Fall Gourmet Cooking Camp!

The weatherman was calling for a blustery rainy weekend but the Northern Lights Pathfinders had planned their fall gourmet cooking camp for the first weekend in October and a little wet weather was not going to dampen their spirits.

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The girls arrived on Friday night ready for their outdoor cooking adventure. Saturday morning they built their box oven and although they looked a little skeptical about its performance potential they were game to give it a try. We talked about methods for outdoor cooking and the changes that would be necessary considering the pouring rain. We are Girl Guides, the ability to adapt was never in question. The fact that we had a kitchen shelter also helped.

By the end of the weekendIMG_1432x the 12 Pathfinders had cooked in a box oven, reflector oven, stove pipe (tin can stove), Coleman stoves, and buddy burners. They made things like; angels in a blanket, cinnamon rolls in oranges, stir fry, pancakes, chicken burgers, fruit pizza, hash browns and much more. The leaders were very impressed and the girls were very proud.

IMG_1464xFall camp can be a little stressful to plan. It is early in the year and there is so much going on but if you are able to put it together the benefits are numerous. It is a great bonding experience for the girls, many of whom are new to the unit. It is a great opportunity for the leaders to get to know the girls and for the girls to build skills and confidence that will serve them well.

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IMG_1473xFor more information on organizing a fall camp I would recommend Heather Martin’s article in the Fall 2014 issue of Canadian Guider. It will definitely put you on the right track. Our unit had a blast at fall gourmet cooking camp and they are already planning their meals for the next one.

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By Guest Blogger Joanne Millette. Joanne is a Guider with the 1st Northern Lights Pathfinder Unit and is also our Provincial Training Adviser. If you have some photos or stories to share about what you’re doing with your unit or district, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

Posted in Camping, Guest Blogs, How-To, Leadership, Living Green, Pathfinders, Posts in English, Program ideas | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pointe-Claire District roll up their sleeves for their community shoreline clean-up

On Saturday, September 27, the Girl Guides from Pointe-Claire District took part in their community’s shoreline clean-up. They would like to thank Guider Carole Blais for her great job at organizing and coordinating the event. Here are a few words from Pointe-Claire Guider and District Commissioner Claire Morier about the day.


This is event spearheaded by the Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Association – they select shorelines across the country where groups can sign up to clean (http://www.shorelinecleanup.ca/).  Our district only participates in the fall clean ups, but they have them year round.

We picked up many bags of trash and recycling, and even pulled out a desk, a chair and parts of a dock. Participants are divided into small groups and patrol one section of our designated area. Each group is provided with a data card for entering each and every piece of litter picked up. These data cards are used to provide a clearer picture of what is needed to continue to protect our environment.

Overall, everyone had a great time and was so was happy to contribute to maintaining and preserving the waterfront in our community.

Thank you to Pointe-Claire District Co-Commissioner Claire Morier for sending in this story and accompanying photos. We want to hear what’s going on in your district or unit! If you’d like to share with a blog entry, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

Posted in Community Engagement, Girl Greatness, Guest Blogs, Leadership, Living Green, Posts in English, Program ideas, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mille-Îles Girl Guides join forces to give back to the community!

Girl Guides around Quebec and across Canada have been participating in the TD Tree Days program. Find out from this guest blogger what it meant to take part with her community on the shores of the Rivière des Mille-Îles:


Hello, my name is Catherine and I am a second year Pathfinder. On September 14, Guides, Sparks, Brownies, Pathfinders and many leaders planted trees. Don’t worry – we didn’t forget about you, JJ, you were a big help.

This is the second year that the Mille-Iles Girl Guide District helped plant trees. We started at 9am – quite an early morning for some (me) but was worth it. We planted different kinds of trees and bushes.

I think I speak for all the girls and leaders when I say that it was truly an amusing Sunday morning with finding worms and all kinds of bugs (I didn’t enjoy the bug part) and the rocks under the ground were quite difficult to work around but we are Girl Guides for a reason and we worked around them.

I wanted to help plant trees with the Girl Guides because I like to help my community and environment. My favorite part of the day and I hope the other girls enjoyed this too; it was being around all the younger girls. They are so kind and they are amazing to be around. We won’t forget the big worm that Trinity found or the huge rock that Sparkle found in the ground. We won’t ever forget the worm I had to pretend to eat (yuck).

The wagon that I had to pull with three people on it – that was very tiring. I can guarantee you after the tree planting I took a well-deserved nap. Planting 300 trees is quite a tiring job.

The Girl Guides wanted to go plant trees because helping our community is part of our job. We love to help people; we do a lot of community service all year round. Girl Guides weren’t the only ones that helped plant trees though there were lots of people from the community also. In conclusion it was a very fun day with the worms and bugs but most of all the girls.

