Sparks Visit Seniors

Burnaby Mountain District is thrilled to have a great relationship with nearby seniors residence LJ Christmas Manor. Every month a unit visits there to share some Guiding spirit with the older adults who live there. The residence always provides a lovely snack of juice and cookies and the girls provide some entertainment and socialization. The residents always appreciate the visit, some of them looking forward to the event every month.

Last month the 1st and 2nd Sparks visited together. The visit happened to occur on February 22nd, which of course is World Thinking Day, a very special day for Girl Guides. The leaders spoke to the girls and the residents a little bit about the history of Guiding and then sang some favourite campfire tunes to celebrate. Some of the residents even joined in when they sang “Quartermaster’s Store” which is a very traditional song.

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Then the girls and residents paired up to play an exciting game of Sparks Bingo! Words associated with Sparks were called out and the players had to find and dab those words on their cards. These Sparks words included “sharing,” “friendship,” “Crystal,” “promise,” “sleepovers,” and “crafts.” The prize for the bingo games was a package of radish seeds, which happened to fit in great with the “grow” theme that had been decided upon by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts for this year’s World Thinking Day.

Everyone was amused to see just how much of a mess five and six year olds can make while using a bingo dabber.

It was a fun evening! Other groups that have visited the manor this year have done activities including skits, games, dancing, and quilting. We love the opportunity to share these moments and memories with others in the community. A huge thank you to the staff at LJ Christmas Manor for allowing us to come in each month.

Guide Quilt to be Auctioned

The 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides are thrilled to finally unveil a project that they’ve been working on for a long time: an original Girl Guide quilt!

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Over a year ago the unit found out about a collection of old Girl Guides of Canada uniform pieces that had been stored at Provincial Guide house but that no longer had any use. After confirming that the uniforms were not of interest to other committees, including the museum and archives, they decided they had to come up with a worthy project for this textile piece of Guiding history.

The idea was born to make the uniforms into a quilt. It seemed like a great idea… except for the fact that neither the girls nor their Guiders actually knew how to make a quilt.  The unit brainstormed some design ideas and sought out some expert advise from family and community members.

As an ongoing service project, units in Burnaby Mountain District take turns going to LJ Christmas Manor, a local senior’s residence, for monthly visits. When the 22nd Guides had their turn, they decided to appeal to the seniors for help. In September 2016 with the help of the residents of the manor, they dismantled the uniforms, removed the buttons, and cut the fabric into usable squares. It was a great hands-on project to engage the seniors and it was great to see the girls working with them on a task.

Then, the group reached out to some local West Coast Area Trefoil members to help with the next steps. In January 2017, with the guidance of these experienced quilters the girls helped lay out the quilt and did some of the sewing at their unit meeting. A huge thank you goes out to Guider Nancy who took the quilt home to help with putting the last bits together on her sewing machine.

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Almost done, the quilt came back to a Guide meeting in March 2017 for the girls to put on the finishing touches, which included sewing on buttons for decoration. In addition to the old Guiding uniforms and scarves, the quilt also features commemorative crests from Lady BP’s 100 club, 100 years of Girl Guides in Canada, Thinking Day,  the four original world centres, and West Coast Area.

The quilt is going to be auctioned off at the Trefoil Guild Rendezvous, happening April 28-30 2017 in Richmond, BC. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Canadian World Friendship Fund.

Rangers Help Homeless Youth

Recently the 12th Burnaby Mountain Rangers decided to have a hoodie drive to collect new and gently used hoodies and sweatshirts for homeless youth. This winter has been a particularly cold one in Vancouver, and these girls have stepped up to help make a difference.

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Altogether they collected 92 hoodies, folded them and tagged them by size. One of the girls then made the trip downtown to deliver the donations to Covenant House where they were gratefully accepted.

