Planning for Adventure

Girls in Burnaby Mountain District have some big adventures coming up!

A number of Guides and Pathfinders have formed a patrol to attend SOAR 2020, a week long camp in Sooke, BC, this summer which will have as many as 2500 girls from around BC, Canada, and the world! These girls are working extra hard with their cookie sales and some additional fundraisers to cover the costs of expenses and supplies. Here they are recently selling Purdy’s chocolates to support their trip!

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Our district also has some girls attending Ireland 2021: A Magical Adventure, a trip that will take a group of girls to Ireland! These girls are also fundraising, so keep an eye out for their endeavors too.

There is no shortage of adventure available in Girl Guides!

How teenage girls in Pathfinders are the BEST teachers

This post was originally posted on the GirlGuidesCAN blog on November 4, 2019. See original post here. The author is Saffina Jinnah from Burnaby Mountain District . Saffina works with Pathfinders and Rangers.

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Teenage girls in Pathfinders are all kinds of amazing – spreading positivity and passion in little and big ways every day. As Pathfinders celebrates its 40th anniversary, Girl Guide volunteer Saffina shares six lessons the girls in her Pathfinder unit teach her every week.

Optimism

These girls bring their best selves to meetings.  And it is a treat.  After a long day at work, sometimes it can seem rather daunting to volunteer.  Not with Girl Guides of Canada though.  Not with Pathfinders.  And definitely not with these girls.  Despite a full day of school, drama, homework, extra-curriculars, and scarfing down dinner, my Pathfinders always show up ready to go.  They always see an opportunity to learn, to play, and quite literally live their best life.  They laugh.  ALL THE TIME.  And it is SO refreshing.  I love being around their positive energy and spark.  When I appear stressed out from work, they share jokes.  When I forget an essential element to our meeting, they improvised.

They teach me to laugh every day and that you can find something positive in every situation.

Live passionately

It doesn’t matter if we are discussing feminism, immigration, climate change or cookies; Pathfinders care. A LOT. I have never witnessed such a young generation care so deeply about issues affecting all of us today.  They care about the world.  They are concerned for humankind.  They want social justice.  They want climate justice.  They are knowledgeable and eager to learn more and do more.  And do it with passion.  Pathfinders challenge me and keep me on my toes, always pushing boundaries and seeking solutions.

Leave your comfort zone

Pathfinders are resilient.  We go on adventures.  Sometimes they are planned and sometimes they are not.  Sometimes we don’t know where it will take us but we know we will be okay.  We have gone on journeys through Vancouver and meandered the murals of Main Street.  We went geo-trekking around the woods of Lighthouse Park and I was nervous about my first geo-trek, they took the lead.  Pathfinders are daring, brave, creative.  They are leaders.

We can conquer the world

Even as an adult, I often feel defeated.  Though I try to be a good person and live with kindness and compassion in pursuit of a more just world – basically abide by the Guiding promise – sometimes it feels really hard.  But when I am with the Pathfinders, I remember that we can all still create change – big or small – we can make a difference.  They believe so strongly in themselves and in the goodness of others and inspire me to continue to challenge myself and others to continue to learn and grow together.

It is okay to eat Girl Guide cookies for dinner once in a while.

I think this is self-explanatory!

The “’gram”

Despite my youthful good looks, I am a tad older than the Pathfinders of my unit.  That being said, I’d like to think I am very “woke” and “with it.”  Evidently, I am not.  My Pathfinder unit taught be about Instagram and the power of social media.  It is such a great tool to reach many people and spread a positive message, and that is exactly what they do on their social media platforms.  It has also been useful in meetings and an interesting way to connect with them on their level.  I was so inspired, I too now have the “‘gram.”

I look forward to growing with these girls and trying new things (while chowing down on cookies and posting on the “‘gram”)!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Burnaby Mountain District! Lots of units are getting up to festive fun this week, but perhaps none quite so earnestly as the 14th Pathfinders who spread Halloween into a multi-part event!

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The group decided to check out the local Burnaby Village Museum, which puts on a great haunted attraction for Halloween.

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There can be lots of spookiness in history. Highlights included a spontaneous conga line street party!

But that’s not all. The group also recognized Halloween at regular meetings where they first spent a day making great Halloween decorations for the next week when they had a fun spooky party with snacks and games.

