Girl Guides of Canada launched its newly updated program, Girls First, this past fall. Over the course of the Guiding year, our members have been getting trained in and familiar with our new program. Built on a girl-driven approach designed to give our girls choice, voice, and action, Girls First helps the Guiding experience meet the needs of each individual girl in a way that is relevant, meaningful, and fun.
Part of making Girls First work is making sure that girls have an active voice in making unit plans. How they approach their badge work, what kinds of outings they go on, and the goals they have for camps or community service projects depends on the girls in that unit and what they are interested in. Our 49th Guides recently shared some photos of a Girls First planning day with their unit. Girls loved getting involved in making plans!
Part of their exercise was thinking of all the things they had already done that year to figure out how it maps into the Girls First program (so they know what badges they’ve earned!) and to give them some guidance for what they should try next.
From group brainstorming to exploring the various Program Areas and Themes within Girls First, there is a lot that girls can do to shape their Guiding journeys. Based on their collective efforts, the 49th Guides were able to identify topics that their girls have liked or still want to explore like Guiding traditions, active living, wellness, STEM, and leadership.
Girls First is a bit of a learning curve (did you know the program is now entirely online rather than in traditional book format??) but we’re super excited about how it puts girls in the driver’s seat. It’s a program that really does allows each girl to be everything they want to be.
For a recent unit event, our 10th Pathfinders explored Vancouver through art! They found and viewed murals as they traced their way through Main Street with the previous year’s Vancouver Mural Festival map to view different styles of art with various mediums making up beautiful city walls and alleys.
As many of the girls hadn’t spent much time in this vibrant part of the city before, it was a great adventure for them! They were able to deepen their appreciation of local artistry at the same time.
They enjoyed lunch in the park before making their way to a 4CATS art studio to create a panda planter from clay!
On the way home, they checked out some Vancouver history from antique shops to record stores. Learned lots and saw some real west coast gems!
Recently, West Coast Area Girl Guides hosted its annual awards dinner, which is wonderful night for Guiders from across the area to get together to celebrate everything that we do to support girls in our various roles. Several of our adult members came out to celebrate together.
At this year’s event we saw awards granted to Guiders Helen, Sandra, and Gerry — thank you ladies, for all that you do! From helping with camping equipment, to coordinating our cookie deliveries, to managing our volunteer human resources, these ladies are all fundamental parts of our district’s success.
Did you know that we are now planning for next Guiding year (2019-2020), and we have many vacant positions in our rosters? If you are interested in volunteering to join this amazing team, please reach out and let us know. Guiding is all about running great programs for girls, but it is also a way for like-minded adults to find new friends, have lots of fun, and make a difference in the community.
Burnaby Mountain recently organized a district-level event for all girls in Guides, Pathfinders, and Rangers to spend the night at the Vancouver Aquarium. The sleepover was full of fun and hands-on learning about nature, the environment, and important lessons about conservation.
The overnight event packed in 12 hours of interesting educational programming with a little bit of sleep mixed in. It sure was a unique experience to get the place to themselves, to get to explore scientific labs behind the scenes, and sleep with aquatic friends.
The program included a hands-on Invertebrae Lab, 3 Eco-System guided tours (Northwest Pacific, Arctic, and Tropical), and some free time after breakfast to explore the Marine Mammal Deck And the Amazon Free Flight Gallery.
It was a very late night, so girls were exhausted when they finally laid down their heads for some sleep. Earlier in the year, Sparks and Brownies had the aquarium come to them at an event better suited to younger girls’ bedtimes.
The Aquarium sleepover was an amazing night full of amazing wildlife. Girls will hang on to these memories for a lifetime. We’d like the thank the amazing staff at the Vancouver Aquarium plus the planning committee of Guiders who worked hard to make this happen.