Guides at Lafarge Lake

The 49th Burnaby Mountain Guides recently journeyed into Coquitlam for a festive outdoor outing. Lafarge lake has the lower mainland’s largest free outdoor lights display! It was a beautiful night.

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It was also a fun way to be active together. The lights display around the 1.2 km path and since it was a bit chilly out, the girls were motivated to keep moving to stay warm! Hot chocolate also helped with that.

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Lafarge lake is really easy to get to on skytrain and well worth the visit. Learn more about this local event here. Even the unit’s shining star Guiders are all smiles, below.

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This is just one of the awesome seasonal outings happening this month. Several groups are also taking in the fun lights and displays at the Burnaby Village Museum. And at least unit is visiting the Aurora winter festival as well. So much fun stuff to do out in our communities!

Sparks Design Space

The 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks are enjoying working with the new Girls First program. Based on evaluations of the girls’ interests and personalities during meetings earlier in the year, the unit has decided to work on the Experiment and Create program area this year. At their last meeting, the group did some activities for the Design Space theme.

Design Space is described as follows in the Girls First program:sparks-design-space-theme-badge.jpg

Innovate and create! Activities in this theme will equip you with the skills you need to tinker with machines, build robots, code programs, and re-think recycling, as you push the limits of your imagination.

Difficult to do with 5-6 year old Sparks? The group didn’t think so! Using a combination of activities from the Girls First online platform plus activities their crafty Guiders came up with themselves (and then submitted for consideration to the National program team!) the girls had a great meeting.

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The group had a great discussion about robots including household uses they were familiar with like roombas and Siri. Then they got creative and design their own robots using recycled materials and leftover craft supplies. Each girl designed a tin can robot and talked about its functions and personality.

Then they made a circuit track on the floor using painters tape and figured out how to guide their blindfolded Guider through the track — first by physically manipulating her, and then using voice commands only (“Walk forwards”, “Turn left” etc). Then the girls took turns leading each other through using these coding commands. We discussed that this is how you give directions to robots.

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They also made I-Spy Bottles, an activity from the online platform. This quiet activity involves using investigative skills to find small items in a bottle filled with rice. Another great opportunity to upcycle!

Finally, the girls took their fully dried robots to play on the robot circuit course, or took time to play with their I-Spy bottle — whichever they preferred.

It was a great day of robotics, coding, and recycling, fitting perfectly with the Design Space theme. They’re looking forward to doing more design space activities at their next meeting so that they can earn the theme badge. Way to go girls!

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!

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.

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.

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!

Camp Kanaka with Guides

Last month girls from the 22nd Guides and 49th Guides in Burnaby Mountain District went camping together to Camp Kanaka, a Girl Guide camping property in Maple Ridge. They stayed at the platform tent site, Naka Naka Naka.

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Despite some yucky weather, they ate great food (that girls helped prepare), had a campfire, hiked, played a variety of games, made fun crafts, and had a dance party that the girls organized.. and through it all, new friendships were formed!

Isn’t it funny how at camp everyone has so much fun working together in the kitchen? At home cooking can be a chore, but at camp it’s so much fun!

One highlight was the hike, which some girls enjoyed so much they opted to continue to make an even longer nature adventure.

Handshake murder, a monk’s meal, and a musical version of capture the flag were all included in the weekend of silly fun. There was also opportunities for girls to take some down time with crafts or fancy colouring pages. The dance party was especially popular, with girls canvassing their fellow campers to find out what songs needed to be included on the playlist.

The rain didn’t dampen any spirits as all the girls had a great time. Springtime camping is always such an adventure. These girls are now all set for district camp in June!

Brownie day trip to Galiano Island

One recent Saturday, despite the foreboding skies and strong winds, the 24th and 47th Brownies ventured to a Southern Gulf Island for a field trip with the Galiano Conservancy Association.
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With the Edible Forest program, they went on a hike, matching paint chips to things in nature. The sun smiled on them, and they stopped for a snack before being taught how to harvest nettle and two species of fir needles along the way to the Forest Garden.
When the girls had gathered enough foliage, they played some games under the tarp while their tea steeped. They participated in a teaching train activity, teaching each other things they learned about some of the plants in the garden.
Lastly, they planted peas, and one of the Guiders heard that in only a week and a half, they had already sprouted (that’s the photo below, sent from one of our contacts there).
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The interpreters were really great. They were super friendly and patient, full of stories and songs, and an obvious love of nature!
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It was a 10-hour day for the group, and it was a big day of outdoor fun. Way to go, Brownies!