Sparks Design Space

The 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks are enjoying working with the new Girls First program. Based on evaluations of the girls’ interests and personalities during meetings earlier in the year, the unit has decided to work on the Experiment and Create program area this year. At their last meeting, the group did some activities for the Design Space theme.

Design Space is described as follows in the Girls First program:sparks-design-space-theme-badge.jpg

Innovate and create! Activities in this theme will equip you with the skills you need to tinker with machines, build robots, code programs, and re-think recycling, as you push the limits of your imagination.

Difficult to do with 5-6 year old Sparks? The group didn’t think so! Using a combination of activities from the Girls First online platform plus activities their crafty Guiders came up with themselves (and then submitted for consideration to the National program team!) the girls had a great meeting.

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The group had a great discussion about robots including household uses they were familiar with like roombas and Siri. Then they got creative and design their own robots using recycled materials and leftover craft supplies. Each girl designed a tin can robot and talked about its functions and personality.

Then they made a circuit track on the floor using painters tape and figured out how to guide their blindfolded Guider through the track — first by physically manipulating her, and then using voice commands only (“Walk forwards”, “Turn left” etc). Then the girls took turns leading each other through using these coding commands. We discussed that this is how you give directions to robots.

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They also made I-Spy Bottles, an activity from the online platform. This quiet activity involves using investigative skills to find small items in a bottle filled with rice. Another great opportunity to upcycle!

Finally, the girls took their fully dried robots to play on the robot circuit course, or took time to play with their I-Spy bottle — whichever they preferred.

It was a great day of robotics, coding, and recycling, fitting perfectly with the Design Space theme. They’re looking forward to doing more design space activities at their next meeting so that they can earn the theme badge. Way to go girls!

District Spark/Brownie Sleepover

This past weekend, girls from all five Spark and Brownie units in Burnaby Mountain District gathered at Camp Capilano in North Vancouver for a really fun sleepover.

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One highlight of the sleepover was the special guests for the Vancouver Aquarium. Staff from their mobile outreach program turned Camp Capilano into an AquaZone, including live inter-tidal animals and other interactive display items.

The aquarium staff were super engaging and the girls learned a lot about marine life. They also chatted with the girls about the importance of protecting our oceans and some things we can all do to help keep our waters safe and clean for aquatic life.

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The mobile outreach program was a great way to let our girls learn about the ocean in a program specifically designed to work well for them. Older girls in the district can look forward to having their own way to connect with the Vancouver Aquarium later this year — stay tuned!

Sparks and Brownies also got the chance to tap into their artistic side by decorating masks. The leaders were really impressed by their efforts! Girls did such a great job using the paints, jewels, feathers, and other decorations to create awesome masks. They turned out so well.

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Masks are fun at all time of year, but especially with Halloween coming up it seemed like a great time to embrace pretend play.

A sleepover is a great way to start introducing camp skills, and these girls loved the chance to have a real campfire (with s’mores!) outside. Camp food was also a big hit.

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Also very impressive is how well all of the girls did at this sleepover. There were no tears, and no problems getting to bed or packing up in the morning. You’d never have guessed that this was the very first sleepover for many of these girls. Great job!

Thank you to all the adults who made this happen, especially the amazing Vancouver Aquarium staff!

Fall Guide Camp

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.

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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.

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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.

Growing Fun with Grassy Gnomes

It is always so much fun to see the creative activities that our fantastic volunteer Unit Guiders come up with to present Girl Guides of Canada programming (on a related note, we love Pinterest!!). Especially at the Sparks and Brownies level, girls love making crafts. Finding crafts that not only encourage creativity and self expression but also promote hands on learning is a great way to have fun with program.

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At one of their weekly meetings, girls from the 24th Brownies learned a bit about plants and their life cycles. How do seeds grow? What do plants need to be healthy? They put this knowledge to work by planting and watering some grass seeds in an especially creative way. Grass is fun to work with because it doesn’t take long to grow. When the leaders brought back the gnomes the following week they were already growing some pretty rad hair.

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The finished grassy gnomes are adorable! Want to know how to make them yourself? Check out some instructions here. At this regular weekly meeting, STEM + crafts = Girl Guides of Canada fun.

Pirate Camp

When three different Brownie units came together to do their year-end camp this June, the leaders knew they wanted a fun and dynamic theme to help all the girls get excited and engaged in the camp. With girls from the 24th, 47th, and Highlands Brownie groups all participating, lots of girls didn’t know each other or all of the leaders so a fun theme was a great way to get everyone on the same page.

