor Safety Necklace Craft. This year I made up a little card to attach to their necklaces as well. You can grab that here:

I laminate it and put a little hole punch on the top corner so it can slide onto their necklaces. I printed them out at 2’x3′.

laminate it and put a little hole punch on the top corner so it can slide onto their necklaces. I printed them out at 2’x3′.
It may look heavy, but it’s really not. Even the flashlight is really lightweight.

A note about the whistles

This Rainbow Owl is very serious about whistles. They can be a really fun toy, but Guiding Whistles are not toys, they are tools. I explain this to my Brownies very seriously. These are only to be used in emergencies, or when practising for emergencies. When they go home, the Guiding Whistles should be placed in a safe spot with the rest of their Guiding Stuff and never used outside of it’s purpose. I even have them line up and receive their whistles in a very formal way, and I ask them to promise to use it responsibly. This way, I have found, is the only way to prevent having a Migraine Meeting.

Activity 5

Sing If You’re Lost and You Know It

(To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you’re lost and you know it hug a tree

If you’re lost and you know it hug a tree

If you’re lost and you know it and you have a whistle blow it

If you’re lost and you know it hug a tree

If you’re lost and you’re cold make a nest

If you’re lost and you’re cold make a nest

If you’re lost and you know it and you have a whistle blow it

If you’re lost and you’re cold make a nest

If you’re lost and you’re scared tell a tree (whisper “I’m scared!)

If you’re lost and you’re scared tell a tree (whisper “I’m scared!)

If you’re lost and you know it and you have a whistle blow it

If you’re lost and you’re scared tell a tree (whisper “I’m scared!)

If you’re lost in the forest do all three

If you’re lost in the forest do all three

If you’re lost in the forest hug a tree, make a nest, tell a tree

If you’re lost and you know it and you have a whistle blow it

If you’re lost and you know it do all three!

Activity 6

Hug a Tree Game

And now we practise with a fun game! We tell each Brownie to find a tree and hug it when they hear their name called out in this story:

The Brownies were taking a walk in the enchanted forest when (Brownie Name) became separated from the group. No one noticed. The Brownies walked on and (Brownie Name) tripped and fell. no one noticed that she was left behind. (Brownie Name) wandered off to chase a butterfly and (Brownie Name) thought she heard someone calling her from the other direction. (TWO Brownie Names) were so busy talking, they fell behind and couldn’t catch up. When a mosquito bit (Brownie Name) she went back alone to get insect repellent and lost her way. (Brownie Name) turned back alone to look for her. (Brownie Name) was so busy smelling the flowers that she was left behind. Finally there was no one left except the leaders and they were very worried about all the lost Brownies. They went back through the enchanted forest calling their names (Guiders/Jr. Leaders call each Brownie’s name and she stays at her tree yelling (or using her whistle loudly until a Guider/Jr. Leader comes for her). They found every girl because the Brownies knew to hug a tree and wait for help!

To finish it off, I give each Brownie an AdventureSmart Hug a Tree Cootie Catcher to take home and help teach their friends how to be safe in the outdoors too!

Hug A Tree Cootie Catcher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s