Happy World Thinking Day

Did you know that today, February 22, is celebrated by Guiding and Scouting members all around the world as World Thinking Day? It is the joint birthday of both of the founders of Guiding and Scouting, Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Olave Baden-Powell. More than 10 Million members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) are celebrating Thinking Day this year with the theme of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

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To get involved in this global celebration, our 24th Guides recently had a unit meeting where they completed the 2020 WAGGGS Thinking Day challenge: Living Threads.

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In one of the activities they cut out shapes of leaves / flowers and made a note of what they were proud of, showcasing how they all have different (and awesome!) skills and abilities.

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In another activity, called “Ties that bind,”  the group stood in a circle and whoever held the ball of wool would say something about themselves. Everyone that had the same would put up their hands and the ball of wool would be tossed to one while holding a string. They learned they had lots in common — for instance, lots of hands went up for “Like to Read”!

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This challenge, designed to help them explore the theme of diversity and inclusion, involved a lot of fun and stimulating activities and even earned them a cool badge! 

Happy World Thinking Day from all of us in Burnaby Mountain District.

Planning for Adventure

Girls in Burnaby Mountain District have some big adventures coming up!

A number of Guides and Pathfinders have formed a patrol to attend SOAR 2020, a week long camp in Sooke, BC, this summer which will have as many as 2500 girls from around BC, Canada, and the world! These girls are working extra hard with their cookie sales and some additional fundraisers to cover the costs of expenses and supplies. Here they are recently selling Purdy’s chocolates to support their trip!

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Our district also has some girls attending Ireland 2021: A Magical Adventure, a trip that will take a group of girls to Ireland! These girls are also fundraising, so keep an eye out for their endeavors too.

There is no shortage of adventure available in Girl Guides!

Wonderful Winter Camp

Guides from Burnaby Mountain district recently braved the snowy weather for an amazing winter camp experience at Guiding’s own Hollyburn chalet.

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This is a camp that takes lots of preparation. From planning on having the right supplies, knowing what to pack, making sure you have appropriate food… it is a big undertaking and it was fun getting the girls involved in the planning process.

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Hiking into Hollyburn is not an easy trek. But these girls did a great job! It was so exciting to be at camp with friends, especially with SO MUCH snow. Still, it was nice to relax inside with a cozy woodstove fire to keep warm.

The group took advantage of the snowy opportunities with activities like tobogganing, snowball fights, and snowshoe hiking. They also enjoyed camp cooking and skills and adapted camp traditions like making oohy gooey indoor s’mores.

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Winter camping is an experience like no other and a great memory for these girls of their time in Guides. These are experiences that last a lifetime!

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In a few short months camp will involve swimsuits and the beach… it’s funny how different our camps can be here on the wild west coast. One constant though is the company of fantastic friends.

Aurora Winter Festival with Guides

Recently, Burnaby Mountain District’s 49th Guides went on a special outing for an end-of-season finale to the Aurora Winter Festival at the PNE.
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The unit was able to make this a fun and affordable outing (including a ride pass!) because the girls were fantastic cookie sellers in the fall campaign — well done, girls!
There weren’t a lot of people there, so there was barely any waiting in line. A small assortment of rides were open, and they rode the tube slide and Super Shot, which were conveniently located beside each other. At one point the girls even stayed on the ride, time and time again.
They downloaded the app on a Guider phone, so along the Mystical Worlds lights display stroll, the girls found icons and scanned QR codes to complete the quest and each received a souvenir jingle bell ornament as a prize.
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The girls had a blast running around, and dancing in the disco igloo. It was a fun and exciting outing for the Guides. What a great way to finish 2019 with Guiding friends, and an awesome reward for an especially successful cookie campaign.

Holiday Crafts and CWFF Fundraising

The 24th Guides have been getting into festive spirit by making crafts and decorating cookies at their most recent meetings. Some favourites have included making calendars to count down to fun holiday days.

In addition to the crafts the girls made for themselves, the unit also made crafts for a CWFF fundraiser craft sale. The CWFF is the Canadian World Friendship Fund, and it supports Canadian Girl Guides getting involved internationally with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

According to our national website, “The Canadian World Friendship Fund is maintained through voluntary contributions from members and friends of Guiding, to help our members to experience Guiding internationally. It offers financial assistance to adult members who have been selected to accompany girls on nationally sponsored trips, to members attending international Guiding events as GGC representatives, and to girls and adults from other Guiding countries visiting Canada for special events.

All Burnaby Mountain District units have been challenged to do a CWFF fundraiser this year. Way to go, Guides — we hope your craft sale was a success!

Gingerbread Houses

At their last meeting, the 2nd Sparks and 47th Brownies had a blast decorating gingerbread houses. It was a great way to get the holiday season kickstarted with some Guiding friends.

The large cookie pieces were tricky to maneuver, so the delicious treats actually needed a surprising amount of engineering skill! Frosting is a sticky glue, to be sure, and while the girls did make a pretty spectacular mess, they all ended up pretty proud of their creations.

Stay tuned this month as we’re likely to see updates from other units getting up to some holiday fun with awesome outings and special meetings.

How teenage girls in Pathfinders are the BEST teachers

This post was originally posted on the GirlGuidesCAN blog on November 4, 2019. See original post here. The author is Saffina Jinnah from Burnaby Mountain District . Saffina works with Pathfinders and Rangers.

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Teenage girls in Pathfinders are all kinds of amazing – spreading positivity and passion in little and big ways every day. As Pathfinders celebrates its 40th anniversary, Girl Guide volunteer Saffina shares six lessons the girls in her Pathfinder unit teach her every week.