By Guest Blogger Catherine Gagnon. Catherine is a Pathfinder with the 1st Argenteuil Pathfinder Unit. If you have some photos or stories to share about what you’re doing with your unit or district, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

Posted in Brownies, Community Engagement, Girl Greatness, Guides, Leadership, Living Green, Pathfinders, Posts in English, Sparks, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Un geste courageux pour aider les autres!

Cet été, j’ai fait un deuxième don de cheveux pour la fondation A Child’s Voice Foundation pour leur programme Angel Hair for Kids, me méritant en même temps mon premier défi Québec Spin.

J’ai décidé de faire mon premier don quand j’étais en maternelle. J’ai laissé pousser mes cheveux pendant deux ans. Entre temps, mon amie est tombée malade de la leucémie, donc le choix de faire un don est devenu encore plus important pour moi. C’est en deuxième année que j’ai finalement fait mon premier don de plus de 12 pouces de cheveux.

J’étais si fière de mon geste que j’ai décidé de le refaire. Pendant un autre deux ans, j’ai laissé pousser mes cheveux. Ils étaient si longs et si épais que j’ai parfois pensé de les faire couper. Par contre, j’ai persévéré et j’en ai pris bien soin car c’était important pour moi d’aider les enfants malades.

C’est cet été, avant d’entrer en 5e année, que je suis allée les faire couper. J’étais très nerveuse de me retrouver avec les cheveux courts après les avoir eu si long si longtemps. Mais, je suis restée courageuse et la coiffeuse a coupé plus de 11 pouces. Mon deuxième don était fait et j’en étais très fière.

LekaleidoscopeQC250En faisant ce don, j’ai pu aider des enfants et me mériter mon premier défi Québec Spin Challenge. Les anneaux que j’ai choisies pour le défi sont:

ROUGE: Faites une différence
VERT: Cheftaines (ma mère)
BRUN: Bloguez
ROSE: Collectivité

À mon âge, je ne peux pas donner beaucoup d’argent pour aider les enfants malades mais je peux leur donner mes cheveux. C’est très IMPORTANT pour moi!

par Alyssia Morin

À propos de notre blogueuse invitée: Alyssia est une Guide avec les 1st Northern Lights Guides à Rosemère. Elle a 10 ans. Si vous êtes intéressée à devenir blogueuse invitée veuillez nous écrire au communications@guidesquebec.ca

Posted in Blogues en français, Challenges, Défi Qc Spin, Engagement communautaire, Girl Greatness, Guides, QC Spin Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

SOAR-ing to great heights!

This past July, a Québec Council sponsored patrol and an independent patrol from Greenfield Park set off for SOAR – a week long international camp in Enderby, British Columbia. Pathfinder Leah had some words to share with us about her adventure:


My Experience at SOAR

One of the many things about Girl Guides that I find great is the travel opportunities we have as girls and leaders. I found out about ‘SOAR – Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous’ when I was invited by another Quebec patrol to join their group. The 1st Greenfield Park Pathfinders held pre-camps that I went to which helped me to become better prepared for SOAR and to get to know the wonderful girls I would be going on this adventure with. Before I knew it, I was on a plane headed for British Columbia!

My previous Girl Guide and Pathfinder experiences helped me to get to where I was. At Quebec’s provincial camp, Wa-Thik-Ane, I have learned many camping skills that helped me at SOAR such as knowing how to put up a tent without instructions, being capable of telling the weather forecast without an iPhone or something as simple as the recipe to tacos in a bag.

When we arrived at SOAR we set up camp and then sat down to try and take in how breathtaking it was that we were on the other side of the country without our families and about to have the experience of a lifetime. SOAR began on Saturday night with an opening ceremony followed by a parade through the town of Enderby. The welcoming feeling I had as I marched through the town was like nothing I had ever experienced before. “Welcome Girl Guides” was printed on the windows of many of the small town’s local stores. I was just as proud to be representing Quebec as the people of Enderby were excited to host us!

The following week was filled with fun activities such as visiting a water park, going to a forest fire fighting helicopter base, learning about the stars at Kelowna’s science centre and shooting a 22 caliber rifle! While I was not at an organized activity, I had time to trade crests and crafts with all the girls at SOAR. It was not until I started to meet hundreds of amazing people that I realized how welcoming the Guiding community is. I did not meet one single girl who didn’t want to be a friend. Meeting people from all around the world and learning about the differences and similarities of their everyday lives felt like travelling around the world in 8 days.

On the second day it was international night. Everybody who came from outside BC had a chance to go on stage and show us a little bit about where they come from. I feel like this is the most valuable thing I have taken home with me from SOAR; the worldwide friendship in the Guiding sisterhood! I will never forget my experience at SOAR 2014!

leah-suissa-SOAR-2014- Leah Suissa, 1st Ste-Genevieve Pathfinders


Here are just a handful of photos from their amazing week out west! (Photos courtesy of Patrol Guider and Provincial Commissioner Valerie Zaloum)

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If you are interested in guest blogging or contributing stories and photos, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca

Posted in Camping, Events, Guest Blogs, International/WAGGGS, Pathfinders, Posts in English, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wa-Thik-Ane Summer Camp Diaries – Week 2 + Adventure Camp!