You’ve got to admire this group’s dedication to the season! Looks like a great time was had by all.

Pathfinder Tree Planting

Last weekend the 14th Pathfinders participated in a public tree planting event with the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver, and City of Burnaby in Central Park.

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Two large trucks full of trees, shrubs and ferns native the area were planted by a team of volunteers.

Plant species included: huckleberry, cedar, oregon grape, indian plum, spruce, sword fern, salmon berry, thimble berry, and douglas fir.

The group had a great time affectionately naming their trees and shrubs things like “Nock” and “Huck” before planting them in the park.

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Luckily, the morning event, from 9am til noon, had great planting weather — cool and crisp, but the rain held off until the end. Afterwards the volunteers were rewarded with some warming hot chocolate.

Canada Cord Achievements

Three of our Pathfinders from Burnaby Mountain District were awarded the Canada Cord at beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens, along with 50+ girls from around West Coast Area.

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Girls work very hard for this award over three years. These Pathfinders have earned their award by volunteering in and around the community, planning and running camps for other adventurous girls, and going on a journey of self discovery. We’re proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish as Pathfinders and look forward to seeing what they’ll do as Rangers. Great job ladies!

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.

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

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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!

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.

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

SOARing to Adventure

Last week a few girls plus two leaders from Burnaby Mountain District participated in a very exciting week-long provincial Girl Guide camp in Smithers, BC. SOAR — which stands for Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous — is a momentous occasion that happens every three year. Roughly 2500 girl and adult members gathered in Smithers to celebrate Guiding, camping, and fun.

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This veritable army of Girl Guides came from all around the province. There were also visiting patrols from across Canada and even international patrols from places such as Japan, Peru, and Scotland.

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SOAR is known for being an exciting camp full of incredible opportunities for activities and out trips. Program options at SOAR 2017 included horseback riding, paddle boarding, river rafting, forensics workshops, sculpting, a First Nations world heritage site, an amazing race, cycling, fly fishing, and more! Girls also got involved in local community service projects including putting together hygiene packages for a women’s transition house, renovating a horse arena, and constructing a horseshoe pit at a senior’s home.

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Flying to Smithers and camping for a week was an exciting — and expensive — endeavor. These girls worked hard selling a huge number of Girl Guide Cookies to make this experience possible. Thank you so much to the hard working Burnaby Mountain volunteer leaders who made this possible for their patrol.

Photo credits to West Coast Area. Check them out on Facebook for many more photos of this incredible camping experience!

Gold Camp at Manning Park

Last week Burnaby Mountain’s 14th Pathfinders had their year end camp at Manning Park. Gold Camp is the grand finale of Pathfinder program and allows third year girls to take on tremendous leadership in planning their own camping adventure.

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It’s great to see the Pathfinders continuing their programming even into July, after many groups have stopped for the year. Guider Marie is never one to let good camping opportunities slip away and nothing is better on a beautiful summer weekend than camping with your Guiding friends in a great BC park.

This Gold Camp was planned by three third year girls who each was responsible for her own site of two or three younger girls (Guides and Pathfinders) and got to host leaders at mealtimes.

It gives the girls a great chance to experience the work that goes into planning the meals, activities, and safety considerations involved in executing an awesome camp in Girl Guides. It’s a lot of responsibility to be in charge of what’s happening, especially when you have younger and less experienced campers in your care.

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The site was Coldspring Campground at EC Manning Provincial Park. It is a beautiful spot with lots of great nature and wildlife to enjoy. It was fun seeing the many marmots popping up to say hello!

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A particular highlight of the trip was spending a couple of hours canoeing and kayaking on Lightning Lake. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water.

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Other activities included field games like capture the flag, and a “campfire” that was hardly hampered by the campfire ban — the girls still sang their favourite songs and even roasted s’mores using their propane camp stoves.

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For the Guides who were invited as guests to this camp, it was a great chance to see what kinds of fun await in Pathfinders. Guiding is all about celebrating both old and new friendships.

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Well done, third years, for hosting such an awesome Gold Camp! Completing the Pathfinder program is a lot of work, but in the meantime you’ve all gained excellent skills, not to mention the fun, friendship, and memories!