It’s the Simple Things

As the days of summer of stretch out before us, are you looking for a simple, inexpensive way to keep your kids entertained? Look no further than balloons!

An experienced Girl Guide leader always has a few tricks up her sleeve that come in handy when she needs a quick fun activity with very little preparation. Maybe the weather didn’t cooperate with an outdoor plan, or a guest speaker cancels at the last minute, or craft you’ve planned just doesn’t come together… whatever the case may be, there are always reasons to have a quick easy back up ready to go.

At the 1st Burnaby Mountain Sparks the leaders pulled out balloons on one of these occasions. And wouldn’t you know it — the kids had a total blast! There are so many things you can do with balloons:

  • Use them as a name game — pass the balloon to someone after saying their name
  • Find out how long you can keep one in the air using only “wind” power (i.e. air blown from your mouth, or with a paper fan)
  • See how long you can keep one balanced on one finger
  • Work as a group to keep many balloons in the air as long as possible
  • Use one as a ball for a game of soccer
  • Try to “juggle” 3 or more balloons at once
  • Create an obstacle course and complete with a balloon between your knees

Use your imagination to come up with activities that can be done alone, in pairs, or as a group. The possibilities are endless! And since balloons are inexpensive and can easily be stored (before inflation, of course) in just about any bag you might carry, they make for a great “rainy day” back up.

Sparks Go Fly a Kite

The 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks recently celebrated their last regular meeting of the year by taking their meeting outside to fly some kites! Girls had a wonderful time running around to keep their kites in the air and filled the sky with bright moving colours.

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Each girl was thrilled to be able take their kite home at the end of the day. The beautiful kites you see here, plus several more, were donated by the wonderful folk at the Kelowna Actor’s Studio. Plenty more girls in Burnaby Mountain District are going to get to have fun with kite flying thanks to their incredible generosity.

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Although they’re done with meetings until after the summer, this group is looking forward to camp next weekend. Rumour has it they’re preparing to walk the plank all the way to pirate camp at Camp Olave!

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Did you know the 2nd Sparks are one of the only groups in the Area to meet on Saturdays? Burnaby Mountain District is thrilled to offer this option to families. If weekend meetings work better for you, register your girl for next year today at http://www.girlguides.ca.

Girls Jump to the Sky

Back in March the University Highlands Guiding Unit had a fun active outing at Sky Zone, a trampoline park in Surrey.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sea-to-Sky Day Camp

Earlier this month Burnaby Mountain District hosted a day camp for girls from all branches at the beautiful Sea-to-Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC. We have already posted about some of the older girls going on an extended hike, and this post is about what the majority of the participants were up to that day.

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Everyone gathered at a local meeting spot to board school buses out to the gondola site. Once they got there, the girls split into groups and began working through a series of activities with Sea-to-Sky Gondola staff. The staff were so knowledgeable and they were great at working with the girls. Everybody learned a lot!

Much of the day involved hiking through different trails and checking out some of the highlights of the mountain. From the base, girls were brought to see the magnificent Shannon Falls.

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Riding the gondola was a great experience. Did you know the Sea-to-Sky gondola is the steepest gondola outside of Europe? The ride takes about 10 minutes and features incredible views of the surrounding area. The staff members also made sure to take time to show the girls some of the gondola mechanics, giving a cool engineering perspective to learn how the thing actually works.

At the top of the mountain girls got to go on another hike which featured a great lookout point to see The Chief mountain. The girls were surprised to see there was still quite a bit of snow up top.

We were incredibly lucky with the weather. Even though it had been rainy earlier in the week, we got excellent spring weather which made for a lovely day of walking about. For some of the Sparks and Brownies, this was the most hiking they had ever done!

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Another highlight of the site is the very cool suspension bridge. Even though some girls were a little bit nervous to cross it, everybody did great! On the other side of the bridge was another trail where girls got to do a Canada 150 themed scavenger hunt.

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A huge thank you to the Sea-to-Sky Gondola team who worked with us to make the day a success. The staff members were fantastic, the lunch was delicious, and girls had a great time! Offering this experience as a day camp was a great way to bring some outdoor adventure in a way more accessible for some girls who don’t prefer overnight experiences. We had a wonderful day!

Sports Hall of Fame & Museum Sleepover

Last month girls from all branches in Burnaby Mountain district gathered for a sleepover at the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

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With so many girls involved in different sports at school or extra-curricularly, and living in a city with lots of great sports teams to be fans of made this a really exciting opportunity for girls and Guiders alike.

