At camp, Spiral makes new friends.

In Guiding we have a verse that says “Make new friends but keep the old”. As I checked in with the Brownies, I had the opportunity to interview Danica to find out what happened on their search for Spiral.

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She reported that Spiral, their unicorn, was trapped by a Sprite. However she was then able to make friends with an elf, lepachraun, pixie and gnome. They helped her find her way to the water tower and they left the Brownies clues.

At this point, several Brownies joined the interview to explain with excitement about rocks laid out in arrow symbols and sticks along the way made into trail signs and notes. There were also foot prints to follow. Spiral was excited to tell them all about her adventure and was just glowing with happiness in the group photo they took when they found her.

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Brownies also learnt a great camp skill by making mini tri-pods, a great skill for Camping on a pioneer campsite.

 

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The night sky’s have been beautiful and the Brownies braved a night sleeping outside of their tents to enjoy the blanket of stars .

Guides made the trip to Blueberry Island by canoes yesterday and  enjoyed a swim on the island before paddling back. In the afternoon they challenged themselves to a hike up to the Bluff. The view is so worth it.

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Pathfinders challenged themselves to the long lake swim. The water was warm and calm, a good day for this tough swim.The campers managed it wonderfully. Earlier in the day they learnt, after tipping a canoe, how to do a t-rescue, great skill to have!

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Our day came to a close yesterday with one of my favourite events, central campfire. All the campers and leaders came together to enjoy an evening of singing led by the amazing Pip and Scooby.

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Thank you ladies! As you know, I could not do that one without everyone being in a tangle with hand actions.

Super Eagle

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Themes & Teamwork – day 4

Across the sites of younger and older campers there is so much happening. Pathfinders are continuing with their Lord of the Rings theme as they now try to locate the rings they need while participating in Regatta and the Short Lake Swim.

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Guides began their day with Regatta, a quick lunch; then a game of Quidditch, the Short Lake Swim challenge, some extra swim time and I hope a nap as I am tired writing about it.img_3500.jpg

 

 

After supper they closed their day with an awesome campfire including a fantastic round of Sam Sam that I could here from far below and for some a night of sleeping under the stars.

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Brownies enjoyed a fantastic Regatta organized by our amazing waterfront team Pip, Scooby, Magpie, Bubbles and Sandy. It was a morning of fun filled water games.

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Campers were mixed into teams of different age groups and the Pathfinders led them along to search in the water for rocks of different monetary value so they could play the games and earn the clues. Clues for what, you ask?

As the Regatta began, Pip ran up to where the campers were receiving their instructions, visibly upset to share the news, Enrico (her canoe) was missing! As the morning unfolded and the campers received their clues, the event ended when all the clues were put together and the mystery was solved; Enrico had been taken to the original campsite from years ago (Senaca), now known as Central Campfire. The Pathfinders teamed together and carried him safely home to the waterfront.

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The day drew to a close after a successful Short Lake Swim (swimming across the lake to the Short side and back),

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and I found the Brownies at their site heading out for an evening hike to find Spiral who had been taken earlier in the week. An update will follow tomorrow so stay tuned on the search for Spiral.

Super Eagle

 

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Harry Potter Unfolds – day 3

Another warm night and another sunny day, the weather has been perfect which makes the waterfront a wonderful place to be. Today’s big challenge swim was for the Pathfinders and Rangers, the Blueberry Island life jacket swim. We paddle there in one lake canoe and the voyageur canoe. Once arrived the campers, their leaders and myself swim back to camp in life jackets, while Pip and Scooby have the tough job of towing the voyageur canoe back. I do believe we set a record time on the way there for paddling to Blueberry Island in the Voyageur canoe with those strong paddlers. Way to go girls and an awesome job on the swim back.

Excitement was building yesterday on the Guide site as the magic of Harry Potter was unfolding. Planning was happening for the quadri-wizard tournament and mandrakes were planted and left to grow on the back steps of the marquee.

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Supper was a challenge with the mystery utensil meal. As you can see by the smiles, a lot of laughter came with last nights meal.

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After dinner it was time for reflection as transfiguration glasses were crafted by the campers.

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Well time to fly off to waterfront now for the Regatta, sun, warm water and lots of happy campers are the best ingredients for a morning of fun water competitions!

Super Eagle

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How they challenge themselves on day 2!

The day started off early with a lot of eager campers wanting to earn their Morning Dip Challenge. Campers must come down at 7 a.m. and dip in the water to shoulder level and then out. This must be done on three mornings to earn the crest. I have to say that with the heat wave this has been an easy season to Morning Dip as the lake is warmer than usual!

Pathfinders and Rangers are living in the land of Lord of the Rings and I was present for the challenge chart with 20 challenges on it for the girls to earn a ring. Some of the challenges even include learning a new language, an old fashioned dictionary is provided of course.

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Waterfront is always a busy place and the afternoon brought the Boat Swim Challenge. Campers needed to swim to the rowboat which was bobbing near central campfire and back. Of course they are welcome to take a few rest stops along the way by hanging on to the volunteer bobbers in life jackets (Leaders and Super Eagle). We also frame the way as we happily bob in the water!

