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!

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

Guides at Lafarge Lake

The 49th Burnaby Mountain Guides recently journeyed into Coquitlam for a festive outdoor outing. Lafarge lake has the lower mainland’s largest free outdoor lights display! It was a beautiful night.

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It was also a fun way to be active together. The lights display around the 1.2 km path and since it was a bit chilly out, the girls were motivated to keep moving to stay warm! Hot chocolate also helped with that.

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Lafarge lake is really easy to get to on skytrain and well worth the visit. Learn more about this local event here. Even the unit’s shining star Guiders are all smiles, below.

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This is just one of the awesome seasonal outings happening this month. Several groups are also taking in the fun lights and displays at the Burnaby Village Museum. And at least unit is visiting the Aurora winter festival as well. So much fun stuff to do out in our communities!

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.

Art Walk and Hike

Last night some Brownies keen to finish their Key to the Community and Happy Hiking badges went on an adventure at local university, SFU.

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First the girls walked around campus checking out the awesome public art around campus. It was fun to see the large installments, some of which lend themselves to interactive enjoyment.

Did you know there’s a website where you can find a map of public art in the city of Burnaby? What a cool way to interact with our community! Check it out here: https://gis.burnaby.ca/storymaps/publicart/index.html

After the art walk, the group did a short hike along the Trans-Canada Trail, accessed from pretty much across the road from the SFU bus loop.

The girls really enjoyed the hike, enjoying salmonberries and huckleberries all along the way.

Enjoy your fancy new badges, girls!

Brownie day trip to Galiano Island

One recent Saturday, despite the foreboding skies and strong winds, the 24th and 47th Brownies ventured to a Southern Gulf Island for a field trip with the Galiano Conservancy Association.
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With the Edible Forest program, they went on a hike, matching paint chips to things in nature. The sun smiled on them, and they stopped for a snack before being taught how to harvest nettle and two species of fir needles along the way to the Forest Garden.
When the girls had gathered enough foliage, they played some games under the tarp while their tea steeped. They participated in a teaching train activity, teaching each other things they learned about some of the plants in the garden.
Lastly, they planted peas, and one of the Guiders heard that in only a week and a half, they had already sprouted (that’s the photo below, sent from one of our contacts there).
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The interpreters were really great. They were super friendly and patient, full of stories and songs, and an obvious love of nature!
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It was a 10-hour day for the group, and it was a big day of outdoor fun. Way to go, Brownies!

Relaxing Rangers

A couple of weeks ago girls from our 12th Rangers unit went for a relaxing weekend at beautiful Camp Olave. The main goals were to relax and to get to know each other better, and these goals were met with great success!

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The Rangers stayed in the Ranger cottage, which was a beautiful site right by the water. They were very lucky, as they ended up having beautiful weather the entire weekend.
They spent the weekend hiking the various trails that Camp Olave has, cooking, and spending a lot of time on the beach! Since it was the weekend before Halloween, the girls also carved pumpkins!
They also spent the evening playing a game of Monopoly that ended up lasting 5 hours. The girls got so serious about the game that they ate dinner around the coffee table, so that they wouldn’t have to move the game board! Afterwards, they made S’mores in the oven for mug up.
These girls work hard in Guiding, at school, and with their other commitments including family, jobs, and sports. It was so nice to relax together and have fun.

Nocturnal Animal Tour of Burnaby Lake

Last week the 24th Brownies and 56th Guides teamed up for an outing to Burnaby Lake where they learned all about nocturnal creatures with the help of staff from Metro Vancouver Parks. More info about their programming is available here.

It was a really fun night! Unfortunately, between the rain and the dark it wasn’t easy to get good photos, but luckily one of the Brownie leaders was happy to tell us all about it (and to share the couple of photos she did try to take). Here’s what she’s said:

Since the Guides group is so big, we had two interpreters, and it cost about $5/girl for a two-hour expedition. Since it was pretty well dark by 6:30, we did the Nocturnal Creatures program. My group started out with a “Hedbanz” style game where the girls had to guess which animal they had been assigned by asking yes or no questions.

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We talked about the heightened senses that nocturnal animals use. For the next activity, three bottles, each containing a different scent (lemon, coconut or mint) representing a different beaver family, were set out around the small area we were in.  The girls were each handed a bottle with one of three scents in it. They then had to use their sense of smell to identify which family they belonged to. Then we started on our hike. Along the way, we hoped to see a flying squirrel come out of a box high up on a tree, but none came out when our interpreter knocked. We were shown an owl skull, and a demonstration on how much noise a single goose feather makes when flapped through the air (a surprising amount) versus an entire owl wing (amazingly, none!). We looked (in vain) for salamanders. The girls learned about bats’ super hearing with wire hangers, string and a spoon.

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There was an activity on our (in)ability to see colour in the dark where the girls were handed different coloured crayons and papers and they had to write down which colour they thought each item was, and see if they were right when they turned on their flashlights.

Lastly, the girls played a sensory game where plastic toys (frog, fish, egg, etc) were hidden in a container they had to reach into blindly to find and discern. Despite the cold and the rain, it seemed like everyone had a good time!

Sounds like fun! The Metro Vancouver Parks people always do such a great job with their field trip programs. It’s a great way for our girls to learn about the natural world in a hands-on and interactive way. It’s always so cool to be reminded about the awesome nature that we have right here in our backyards.

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.