Guides at Lafarge Lake

The 49th Burnaby Mountain Guides recently journeyed into Coquitlam for a festive outdoor outing. Lafarge lake has the lower mainland’s largest free outdoor lights display! It was a beautiful night.

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It was also a fun way to be active together. The lights display around the 1.2 km path and since it was a bit chilly out, the girls were motivated to keep moving to stay warm! Hot chocolate also helped with that.

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Lafarge lake is really easy to get to on skytrain and well worth the visit. Learn more about this local event here. Even the unit’s shining star Guiders are all smiles, below.

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This is just one of the awesome seasonal outings happening this month. Several groups are also taking in the fun lights and displays at the Burnaby Village Museum. And at least unit is visiting the Aurora winter festival as well. So much fun stuff to do out in our communities!

Sparks Design Space

The 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks are enjoying working with the new Girls First program. Based on evaluations of the girls’ interests and personalities during meetings earlier in the year, the unit has decided to work on the Experiment and Create program area this year. At their last meeting, the group did some activities for the Design Space theme.

Design Space is described as follows in the Girls First program:sparks-design-space-theme-badge.jpg

Innovate and create! Activities in this theme will equip you with the skills you need to tinker with machines, build robots, code programs, and re-think recycling, as you push the limits of your imagination.

Difficult to do with 5-6 year old Sparks? The group didn’t think so! Using a combination of activities from the Girls First online platform plus activities their crafty Guiders came up with themselves (and then submitted for consideration to the National program team!) the girls had a great meeting.

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The group had a great discussion about robots including household uses they were familiar with like roombas and Siri. Then they got creative and design their own robots using recycled materials and leftover craft supplies. Each girl designed a tin can robot and talked about its functions and personality.

Then they made a circuit track on the floor using painters tape and figured out how to guide their blindfolded Guider through the track — first by physically manipulating her, and then using voice commands only (“Walk forwards”, “Turn left” etc). Then the girls took turns leading each other through using these coding commands. We discussed that this is how you give directions to robots.

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They also made I-Spy Bottles, an activity from the online platform. This quiet activity involves using investigative skills to find small items in a bottle filled with rice. Another great opportunity to upcycle!

Finally, the girls took their fully dried robots to play on the robot circuit course, or took time to play with their I-Spy bottle — whichever they preferred.

It was a great day of robotics, coding, and recycling, fitting perfectly with the Design Space theme. They’re looking forward to doing more design space activities at their next meeting so that they can earn the theme badge. Way to go girls!

Guider Retreat

The adult volunteers of Burnaby Mountain District recently gathered for a Guider Retreat at Camp Capilano in North Vancouver. 21 adults participated! The overnight event had three goals:

  1. Provide relevant training
  2. Team building
  3. FUN

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In regards to the first goal, our Guiders got training about the new Girls First program, camp equipment, effective communication strategies with girls, bullying prevention, and Guiding traditions.

Guiders also got to choose between two out trips — a tour of the new BC Guide House building and visit to Lonsdale Quay, or a geocaching hike in Capilano Park.

A highlight of the event was a team building visit from Dance Downtown, with a facilitator that took the group through a teamwork intro and a Bollywood dance lesson. It was so much fun!  There was a lot of laughter and bonding.

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All in all, the three goals were definitely met! Our Guiders now feel more prepared to engage with our new program and have lots of other skills they can work with. Perhaps even more importantly, we’re a better team than ever before.

Want to join the fun? Get in touch with us any time. We’re always looking for dedicated volunteers to join us.

Rock Climbing with Guides

Recently, while working on the BC Girl Guides Get Moving Challenge, the 49th Guides teamed up with our 24th Guides to try indoor rock climbing at ClimbBase5 in Coquitlam.

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Rock climbing is a great way to get active indoors (useful on cool, wet, autumn nights!) and to try out new skills. And by joining another unit, it was also a way to do team building and make new friends.

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Outings like this are made possible by the sale of our delicious Girl Guide Cookies. We can’t wait to see what these girls get up to next.

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It’s so great to see girls reaching new heights. Great job!

District Spark/Brownie Sleepover

This past weekend, girls from all five Spark and Brownie units in Burnaby Mountain District gathered at Camp Capilano in North Vancouver for a really fun sleepover.

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One highlight of the sleepover was the special guests for the Vancouver Aquarium. Staff from their mobile outreach program turned Camp Capilano into an AquaZone, including live inter-tidal animals and other interactive display items.

The aquarium staff were super engaging and the girls learned a lot about marine life. They also chatted with the girls about the importance of protecting our oceans and some things we can all do to help keep our waters safe and clean for aquatic life.

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The mobile outreach program was a great way to let our girls learn about the ocean in a program specifically designed to work well for them. Older girls in the district can look forward to having their own way to connect with the Vancouver Aquarium later this year — stay tuned!

Sparks and Brownies also got the chance to tap into their artistic side by decorating masks. The leaders were really impressed by their efforts! Girls did such a great job using the paints, jewels, feathers, and other decorations to create awesome masks. They turned out so well.

