Guides Build Bird Habitats

This year, as part of a Canada 150 initiative, Lee Valley stores across the country are inviting community groups to help make bird and bee houses. Loss of habitat for our birds and bees is a growing concern across Canada. Birds help keep the insect population in check, while bees are important pollinators for our plants. To help combat the habitat loss, Lee Valley Store is partnering with the community to build bird houses and bee houses.

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This week, the 56th Burnaby Mountain Guides had a great time contributing to this important ecological project!

The bird houses the group made will be going to the Surrey Parks department to provide homes for tree swallows. These very special homes feature a hole exactly the right size for tree swallows, but not for other species. To learn more about tree swallows, click here.

During the activity girls learned proper technique in using a hammer, screw driver, hand drill, plane, hand saw and a square; they also did the measurements to mark the spot to drill the hole, mark the corner cuts and mark the wood pieces to line up the walls evenly. New skills for everyone!

This was also a great chance for parents to lend a helping hand. Lots of moms and dads participated in this activity. It is so great to get to work on something together.

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A huge thank you to the people at Lee Valley who made this possible. Not only did the girls have fun and learn new skills, but it’s great to know that these bird habitats are going to be put to excellent use helping wildlife in our community. A few other Burnaby Mountain Units are taking advantage of this opportunity as well. Such a great project!

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!

Sparks Celebrate Canada 150

Last night the girls in the 1st Burnaby Mountain Sparks had a great time celebrating Canada in honour of our country’s 150th birthday this year.

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The meeting started with a great discussion about the flag and the singing of the national anthem. Then the group discussed different things they knew about Canada and asked some interesting questions.

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Everyone’s favourite part of the meeting was playing a fun game of “pin the tail on the beaver” — it was so fun they wanted to play again and again! One interesting thing about this meeting was that it was entirely planned by the unit’s Junior Leader, a Ranger who has been working with the unit for the past three years. The Guiders were happy to see how much she has learned about running a unit meeting and working with the girls. It was a great way for this Ranger to work on her leadership skills in a safe, supportive environment.

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The meeting ended with a couple more activities including a flag craft and some goal setting for the future. They sang a traditional Canadian song together before saying goodbye for the night. As an added bonus, this meeting allowed the girls to complete the Canada 150 Challenge, which meant everyone went home with a cool crest. Yay Canada!

Cookie Day Spring 2017

This past weekend girls from all units in Burnaby Mountain District were out selling cookies in the community. It was the national Cookie Days in Canada and our units could be found at local grocery stores and sky train stations selling their tasty treats.

Below are the 54th Brownies at Lougheed station. We love those big smiles — it was a cold rainy day, and girls all around the district were great spirits about being out selling cookies.

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Spring cookie season is well under way, but last we heard all units still have some cookies left. Get yours before they’re gone! If you missed us this weekend, there will be girls at Lougheed station on several occasions over the next couple of weeks. Or maybe we’ll catch you door-to-door. Oh, and don’t forget to ask the leaders you see about how to join our units for next year — registration for 2017-2018 opens soon to new members!

Adult Recognition

Earlier this week several Guiders from Burnaby Mountain District attended the West Coast Area annual awards dinner. This is a great event with hundreds of Guiders from all around Burnaby, Vancouver, New Westminster, Richmond, Ladner, and Tsawwassen. It’s a great way to say THANK YOU to our wonderful volunteers, and some even get recognized with formal awards for their contributions.

This year we had several members in our district get recognized for their many years of service. One of these women, pictured below, was recognized for 55 years of service.

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Another, who was unfortunately unable to attend the evening’s event is celebrating 60 years of membership!

In addition, several women throughout the area were presented with merit awards for their outstanding service. One of these was one of our University Highlands Guiders, pictured below, who received a Bronze Merit Award for her dedication to Guiding. In addition to taking on increased responsibility when one of her co-Guiders went on leave earlier this year, this Guider is responsible for a patrol going to SOAR (a week-long camp in Smithers this summer), and is consistently involved in district events including organizing the Science Day at SFU last spring. Way to go!

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The District Commissioner, Area Commissioner, and Provincial Commissioner present a Bronze Merit Award

Over all the event was a lot of fun. The ladies at the Burnaby Mountain table had a great time socializing and enjoying each other’s company. They all enjoyed a great meal, and also enjoyed browsing the silent auction.

