When you think of camp, one of the first things to come to mind may be sitting around the campfire with your friends — there’s a reason this is one of the most beloved traditions in Girl Guides!
At this summer’s Burnaby Mountain District Camp Flower Power, girls loved their opportunity to enjoy campfire. And for many, campfire wouldn’t be campfire without one important treat… s’mores!
Whether you prefer your marshmallow lightly toasted or charred all over, part of the fun is the experience of roasting your own. Every girl has her own trick to get it juuuuust right. Every now and again something unexpected happens: a marshmallow catches flame or falls into the pit. But each mishap is a learning experience. Nothing beats being able to do it yourself. Even our littlest girls really enjoy roasting their marshmallows.
Of course, the only thing better than roasting the marshmallow is eating it, right? And when it meets graham cracker and chocolate… mmm… perfection.
But campfire means so much more than just marshmallows and s’mores. A highlight of District Camp was getting all 75 campers together to participate in a fun sing-a-long of campfire favourites. In honour of the Flower Power theme, we serenaded camp with our chosen camp theme song: All You Need is Love.
On the warmest days of summer nothing sounds as refreshing as cooling down in the chill waters of the pacific ocean. At Camp Olave, girls at our District Camp Flower Power got to get the summer started with exactly this experience.
The waterfront is one of the best parts of camp, and having on site lifeguards means we get to take advantage of the water by going for a swim. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of waves crashing into your shins as you navigate the rocky beach. All around is nature — interesting rocks, seaweeds and crabs are all over the beach for girls who would prefer to beach comb.
Depending how far out the tide is, the water can be very deep or quite shallow. That’s why all swimmers either wear a PFD or have a swim test administered by life guards. Water shoes are also very important to protect our feet from the rocks. All of this being prepared allows us to have the best possible time on the beach.
Beach time is one of the girls’ favourite camp activities — some start asking when we get to go swimming before we’ve even unrolled our sleeping bags the first night! They look forward to it all day until its their turn to explore the beach and the water under the warm summer sun.
Most of our units are quiet in the summer as most of our activities follow the regular school year. However, Guider Marie with the 14th Pathfinders hates to see good weather and free time go wasted! Our 14th Pathfinders usually find time to have at least one great adventure during the summer months.
Last summer, the group tackled the Cypress Mountain Eagle Bluffs Hike, which is a part of the Baden-Powell trail, named for Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, the founders of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The 8km hike took them about 5 hours, including a stop for lunch.
There was a raven scoping out their food at the lookout point which was rather entertaining — everyone loves spotting local wildlife. The Pathfinders also received their badges from the previous guiding year when they broke for lunch at the lookout.
The girls learned a valuable lesson about being prepared: one of them borrowed Guider Marie’s vest, and another her extra pair of hiking socks! It was really cold in the morning hence the bundling up, but it warmed up later in the day.
The Eagle Bluffs Hike was lots of fun and rewarded the group with beautiful views. This summer, the Pathfinders are getting ready to go camping. The unit is heading to Camp McLanlin in a couple of weeks.
Way to go, 14th Pathfinders and Guider Marie, for keeping the Guiding spirit alive all summer long! Guiding does offer other great summer opportunities such as travel and camping at an Area, Provincial, and National level. Guider Marie also recently got back from the National camp, Guiding Mosaic at Sylvan Lake, AB.
That’s a question that we like to ask as many girls as possible when we ride the ferry home from Camp Olave. After Burnaby Mountain District Camp Flower Power this June, several of our older girls reported that they loved doing archery.
One of the cool activities at Camp Olave is the archery range, where girls can try out their hand with real bows and arrows. At Camp Flower Power, older girls did archery while Sparks and Brownies were busy with a different activity. Archery is one of those awesome things that not many girls get a chance to try outside of a setting like Girl Guides.
Lots of these girls are going to be eager to come back to Camp Olave to hone their skills with the bow even further — it’s not easy, but practice does help!
At the end of the Guiding year, the girls of the 49th Guides, plus their leaders and their families, went for a year end lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown. It was a lot of fun for the girls to have a meal together out at a nice restaurant.
For three of the girls, this was their last event as Guides so they received their advancement pins. On to Pathfinders for those girls!
Two of them also received their Lady Baden Powell Award, which is the highest award available to a Guide aged girl and is given in recognition of completing the entire Guide program — way to go, girls!
While it may not have been the most traditional advancement ceremony in the history of Guiding, Girl Guides is all about making memories and sharing special times with our friends. For this small unit, this pasta meal advancement ceremony is likely to stick in their minds as a great way to have recognized their accomplishments in Guides.
At the recent Burnaby Mountain District camp, girls had a great time all weekend with the theme “Camp Flower Power.” Activities were designed, where possible, to fit around the concepts of peace and love. This didn’t only involve tie dye (though it did, of course, also involve tie dye!). The camp’s program coordinators incorporated a service project for all girls at camp to put the idea of peace into practice. Girls of all ages spent some of their time at camp making welcome cards and letters for refugees arriving in Canada.
