Travel Stories: Trip to the Maritimes

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We four Ormstown Pathfinders and our 2 leaders went on a trip of a lifetime; we took a 12 day trip to the Maritimes to explore New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

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Our first night was spent in Pocologan NB; the next day was the beginning of our adventures that awaited us. In St. John NB we visited the Market square, town square and New Brunswick/PEI ProvincialGuide House. While in Nova Scotia we went Zip lining, to a coal mine museum in Glace Bay, we adventured around the Cabot Trail, went to a beach, whale watching in Pleasant Bay, we visited the Gaelic College and got to learn the cultures of way back when. In P.E.I we went horseback riding, visited Anne of Green Gables, Ripley’s Believe it or not, wax museum, mini putting, haunted house, we also went to The Wind Interruptive Centre in North Cape and we went to Jacques Cartier Provincial Park to explore the beach and swim.

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Hillary: My favourite parts were probably Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and the wax museum. I really liked those because wax figures are cool.

Billie: My favourite parts were horseback riding, swimming, zip lining, the museums and whale watching.

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Ashleigh: My favourite parts were the horseback riding, zip lining, the coal mine museum, Gaelic College and the beaches were also a lot of fun.

Renee: I had so many favourites or memories to choose from, but to pick a couple it would be zip lining, the sights of Cabot Trail and hearing many times “this is my first time trying this!”

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Barb: A great trip, so much fun! I loved taking Renee and the Pathfinders to some of my favorite places and discovering some new ones with them. Sitting on the  northern tip of PEI, singing Taps as the sun sank into the ocean was truly memorable.

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Travel Stories: Guiding Mudsaic

 

Margaret Marak: Core Crew

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I participated on the Guiding Mosaic 2016 Core Crew staff on the Adventure Bay Lifeguarding team. I had the most incredible, life changing experience. This camp and the people I spent my time with really helped me find my way back into Guiding.

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The team was fantastic and I enjoyed every single moment of my time in Sylvan Lake Alberta, at camp Woods. Getting to spend every day at the waterfront was such a blessing. I got the opportunity to challenge and improve my skills at Guiding Mosaic. Despite the weather and some challenges everyone pulled through and we all worked together as a team. The friendships I made are going to be ones for a lifetime. The adventures and memories are ones for the books.

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I loved every moment of camp and I would not trade any of it for the world. I love my new sisters in Guiding and Guiding Mosaic 2016 provided an amazing place to make new friends, challenge skills and create new memories.

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Heather Martin: Guider with the Québec pathfinders

15 Quebec Pathfinders went to Camp Woods in Sylvan Lake….we fenced, rolled in hamster balls, did archery, prepared robots for a trip to Pluto, learned dances, new crafts with tiles, copper, chainmail and paper, sailed, canoes, dragon boated, learned self defense, team building during program sessions. We went to the Calgary Stampede and cleaned a beach in Sylvan Lake, we made new friends from across Canada and around the world, we swapped, danced and had a great time at Guiding mosaic 2016.

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Some participants explored Alberta before GM2016. They’re seen here at the Glacier Skywalk learning about grizzly bears and mountain goats!

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Thank you everyone who supported our fundraising and helped sell cookies! It was an amazing trip!

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Summer Travels: Northern Lights District Tours Ontario

In early July, Northern Lights Girl Guides & Pathfinders from Rosemère, Québec set off on a three day tour of 1,000 Islands, Toronto, & Niagara Falls.

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Ready to tour the thousand islands

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Ah hoy Pathfinders—Gananoque Cruise

A great time was had by all.  The girls were lucky to be “camping in style” in hotels instead of tents, roughing it at its best!

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Skylone Tower Niagara Falls

Highlights were the Gananoque boat tour, Skylone Tower, Horn blower Niagara Falls boat, CN Tower.

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We are not afraid of getting wet…but let’s be prepared for the Horn blower tour of Niagara Falls!

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We survived the falls!

We also visited the beautiful Casa Loma Castle in downtown Toronto, built in 1911. It took 300 men, 3 years at a cost of $3,500,000 (at the time) to build it.  There was a room dedicated to the 100 years of Girl Guides- featuring the uniform worn by Lady Mary Pellatt—we even saw a certificate signed by Lady Baden-Powel.

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Who can say no to a KISS?

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Leader trying to get us all in—CN Tower

We couldn’t ask for a better trip, beautiful weather, famous sites, and a wonderful team!

