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!

Guider Retreat

The adult volunteers of Burnaby Mountain District recently gathered for a Guider Retreat at Camp Capilano in North Vancouver. 21 adults participated! The overnight event had three goals:

  1. Provide relevant training
  2. Team building
  3. FUN

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In regards to the first goal, our Guiders got training about the new Girls First program, camp equipment, effective communication strategies with girls, bullying prevention, and Guiding traditions.

Guiders also got to choose between two out trips — a tour of the new BC Guide House building and visit to Lonsdale Quay, or a geocaching hike in Capilano Park.

A highlight of the event was a team building visit from Dance Downtown, with a facilitator that took the group through a teamwork intro and a Bollywood dance lesson. It was so much fun!  There was a lot of laughter and bonding.

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All in all, the three goals were definitely met! Our Guiders now feel more prepared to engage with our new program and have lots of other skills they can work with. Perhaps even more importantly, we’re a better team than ever before.

Want to join the fun? Get in touch with us any time. We’re always looking for dedicated volunteers to join us.

Brownies get Guides Greatest Hits

With registration for next Guiding year already open for returning members, this is a great time of year for girls to get a taste of what Guiding in the next branch has in store. Recently, girls from the 54th Burnaby Mountain Brownies visited our 22nd Guides to see what a Guide meeting is really like.

The Guides, feeling inspired by our upcoming new Girls First programming, got their creative thinking caps on to plan an evening of fun inspired by some of their favourite activities that they had done earlier this year.

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One of their favourite meetings was a spa day when they made all kinds of natural products and learned about how to feel good with activities like yoga and mindfulness. The girls borrowed their favourite activity from that meeting — chocolate face masks! — to share with their Brownie friends. Entirely eatable, these face masks apparently make your skin feel soft and smooth. But as we can all tell, really the fun comes from getting to wear your chocolate!

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Another favourite activity which had come from a series of meetings on STEM related topics was slime making. The Guides helped the Brownies make slime in a variety of colours. Science is cool. The meeting was definitely a bit more messy than your average Guide meeting, but the girls were all great about helping to clean up too.

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They also got to share some of their Girl Guide traditions like their regular opening routine and some favourite songs. What a great way for the girls who are moving up to Guides next year to know what kind of fun things to expect. Thank you, Guides, for planning such an awesome meeting!