Uniform Exchange

Where has September gone?? Our Guiders have been so busy this month getting things organized for a wonderful year of fun and adventure. Burnaby Mountain District has a number of exciting district events planned this year. All units have gotten started with their first meetings and next month will hold lots of great things from outings, to enrollments, to sleepovers.

The first event to kick off our Guiding year was a uniform exchange in early September. The event was designed to give families a change to bring in the uniform items their girls no longer need and to hopefully pick up a gently used option for their next Guiding branch. We decided to run the event as a consignment sale where part of the proceeds were collected for donation to the Canadian World Friendship Fund, the national Girl Guide charity to support international Guiding.uniform-exchange

The event was well advertised and people came from all across the lower mainland. Many of the donations that were brought were old versions of the Guiding uniforms — did you know that official uniform always remains “official” even if it is not the current version? Many families loved the idea of collecting these older styled items that you can no longer purchase through our store to be used as extra uniform pieces to be used as back ups or at camp.

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Over all, the event was really well run and for that we have to thank the wonderful volunteers from Burnaby Mountain District (and even a few from other districts!) who came out to make this a success.

uniform-exchange-3Burnaby Mountain is extremely proud to report that we collected a total of $312.00 to donate to the Canadian World Friendship Fund. This contribution will go towards helping other girls experience the world and broaden their personal horizons. Well done, team!

Campfire time

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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

All you need is love — love is all you need.

Swimming in the Ocean

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.

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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.

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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.

Shoot the bow, the mighty mighty bow

“What was your favourite part of camp?”

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!

Refugee Welcome Cards

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.

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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.

 

District Camp Flower Power

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.

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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.

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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!

Guiding Reunion 2016

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.

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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!

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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!”

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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!

District Science Day at SFU

Last weekend Burnaby Mountain District partnered with SFU Let’s Talk Science to hold an all-ages interactive Science Day at Simon Fraser University!

Enthusiastic university volunteers led the girls through a variety of activities and demonstrations touching on several disciplines within STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Girls got to work together to try hands on science activities and had a lot of fun.

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Sparks learned about good bacteria and bad bacteria and got to to design their own cute bacteria buddies. They also learned about weather and clouds.

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Brownies enjoyed dissecting owl pellets to reassemble whole rodent skeletons — they thought it was a little bit gross, but really cool! They also explored physics by designing bottle-propelled rockets that they got to launch for an audience of Sparks.

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Guides and older girls tackled environmental science, considering problems like how oil spills and water pollution can be safely cleaned. They also rocked out with a variety of lasers, using problem solving skills to power high tech gadgets.

Over all it was a really educational and entertaining day. Girl Guides prides itself on being able to offer girls the chance to try new things, especially by helping them develop interest in areas like STEM where women are underrepresented in the professional fields. Thank you to Let’s Talk Science for hosting us!   We in Burnaby Mountain are very lucky to have SFU situated conveniently in our district. Many of our Guiders are SFU students and it is always great to take advantage of the opportunities that having a world class university in our district has to offer!

District Thinking Day: Connecting

February 27th Burnaby Mountain District came together to celebrate World Thinking Day. Following the lead from the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) we took a “Connect” theme and decided to connect as a district while also connecting with the community. The focus of the event was a food bank drive for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank done in the style of a can art construction competition.

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Each unit had been working for the past few months on collecting non-perishable foods, mostly in cans, in preparation for the event. Girls took time to consider their donations and to plan a sculpture that took into consideration a Guiding theme (so we could also connect with worldwide Guiding!). At Saturday’s event, the girls worked together, showing great cooperation, to assemble their sculptures.

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Sparks, Brownies, and Guides had a great time building with the canned goods. Older girls got involved in other ways. One Ranger took the lead coordinating the donation drop off with the food bank and lead a team of dedicated Pathfinders and Rangers in tasks like assembling and filling the boxes, and arranging to have the goods dropped off at the local fire department, which would hold the donations until the Food Bank could arrange pickup on Monday morning.

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Pathfinders and Rangers also helped to run the bake sale, which was a fundraiser for the upcoming district camp, and also the WAGGGS inspired “Connect” picture frame activity, which helped some units complete their WAGGGS Thinking Day 2016 Challenge.

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Congratulations to the 49th Guides who won the sculpture competition with their trefoil-inspired piece. The unit won some funds for unit activities and each girl got a small prize.

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The real winner, of course, was the Greater Vancouver Food Bank which got a donation of more than 800 cans and other items (including a good number of Girl Guide Cookies!). Thank you to everyone who donated, and who helped to pack and move the boxes. We also want to thank the City of Burnaby, which donated cool prize packs for every participant including a pin, pencil, and chocolate treat.

 

District Bowling FUNdraiser

Back in December, girls and their families from Burnaby Mountain District gathered together for a day that put the “fun” into fundraising: a district bowling fundraiser! The district rented Old Orchard Lanes on Kingsway and families signed up for a game of bowling. There was also pizza and snacks available for purchase, plus a silent auction with lots of cool stuff.

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Everybody had a really great time. It was so fun to see so many people come together to engage in fun, physical activity for a great cause. What was the cause, you ask? The district was raising funds for its district camp in June. Specifically, we’re aiming to be able to have the funds for district to cover the cost of buses that will take girls all the way to camp from Stoney Creek School and back again — no  driving out to Horseshoe Bay!

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We’re thrilled to report that the fundraiser was a big success. In addition to all of the fun that was had, we are able to report the following stats:

  • The 3-hour event included a total of 196 bowlers
  • They consumed 30 large pizzas
  • We made a net profit of approximately $700

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Way to go, girls and families! Thank you to the leaders who helped to plan and run the event. And a HUGE thank you to the staff at Old Orchard who went above and beyond in helping us run a successful fundraiser. They were such a pleasure to work with and we highly recommend their bowling lanes as a great place to have some fun.