Gymnastics Sleepover

This past fall the 54th Burnaby Mountain Brownies had a great time at one of our fave local sleepover spots — Club Aviva Gymnastics in Coquitlam!

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Many of our units have had sleepovers at this location, and every year Guiders report that girls had a great time. It is always so awesome to see girls having fun in an active environment. Healthy living is a blast when you’ve got trampolines, high ropes, and foam pits at your disposal!

Whether they’re brand new to gymnastics or have used this equipment before, it doesn’t matter — girls have a great time exploring the fun things they can do. The helpful staff keep girls safe and give them great tips too.

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And to top it all off, the event is made into a slumber party with all their Brownie friends. Girls get to sleep in gyms, exhausted after an evening of active play. Thanks, Club Aviva, for hosting us again. I’m sure we’ll be back soon!

Program fun

All units in Burnaby Mountain are back and meeting after the holiday break. Units are busy planning great adventures for the rest of the year including camps, sleepovers, trips, outings, community service, and more. Many units are taking advantage of the cold, wet, weather to focus on the exciting and enriching Girl Guides of Canada program materials designed for our girls.

At this week’s meeting the 47th Brownies tackled the Famous Five challenge, in which the girls learned about the five women who took part in the “Persons Case.”  In this famous legal battle, five women successfully convinced the British Empire’s highest court that several Canadian governments were wrong when they interpreted the British North America Act to mean that women were not “persons.” This is a great way to introduce Brownies to the important topics of politics, activism, and women’s rights.

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As a part of the challenge the Brownies invited a local female politician to talk to the girls about our right (and duty!) to vote and to be involved in change. The girls also decorated stylish 1920’s style hats, such as may have been worn by Nellie McClung and the other pioneers of women’s rights in Canada. The above photo shows the girls posing in their hats with the special guest.

On the very same day, the girls in the 2nd Sparks learned about life in another country important to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts — Switzerland! The girls had a blast playing a game where they pretended to ski around the hall and watched the Lonely Goatherd puppet show scene from The Sound of Music. Pictured below are the girls performing a concert with their homemade alpen horns. Switzerland is awesome! Maybe some of these girls will one day visit the WAGGGS World Centre in Switzerland, which is called Our Chalet.

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These are just some of the amazing activities being led by our creative and enthusiastic volunteers here in Burnaby Mountain. Every week our girls are engaging in creativity, self-discovery, and hands on learning about the world around them… and all in a safe, empowering environment!

Happy Holidays from Burnaby Mountain District

Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season, whichever way you choose to celebrate it. May you find joy, happiness, and peace with family and friends. Guiding in Burnaby Mountain will pick up again in the new year. 

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Above are the girls from the University Highlands Guiding group showing off their crafty reindeer ornaments and a wreath made from all of their hand prints on which they wrote things that they love about the holidays and about Guiding.

See you in 2017!

Brownie restaurateurs for the night

This week, for their last meeting before the winter break, the 54th Brownies had a great meeting where they got to take on the roles of restaurant owners and chefs. The girls worked together to make their menus, set tables, and do the prep work and cooking to share a great meal together.

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The food was simple, but full of crowd favourites. The girls prepared veggies and dip for their appetizer, mini pizzas for the main course, and a creative dessert of cookies and grinch kebabs! Everyone took great care to use the kitchen equipment safely and because they were cooking for all of their friends, they took great attention and care to their jobs!

The Brownies showed lots of consideration for each other. Two girls took initiative and decided to write names on the drink cups so they didn’t get mixed up. Great idea girls! This was very helpful when they set the tables.

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Cooking with Brownies is always an adventure and the leaders say this was a contender for their favorite meeting so far! As we know from camp, our girls love to eat! What fun 🙂

Awesome Science Guest Speakers

In Burnaby Mountain District we are lucky enough to have access to lots of great guest speakers who are available to come in to speak to our girls about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). With close access to universities, museums, and other programs, we are fortunate enough to have lots of ways to expose our girls to these exciting subjects.

Recently the girls in the 24th Brownies applied to a Science World’s program where they send a professional scientist to your group. They had a chemist named Allyssa, who develops colours and formulas for gel nail polish for a living, volunteer to do a presentation on polymers for the girls.

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She started off with a bang, lighting some powders on fire. Next she did a trick where she poured some water into one of three cups, moved them around and had the girls tell her which one the water was in. When they were sure, she dumped the cup over her head, and nothing came out – and tried this with all three. Of course, she hadn’t disclosed that there was a polymer in the cup with the water, which absorbed the water and turned into into a spongy substance. Then she made fake snow, and lastly gave the girls these squishy little balls called Orbeez. Of course she briefly explained the science behind her demonstrations. The girls really enjoyed her presentation.

And this week, in the University Highlands Guiding group, the unit got a presentation from Let’s Talk Science, the same group that organized our District Science Day last year. For this unit of mixed Brownies and Guides, the SFU scientists led the girls in an activity where they got to extract DNA from strawberries! The hands-on learning was a great way to show the girls the science that exists around us every single day.