The following is Part 2 of 2 of a round-up of diary entries sent to us from the shores of Lac Bouchette at Québec’s provincial Girl Guide camp – Wa-Thik-Ane. (Follow the very latest from camp on our Camp Wa-Thik-Ane Facebook page!)


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: How does summer camp happen?

How does summer camp happen? It takes a lot of planning and coordinating but the key to summer camp is the volunteers.WP_000436

Every week we have a core of 20-25 women who take their vacation time to be here at Wa-Thik-Ane for the campers. Without these ladies the girls would not have the opportunity to soak up what Wa-Thik-Ane has to offer; challenging themselves to swim to a boat and back or across the lake, outdoor cooking, sleeping under a beautiful sky filled with stars, learning new skills and best of all making new friends the real way (not in cyberspace).WP_000426

So today I use this space to say a huge thank you ladies for sharing your time and knowledge from sun up to sun down with our Girl Guide campers and Wa-Thik-Ane.

Have a great camp day. :)

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: Keeping spirits up!

Yesterday was a wet day at Wa-Thik-Ane. The sun did not shine but the smiles did. I love to hear the chatter passing along the roads from campsite to campsite as they head for their swim and boating even though it’s raining. Part of camp life is keeping your spirits up even when the skies are cloudy.

wwwtaBoating is a huge part of summer camp and the Brownies started their day with just that. It is amazing to stand on shore and listen to the singing come from the boats. They already had their favourite songs chosen before they pushed off.wwwta

The Pathfinders and Rangers worked on their t-rescues in a mist. Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers challenged themselves to the Short Lake swim but it was cut short because of a thunderstorm. No Short Lake but we hung out in the boathouse together until the storm cleared. They even got a snack as one prepared leader had a bag of apples and another a knife to cut them up and share! Not to worry – we will do it again on our next sunny day. :)

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: Regatta Day! 

Wednesday is Regatta Day, one of the traditions at Wa-Thik-Ane summer camp, and yesterday was no disappointment. A few dark clouds rolled in but no rain and for the most part the sun was shining. The campers enjoyed a rotation of water and dry land games in the morning. “How many cups of water can you fit on a human table?” and water balloon piñata were some of the favourites.

Wk2-RegattaLunch was well earned as girls worked at building fires and then roasted hot dogs. The afternoon was a live game of Clue as I went missing and the girls went from station to station for clues on How? Why? Where?

The day closed with a quick dip to cool off and the smell of campfires at nightfall as smores were made and songs were heard.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Week 2: Campers Got Talent!

Camp Wa-Thik-Ane started the day with a chill in the air yesterday but it quickly warmed up. The day was busy, canoeing and swimming. There was a special buzz in the air though as girls practiced for the much anticipated talent show at central campfire.

WP_000539Evening came and we all headed to central for the big event. The talent that shines from these girls amazes me each year. We even had a surprise pirate skit float up in canoes from the waterfront staff. The sound of laughter echoed across the lake as Pip and Flynn battled it out in canoes with pool noodle swords.

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The rain began to fall first lightly and then heavily but it did not stop the acts as we completed all the acts of our 2014 Talent Night.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator WP_000533


Summer Camp 2014 – End of Week 2 

For a treat, I’ve asked Katie, one of our Rangers, to wrap up the action for last week.         – Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator

fr-archivesIf you look at the tattered black and white photographs of summer camps from the beginning to the middle of the 20th century, you will see small canvas tents, clotheslines scarce with campers’ clothes and campfires cooking not only smores but full meals as well, an effort that takes hours each day.

“Summer camp” seems to always include kitchen staff to cook all your meals, a maid or two, and heated cabins complete with power outlets and beds – but not for us.

The first of my two weeks here, my fellow Rangers and I had many laughs over our accommodations at Cree. Our tents gave out and flooded, we only had the classic three bins to wash stuff, and our marquee was filled with leaves.

The next week we moved sites to Mic Mac and everything just got more rustic. Our showers were cold enough to give polar bears shivers and we had no electricity at all.

That week ended up teaching us to camp like never before. We learned everything from putting away canvas tents to cooking chicken or even steak on a fire. We even made an oven out of a pizza box. We did our chores three times a day, and were all encouraged to organize activities for the younger girls. This led to a talent show, a litter walk as well as a fairy walk.

Although this second week required everyone to work extremely hard, we realized that working for things makes it all worth it. I felt useful, wanted and needed. All the challenges we faced as a group made us stronger as individuals and made our friendships stronger than ever. I learnt more about real camping skills and overcoming problems at this camp than any other. It might sound crazy but even our chores ended up being fun!