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Casa Loma- such beautiful history

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Northern Lights Girl Guides- Casa Loma

Kimberley Devey is a Guider with the 1st Northern Lights Guides.

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Goodbye India

The 1st Kirkland Rangers travelled to Sangam, India in July. This blog post originally appeared on the KirklandRangersIndia blog and they have kindly agreed for it to be republished here. Visit their blog to read all about their adventures!

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Our last day in India! It’s time to repack and balance the weight of our luggage, make sure we haven’t forgotten any gifts,  and make our way back to Delhi for our flight home.

For breakfast we went to the hotel restaurant as our breakfast was included. Last night at dinner the chef came out to see us and asked if we liked the meal, and what we would wish for breakfast! We were surprised and answered that we were very happy with what was usually served. The chef insisted he would make some chicken sausages just for us! Indian food is no beef, no pork, the occasional lamb, and a lot of veggies and chicken! So here we are at breakfast and the waiter brings out a plateful of chicken sausages! So kind and accommodating of the chef! Most of the people we met were always trying to be helpful in every way. Even to the point of changing the music being played from Indian style to American! We didn’t have the heart to tell them they were playing Christmas carols!

The high-lite of our 5 hour drive to Dehli was the monkeys! We usually saw cows, water buffalo, goats, sheep, donkeys, elephants,  monkeys etc in the streets almost daily. But today there were hundreds of monkeys at the side of the highway! Of course we were oohing and aahing! So our driver, Kumar, pulled over for us to feed the monkeys! There were also vendors of bananas and ears of corn at the side of the road so Kumar bought some corn for us to feed the monkeys. So many monkeys! Mothers with babies on their backs or at their breasts, young ones causing a ruckus, and the alpha male chasing all away to get his food first. I videoed the excitement and at time forgot I had me camera on so there are a few just ground scenes!

Upon arrival at our airport hotel we made our way to our rooms. Some just relaxed and others went for a dip in the rain to refresh. Each in our own way reflecting on our experiences and saying goodbye to a country that has touched our lives forever.

It is amazing how our time here has flown by and yet each day seemed to last 48 hours! What an amazing country of cultures that reach back centuries. A country that has touched all our senses.

Being some of few Westerners in many of the places we visited, we attracted much attention! Being the ‘different’ ones was at times scary, intimidating, heart warming and an eye opener! Some people tried to inconspicuously take selfies with us in the background, some asked to take photos with us, we felt some were trying to take advantage of us, and then there was the little child that was so happy when we waved at them! And they quickly, yet unsurely waved back! The reaction that affected me the most was that of an Indian woman returning a shy smile! Typically Indian women do not smile, it is a western tradition.

India is a country different from ours  in so many ways.

Extremely poor slums to the Mercedes driving rich.

The various religions living side by side.

The free reign of cow and other animals.

The sewage and clean water issues.

Yet, Indian people still thrive. They are a proud and strong people.

We surprisingly adapted easily to avoiding the cow paddies, the garbage filled gutters, herds of cows crossing the road, the crazy drivers of cars/trucks/rickshaws/tuc tucs/motorcycles, and the horns blasting! We made it across the roads safely, yet perhaps with a few more grey hairs!

The Sangam experience created lifelong friendships and sisterhoods. As well as, opened a window and a connection to the local communities like no other World Centre. Pam, Angie and I have now been to each World Centre. We have experienced the wonderful sisterhood and the personal growth gained in each Centre. But the Sangam experience is remarkable!

Thank you to the amazing staff at Sangam for making this an experience of a lifetime for we older ladies. And a life changing experience for the younger ladies.

Thank  you to our tour operator, Perfect Travels, for an awesome driver and great friendly tour guides! A couple rather goodlooking guides, too!

Thank you Rowena, Julie, Caroline, Julia, Emma, Pam and Angie for being my Guiding sisters on this trip. Thank you for being understanding, caring, fun, and so much more! Thank you for being you.

Jutta

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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: Goodbye Summer of 2016

Yesterday on our last full day of camp. Guides swam, boated and then challenged themselves to hike to the Bluff on a hot day. Pathfinders and Rangers started their day with the sunrise hike to the bluff challenge (an early rise) and swam the waters of Lac Bouchette across the lake to the farthest shoreline and back (Long Lake Swim) in the afternoon. There is a rock across the way that says “Long!” on it and as I bobbed in the water I heard one swimmer say “I never loved a rock so much” and she touched it and turned around to swim back.

