Have you ever been to the ocean? For some of us the ocean is right outside our door; for others it’s hundreds of kilometres away. Whether you live five minutes or five days away from the ocean, you can now easily bring the ocean to your meeting. The new Ocean Aware Challenge (7.9 Mb pdf) from the BC program committee and Ocean Networks Canada is designed to make the ocean accessible to everyone, no matter where they live.
This science-based challenge brings the ocean to girls and Guiders across the province with interactive activities, experiments, crafts and games for all ages. Don’t worry—this challenge doesn’t require any life jackets, boats or Safe Guide forms (unless you want them!). Everything you need to explore the ocean is presented to you and is meeting-space-friendly.
You may never touch the ocean, but the ocean touches you everyday.
Many people don’t know how important the ocean really is, and this challenge was inspired to bring an understanding of the ocean to girls and Guiders. “We are thrilled to be working with Ocean Networks Canada to provide opportunities for girls across the province to discover the wonders that lie beneath the ocean in a brand new oceans challenge,” says Carla MacRae of the BC program committee. “This is the first challenge of its kind and we hope Guiders and girls will enjoy learning more about the marine environment.”
This challenge is built around the essential principles of Ocean Literacy. Defined as understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean, ocean literacy encourages people to get informed about the ocean. In classic Guiding fashion, crafts, games, science, service and good old messy fun make this challenge a real treat. Girls and Guiders will explore and understand the science of the ocean by using some simple experiments and a little imagination. After completing the Ocean Aware Challenge, you’ll be more than ocean aware; you’ll be ocean literate too!
How do I bring the ocean into my meeting?
Take a trip to the bottom of the sea of course! (Don’t worry—you won’t get wet.) Through the BC Ocean Aware Challenge, exploring the ocean is as easy as 1, 2, 3. As a unit, complete seven activities—one for each principle of ocean literacy (see below) and earn an exciting Ocean Aware Challenge crest! Some of the activities include making a glowing deep-sea fish, creating an ocean circulation ‘water cake,’ trying to hear like a whale, conducting science experiments and, of course, completing service and imagination challenges of all kinds.
In fact, you can complete a challenge right now! Do you know what a Coccolithophore is? Find out, share with a friend, and you’re well on your way to completing principle 4!
How to get started
Visit BC Girl Guides to download the challenge requirements. The crest order form is also found on this page, and includes information on how to order crests.
The 7 principles of Ocean Literacy:
- The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
- The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
- The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
- The ocean makes the Earth habitable.
- The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
- The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
- The ocean is largely unexplored.