Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Burnaby Mountain District! Lots of units are getting up to festive fun this week, but perhaps none quite so earnestly as the 14th Pathfinders who spread Halloween into a multi-part event!

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The group decided to check out the local Burnaby Village Museum, which puts on a great haunted attraction for Halloween.

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There can be lots of spookiness in history. Highlights included a spontaneous conga line street party!

But that’s not all. The group also recognized Halloween at regular meetings where they first spent a day making great Halloween decorations for the next week when they had a fun spooky party with snacks and games.

You’ve got to admire this group’s dedication to the season! Looks like a great time was had by all.

Pathfinder Tree Planting

Last weekend the 14th Pathfinders participated in a public tree planting event with the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver, and City of Burnaby in Central Park.

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Two large trucks full of trees, shrubs and ferns native the area were planted by a team of volunteers.

Plant species included: huckleberry, cedar, oregon grape, indian plum, spruce, sword fern, salmon berry, thimble berry, and douglas fir.

The group had a great time affectionately naming their trees and shrubs things like “Nock” and “Huck” before planting them in the park.

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Luckily, the morning event, from 9am til noon, had great planting weather — cool and crisp, but the rain held off until the end. Afterwards the volunteers were rewarded with some warming hot chocolate.

Pathfinders Urban Art Walk

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.

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They enjoyed lunch in the park before making their way to a  4CATS art studio to create a panda planter from clay!

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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!

Pathfinders at Lighthouse Park

This January, the 14th Pathfinders went camping at Lighthouse Park. The Phyl Munday nature house is operated by Girl Guides in West Vancouver and is an optimal place for Friday night sleepovers, close to the city but steeped in nature.

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The girls planned everything from meals of rainbow pancakes to exciting nature activities and it was a great success! These all-weather girls enjoyed a crisp cool January weekend, exploring the forest and sea side with great enthusiasm.

They had a great time exploring the beautiful surroundings on night hikes, day treks, and geocaching. There are lots of geocaches in the area, making it a great activity for girls interested in trying out that exciting world of technology assisted community scavenger hunting.

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What a weekend! In addition to all this fun, it was a great chance for girls to practice camping in cooler weather — although they slept indoors, the old army hut that the nature house has been converted from does get very chilly in the winter months. They spent most of their time outdoors and having a great time together.

Spark-Pathfinder Buddy Sleepover

Burnaby Mountain District’s two smallest units, the 2nd Sparks and 10th Pathfinders, recently teamed up for a fun Guiding sleepover at Richmond Guide House. The Pathfinders got to work on their event planning and leadership skills by doing all the preparations and leading the event for the younger girls.

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The Pathfinders decided on an “Under the Sea” theme which involved eating seashell pasta with blue Hawaiian punch for supper, making a cool underwater craft, and watching a Little Mermaid movie together.

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The Sparks loved having the older girls around and doing activities with them. The craft was a really big hit — an under the sea tambourine that looks like a ship’s porthole!

All the Guiders were impressed by the Pathfinder’s dedication and helpfulness. When the leaders tried to jump in and help, the Pathfinders assured them that they were happy to take care of it. It left the Guiders lots of time to relax, hang out with the girls, and take advantage of the cozy comforts of the Richmond Guide House property. Guiders spent some downtime doing this cool retro GGC puzzle that they found on one of the shelves — it had all its pieces!

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The buddy sleepover worked really well. It was a great way for Pathfinders to take the lead and a wonderful way for Sparks to be with some dedicated role models. It was a great sleepover — THANK YOU, PATHFINDERS!

Gold Camp at Manning Park

Last week Burnaby Mountain’s 14th Pathfinders had their year end camp at Manning Park. Gold Camp is the grand finale of Pathfinder program and allows third year girls to take on tremendous leadership in planning their own camping adventure.

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It’s great to see the Pathfinders continuing their programming even into July, after many groups have stopped for the year. Guider Marie is never one to let good camping opportunities slip away and nothing is better on a beautiful summer weekend than camping with your Guiding friends in a great BC park.

This Gold Camp was planned by three third year girls who each was responsible for her own site of two or three younger girls (Guides and Pathfinders) and got to host leaders at mealtimes.

It gives the girls a great chance to experience the work that goes into planning the meals, activities, and safety considerations involved in executing an awesome camp in Girl Guides. It’s a lot of responsibility to be in charge of what’s happening, especially when you have younger and less experienced campers in your care.

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The site was Coldspring Campground at EC Manning Provincial Park. It is a beautiful spot with lots of great nature and wildlife to enjoy. It was fun seeing the many marmots popping up to say hello!

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A particular highlight of the trip was spending a couple of hours canoeing and kayaking on Lightning Lake. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water.

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Other activities included field games like capture the flag, and a “campfire” that was hardly hampered by the campfire ban — the girls still sang their favourite songs and even roasted s’mores using their propane camp stoves.