I find that my generation does not always know the incredible feeling that comes from working for things, which Wa-Thik-Ane has provided for us. I am astounded by the leaders (who, by the way, are all volunteers) as well as the waterfront staff’s effort and commitment. I’m just a camper and I get tired sometimes, but the leaders always have a smile.

Although there’s a lot of resources, time and money that go into keeping Wa-Thik-Ane alive I feel that it has its upsides. Through the rough times I can see more love, passion and commitment that ever before. Nobody is giving up.

Well, I’m back at camp and my friends are impatiently waiting for me to join them. So it’s time for me to go. Hope everyone’s summer back home is as great as summer here at Wa-Thik-Ane, but somehow I doubt that’s possible!

- Katie from the GGC Valois-Dorval Ranger Unit


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: First campfire!

Yesterday we began our Adventure Week with learning about dehydrating our food for our trips. The girls sliced mangoes, fresh strawberries, apples and bananas to make fruit leather and fruit chips for our Mont Tremblant adventure day today.

Just before lunch most of us jumped in the lake to encourage those who wanted to do the boat swim for their crest. It was hot and a great way to cool off. We made grilled cheese on our buddy burner stoves which always tastes better than on a regular stove.WP_000546x

After lunch we treated ourselves to an afternoon of canoeing and swimming at Blueberry Island. The day ended with just over 30 beautiful voices singing camp songs around the fire.

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: Adventure outing!

WP_000553Yesterday was a day reserved for an adventure outing! After doing my best to work out where and how we were all going to our respective activities, some hiked, some ziplined, and those with a real adventurous spirit chose Ferrata du Diablo (rock climbing).

WP_000556After sorting all the paperwork I was able to relax and hang from the cliffs. No words can say how amazing it was. The view was beyond belief. One of the reasons I do this is to see a young lady who is afraid of high heights attempt the activity and face her fear. From a position of not being able to take both hands off the wall to hanging off the bridge suspended in air.WP_000559

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: Day 4

Yesterday was a familiar day around camp. WP_000569We did the usual boating and swimming. Just to add a little more adventure to the boating, we attempted to line all the canoes up side by side to have a race. The wind was so strong that by the time we joined up our canoes side by side we were already at the finish line (shoreline). A quick decision was made by Super Eagle to have a race in reverse. Needless to say we all had a smile and a good chuckle.

WP_000572We explored the different types of travel stoves and a few pointers about tripping. Our skills were tested on fire building along with cooking our supper on fire. After dark as I headed down to the food building, I was lucky to catch a glimpse about what summer camp is all about. Check out the red sweaters!WP_000575

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator


Summer Camp 2014 – Adventure Camp: Uncovering Mafking

Yesterday was a great camp day, not too hot but sunny. :) We started our day with a delicious breakfast of sausage, pancake and blueberries – yum! Our first activity was boating and I had a personal drive; to find Mafking.

Years ago we campers and our leaders were able to pack the canoes and head over to the other side of the lake to camp overnight on a site called Mafking. So, we headed out and found it! A future project awaits us, to clean up the site and once again camp over there! After boating, some of the girls challenged themselves to the long lake swim and all who tried succeeded.

moonThe day ended with a challenge to earn our camp tour crest in a new way. We had four teams do the course of all the sites in a different order in the dark. There were three rules: no running, stay hidden from the opposing teams, and all team members must enter the marquee to count for visiting the site. If you were seen by the other team, there were time penalties. We had an awesome time walking around Wa-Thik-Ane – survival mode!

- Joanne, Summer Camp Coordinator

Posted in Brownies, Camp Wa-Thik-Ane, Camping, Challenges, Guides, Living Green, Pathfinders, Posts in English, Sparks, Volunteering, Wa-Thik-Ane | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Northshore Girl Guides go to beautiful lengths to earn a Québec Spin!

While getting ready for Camp Wa-Thik-Ane and a trip to SOAR BC, Pathfinder Leah Suissa and Guide Zoe Suissa from Northshore District chose to cut and donate their hair for wigs for cancer patients.

donations! Guider Dora Hemsworth joined them and they have almost enough hair donated to make a whole wig!

Bravo!Taking their program for a spin, they decided on the following:

Red circle: QCSpinner-fullimage_260Make a Difference

Green circle: With District

Brown circle: Share it!

Pink circle: Sisterhood

Find out more about the Québec Spin Challenge here.

Find out more about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program here.

Thank you to Northshore District Guider Dora Hemsworth for sharing their story with us. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at communications@guidesquebec.ca.

Posted in Challenges, Community Engagement, Défi Qc Spin, Girl Greatness, Posts in English, QC Spin Challenge | Tagged , | Leave a comment