One of the objectives for Girl Guides of Canada as per our national strategic plan and priorities is to empower girls to have the confidence to advocate. We will continue learning effective ways to speak out and take action on issues of importance to girls and relevant to the quality of life for girls and women. Projects like this one carried out by these Rangers demonstrate exactly the kind of service project that contributes to these goals of taking action for a better world.

Way to go, Rangers! We’re proud of your hard work, and confident that these 92 hoodies will help make a difference to youth in need.

Guides Trip to Victoria

Last weekend the 22nd Guides took a trip to Victoria, BC to see the sites, have fun, and experience a great Guiding adventure.

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These girls have been planning this trip for about a year and have done extra fundraising and lots of planning sessions to make it the best trip it could be. Clearly their hard work paid off because they had a blast!

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The trip started with a Friday morning bus ride from Pacific Central Station to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Once they made it to the island they found their way to South Vancouver Island Guide House, a Girl Guide property, which was their home base for the weekend.

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Then it was time for exploration! Over the next couple of days the Guides explored the city. From attractions like miniature world, to shopping at the famous Munro’s Bookstore, to the Royal BC provincial museum, and beyond!

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One of the highlights of the trip was the tour of the BC legislature. A very knowledgeable tour guide informed the group about the role of the Legislative Assembly and MLAs and the history of both the province of British Columbia and of the Parliament Buildings. They even got to visit part of the building not normally accessible to the public! The tour guide gave them lots of cool tidbits of information and was even happy to take this commemorative photo of the girls inside.

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Meals on the trip included a supper at the Old Spaghetti Factory plus a chance to go grocery shopping at a local store for food they could make back at the Guide House.

Visiting all the awesome sites like Chinatown, the waterfront, and monuments, and staying out late into the evening made the group hungry!

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By the time they got home on Sunday afternoon the group was exhausted. But everyone had lots of fun, making Guiding memories to last a lifetime.

Guides Look to the Stars

Earlier this month, for one of their regular weekly meetings the girls from our 56th Burnaby Mountain Guides went on an outing to the Trottier Observatory at Simon Fraser University.

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This was a great opportunity to see some first rate astronomy equipment and learn all about the stars from a very knowledgeable tour guide. The observatory features a six-meter-diameter dome housing a 0.7-metre diameter reflector telescope that is capable of tracking distant galaxies billions of years old. Unfortunately, the girls were not able to look through the telescope due to cloud cover and high chance of rain — the very fancy telescope cannot get wet.

One highlight of the tour was when they got to press the button to turn the closed dome around – it was very cool! The tour guide showed them many images on the monitor that had been captured using the telescope – stars, planets, galaxies, nebulas. Some of these images captured by the telescope can be viewed on the observatory’s website, here.

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Other awesome things to enjoy at the observatory include the beautiful outdoor light displays of seasonal sky maps and the ROYGBIV light spectrum. The Guides were really interested in this event and had non-stop questions. Everyone learned a lot! It was an excellent hands-on STEM activity that tied directly into Guide program.

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Burnaby Mountain District is very lucky to have this world class university right on our doorstep. Many of our leaders are SFU students or alumni and are keen to share these opportunities with the girls. SFU also holds star parties that are open to the public — the Guides highly recommend this activity to anyone interested in learning more about the night sky. Check out the observatory website for more info.

Gymnastics Sleepover

This past fall the 54th Burnaby Mountain Brownies had a great time at one of our fave local sleepover spots — Club Aviva Gymnastics in Coquitlam!

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Many of our units have had sleepovers at this location, and every year Guiders report that girls had a great time. It is always so awesome to see girls having fun in an active environment. Healthy living is a blast when you’ve got trampolines, high ropes, and foam pits at your disposal!

Whether they’re brand new to gymnastics or have used this equipment before, it doesn’t matter — girls have a great time exploring the fun things they can do. The helpful staff keep girls safe and give them great tips too.

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And to top it all off, the event is made into a slumber party with all their Brownie friends. Girls get to sleep in gyms, exhausted after an evening of active play. Thanks, Club Aviva, for hosting us again. I’m sure we’ll be back soon!