An important part of our programming STEM is always a hit with our girls. Stay tuned throughout the year for more examples of how girls learn all about the world around them and how this knowledge and these skills can be applied in on-going passions and careers.

 

Horsing Around in Brownies

Over two 2-hour sessions these past few weekends, girls from the 24th Brownies participated in the Horsemanship Program at the Burnaby Equestrian Centre, which is also run by volunteers. Girls got to learn a lot about some amazing animals and how to take care of them.
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In the first session, the girls learned about colourings and markings, and got to meet most of the horses in the three barns, applying what they had just learned by identifying the colourings and marking on each of them.
They were divided into two groups, taught about safety around horses, and each group got to groom a horse. They fed horses, and they met a horse who plays fetch and smiles on command!
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At the next session they started off by sitting in on the rehearsal for the drill demonstrations that will be held around 10:30am and 1:30pm next Sunday at the Open House.
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Then the girls were split up again and groomed different horses than they had before. The rain had let up, so they went out to the Round Pen and they got to lead horses, and learn about the different gaits.
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They practiced imitating those gaits and had a short race that way. After that everyone went back to the barn and the girls learned more details about the horses’ feed, and the riding tack (gear). They put the tack on one of the horses, and by then it was already time to go.
The girls really had a great time at the equestrian centre. The volunteers were super friendly and knowledgeable. The fee covered an Associate Membership, which will enable girls to pursue further horsemanship opportunities if their parents so choose.
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Consider checking out the Equestrian Centre’s Open House, Christmas with the Horses, happening this Sunday, December 4th. Info is available here.

Remembrance Day Meetings

This week at Girl Guide meetings across the country, girls and their leaders have had tough, but important conversations about remembering. One of Burnaby Mountain District’s leaders wanted to share what they did to honour to Remembrance Day in the 24th Brownies:

We had a good talk about the poppy and its symbolism, Canada, our flag, our national anthem, the geography of our history/presence in wars, and our veteran family members, and we did some singing. Then we made Christmas cards to send to military personnel overseas. The girls were pretty into that. Take a look! It was a fun meeting despite the density of the subject matter.

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Way to go, girls! Those look great. These cards are sure to bring cheer to some who really need it this holiday season. This meeting, complete with service project, is a great example of how the Guiding program connects girls with the world around them. These activities helped fulfill part of the Brownies’ My Community program area.

Halloween Sleepover

On Halloween weekend, Sparks and Brownies from four different units got together at Camp Capilano to enjoy some spooky fun and friendship at a super fun sleepover. The girls had a great time making new friends from the different groups, and everyone got along great. Everybody was kept busy with lots of fun activities.

The girls got to make a variety of crafts including their very own jack-o-lantern candle holder. These were made by gluing tissue paper to mason jars, and lighting them up with a battery operated tea light. This is a special keepsake that girls will be able to remember this sleepover with for a long time.

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Other crafts included pom-pom aliens, and a popular Halloween mask colouring station.

After a supper of mummy dogs and spooky veggies, the group was lucky enough to have nice weather for a wonderful campfire. They each got to take turns making s’mores. For some of the girls this was their first time roasting marshmallows over a campfire! They sang lots of fun campfire songs before going back to the cabin.

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Before bed the girls had a dance party featuring great Halloween music like “The Monster Mash” and theme songs from Ghostbusters and Spiderman. The common room was decorated with awesome Halloween decorations including the jack-o-lantern candle holders the girls had made earlier that night. The disco-style party lights made the atmosphere perfect for dancing.

The next morning early risers got to watch the movie Hotel Transylvania 2, and once everyone was up they all enjoyed a hearty breakfast of pancakes with turkey bacon. A few more festive activities, including the ever-popular pumpkin bowling, kept girls entertained until it was finally time to be picked up.

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Over all it was a very successful sleepover. The leaders were all impressed with how well the girls got along, and everybody was very well behaved. For most of the Sparks it was their first sleepover with Girl Guides, and everyone did great!

 

Skulls on Tour visits Highlands

This week, the girls in the University Highlands Guiding Unit were thrilled to welcome a very special guest speaker to their meeting. The presenter’s name is Yvonne and her program is called Skulls on Tour. She has a large collection of natural science specimens including… you guessed it: skulls!

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In addition to the scientific learning opportunity the specimens provide, she talked about what it’s like to have a serious collection/hobby, and spoke about the community of other collectors that she’s become a part of. The girls and leaders found it informative on several levels.

The girls were very interested in checking out Yvonne’s collection. They got to get pretty close and even handle some of the specimens. It was a really neat chance to learn about animal physiology.

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Bones, horns, teeth, and fur were all included in the display. There was so much to look at, touch, and feel. Girls were very engaged and asked lots of questions. It was fascinating! Guest speakers are such a fun way to bring something new to a regular unit meeting.

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Yvonne is a Sparks leader in Vancouver and can customize her talk for any age group. For more information, or to inquire about booking Skulls on Tour for your own unit, check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/skullsandoddities/.

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)

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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.