Their evening ended with an Iron Chef challenge to which they were given their main ingredients and then allowed to pick from a table of leftovers in the fridge to create their own masterpieces in teams. It wasn’t an easy task but it was a job well done for some very tired campers.

Once again Wa-Thik-Ane has done its job of teaching young ladies that they have skills they never thought they did. Its waters encouraged them to go further distances in strokes and higher in jumps. Its campfires encouraged campers to sing songs they were not familiar with, its meals encouraged hungry campers to try new things, its nature and skilled volunteers taught them leadership, life skills and survival skills. All of this while making new friends, greeting old friends and making memories that will last for years to come.

A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers that passed through the gates this season; you have given a gift of time and heart to these young ladies — one they will take with them as they hike their trail in life.

As we close this summer camp season on our 90th anniversary, I think back to what it must have been like to camp here in those early years. Thank you Wa-Thik-Ane for all you have taught women young and old.

Super Eagle signing off,

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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: Paddling to Blueberry Island

 

IMG_1982IMG_1986Today is a favorite day for many campers: the day they get to paddle to Blueberry Island for a swim. We have been incredibly lucky with all the beautiful weather this season to be able to do so much with the girls.

After breakfast it was off to Blueberry Island for the Pathfinder and Ranger site. I was tagging along as an extra adult. The girls all paddled well and we were there swiftly. Once we got there well all jumped in for a swim off the island with our life jackets on. The rule at Blueberry is you have to keep your life jacket on at all times and have it done up. The campers don’t mind as they make it fun with the jackets on. A game of water tag anyone? As we returned from Blueberry Island, I decided to test the waters out for a new challenge crest — Blueberry Island Boat Swim. Pathfinders and Rangers: Look out for something new next season!

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After lunch the Guides were off to Blueberry Island in the Rabaska. It was fantastic to hear them singing from a distance as they paddled back along the lake to the docks.

The camp was also busy with both sites doing the Amazing Race challenges when not on the water for boating.

At meal times, the sites send down three or four girls to food services to get their ingredients. That means three times a day the campers are collecting their food in a cooler and dry basket. The wonderful ladies in the food building have everything ready, waiting and labeled in the walk in fridge. The campers head down and get a wagon from beside the building and load up for the trip to site. For some sites like Huron and Mic Mac it is an easy pull for others it is not so easy with the hills they face. They each take turns in their patrols and work at figuring out the best way to balance their strength – teamwork is a great thing.

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Just so you know…the photo was posed, with a little dramatic expression.

As I sit this evening at the computer in the office, I can hear the singing from atop the hill. My heart begins to grow heavy as I realize the summer camp days are coming to an end. But, I know I will return next year to see the campers that have grown in size, skill and leadership.

Super Eagle signing off,

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Days of Summer at Wa-Thik-Ane: Heat, Sun and Water Make for a Great Day

 

Another beautiful day on the shores of Wa-Thik-Ane began with morning dip for the Guides and Pathfinders and Super Eagle. The Sparks and Brownies slept under the stars last night; good job girls! They are packed up and ready to head home today with an extra collection of memories to share as they drive home. Then came breakfast and our last Regatta day of the season. Waterfront staff were excited to colour my hair and it turned out great. Apparently short hair with hair chalk has better results. It looks professional ladies!

Thanks to the Wee Camp leaders we have a new game we have added to our circuit: catch the worm on the fishing line. Lots of smiles, laughter and cheering went on throughout the morning as girls raced on pool noodles, played rubber duck soccer, stacked cups on campers’ and leaders’ backs and played many more water games.

Hunger often strikes after a morning of activity on the waterfront so it was off to site for lunch and a little rest before the short lake swim this afternoon.

Meanwhile the luggage was loaded and moved up to the parking to greet the Spark and Brownie parents. Little campers arrived with hugs to share and crests to show.

It is amazing watching them take pictures with their new camp friends and share contact information to stay in touch until they see each other once again next summer at the Wonderful Weeks at Wa-Thik-Ane.

It was a calm afternoon on the water for the short lake swim and all the swimmers that jumped in made it across and back. A few leaders were able to achieve their short lake swim as well. Well done everyone – great swimming!

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The waterfront and food ladies headed up to Algonquin site where the Pathfinders and Rangers are camping and were treated to a red carpet arrival. Well deserved, ladies. And great teamwork serving and cleaning up a wonderful dinner, campers.

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Super Eagle signing off,

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