Brownie Flag Meeting

Sometimes it is fun to catch up with one of our units during a “normal” meeting — that is, something that isn’t a special event like an outing, sleepover, or camp. At our regular weekly meetings, girls participate in all kinds of fun, hands-on programming. Recently, the 54th Burnaby Mountain Brownies had a meeting about flags and heritage. Jenn, one of the group’s leaders, describes the meeting below. 

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Tonight we worked on our Key to My Community which involved a flag ceremony and learning about Canada! Our circle leaders got to be in charge of the flags. We learned how to hold a flag, we learned they never touch the ground and we learned how to carefully roll our flags back up for storage. They loved seeing them (and do did I! We have a district flag? COOL) and learning about them all.

The last photo shows the girls together around their “where do we come from” map. The stones are decorated like a flag, some say “I love Canada”. They are all unique and each Brownie has marked where her family comes from to the best of her knowledge. (Note how many chose Canada)


We also played a little basketball free throw tonight and learned a bit about the Canadian guy who invented it! Before we played, we had a lacrosse stick and a hockey stick and asked which one is our national sport? They all chose Hockey! Which is actually just the sport we are the best at, not our national sport. It was a good meeting and I know we sent home some tired Brownies tonight!

Thank you, Jenn, for sharing about your Brownie meeting. It sounds like the girls were really engaged and had a great time doing this GGC programming. 

National Volunteer Week 2016

Happy national volunteer week to all of our amazing volunteers! Guiding wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of all of our leaders, council members, and commissioners. We’d love to take this opportunity to share the following thanks from Girl Guides of Canada:

volunteer week 2016

As well, we would like to congratulate some of our amazing volunteers who were recognized with merit awards for their hard work in our organization. Burnaby Mountain had three Guiders awarded with merit awards at last week’s West Coast Area Awards dinner. Two were able to attend the event — congrats, Christine and Gerry!

The third Guider has not yet received her award, so we don’t want to spoil the surprise right now. But well done, everyone!

Looking ahead to next Guiding year, Burnaby Mountain is sad to be bidding some of our leaders farewell as they move on to other things. This means we have a shortage of leaders in some of our units. If we are unable to recruit more, some units are at risk of being closed. This would be a great time to consider volunteering! Guiding is a great place to work with amazing girls and women to promote girl greatness and empowerment in a fun and supportive environment. Guiding offers great opportunities to our adult members including training, scholarships, travel, and more. For more information, contact us using the comments or by email at the “contact us” tab above.

To all of the amazing volunteers who power our district, Burnaby Mountain District says a big THANK YOU!

Pippin Pen Pals

In November of 2014, the 1st Burnaby Mountain Sparks were surprised to receive a package, hand delivered, from a woman who said it came from her family member in New Zealand. The leaders opened it up and discovered it was from a group of Guiding members from Whitby, Wellington in New Zealand, who wanted to be pen pals!

NZ map

In New Zealand, the equivalent of Sparks is called Pippins, and it is for girls aged 5-7. Here in Canada, our Sparks promise “I promise to share and be a friend.” In New Zealand, the girls learn the Pippins saying, “Pippins care, so Pippins share with other children everywhere.” In keeping with both of those ideas, an international friendship has blossomed with each group sending the other packages periodically throughout the year.

The groups have exchanged greeting cards made by the girls, photos, crafts, friendship bracelets, postcards, and crests! In a recent package from the Pippins, each Spark in the unit got a cool crest like one of the ones pictured here:

NZ crests

The Sparks have heard the Pippins story and all about the different activities the Pippins group does. It is interesting to hear that many of the Pippins will be going to see Frozen on Ice in a couple of months, which is an activity that these Sparks did this year. The Pippins also take turns taking home a doll named Penny Pippin, similar to the Sparks doll, Crystal, who gets taken home by a Spark each week. The Sparks have also learned that New Zealand has opposite seasons to Canada, so when the Sparks had their winter-themed sleepover, the Pippins were having summer camp, and when the Sparks go to camp in the summer, the Pippins are doing winter activities!

Most recently, the Pippins sent the Sparks a package of their Guide biscuits! These biscuits, pictured below, are their equivalent to our Girl Guide cookies. Yum! The 1st Sparks will definitely be sending a box of our own cookies back to them.

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Having gone on for more than a year now, the Pippin pen pal project has been a lot of fun. What an awesome way to experience International Guiding, even at as young an age as Sparks. It really helps the Sparks understand what we mean when we talk about the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts having more than 10 million members all around the world. There is even a possibility that we might get to meet some of the Pippins in person one day!