Happy Lunar New Year

Last week, Burnaby Mountain’s 24th Brownies did some work on the program area Key to My Community (with a bit of Arts thrown in). Given the trio of holidays the calendar presented them with, they had a Valentine’s-Flag Day-Chinese New Year mashup!
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For Flag Day activities, the girls took turns reading out “fun facts” about the flag, and quizzed themselves (multiple choice) about the national anthem (and, of course, learned the lyrical change that was recently made). They then learned the Michael Mitchell song, “Canada In My Pocket” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnZlAOSEmYQ).
So that there would be some time for the glue to dry, they next decorated the dragon mask that one of the leaders had made at home.  They were really into it! They decided that it had to be a girl, to be in Girl Guides.
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When that was done, another leader shared some traditional Chinese foods with them: longevity peach buns, and nian gao, a sticky sweet rice cake, which she had made. They weren’t a big hit, but the leaders were proud of the girls for trying new foods.
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They then split the girls into their circles and rotated them through the Chinese calligraphy station (where a leader showed them how to use the brushes and ink or special watercolour paint to write “dog” and other words), and the “lucky money” Valentine’s station. There they each wrote a compliment on a bit of paper for another Brownie, and put them in a red envelope so that each girl left with a pocket of nice things about themselves.
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The girls enjoyed finishing the meeting with at least a few minutes to do the dragon dance in the gym. They used 4m of this really lovely flowy fabric and the freshly decorated mask. After a few minutes, it dissolved into a game of body chasing the head (and plenty of giggles!).
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Anyway, for a Key that can tend towards the cerebral rather than the experiential, it was a really fun meeting!
Happy New Year!

Nutcracker Ballet Outing

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!

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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.

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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.

Sparks go “Go, Dog. Go!”

The girls from the 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks had a fun time at Granville Island this weekend taking in a production from the Carousel Theatre for Young People called “Go Dog Go”. This play, especially for kids aged 3-8, was a lot of fun for the Sparks. Having read the classic children’s book at a previous unit meeting, the girls were eager to see the story made live on stage.

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The 60 minute play was an exploration of movement, color, and music. Check out the colourful set pieces behind the girls as they pose here with one of the show’s talented dogs!

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The Carousel Theatre Company is one of Burnaby Mountain’s favourite local arts organizations and over the last few years, girls from several units have taken in great age-appropriate plays for Sparks, Brownies, and Guides (they have group rates available, too). Burnaby Mountain girls love experiencing the arts!

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.

Brownies Experience the Orchestra

Last month the girls of the 54th Brownies enjoyed a concert at the Orpheum Theatre in downton Vancouver called Latin Beats Heroic Feats. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra put the show on as a part of their Kids’ Koncerts series.

_MG_0083 Especially exciting was the opportunity visit the VSO Instrument Fair in the hour before the show. The girls got some hands on exposure to a variety of instruments.

_MG_0089Performers were available with several different instruments to give kids personal demonstrations and a chance to try them themselves. The girls had a chance to try a cello, violin, flute, oboe, bass clarinet, and more!

_MG_0071There was even a craft station — always a bit hit with Brownies! — where the girls got to make their own carnival masks, which later became a part of the interactive show. _MG_0101The orchestra performed a number of musical pieces from across North and South America in an interactive show designed for kids aged four to eleven years old. Clowning and puppetry were also used to stage a story about a young boy’s travel through time and space, learning all about music and rhythm. _MG_0062Once again the girls impressed everybody with how well behaved and engaged they were through the whole experience. This unit visited the symphony last year as well and when Brown Owl asked what kinds of outings and activities they wanted to plan this year, there was an overwhelming desire to see the symphony again.

_MG_0105Way to go, 54th Brownies, helping these girls develop a love for live orchestral music!

Sparks Go to Dance Studio

The girls of the 1st Sparks love going out into the community to try new things. One of their recent outings was to ArtSpace for Children where they participated in a Dance Expression workshop. The studio was turned into an imagination playground by a wonderful workshop leader who encouraged the girls to move creatively and to work together. Feb 2014 018

The workshop was meant to show fundamentals in contemporary dance technique while acquiring coordination, balance, strength and physical confidence. Girls go t to develop improvisation and creativity while exploring movement, self-expression, rhythm, body awareness and musicality. They were active for almost two hours.Feb 2014 026

Most importantly, they had a great time! It was so much fun to go somewhere special and take part in something like contemporary dance. Thank you to Artspace for Children for having us!

This outing was entirely funded by our unit’s cookie sales — way to go girls! This is just one example of where that cookie dough actually goes.