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!

Year-End Family Picnic

At Burnaby Mountain District we believe that part of our job as an organization within the community is to provide opportunities for the families of all of our girls to gather for fun, informal, social events. This is why we love putting on events like this year’s advancement and family picnic!

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The event began with a simple advancement ceremony where girls symbolically crossed footbridges to signify crossing over to the next branch in Guiding. This leaving ceremony complimented whatever celebrations different units had to give girls their end of year badges, awards, and recognition.

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The main part of the event was a family picnic including barbecued hotdogs and other snacks plus a variety of games and activities for the kids. Check out one Brownie, below, showing off her cool temporary tattoo, and some other members catching a watermelon break at the craft station:

Activities like these are really exciting because it gives the girls a chance to play and interact with girls from other units. Older girls and younger girls have a good time together, plus siblings get to get in on the fun as well!

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We really appreciate all the families who chose to spend the day with us to celebrate the close of the Guiding year. Although summer has just started, we can hardly wait to get back at it in the fall.

Sparks Go Fly a Kite

The 2nd Burnaby Mountain Sparks recently celebrated their last regular meeting of the year by taking their meeting outside to fly some kites! Girls had a wonderful time running around to keep their kites in the air and filled the sky with bright moving colours.

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Each girl was thrilled to be able take their kite home at the end of the day. The beautiful kites you see here, plus several more, were donated by the wonderful folk at the Kelowna Actor’s Studio. Plenty more girls in Burnaby Mountain District are going to get to have fun with kite flying thanks to their incredible generosity.

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Although they’re done with meetings until after the summer, this group is looking forward to camp next weekend. Rumour has it they’re preparing to walk the plank all the way to pirate camp at Camp Olave!

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Did you know the 2nd Sparks are one of the only groups in the Area to meet on Saturdays? Burnaby Mountain District is thrilled to offer this option to families. If weekend meetings work better for you, register your girl for next year today at http://www.girlguides.ca.

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!

Sea-to-Sky Extended Hike

This past weekend girls from all branches of Burnaby Mountain District participated in a fun-filled day camp at the Sea-to-Sky Gondola in Squamish, BC. It was a really successful district event!

This post is the “extended hike” out-trip option that was available for older girls. Those who were in third year Guides or older had the option to choose an “extended hike” program that was a little bit more adventurous than the other activities planned that day. In total, 6 girls and 2 adults took part in this option.

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The hikers started their day with a hike over to Shannon Falls before riding the gondola to the summit. From there the real adventure began. The group took on the Wonderland Lake Loop hike, which was designated as a “snowshoe” only trail.

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When we first started planning this event back in September we didn’t expect there to still be so much snow at the summit in May! But the leaders were keen to take the girls on this adventure and used it as a great opportunity to learn about hiking skills and emergency preparedness.

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The trail is a 1.6km loop, normally a low-intermediate difficulty, but was made more challenging by the wet, soft snow. It was a great workout of a hike. It was the first time snowshoeing for many of the girls, but the leaders, who did have more snowshoe experience, assured us that the softness of the snow would have made it tricky for even seasoned snowshoers. There was some slipping and falling, but everyone kept in great spirits. The girls did great!

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After the Wonderland Lake Loop, which took the group a couple of hours, everyone was happy to relax amidst the beautiful views and eat their lunch before descending in the gondola and heading home.

What a great adventure! Stay tuned for a post in a few days about what the other 50+ girls got up to at the Sea-to-Sky Gondola day camp. It was a fun day for all!

Rangers on Mt. Seymour

Last weekend the girls from the 12th Burnaby Mountain Rangers gathered for a day of snowy fun at local Mount Seymour. The wonderful group facilitators up there did a great job of helping the group plan a day of exciting adventures.

image3On this trip the unit enjoyed both snow shoeing and tubing. It was a very fun and active day on the mountain.

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Originally scheduled for December, the group had to reschedule due to bad weather/driving conditions. They lucked out with great weather on the mountain this past weekend.

Even more exciting was that all the girls were able to attend! This group of very busy grade 10-12 girls often have a hard time successfully scheduling time when they can all do activities together. Hopefully they’ll be able to have more similar adventures in the coming months.

Enchant Maze Outing

Last week the 54th Brownies had an outing to Enchant in Vancouver!

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Enchant is the world’s largest Christmas Light Maze, made up of over 55,000 sq. ft. of brilliantly illuminated sculptures. Enchant also includes a Christmas market and food trucks.

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The experience involves a story and a scavenger hunt for participants to find 9 incredible light sculpture reindeer. In the story, Santa asks for the help of the children of the world to find his reindeer who got lost after a sudden blizzard at the North Pole. They wandered into the enchanted light forest and if they’re not found on time, Christmas would have to be cancelled! These Brownies were happy to help.

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Girls had a great time exploring the beautiful lights. It was awfully cold out and some of them learned a good lesson about layering clothes when it’s chilly! It was also very busy, so girls had to be sure to practice their buddy system and stay together as a group.

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Luckily the group got to enjoy a nice toasty hot chocolate at the end to help warm up. Even though they were bundled up under their warm jackets, hats, scarves, and gloves, girls were proudly wearing their Brownie scarves and sashes — it was great to be noticed out in the community.

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Enchant was an awesome experience, and an enchanting way to end the year. We can’t wait to see what these girls get up to in 2017.

Eagle Bluffs Summer Hike

Most of our units are quiet in the summer as most of our activities follow the regular school year. However, Guider Marie with the 14th Pathfinders hates to see good weather and free time go wasted! Our 14th Pathfinders usually find time to have at least one great adventure during the summer months.

Last summer, the group tackled the Cypress Mountain Eagle Bluffs Hike, which is a part of the Baden-Powell trail, named for Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, the founders of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. The 8km hike took them about 5 hours, including a stop for lunch.

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There was a raven scoping out their food at the lookout point which was rather entertaining — everyone loves spotting local wildlife. The Pathfinders also received their badges from the previous guiding year when they broke for lunch at the lookout.

The girls learned a valuable lesson about being prepared: one of them borrowed Guider Marie’s vest, and another her extra pair of hiking socks! It was really cold in the morning hence the bundling up, but it warmed up later in the day.

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The Eagle Bluffs Hike was lots of fun and rewarded the group with beautiful views. This summer, the Pathfinders are getting ready to go camping. The unit is heading to Camp McLanlin in a couple of weeks.

Way to go, 14th Pathfinders and Guider Marie, for keeping the Guiding spirit alive all summer long! Guiding does offer other great summer opportunities such as travel and camping at an Area, Provincial, and National level. Guider Marie also recently got back from the National camp, Guiding Mosaic at Sylvan Lake, AB.

Shoot the bow, the mighty mighty bow

“What was your favourite part of camp?”

That’s a question that we like to ask as many girls as possible when we ride the ferry home from Camp Olave. After Burnaby Mountain District Camp Flower Power this June, several of our older girls reported that they loved doing archery.

One of the cool activities at Camp Olave is the archery range, where girls can try out their hand with real bows and arrows. At Camp Flower Power, older girls did archery while Sparks and Brownies were busy with a different activity. Archery is one of those awesome things that not many girls get a chance to try outside of a setting like Girl Guides.

Lots of these girls are going to be eager to come back to Camp Olave to hone their skills with the bow even further — it’s not easy, but practice does help!