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The leaders did a great job decorating the site, Kwi Kwa at Camp Olave on the sunshine coast, with pirate flags, ships, and other related items. They played pirate themed games and even learned a fun new pirate themed campfire song. Food had a fun pirate element too — at dinner, for example, girls created their own flatbread pizza to look like a treasure map.

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They also made cool pirate crafts like their skull and cross bone hats and fun spy glasses. The hats especially made them recognizable as pirates as they roamed camp and tried out one of the hiking trails.

Camp Olave is a great place to spend time outside enjoying nature. These Brownies challenged themselves with hiking the nature trail, trusting each other in the blind trail, and working together on the low ropes course.

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Aside from the forest, Camp Olave also has a wonderful waterfront. A pirate theme works especially well at a campsite on the water and these girls also very much enjoyed their time swimming in the ocean on a beautiful sunny day.

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Over all the camp was a huge success. The girls all had a wonderful time. It was so great to see many of them making new friends. These Brownies, even if they belong to different units, all share in the sisterhood of Guiding. One of the great things about this organization is knowing you’re one of the 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in the world — that’s a lot of friends to make!

Sun Printing at Brownies

We love the summertime sunshine, don’t you? The girls in the 24th Burnaby Mountain Brownies did a cool science-related craft using 100% natural sunlight at one of their meetings earlier this year.

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The process is called Sun Printing. It uses special sun-sensitive (cyanotype) fabric to change colour. First, they laid out a design with various items items on the cyanotype cotton squares. They used a mix of natural materials like plants, and non-natural materials like foam craft shapes to make a design.

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After leaving them outside for about 20 minutes, the items which had blocked the UV rays from causing a reaction on the cotton left a negative print.

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The girls then rinsed the cotton squares in cold running water and then spritzed them with rubbing alcohol to quickly change the background to a lovely shade of blue. They then arranged the squares on pillowcases, carefully pinned them in place, and one of the leaders brought them home to sew them on.

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The finished products show each girl’s unique design, made with a super awesome sun-powered printing process.

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What a unique way to combine science and art in Girl Guides of Canada programming. This is just another example of what girls get up to at regular unit meetings.

Sparks at the Palace Camp

At the end of June girls from the 1st and 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks joined forces to close out the Guiding year in style at their Sparks Go Wild at the Palace Camp and beautiful Camp Olave on the sunshine coast.

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Activities included princess themed crafts like crowns and a stained glass castle. These girls really enjoyed the chance to show their creative side and camp — Sparks love crafts!

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The little princesses also enjoyed on-theme food like a high tea party, frog princess sandwiches, princess pasta, and chocolate fondue (that last one proved that even princesses can get a little bit messy). They listened to music from some of their favourite Disney princess movies, and perfected their princess wave whenever other campers passed by.

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In addition to all the princess themed fun, the girls also enjoyed their good old fashioned camp activities like going for long walks in nature, using the blind trail, and roasting s’mores over the campfire. The girls were lucky to have beautiful weather all weekend so swimming in the ocean was a particular highlight for everyone.

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The girls were lucky to have their friends from a few of the Burnaby Mountain Brownies groups staying at a different site on Camp Olave — those girls were having a pirate camp, so the Sparks joined them one night for a joint princess-pirate campfire for s’mores and singing of some of their favourite songs.

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Camp Olave is a breathtakingly beautiful spot and our Guiders very much enjoy the opportunity to bring girls there. Even at a very young age the girls have an appreciation for the natural beauty. For many members in the lower mainland, heading to Camp Olave feels a little bit like going home.

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Over all the Sparks had a royally good time. They’re all looking forward to what kinds of adventures Guiding will bring them when we get started again in the fall!

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!

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!

 

Art Project at Guides

At a recent Guide meeting the girls of the 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides tried out making their own scratch board art. The process was reasonably simple, but allowed for great creativity.

One girl used the project to demonstrate her interest in world travel. What an awesome rendering of the Eiffel Tower! Maybe one day when she’s a little older this Guide will get the opportunity to participate in an international trip with Guiding. Every year, lots of Canadian Pathfinders and Rangers go on Nationally and Provincially sponsored trips or plan and fund raise for their own independent ones as a unit or district.

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If you want to try making your own scratch board art, it isn’t too hard! All you really need is some card stock, crayons, black paint, and liquid dish soap. You can find some instructions here.

Girls loved this activity because they could choose their own color schemes and scratch out their own unique designs. This simple art project was done at a regular unit meeting and is a good example of the cool things that girls get to do each week in Guiding.