Camp Blankets

Recently, the 49th Guiders decided to use some of the girls’ hard earned cookie money to get camp blankets for each girl as a year end gift. This was just on time for the girls to bring their new blankets to camp.59533105_362280671160807_7263286084086267904_n.jpg

Camp blankets are a fun Girl Guide tradition that allows girls to sew their various crests onto the blanket as a momento. These blankets are great to stay warm around a campfire or as an extra bit of warmth while sleeping at camp. Many girls have blankets they’ve been working on for years filled with memories of their different Guiding camps, challenges, and adventures.

The 49th Guides got crests with the first letter of each girl’s name and sewed them on for them. This means there’s no way for them to get confused with who’s blanket is who’s! Together, they practiced sewing on some badges! Practicing their hand sewing skills fit into the “how to” badge, which is a cool way to incorporate program.

What a great idea! These girls all now have a camp blanket that they can keep working on for the rest of their time in Guiding — many adult Guiders even keep up the camp blanket tradition!

Sparks Fairy Camp

Last month the 1st and 2nd Sparks in Burnaby Mountain District went to camp together at beautiful Camp Olave on the sunshine coast. Their two-night camp used the theme “Fairies and Friends” and the girls had a magical, friendly time!

sparkscamp1

Some of the best parts of camp were taking advantage of the wonderful camp facilities at Olave. The girls loved the teamwork exercises at the low ropes course. They challenged themselves to swing, balance, and more with the support of their friends. There was much laughter and fun.

The blind trail is also a favourite for the Sparks. They take turns guiding a partner through the tail. The partner can choose to close their eyes or find another creative way to become blind — some girls even put on their jackets backwards and hid their faces behind their hoods!

Fairy activities included some awesome crafts. These girls love to make things! The Sparks made little fairy houses to put into the enchanted forest. They also made fairy lamps. They all looked great.

They really lucked out with decent weather on a weekend that was not forecast in their favour. Even though it was too early in the season to swim in the ocean, it was still great to take a walk on the beach. It was a very fun weekend.

sparkscamp2

The girls are really excited to come back to camp next year.

Girls First in Action

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.

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.

AC1E3DB4-24D6-4D4C-ADF9-AC8060B9EDDB

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

540DD45C-8F88-4B3F-82C1-D8542CB128C1

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!

Recognizing Our Awesome Volunteers

Recently, West Coast Area Girl Guides hosted its annual awards dinner, which is wonderful night for Guiders from across the area to get together to celebrate everything that we do to support girls in our various roles. Several of our adult members came out to celebrate together.

WCA Award-0468

At this year’s event we saw awards granted to Guiders Helen, Sandra, and Gerry — thank you ladies, for all that you do! From helping with camping equipment, to coordinating our cookie deliveries, to managing our volunteer human resources, these ladies are all fundamental parts of our district’s success.

Did you know that we are now planning for next Guiding year (2019-2020), and we have many vacant positions in our rosters? If you are interested in volunteering to join this amazing team, please reach out and let us know. Guiding is all about running great programs for girls, but it is also a way for like-minded adults to find new friends, have lots of fun, and make a difference in the community.

Sleepover at the Aquarium

Burnaby Mountain recently organized a district-level event for all girls in Guides, Pathfinders, and Rangers to spend the night at the Vancouver Aquarium. The sleepover was full of fun and hands-on learning about nature, the environment, and important lessons about conservation.

Aquarium052

The overnight event packed in 12 hours of interesting educational programming with a little bit of sleep mixed in. It sure was a unique experience to get the place to themselves, to get to explore scientific labs behind the scenes, and sleep with aquatic friends.

The program included a hands-on Invertebrae Lab, 3 Eco-System guided tours (Northwest Pacific, Arctic, and Tropical), and some free time after breakfast to explore the Marine Mammal Deck And the Amazon Free Flight Gallery.

It was a very late night, so girls were exhausted when they finally laid down their heads for some sleep. Earlier in the year, Sparks and Brownies had the aquarium come to them at an event better suited to younger girls’ bedtimes.

The Aquarium sleepover was an amazing night full of amazing wildlife. Girls will hang on to these memories for a lifetime. We’d like the thank the amazing staff at the Vancouver Aquarium plus the planning committee of Guiders who worked hard to make this happen.

Girl Guide Cookies on the Mind

Happy Spring Equinox! What’s your favourite part of spring? Ours is classic chocolate and vanilla Girl Guide Cookies, of course! Cookies are now on sale throughout the community. Cookie sales help support excellent girl programming including sleepovers, camps, guest speakers, craft supplies, outdoor adventures, building skills, and international travel.

The girls at the 54th Brownies recently had cookies on their mind, celebrating spring cookies season with a bunch of fun cookie related games and activities. Here you can see them trying to get cookies from their foreheads to their mouths using only their face muscles! It wouldn’t be Brownies without laughter.

Watch out for Girl Guides in your local community and support our fun and friendship by buying a delicious box for only $5.00.

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.

7D33828F-F31B-4565-89F5-307815F11B86

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.

C6687A55-302B-483B-86F6-AA07A99C7C1E

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.

20190209_094131

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.

20190209_070925

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!

20190208_215909

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!

Girl Guides at the Canucks

This past weekend was a huge event for BC Girl Guides — more than 1000 members and their guests gathered at Rogers Arena for Girl Guides day at the Canucks. Highlights of the event included the awesome custom crest for all members in uniform, a members-only draw for awesome prizes, plus Girl Guides shout outs, members in the VIP High-Five zone, and an on-ice presence for the national anthems. To make the day even more exciting, the Canucks won the game against the Detroit Red Wings — Yay!

20190120_162041

Burnaby Mountain district commissioner, Gerry, started organizing these events with the Canucks a few years ago as part of her role as BC Membership Advisor. Her term in that position has since ended but she has stayed on as special events coordinator for this exciting day. Way to go, Gerry!

Some Burnaby Mountain girl members also got to participate in the colours ceremony, carrying flags for the US and Canadian national anthems. This was a very special experience for the Spark and two Guides who were involved.

Other Burnaby Mountain members were present helping to run the event with jobs at the membership table and selling Girl Guide cookies. Lots of Burnaby Mountain girls and Guiders were also in attendance to enjoy the game. Girl Guides from around the province filled the arena — people came from as far as Prince George, Lillooet, Ucluelet, Nanaimo, and Castlegar. Many Girl Guides (including some of the Burnaby Mountain ones) got the thrill of being featured on the gigantic trinitron in the arena.

What an awesome day! We can hardly wait for next year. Keep your eyes peeled for a save-the-date coming soon for a Guiding “kick-off” event with the Vancouver Whitecaps this coming fall.