We’re currently working on our plans for next year’s leadership and we need some more enthusiastic women to join our team! If you, or someone you know, would like to join the sisterhood of Guiding please reach out any time. We’d love to give you more information.

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!

Sparks Visit Seniors

Burnaby Mountain District is thrilled to have a great relationship with nearby seniors residence LJ Christmas Manor. Every month a unit visits there to share some Guiding spirit with the older adults who live there. The residence always provides a lovely snack of juice and cookies and the girls provide some entertainment and socialization. The residents always appreciate the visit, some of them looking forward to the event every month.

Last month the 1st and 2nd Sparks visited together. The visit happened to occur on February 22nd, which of course is World Thinking Day, a very special day for Girl Guides. The leaders spoke to the girls and the residents a little bit about the history of Guiding and then sang some favourite campfire tunes to celebrate. Some of the residents even joined in when they sang “Quartermaster’s Store” which is a very traditional song.

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Then the girls and residents paired up to play an exciting game of Sparks Bingo! Words associated with Sparks were called out and the players had to find and dab those words on their cards. These Sparks words included “sharing,” “friendship,” “Crystal,” “promise,” “sleepovers,” and “crafts.” The prize for the bingo games was a package of radish seeds, which happened to fit in great with the “grow” theme that had been decided upon by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts for this year’s World Thinking Day.

Everyone was amused to see just how much of a mess five and six year olds can make while using a bingo dabber.

It was a fun evening! Other groups that have visited the manor this year have done activities including skits, games, dancing, and quilting. We love the opportunity to share these moments and memories with others in the community. A huge thank you to the staff at LJ Christmas Manor for allowing us to come in each month.

Guide Quilt to be Auctioned

The 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides are thrilled to finally unveil a project that they’ve been working on for a long time: an original Girl Guide quilt!

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Over a year ago the unit found out about a collection of old Girl Guides of Canada uniform pieces that had been stored at Provincial Guide house but that no longer had any use. After confirming that the uniforms were not of interest to other committees, including the museum and archives, they decided they had to come up with a worthy project for this textile piece of Guiding history.

The idea was born to make the uniforms into a quilt. It seemed like a great idea… except for the fact that neither the girls nor their Guiders actually knew how to make a quilt.  The unit brainstormed some design ideas and sought out some expert advise from family and community members.

As an ongoing service project, units in Burnaby Mountain District take turns going to LJ Christmas Manor, a local senior’s residence, for monthly visits. When the 22nd Guides had their turn, they decided to appeal to the seniors for help. In September 2016 with the help of the residents of the manor, they dismantled the uniforms, removed the buttons, and cut the fabric into usable squares. It was a great hands-on project to engage the seniors and it was great to see the girls working with them on a task.

Then, the group reached out to some local West Coast Area Trefoil members to help with the next steps. In January 2017, with the guidance of these experienced quilters the girls helped lay out the quilt and did some of the sewing at their unit meeting. A huge thank you goes out to Guider Nancy who took the quilt home to help with putting the last bits together on her sewing machine.

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Almost done, the quilt came back to a Guide meeting in March 2017 for the girls to put on the finishing touches, which included sewing on buttons for decoration. In addition to the old Guiding uniforms and scarves, the quilt also features commemorative crests from Lady BP’s 100 club, 100 years of Girl Guides in Canada, Thinking Day,  the four original world centres, and West Coast Area.

The quilt is going to be auctioned off at the Trefoil Guild Rendezvous, happening April 28-30 2017 in Richmond, BC. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Canadian World Friendship Fund.

Rangers Help Homeless Youth

Recently the 12th Burnaby Mountain Rangers decided to have a hoodie drive to collect new and gently used hoodies and sweatshirts for homeless youth. This winter has been a particularly cold one in Vancouver, and these girls have stepped up to help make a difference.

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Altogether they collected 92 hoodies, folded them and tagged them by size. One of the girls then made the trip downtown to deliver the donations to Covenant House where they were gratefully accepted.

One of the objectives for Girl Guides of Canada as per our national strategic plan and priorities is to empower girls to have the confidence to advocate. We will continue learning effective ways to speak out and take action on issues of importance to girls and relevant to the quality of life for girls and women. Projects like this one carried out by these Rangers demonstrate exactly the kind of service project that contributes to these goals of taking action for a better world.

Way to go, Rangers! We’re proud of your hard work, and confident that these 92 hoodies will help make a difference to youth in need.