“I challenge myself with the Guiding Law…”
As Guiders, we ask the girls “to do their best” and “challenge themselves” every day. Well, the planning team for the 2014 Provincial Fall Day Camp was challenged in ways we never could have imagined! Organizing an event for 400+ participants is a challenge in itself. The fact that the deadline for this event is five days before the actual event takes place adds another level to the challenge. But many of us on the planning team have done this for a few years now and we have accepted this challenge without any hesitation.
However this year’s event provided extra challenges we could not have foreseen—a break-in at Camp Wa-Thik-Ane ten days before the event and problems with the guidesquebec server that prevented us from receiving any patrol registration forms in the last few days before the deadline. Difficult challenges that we faced head on!
As most Quebec Guiding members know by now, the break in at Wa-Thik-Ane (the lemon) generated a lot of media attention (the lemonade) and resulted in an outpouring of generosity and concern for our beloved Camp Wa-Thik-Ane. Despite the additional challenges faced by the Fall Day Camp team, we felt an extra push to make this year’s Fall Day Camp the best one yet.
And judging by the increased numbers and the happy faces on the girls going home on the buses… WE DID IT!
Click the image above for a video message from the campers to all Wa-Thik-Ane supporters! (http://youtu.be/hTZPjlgEhdU)
The 2014 Fall Day Camp was the largest one yet! The final number of participants was 419… travelling on nine school buses! The breakdown was as follows (girls and Guiders): 50 Spark participants; 130 Brownie participants, 200 Guide participants, 50 Pathfinder and Ranger participants.
Every year, the goal for the Fall Day Camp is for girls and Guiders to experience camping “Girl Guide-style” without sleeping over. Most sites focused on activities related to camp, e.g. camp skills, exploring nature and exploring the campgrounds. And even though it rained most of the day, most sites built fires and most of the girls were able to cook part or all of their lunch (including the requisite s’mores) on an open fire. Girl Guides ROCK!
Up on Algonquin, the Sparks came prepared for a rainy day with lots of smiles and chuckles along with their rain gear. For many of them this was a first time camp experience and they really rose to the occasion. The Sparks hiked, stalked, played and sang. They made new friends and acquired a few new camp and outdoor skills. Everyone went home exhausted but with stories to tell.
Brownies on Huron took part in a round robin of activities including a pitch/take down your tent relay, animal track scavenger hunt, “Camp oh no”, waterfront photo scavenger hunt, bedroll relay, first aid, a corners game and activity and crafts. After a short afternoon hike around camp, they ended the day with Rainbow tag.
On Iroquois/Montagnais, the Guides started their day with a wide game where they had to be very quiet and stalk animals (aka Guiders pretending to be specific animals) in the forest. Many of the “animals” were well hidden and it was a great challenge to find all 20 of them! In the afternoon, there was a round robin of activities for the Guides to choose from. The selection varied from making/testing fire starters, cooking bannock, learning knots, super camp gadgets, various nature activities and a scavenger hunt, charades, bug hunting and more.
Up on Cree, the theme of the Pathfinder/Ranger program was Survivor! After a scavenger hunt for their supplies, the girls completed a series of team challenges including building a tarp shelter over a fire pit to cook lunch, cooking lunch with only three matches, a First Aid challenge, building a raft for a small mascot, creating an outfit for a member of the team out of newspaper, a tribal arts challenge and more.
After a hearty supper, all sites gathered for a quick singsong/campfire and then we headed to the buses. The girls were all smiles, though a little bit soggy and muddy. From all reports, it was a quiet ride home as most girls (and maybe a Guider or two) slept all the way home.
For the most part, the girls were well prepared for the weather and so there were almost no complaints about the rain. All in all, an EXTRAORDINARY event!
The rain didn’t matter because I am having so much fun with all the other Brownies and leaders. I just love to be at Wa-Thik-Ane! - a Brownie
All this rain just means we get more hot chocolate! - a Guide
The next day was the Camp Closing. A dedicated group of Guiders stayed up at camp Saturday night and were joined on Sunday by more Guiders, friends and family to help close up camp for the winter.
Camp Wa-Thik-Ane… We love you and after this year’s Fall Day Camp, you have a whole new set of fans! Can’t wait to be back there in the spring!
The 2014 Fall Day Camp team would especially like to send out a HUGE thank you to the 60+ Unit Guiders who brought their girls to the Fall Day Camp this year. The start of the new Guiding year is a very hectic time with new girls, cookies arriving, etc. and we appreciate the extra challenge it is to get your patrols together in time. But without your hard work to encourage your girls to attend, we would not be able to have this EXTRAORDINARY event!
Click HERE to check out a full photo gallery of the day. Thank you to Guiders Diane O., Carol K., Lisa L., Sharon L. and Valerie Z. for contributing photos.
By Guest Blogger Patricia Tellis on behalf of the Fall Day Camp 2014 team. Patricia is Deputy Provincial Camp Adviser and a Guider with the 82nd Montreal Guiding Unit.
If you are interested in guest blogging or contributing stories and photos, please send us an email at email@example.com