Rangers on Mt. Seymour

Last weekend the girls from the 12th Burnaby Mountain Rangers gathered for a day of snowy fun at local Mount Seymour. The wonderful group facilitators up there did a great job of helping the group plan a day of exciting adventures.

image3On this trip the unit enjoyed both snow shoeing and tubing. It was a very fun and active day on the mountain.

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Originally scheduled for December, the group had to reschedule due to bad weather/driving conditions. They lucked out with great weather on the mountain this past weekend.

Even more exciting was that all the girls were able to attend! This group of very busy grade 10-12 girls often have a hard time successfully scheduling time when they can all do activities together. Hopefully they’ll be able to have more similar adventures in the coming months.

Pathfinder January Camp

Earlier this month the 14th Burnaby Mountain Pathfinders braved the cold winter climate at Girl Guides’ wonderful Camp Kanaka in Maple Ridge. They stayed at the tenting site Serenity but were lucky to also have access to the basement of Lougheed Lodge to warm up from time to time! That especially nice for a cozy breakfast with friends.

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When they arrived (on a chilly Friday the 13th!) girls had to clear away snow so they could pitch their tents. Luckily, their fearless leader is the district camping advisor, so the group knew exactly what to do to stay safe, warm, and dry.

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It was a beautiful weekend for hiking. This group loves to spend time in the outdoors.

Much of the weekend was spent practicing camp skills, including campfire. They spent time making different kinds of fire starters and then testing them out to see which ones burned best. Materials included egg cartons, cotton balls, candle wax, vaseline, and even tampons! They recorded not only how long each kind burned, but also assessed the quality of the flame.

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Later that night they put their skills to the test for a wonderful evening campfire, including tasty “banana boat” treats. Bananas, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and sprinkles all warmed around a toasty fire… how could that be bad??

Over all it was an excellent camping adventure. These Pathfinders had a fantastic time with their friends.

Program fun

All units in Burnaby Mountain are back and meeting after the holiday break. Units are busy planning great adventures for the rest of the year including camps, sleepovers, trips, outings, community service, and more. Many units are taking advantage of the cold, wet, weather to focus on the exciting and enriching Girl Guides of Canada program materials designed for our girls.

At this week’s meeting the 47th Brownies tackled the Famous Five challenge, in which the girls learned about the five women who took part in the “Persons Case.”  In this famous legal battle, five women successfully convinced the British Empire’s highest court that several Canadian governments were wrong when they interpreted the British North America Act to mean that women were not “persons.” This is a great way to introduce Brownies to the important topics of politics, activism, and women’s rights.

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As a part of the challenge the Brownies invited a local female politician to talk to the girls about our right (and duty!) to vote and to be involved in change. The girls also decorated stylish 1920’s style hats, such as may have been worn by Nellie McClung and the other pioneers of women’s rights in Canada. The above photo shows the girls posing in their hats with the special guest.

On the very same day, the girls in the 2nd Sparks learned about life in another country important to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts — Switzerland! The girls had a blast playing a game where they pretended to ski around the hall and watched the Lonely Goatherd puppet show scene from The Sound of Music. Pictured below are the girls performing a concert with their homemade alpen horns. Switzerland is awesome! Maybe some of these girls will one day visit the WAGGGS World Centre in Switzerland, which is called Our Chalet.

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These are just some of the amazing activities being led by our creative and enthusiastic volunteers here in Burnaby Mountain. Every week our girls are engaging in creativity, self-discovery, and hands on learning about the world around them… and all in a safe, empowering environment!

Happy Holidays from Burnaby Mountain District

Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season, whichever way you choose to celebrate it. May you find joy, happiness, and peace with family and friends. Guiding in Burnaby Mountain will pick up again in the new year. 

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Above are the girls from the University Highlands Guiding group showing off their crafty reindeer ornaments and a wreath made from all of their hand prints on which they wrote things that they love about the holidays and about Guiding.

See you in 2017!