Girls took the task very seriously and spent time thinking about how and why refugee families need to be welcomed. The considered what kinds of tips they could give about Canadian culture and how they could help newcomers feel more comfortable. In their messages, girls wrote things such as the following:
Welcome to Canada! I hope you like it here. In Canada we respect everybody.
I hope you feel safe here and make lots of friends. In Canada people are nice to each other and play games like hockey.
Some of my favourite activities are swimming, gymnastics, and being a Brownie. What do you like to do? You should try maple syrup when you’re in Canada.
In Canada it rains a lot. But that’s ok, just get an umbrella. It’s nice here.
This week, two of our adult volunteers visited ISS of BC to deliver the cards and get a tour of one of their welcome centres. Our Guiders were blown away by the important work being done by this organization and were amazed by the courage and strength of the refugees that they were told about. One of the Guiders described the experience as life changing.
The people at ISS of BC were touched by the thoughtful cards and letters and assured us that gestures like this can make a major difference to refugee families when they arrive. Feeling welcome and finding a sense of community can be important factors in how well refugees settle into Canadian culture. The girls of Burnaby Mountain District were given a lovely thank you card, pictured below.
Burnaby Mountain District is proud to have been a part of such an experience and looks forward to finding other ways to spread messages of peace and welcome throughout our communities, especially to people in situations like this who need it the most.
Burnaby Mountain District was thrilled to wrap up the 2015/2016 Guiding year with a District Camp at beautiful Camp Olave last weekend. Guiders have been busy planning and promoting this camp since February of this year — hosting a camp for 78 girls and 20 adults is a lot of work! But it was worth it. Camp Flower Power was a great success.
One of the great things about District Camp is it encourages girls to make new friends and experience the sisterhood of Guiding. Girls from all Burnaby Mountain units were mixed up on three sites (two for Sparks/Brownies and one for Guides/Pathfinders/Rangers) so they got to meet lots of new girls and leaders.
Stay tuned for more posts about camp with lots of pictures from different activities — since most units are now done until September, we’ll be posting about camp a few times over the summer.
Thank you so much to the hard working core staff volunteers who coordinated organization, transportation, accommodation, program activities, and health and safety for this camp. Thank you as well to all the hard working Guiders who worked as site Guiders, patrol Guiders, program leaders, and quartermasters all weekend. Girls had a great time!
At a recent Guide meeting the girls of the 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides tried out making their own scratch board art. The process was reasonably simple, but allowed for great creativity.
One girl used the project to demonstrate her interest in world travel. What an awesome rendering of the Eiffel Tower! Maybe one day when she’s a little older this Guide will get the opportunity to participate in an international trip with Guiding. Every year, lots of Canadian Pathfinders and Rangers go on Nationally and Provincially sponsored trips or plan and fund raise for their own independent ones as a unit or district.
If you want to try making your own scratch board art, it isn’t too hard! All you really need is some card stock, crayons, black paint, and liquid dish soap. You can find some instructions here.
Girls loved this activity because they could choose their own color schemes and scratch out their own unique designs. This simple art project was done at a regular unit meeting and is a good example of the cool things that girls get to do each week in Guiding.
Although “peak” cookie season has passed by now, some Burnaby Mountain units are still selling cookies. Just last night the 24th Brownies had a successful blitz at Lougheed Skytrain Station. Way to go, girls!
The 14th Pathfinders have shared a couple of photos of their recent Spring cookie sale efforts. One girl tenaciously took on Burrard Skytrain Station and did a great job. Also pictured are three girls at the District Cookie Day back in April. We love the handmade posters and the special brand of Pathfinder energy employed in these cookie sales!
The Pathfinders tend to stay more active through the summer than our other groups. Although they pause their regular meetings for the summer months, the group still gets together at least a couple of times events such as camp or day trips like hikes. Girl Guide Cookies help power these adventures all year long.
In May, Burnaby Mountain District hosted a reunion event for past and current members of Guiding. The planning committee worked hard to get word out to past members who were involved either as girls or as adults who were now over 19 whether they were involved here in Burnaby Mountain or elsewhere but now lived in the community. The event was intended as a fun evening to thank our current members and to share memories about what Guiding has meant to us throughout the years.
At the event, women enjoyed a wine and cheese reception, an interactive history timeline, nostalgia hat crafts, a 50/50 draw, and a campfire. The District Commissioner gave an address sharing information she had learned about the history of Guiding in Burnaby from the Burnaby City Archives.
Guests especially enjoyed looking at old photos of themselves and friends and sharing memories of camping trips, enrollment ceremonies, outdoor adventures, and friendship. Below is a photo of the current District Commissioner celebrating her birthday during a Girl Guide trip to Victoria in 1999!
Another highlight was the campfire, complete with a s’more treat. Past members remarked at how surprised they were to remember the words to classic Guiding songs like “Land of the Silver Birch,” “Princess Pat,” and “I Don’t Wanna Go to Girl Guide Camp!”
Thank you to everyone who came out to spend the evening with us. It is always nice, sometimes, for Guiders and Guiding friends to get together as adults to reflect on the spirit of Guiding and to remember fun times passed. Burnaby Mountain has lots of fun coming up ahead as well, and we made sure to remind all the past members that we’d love to have them back as leaders any time!