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For the Guides who were invited as guests to this camp, it was a great chance to see what kinds of fun await in Pathfinders. Guiding is all about celebrating both old and new friendships.

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Well done, third years, for hosting such an awesome Gold Camp! Completing the Pathfinder program is a lot of work, but in the meantime you’ve all gained excellent skills, not to mention the fun, friendship, and memories!

Pathfinder January Camp

Earlier this month the 14th Burnaby Mountain Pathfinders braved the cold winter climate at Girl Guides’ wonderful Camp Kanaka in Maple Ridge. They stayed at the tenting site Serenity but were lucky to also have access to the basement of Lougheed Lodge to warm up from time to time! That especially nice for a cozy breakfast with friends.

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When they arrived (on a chilly Friday the 13th!) girls had to clear away snow so they could pitch their tents. Luckily, their fearless leader is the district camping advisor, so the group knew exactly what to do to stay safe, warm, and dry.

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It was a beautiful weekend for hiking. This group loves to spend time in the outdoors.

Much of the weekend was spent practicing camp skills, including campfire. They spent time making different kinds of fire starters and then testing them out to see which ones burned best. Materials included egg cartons, cotton balls, candle wax, vaseline, and even tampons! They recorded not only how long each kind burned, but also assessed the quality of the flame.

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Later that night they put their skills to the test for a wonderful evening campfire, including tasty “banana boat” treats. Bananas, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and sprinkles all warmed around a toasty fire… how could that be bad??

Over all it was an excellent camping adventure. These Pathfinders had a fantastic time with their friends.

Eagle Bluffs Summer Hike

Most of our units are quiet in the summer as most of our activities follow the regular school year. However, Guider Marie with the 14th Pathfinders hates to see good weather and free time go wasted! Our 14th Pathfinders usually find time to have at least one great adventure during the summer months.

Last summer, the group tackled the Cypress Mountain Eagle Bluffs Hike, which is a part of the Baden-Powell trail, named for Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, the founders of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The 8km hike took them about 5 hours, including a stop for lunch.

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There was a raven scoping out their food at the lookout point which was rather entertaining — everyone loves spotting local wildlife. The Pathfinders also received their badges from the previous guiding year when they broke for lunch at the lookout.

The girls learned a valuable lesson about being prepared: one of them borrowed Guider Marie’s vest, and another her extra pair of hiking socks! It was really cold in the morning hence the bundling up, but it warmed up later in the day.

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The Eagle Bluffs Hike was lots of fun and rewarded the group with beautiful views. This summer, the Pathfinders are getting ready to go camping. The unit is heading to Camp McLanlin in a couple of weeks.

Way to go, 14th Pathfinders and Guider Marie, for keeping the Guiding spirit alive all summer long! Guiding does offer other great summer opportunities such as travel and camping at an Area, Provincial, and National level. Guider Marie also recently got back from the National camp, Guiding Mosaic at Sylvan Lake, AB.

Cookies Still Selling

Although “peak” cookie season has passed by now, some Burnaby Mountain units are still selling cookies. Just last night the 24th Brownies had a successful blitz at Lougheed Skytrain Station. Way to go, girls!

The 14th Pathfinders have shared a couple of photos of their recent Spring cookie sale efforts. One girl tenaciously took on Burrard Skytrain Station and did a great job. Also pictured are three girls at the District Cookie Day back in April. We love the handmade posters and the special brand of Pathfinder energy employed in these cookie sales!

The Pathfinders tend to stay more active through the summer than our other groups. Although they pause their regular meetings for the summer months, the group still gets together at least a couple of times events such as camp or day trips like hikes. Girl Guide Cookies help power these adventures all year long.

Rangers Practice Cooking

In anticipation of the Area level Iron Chef competition for Pathfinders and Rangers in which girls form patrols to create delicious meals on camping equipment, both the 14th Pathfinders and the 12th Rangers had meetings last week to practice their skills. The Rangers have some pictures to share from when they took over a leader’s kitchen.

Sept-Oct 2013 139The actual competition, happening on Saturday, features guest judges including real food critics. For the practice, leaders gave feedback to the girls on how to improve their creations. One of the Rangers’ creations was called “Thai-ish Rice” which got kudos from the leaders for its coconut flavour and the siriacha spooky face (the competition’s theme is “Frankenstein’s Masterpiece”). They would have liked to see the rice better cooked though — the crunchy rice wasn’t as appetizing as it could have been.

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The biggest success of the evening was that all the girls had a great time and showed great teamwork in the kitchen. The cinnamon apple dessert was quite tasty, and the leaders liked some of the creativity that they saw.

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Will Burnaby Mountain’s mixed Pathfinder/Ranger patrol bring home the trophy? It will be even trickier to cook on the camp equipment, outside in the cold… but these girls are up for the challenge. More importantly they are ready to have fun.