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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
It’s so great to see girls reaching new heights. Great job!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Burnaby Mountain Girl Guides hopes all of our sisters around the globe had a wonderful World Thinking Day.
Last night, our 56th Guides were lucky enough to have their regular unit meeting fall on Thinking Day. How did the girls choose to celebrate the joint birthdays of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell? With a fabulous Dairy Queen ice cream cake, of course! Happy birthday!
For some of our units, the party continues as they will be joining the provincial celebrations at BC Guide House this weekend. We hope they have a wonderful time.
This weekend the 22nd Guides went to see the Nutcracker performed by the Goh Ballet company at The Centre in Vancouver. Below are the girls posed with some of the very talented dancers!
This was an event that the girls were really looking forward to. They had been working up to it with other unit activities including their Nutcracker themed puppet show at enrollment and a visit from a community theatre actor to talk about drama and stage make up.
The unit was able to heavily subsidize the cost of this outing with money earned through the unit’s Girl Guide Cookie sales. Way to go, girls!
It was a great way to celebrate the holiday season with friends.
Last week the 24th Brownies and 56th Guides teamed up for an outing to Burnaby Lake where they learned all about nocturnal creatures with the help of staff from Metro Vancouver Parks. More info about their programming is available here.
It was a really fun night! Unfortunately, between the rain and the dark it wasn’t easy to get good photos, but luckily one of the Brownie leaders was happy to tell us all about it (and to share the couple of photos she did try to take). Here’s what she’s said:
Since the Guides group is so big, we had two interpreters, and it cost about $5/girl for a two-hour expedition. Since it was pretty well dark by 6:30, we did the Nocturnal Creatures program. My group started out with a “Hedbanz” style game where the girls had to guess which animal they had been assigned by asking yes or no questions.
We talked about the heightened senses that nocturnal animals use. For the next activity, three bottles, each containing a different scent (lemon, coconut or mint) representing a different beaver family, were set out around the small area we were in. The girls were each handed a bottle with one of three scents in it. They then had to use their sense of smell to identify which family they belonged to. Then we started on our hike. Along the way, we hoped to see a flying squirrel come out of a box high up on a tree, but none came out when our interpreter knocked. We were shown an owl skull, and a demonstration on how much noise a single goose feather makes when flapped through the air (a surprising amount) versus an entire owl wing (amazingly, none!). We looked (in vain) for salamanders. The girls learned about bats’ super hearing with wire hangers, string and a spoon.
There was an activity on our (in)ability to see colour in the dark where the girls were handed different coloured crayons and papers and they had to write down which colour they thought each item was, and see if they were right when they turned on their flashlights.
Lastly, the girls played a sensory game where plastic toys (frog, fish, egg, etc) were hidden in a container they had to reach into blindly to find and discern. Despite the cold and the rain, it seemed like everyone had a good time!
Sounds like fun! The Metro Vancouver Parks people always do such a great job with their field trip programs. It’s a great way for our girls to learn about the natural world in a hands-on and interactive way. It’s always so cool to be reminded about the awesome nature that we have right here in our backyards.
Back in March the University Highlands Guiding Unit had a fun active outing at Sky Zone, a trampoline park in Surrey.
This unique physical activity is lots of fun. With massive wall-to-wall trampolines to bounce on, these girls had an absolute blast! They just about defied gravity with their high jumps.
Sky Zone was a great way for girls to play with their friends. In Girl Guides, even adults make new friends. The Guiders for this unit didn’t know each other before working together with the unit this year and it’s been so great to see their friendship grow.
If you haven’t done so yet, make sure to bounce over to girlguides.ca to register for next Guiding year. Some units in Burnaby Mountain District are very close to full already. And if you want to volunteer, please reach out and contact us — we’d love to hear from you!
Looking for the University Highlands Guiding Unit? Next year this mixed Brownie and Guide group is splitting into two separate groups. Look for the 27th Brownies and 49th Guides if you want to register your girl at the Highlands location.
This year, as part of a Canada 150 initiative, Lee Valley stores across the country are inviting community groups to help make bird and bee houses. Loss of habitat for our birds and bees is a growing concern across Canada. Birds help keep the insect population in check, while bees are important pollinators for our plants. To help combat the habitat loss, Lee Valley Store is partnering with the community to build bird houses and bee houses.
This week, the 56th Burnaby Mountain Guides had a great time contributing to this important ecological project!
The bird houses the group made will be going to the Surrey Parks department to provide homes for tree swallows. These very special homes feature a hole exactly the right size for tree swallows, but not for other species. To learn more about tree swallows, click here.
During the activity girls learned proper technique in using a hammer, screw driver, hand drill, plane, hand saw and a square; they also did the measurements to mark the spot to drill the hole, mark the corner cuts and mark the wood pieces to line up the walls evenly. New skills for everyone!
This was also a great chance for parents to lend a helping hand. Lots of moms and dads participated in this activity. It is so great to get to work on something together.
A huge thank you to the people at Lee Valley who made this possible. Not only did the girls have fun and learn new skills, but it’s great to know that these bird habitats are going to be put to excellent use helping wildlife in our community. A few other Burnaby Mountain Units are taking advantage of this opportunity as well. Such a great project!