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!

Brownie Sleepover at Fort Langley

At the start of May, a multi-unit sleepover saw the 27th, 54th and 24th Brownies get together for a heritage-themed sleepover at Fort Langley.

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Once everyone was settled into their oTENTik (a Parks Canada A-Frame/Platform tent structure), they had an interpreter lead them in a “campfire program”, for which they actually spent very little time at the campfire!

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He took the girls into a few of the exhibit buildings and taught them about the voyageur lifestyle. The Brownies lugged “fur bales” around and got to check out the brand new play area which wasn’t yet open to the public.

Once the interpreter left, the Brownies had the place to themselves. Securely locked within the walls of the Fort, the girls roasted hot dogs and sang a few favourite camp songs around the fire, rolled down the grassy incline, climbed the watchtowers, panned for gold, ran around and tried to find bunnies, and made yarn dolls.

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In the morning, after packing up and eating breakfast, the Brownies did a nature scavenger hunt before the fort opened to the public. They took advantage of the Girl Guides heritage tour they have designed, which provides workbooks for the girls, activity guidelines, puppets and scripts for the Guiders, all of which earned them a special Fort Langley crest.

Brownies get Guides Greatest Hits

With registration for next Guiding year already open for returning members, this is a great time of year for girls to get a taste of what Guiding in the next branch has in store. Recently, girls from the 54th Burnaby Mountain Brownies visited our 22nd Guides to see what a Guide meeting is really like.

The Guides, feeling inspired by our upcoming new Girls First programming, got their creative thinking caps on to plan an evening of fun inspired by some of their favourite activities that they had done earlier this year.

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One of their favourite meetings was a spa day when they made all kinds of natural products and learned about how to feel good with activities like yoga and mindfulness. The girls borrowed their favourite activity from that meeting — chocolate face masks! — to share with their Brownie friends. Entirely eatable, these face masks apparently make your skin feel soft and smooth. But as we can all tell, really the fun comes from getting to wear your chocolate!

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Another favourite activity which had come from a series of meetings on STEM related topics was slime making. The Guides helped the Brownies make slime in a variety of colours. Science is cool. The meeting was definitely a bit more messy than your average Guide meeting, but the girls were all great about helping to clean up too.

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They also got to share some of their Girl Guide traditions like their regular opening routine and some favourite songs. What a great way for the girls who are moving up to Guides next year to know what kind of fun things to expect. Thank you, Guides, for planning such an awesome meeting!

Great Salmon Send-Off

This past weekend Burnaby Mountain District had a wonderful presence at the annual local community event, the Great Salmon Send-Off. Organized every year by the Stoney Creek Environmental Committee (this was the 28th annual event!), community and environmental organizations gather at Stoney Creek School for a rain-or-shine day of family friendly outdoor fun.

Luckily, this year the sun did shine — it was a beautiful day for the event! A few of our volunteer leaders and Rangers were there with a station at the event. They were selling cookies, running activities for kids, and giving out information about registration which is on now for the 2018-2019 Guiding year.

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The district was also represented by some younger girls, as the 27th Brownies visited the community event as a unit, visiting all the different stations. The highlight, of course, was getting the opportunity to help release young salmon into the steam.

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It was a great day for learning about the environment and what we can do to help keep it safe and healthy for all the creature, including the fish, who need it as their home. Thanks for helping to do your part girls, and thank you to everyone who visited our table that day as well. We look forward to coming back next year.