Dragon Boats

The Dragon Boat festival celebrates the life of a Chinese poet called Chu Yuan. He threw himself in the river as a protest against the corruption of government officials. Local people sailed out into the river and beat on the water with their paddles to keep the fish away from his body. They also threw rice into the water to keep the fish away. Today, many towns in China hold special boat races in memory of Chu Yuan. The long, colorful boats have carved dragons' heads and tails. Up to 80 people row each one, in time to the beat of a large drum in the center of the boat.

To make a dragon boat:
1. Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise.
2. Fold one half into thirds (lengthwise again), folding in the opposite direction to the first crease.
3. Turn the paper over, and do the same with the other half.
4. Fold the ends over and staple into place.
5. Push the middle down so that it is flat and pushes the sides of the boat out.
6. Staple a dragon's head and tail at either end.
7. Decorate with crayons.

Note: We do not have a pattern to copy for the dragon's head and tail. Let the girls use their imagination to come up with the scariest or most colorful dragon. If anyone has a pattern that could help other Girl Guide and Girl Scout Leaders with this activity, please send it to us!

Contributed by:
Liz Watts
Troop Leader, Girl Scouts of Tres Condados Council, California, USA
Former Brownie Guider and County Hillwalking Adviser, UK

Do you have any other ideas for activities? Contact The GuideZone Team with your comments or suggestions!

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This page last updated March 22nd, 2000