Guides Trip to Victoria

Last weekend the 22nd Guides took a trip to Victoria, BC to see the sites, have fun, and experience a great Guiding adventure.

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These girls have been planning this trip for about a year and have done extra fundraising and lots of planning sessions to make it the best trip it could be. Clearly their hard work paid off because they had a blast!

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The trip started with a Friday morning bus ride from Pacific Central Station to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Once they made it to the island they found their way to South Vancouver Island Guide House, a Girl Guide property, which was their home base for the weekend.

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Then it was time for exploration! Over the next couple of days the Guides explored the city. From attractions like miniature world, to shopping at the famous Munro’s Bookstore, to the Royal BC provincial museum, and beyond!

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One of the highlights of the trip was the tour of the BC legislature. A very knowledgeable tour guide informed the group about the role of the Legislative Assembly and MLAs and the history of both the province of British Columbia and of the Parliament Buildings. They even got to visit part of the building not normally accessible to the public! The tour guide gave them lots of cool tidbits of information and was even happy to take this commemorative photo of the girls inside.

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Meals on the trip included a supper at the Old Spaghetti Factory plus a chance to go grocery shopping at a local store for food they could make back at the Guide House.

Visiting all the awesome sites like Chinatown, the waterfront, and monuments, and staying out late into the evening made the group hungry!

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By the time they got home on Sunday afternoon the group was exhausted. But everyone had lots of fun, making Guiding memories to last a lifetime.

Art Project at Guides

At a recent Guide meeting the girls of the 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides tried out making their own scratch board art. The process was reasonably simple, but allowed for great creativity.

One girl used the project to demonstrate her interest in world travel. What an awesome rendering of the Eiffel Tower! Maybe one day when she’s a little older this Guide will get the opportunity to participate in an international trip with Guiding. Every year, lots of Canadian Pathfinders and Rangers go on Nationally and Provincially sponsored trips or plan and fund raise for their own independent ones as a unit or district.

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If you want to try making your own scratch board art, it isn’t too hard! All you really need is some card stock, crayons, black paint, and liquid dish soap. You can find some instructions here.

Girls loved this activity because they could choose their own color schemes and scratch out their own unique designs. This simple art project was done at a regular unit meeting and is a good example of the cool things that girls get to do each week in Guiding.

A Season in Sangam

We finally got a chance to sit down and talk to Chelsea, a Guider with the 1st Sparks and 54th Brownies about the time she spent as a volunteer at the World Centre Sangam, in Pune, India, last fall. She has been touring many local units to share her story, and here she has answered some questions and shared some pictures.

Can you tell us about your programme? What did a typical day look like?

The progamme was 12 weeks (Aug. 25 – Nov. 11). There were four others who did the 12 week programme as well. We were called “Tare”, meaning star in Hindi. The first two weeks was orientation so we were participants in an event, learning about Indian culture and learning how to get a rickshaw. The rest of the weeks we went to our community partner. I went to Door Step School four days (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) a week from about 10:00 to 4:00. I would wake up about 7:30 and have breakfast at 8:30. 9:30 we would set out to our site. In the mornings I would hang out and lead activities for the younger children and then there was lunch at about 12:30. The children would leave at 1:00 to go home and come back at 2:00. From 2:00 to about 4:00 I would try to teach English to the older children. I would come back to Sangam at about 4:30 and have dinner at 6:30. On Wednesdays we would have cultural lessons, including Hindi class. The teachers and children knew only a very little bit of English so communication was hard!

Children from the Doorstep Program

Children from the Doorstep Program

 What made you decide to apply for a trip like this?

I wanted to do something that would challenge myself. I also want to learn about all the cultures that I can and I wanted to live in another country.

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Chelsea’s freshly applied Mehendi, an Indian tradition

What was the application procedure like?

The application process was relatively easy. You just need to find the application forms on Sangam’s website under Community Programme (http://www.sangamworldcentre.org/en/programmes/cp01) and fill them out. There’s a form that the applicant has to fill out and a reference form for their references. Send them to Sangam by the deadline and then you are all done the application. It took quite a while for Sangam to respond to me about whether or not I got through, but when I did I was so excited!

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Art called Rangoli created on the ground to celebrate Ghandi’s birthday

What was the best part of living/volunteering in India?

The best part about living in India was the people. The kids and teachers at site were amazing. They were so happy and willing to bond with you. I got to know everyone and how special they were. It made me so happy to go to site everyday, knowing that I could be changing these children’s lives. Both me and the teachers cried when I left on the last day at site.

What was the best part about staying at a world centre for so long?

I got to talk to Guiding and Scouting people from all over the world and I learned so much about them. I met people from Kenya, Ireland, Denmark, England, Costa Rica, USA and Australia, just to name a few. I also met people from across Canada too so I got to learn what they did. The two other Canadians that I met were from Ontario so we talked about things like the new uniform, on-line registration and Safe Guide. It was really neat to learn that in many countries Scouts and Guides do things together so there are co-ed units and events.

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Chelsea with another Guiding Tare volunteer, Meg, from the UK on Sangam’s beautiful grounds

Do you think this experience changed you as a person, or changed the way you think about Guiding?

I think this has changed me as a person. I am more aware than ever of the extreme poverty that there is in other places in the world. There are so many people in slums in India. There are even legal and illegal slums! This experience has made me appreciate all that I have, and everything that I have a right to. For many women in India even primary schooling is unattainable because people think that educating women is useless. The role that women play is that of housewife and many people do not think they need education in order to do that job. The Indian culture is totally different than in Canada.

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Chelsea has been busy visiting units to talk about her trip

What advice do you have for other girls or women considering an international Guiding experience?

I encourage everyone to go on an international Guiding trip. I have learned so much about different cultures and about myself as well. I never realized how much I could actually do. Going through things like language barriers and extreme culture shock is hard, but I managed to overcome them. I would advise to be cautious of the culture shock though, especially if you go somewhere like India. There is so much poverty and inequalities in India that you have to be mature enough to handle those issues. But like I said, I do encourage people to go out and travel. You learn so much and I had an amazing time with lifelong memories and pictures!

Rangers in Victoria

The Golden Power Rangers went on their first camp of the year in Victoria, BC, staying at the Southern Vancouver Island Guide House from November 30th to December 2nd. GPR Victoria 2

The small but fun group enjoyed activities such as healthy meal substitutions, clothing design. The camp was co-planned by the Rangers themselves who got a wealth of experience figuring out activities in Victoria.   

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Considering healthy meal substitutions

One highlight was a tour around the Parliament Building led by the local MLA Carol James where they got to see the restricted to public Chamber of Commons, and much more. 

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Meeting the MLA

On their last night they went for a night out on the town to enjoy the truck parade held annually for Christmas and watched the boats light up in the harbour. In addition, the group of 11th graders went to the University of Victoria for a tour to familiarize themselves with the options they have for local universities in their future!