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Masks are fun at all time of year, but especially with Halloween coming up it seemed like a great time to embrace pretend play.

A sleepover is a great way to start introducing camp skills, and these girls loved the chance to have a real campfire (with s’mores!) outside. Camp food was also a big hit.

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Also very impressive is how well all of the girls did at this sleepover. There were no tears, and no problems getting to bed or packing up in the morning. You’d never have guessed that this was the very first sleepover for many of these girls. Great job!

Thank you to all the adults who made this happen, especially the amazing Vancouver Aquarium staff!

Fall Guide Camp

Last weekend some of our Guide units enjoyed beautiful autumn weather at fun-filled fall camps. The 22nd Guides had a great time at Camp McLanlin in Abbotsford.

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The girls combined the themes of camp skills and holidays, and managed to complete the BC Girl Guides Fall Camping Challenge.

Each patrol decorated their hut to suit the assigned holiday: Easter, Christmas, or Halloween. Other holiday activities included a trick (dare) or treat game, a flashlight Easter egg hunt, and a Christmasey singalong with chocolate mint s’mores.

Other more traditional camp activities included making bird feeders and camp pillows, lighting a fire three ways, and archery.

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Girls also got to do a lot of camp cooking, including assembling pizzas for dinner, cooking pancakes for breakfast.

The weather was beautiful — even if it was pretty cold in the morning! What a great way to kick off fall and learn camp skills and while having silly fun with friends.

Cookie Days

Did you see any Burnaby Mountain Girl Guides out selling cookies during the official Cookie Days in Canada this past weekend? Our girls were out in various places in the community that weekend and on other days this month. Several units still have cookies available, so keep your eyes out!

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Our 2nd Sparks were at the Save-on-Foods on North Road and did a fantastic job selling. It was a beautiful weekend for selling.

Cookie sales help power our awesome Girls First programming, helping to cover costs for camps and sleepovers, outings, guest speakers, meeting supplies, and more.

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The 22nd Guides took on busy Lougheed Skytrain station and also did wonderfully, selling lots of cookies. Look at those big cookie smiles 🙂

Did you know Girl Guides has a cookie selling rewards program called Cookie All-Stars? Girls who go above and beyond with their cookie sales can earn cool prizes. We have at least one girl in the district with her eyes on the top prize for selling at least 80 cases of cookies this year! Good luck with all your goals, girls!

Saturday Sparks

Did you know Burnaby Mountain District offers Sparks and Brownie units on Saturdays? Most units in the lower mainland meet only on weeknights, but to meet the needs of busy families we have Saturday options available. It’s also a popular option for girls who prefer quieter evenings and/or very early bedtimes through the week. The Saturday groups meet during the day.

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This year, enrollment is currently very low in the Saturday Sparks unit and we’re actively recruiting more girls. Sparks is for girls in kindergarten and grade one. If this Saturday morning unit would be a good fit for you or someone you know, please send them to http://www.girlguides.ca to register online.

Burnaby Mountain District still has spaces available in all branches, so use the Find a Unit tool on the national website to find a spot for your girl.

Everything She Wants to Be

Welcome to the 2018-2019 year! Have you seen some of the awesome new things happening in Guiding? Our brand new refreshed logo is showing up everywhere on sleek new advertising, showing off everything Guiding has to offer. You may have seen some of the ads in this post around social media or elsewhere.

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This year, Guiding is introducing an amazing new program called Girls First. Units are easing into it at different speeds this year, and it will be the new normal by next year. Girls First is all about having girls drive their Guiding experience. It gives them choice, voice, and action for shaping the most relevant and exciting program they can. This is supported by the new Girls First online digital platform which is a resource centre for program activities that girls can engage with. Leaders in Burnaby Mountain District have been part of the national Girls First Champions initiative to lead the way in transitioning to this new way of doing things.

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And to go with this, we’ve got a new tag line which you may have seen around as well. Everything she wants to be. That is what Guiding is all about. The tag line echoes the sentiment from our new mission and vision. Our mission has been defined as A better world, by girls. And the vision is now To be a catalyst for girls empowering girls.

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Sound like something you would like to be a part of? We still have space available in every branch. Our units get started at the end of September, so you haven’t even missed anything yet. A little late to the game? Don’t worry, because we accept new members all year long. Come along and join us on this epic journey to everything she wants to be!

Art Walk and Hike

Last night some Brownies keen to finish their Key to the Community and Happy Hiking badges went on an adventure at local university, SFU.

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First the girls walked around campus checking out the awesome public art around campus. It was fun to see the large installments, some of which lend themselves to interactive enjoyment.

Did you know there’s a website where you can find a map of public art in the city of Burnaby? What a cool way to interact with our community! Check it out here: https://gis.burnaby.ca/storymaps/publicart/index.html

After the art walk, the group did a short hike along the Trans-Canada Trail, accessed from pretty much across the road from the SFU bus loop.

The girls really enjoyed the hike, enjoying salmonberries and huckleberries all along the way.

Enjoy your fancy new badges, girls!