Optimism

These girls bring their best selves to meetings.  And it is a treat.  After a long day at work, sometimes it can seem rather daunting to volunteer.  Not with Girl Guides of Canada though.  Not with Pathfinders.  And definitely not with these girls.  Despite a full day of school, drama, homework, extra-curriculars, and scarfing down dinner, my Pathfinders always show up ready to go.  They always see an opportunity to learn, to play, and quite literally live their best life.  They laugh.  ALL THE TIME.  And it is SO refreshing.  I love being around their positive energy and spark.  When I appear stressed out from work, they share jokes.  When I forget an essential element to our meeting, they improvised.

They teach me to laugh every day and that you can find something positive in every situation.

Live passionately

It doesn’t matter if we are discussing feminism, immigration, climate change or cookies; Pathfinders care. A LOT. I have never witnessed such a young generation care so deeply about issues affecting all of us today.  They care about the world.  They are concerned for humankind.  They want social justice.  They want climate justice.  They are knowledgeable and eager to learn more and do more.  And do it with passion.  Pathfinders challenge me and keep me on my toes, always pushing boundaries and seeking solutions.

Leave your comfort zone

Pathfinders are resilient.  We go on adventures.  Sometimes they are planned and sometimes they are not.  Sometimes we don’t know where it will take us but we know we will be okay.  We have gone on journeys through Vancouver and meandered the murals of Main Street.  We went geo-trekking around the woods of Lighthouse Park and I was nervous about my first geo-trek, they took the lead.  Pathfinders are daring, brave, creative.  They are leaders.

We can conquer the world

Even as an adult, I often feel defeated.  Though I try to be a good person and live with kindness and compassion in pursuit of a more just world – basically abide by the Guiding promise – sometimes it feels really hard.  But when I am with the Pathfinders, I remember that we can all still create change – big or small – we can make a difference.  They believe so strongly in themselves and in the goodness of others and inspire me to continue to challenge myself and others to continue to learn and grow together.

It is okay to eat Girl Guide cookies for dinner once in a while.

I think this is self-explanatory!

The “’gram”

Despite my youthful good looks, I am a tad older than the Pathfinders of my unit.  That being said, I’d like to think I am very “woke” and “with it.”  Evidently, I am not.  My Pathfinder unit taught be about Instagram and the power of social media.  It is such a great tool to reach many people and spread a positive message, and that is exactly what they do on their social media platforms.  It has also been useful in meetings and an interesting way to connect with them on their level.  I was so inspired, I too now have the “‘gram.”

I look forward to growing with these girls and trying new things (while chowing down on cookies and posting on the “‘gram”)!

Sparks and Brownies and Fish (oh my)

The 54th Brownies and 27th Guiding (Sparks & Brownies) units recently had a fun-filled, fish-filled sleepover in the local Steveston and Richmond communities. The visited the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, ate fish and chips at a local restaurant, and then returned to Richmond Guide House for a fun sleepover with fish-themed crafts and activities.

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Did you know the Gulf of Georgia Cannery offers tours specifically catered to Girl Guide programming? The excellent staff at the cannery have developed a program for girls to explore their local cultural and natural heritage through stories, activities, and a guided tour. The cannery was built in 1894 and it is fascinating to learn about the history of the fishing industry, the people who worked there, and the ways that this effected the local communities.

The group then took a lovely stroll through historic Steveston, ending up at the Sockeye City Grill for a delicious meal of fish and chips. The staff was impressed by how well mannered this large group of Sparks and Brownies was, and the girls and leaders all thoroughly enjoyed their meals.

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After supper the group enjoyed a ride on local public transit, riding the bus to Richmond Guide House, one of our favourite local spots for Guiding sleepovers. There the group did a variety of fun activities including a bright colourful fish-themed craft before finally getting some sleep.

It was a fish-tastic time. And a great oppor-tuna-ty to learn all about fish and the local community.

 

Rangers on the Town

The 12th Rangers recently went on an urban adventure in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Vancouver, riding transit, walking around, visiting with seniors, stopping for snacks, and doing some uniquely sustainable shopping.

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The group visited Cavell Gardens independent living home for seniors and chatted with some residents during coffee time. It was lovely visiting with the residents, many of whom were previous Girl Guides from different parts of Canada and Ireland as well!

The Rangers and seniors shared stories, sang a few girl guide songs, and the girls even sold plenty of Girl Guide cookies at the residents’ request! The residents loved the visit and they even exchanged thank you cards, hoping the girls will come back soon!

They also walked Main Street, enjoying the vibe of the city. The girls shopped for sustainable fashion and explored Mintage Mall and F as in Frank for vintage, recycled, and upcycled clothes. Our fashion choices make a difference!

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Another cool shopping opportunity was when they checked out Urban Source for upcycled goods and got craft supplies. This store gets its materials from over 100 different local industries, diverting safe, useable off-cuts, discards, misprints and over-stock from the land fill. It will be great to see what amazing (and sustainable!) creations the group comes up with.

It was a lovely adventure. As their Guider said, the group “Walked a lot, ate scones, and stayed merry” — what more could you want?

Equestrian Sleepover

Recently Guides from the 56th and 49th Burnaby Mountain Guide units participated in an awesome sleepover at A & T Equestrian Centre in Surrey.

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With the patient guidance of the excellent equestrian staff, the girls learned horsemanship, how to feed/take care of horses and of course how to ride!

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This was a great activity for the unit to engage with a thoughtful growth mindset — for some of the girls, the horses were a bit intimidating, especially in the beginning! But it was really wonderful to see how proud they were when they faced these fears whether that meant getting up the courage to ride, or even just to touch and interact with such a large animal.

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Girls this age seem to have a natural curiosity about horses, so they were very excited to learn and become a part of the equestrian world, even just for a night. It is an experience they are unlikely to forget! A & T Equestrian offers programs for different levels of Guiding — check out their website for more information!