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Girls got a chance to explore the different parts of the museum, including an Olympic Zone and features about notable figures like Rick Hansen and Terry Fox. Staff from the museum led artifact explorations and a scavenger hunt to help girls learn about the items on display.

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Everybody especially enjoyed spending time in the participation zone which featured lots of fun hands-on sports activities and games. There was a climbing wall, foosball, a hockey shoot-out, ping-pong, a sprint track and more. This was a great place to be active and burn off some steam!

Evening activities also included a craft and a yummy pizza dinner. After a night-time movie everyone settled into their sleeping bags in the exhibit rooms.

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In the morning, the girls got to meet a local female athlete. Inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, Andrea Neil is best known for her contributions to the Canadian National Women’s Soccer Team (1990-2007). She retired after representing Canada internationally more than any other player, male or female. The girls really enjoyed listening to her speak — her presentation was informative, amusing, and really inspiring. This woman overcame a lot to make the achievements that she did, and several girls commented that meeting her was highlight of the event.

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Burnaby Mountain District is very thankful to the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum for hosting us. It was a fun event for everybody involved!

Street Wise Martial Arts Outing

Last week the girls in the 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides didn’t let Spring Break keep them from working together on awesome Girl Guide programming! The group got together during the break for an outing at Excel Martial Arts in Coquitlam.

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At the martial arts centre, the girls took part in a self defense class which was tailored to help them work towards their Street Wise Safety badge. They learned skills that could help keep them safe while also having an excellent time being active.

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Their instructor for the evening was none other than Burnaby Mountain district’s camping advisor and Pathfinder leader extraordinaire — it seems there is nothing this woman can’t do! Thanks, Guider Marie, for a fun night!

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There is something deeply satisfying about seeing so many pieces come together so nicely: program work for a badge, empowering our girls to feel safer in the community, the Guiding sisterhood in action, a new example of healthy active living, and, of course, FUN!

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!

Climbing Guides

This week the girls in the 56th Burnaby Mountain Guides took their regular weekly meeting to local Climb Base5, Metro Vancouver’s largest climbing gym!

Some girls had been before, but for others this was a brand new experience. They spent about two hours climbing and had a great time. Girls learned about safety with the climbing harnesses and equipment.

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They had a wonderful time challenging themselves to see how high they could climb on the rocky walls.

This was a great outing for the girls to have fun and try new things. It is also a great way to get active and be healthy. Thank you to the great facilitators at Climb Base5 for helping our girls have a high-reaching fantastic night!

Guides Reach High Places

This past weekend the 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides enjoyed a fun night of rock climbing at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Girls had a great time conquering the 44 foot climbing wall. For many of them, this was a new experience and they all had a great time.

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Each girl had the opportunity to take several tries at the wall and some were able to reach rather impressive heights. The climbing wall is appropriate for beginners or for people with more experience, and the staff was very helpful. Lots of fun was had in the spirit of friendship and active living.

This fun activity was a cool way for the girls to take advantage of visiting Richmond. They tied the event in with a sleepover at Guiding’s own Richmond Guide House. At Guide House, the unit met up with the 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks who were also having a sleepover there that night — the Sparks slept inside, while the Guides got to practice their tenting in the back yard.

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The Guides had a really fun time sharing some of their camping knowledge with the Sparks and everyone had a nice time sharing a barbecue hot dog supper and campfire (complete with s’mores!) together.

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Over all it was a really fun over night event. The girls loved trying the rock climbing, as well as developing leadership skills with the younger girls. Thank you to all of the hard working leaders who made the night possible.

Dance Workshop for Sparks

The girls in the 1st Burnaby Mountain Sparks recently visited local Art Space Children’s Art Centre to partake in a physical, creative dance workshop put on by one of their talented instructors.

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The interactive workshop included lots of creative expression as well as working on a group routine that they could show to their parents at the end of the session.

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According to the Art Space website, “Children instinctively communicate ideas and express their emotions to¬†others through movement. As children explore the creativity of movement¬†through dance at artspace, they will develop coordination and endurance,
and strengthen their growing bodies.”

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Girls had a great time learning dance skills like coordination, movement, and technique. For some girls, this was their very first formal dance instruction — for others, they have been involved in dance for a long time. Either way, all the girls had a great time dancing with their Sparks friends.

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Thank you to the staff at Art Space for helping us organize this. It was a lot of fun.