It warms the heart to see young girls challenge themselves to do this and the best is the smile on their face along with the beams of pride that they made it.

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Monday is dry dock day for boating to first teach the girls the strokes and rules of the water and boating. If all goes well they do manage a short time in the boat after lessons, just like this full-to-the-brim voyageur canoe of smiling Pathfinders.

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Brownies have decided they want to have story time campfires and are having a great time writing and sharing; the art of storytelling is alive at Wa-Thik-Ane! Super Eagle was excited to share her storybook “Eagle Boy” with the Brownies at campfire.

Maybe we will share a few tomorrow, stay tuned.

Super Eagle

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Magical Fantasy Camp 2018

The summer camp season began with a great group of Moms and daughters!

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The theme this week is Magical Fantasy.  The campers received notes from magical characters like Tinkerbell, Snow White, Harry Potter and many more. They made story books, fairy-tale maps, magic potion and the magical ride in the Voyageur canoe!

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The weather was perfect and Rapunzel shared stories about the lantern and stars for their sleep under the stars on Saturday night.

As I waved goodbye to some tired campers on Sunday afternoon, I could see the sleep fairies ready to spread their magical dust over the young campers  for an afternoon nap on the car ride home.image1

Our camp vehicle, Hildeguard, received a makeover on Saturday for the start of the week long camps on Sunday. She works hard hauling luggage back and forth so we have to remember to treat her special. We hope you like her new look!

Sunday morning brought Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders to week one of Camping. As always, everyone was excited when Hildeguard pulled up with their luggage on site. After a delicious lunch and some fun welcome-activities, campers made their way down to waterfront for swimming on a hot summer’s day.

Central barbecue welcomed us all back together for hamburgers, veggies, salads, chips and an ice cream sandwich to top it off.

As I made the rounds in the evening, I could hear and see the wonderful campfires happening at all the sites with storytelling, campfire games and songs.

Happy trails until tomorrow,

Super Eagle

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My Forum Adventure

Blog post written by Jacynthe. Jacynthe is a Ranger in the 1st Howick Ranger Unit. 

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This past March, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Forum for Young Canadians. Not many people know about Forum. I heard about it through my grade 10 history teacher.  So, what is Forum? It is an organization that allows select students from across Canada, aged 14-19, to spend a week in our nation’s capital learning about parliament — a week, from the moment you get up to the minute you hit the pillow, that is all about politics.

March 18, 2018 was the day my adventure began. When I arrived, I was greeted with nothing but big smiles as volunteers gave us our tags, parliamentary passes, and other goodies! As of then, Forum had officially begun. Friendships began to form from all across Canada.

When I first heard about Forum, never in a million years did I think it would be as incredible as it was. It didn’t just explain to us what politics is, they created simulations so we could experience, step by step, what politicians go through. This gave me a greater understanding and allowed us, as youth, to create political parties that had our best interests in sight. It also gave us the chance to show our goofy and creative sides with things such as having Céline Dion, Chris Hadfield and Rick Mercer as the heads of our parties.

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We also got to experience many facets of Parliament Hill. We toured Centre Block (the main building on the Hill), visited the House of Commons and the Senate Chambers, and got to observe the House of Commons in action while attending Question Period. I even got the chance to speak in a mock trial and to thank Speaker Regan in the House. In this mock trial, participants got to address our speaker in the actual House of Commons. Aside from Parliament, we spent a large amount of time at the Sir John A. Macdonald building where we heard from many special guest speakers and politicians on how we, as youth, can change the world. The most notable activity was the Blanket Exercise presented by Kairos where we spent an hour learning about how the indigenous people were treated over the past few centuries.

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Not only did we get to listen to politicians tell stories and answer our questions, we had the chance to meet many of them. On the Wednesday of my trip, Forum hosted a Members of Parliament reception. They invited the representatives from each of the students’ electoral ridings, along with Forum graduates and any other Parliamentarian officials who wanted to attend. I was lucky enough that my MP, Anne Quach, was able to be there and that we were able to talk for about 45 minutes about various topics. The next morning, we had the Senate breakfast where Senators came and talked to us about what matters to us and they explained in more detail how the Senate works.

Although Forum mainly concentrated on politics and our role as youth, there was also loads of fun to be had! On activity night, several of us had the chance to go watch a hockey game, the Ottawa Senators against the Florida Panthers. That night, no matter what team or political party we were in favour of, we were all just friends at a hockey game making memories. On the other nights, we were allowed to hang out together in the student lounge. Those nights were mostly spent having dance parties, including the last night when we had no curfew and stayed up all night with our new-found friends. This just happened to be on the same night that Parliamentarians were also pulling an all-nighter, known as a filibuster.

All in all, my Forum adventure was life-changing. It taught me how I can make a difference. It gave me leadership skills that I could bring back to my Girl Guide unit. It taught me how parliament works in a more profound way and how every part of the government plays a crucial role. And, most importantly, it gave me life long friendships, unforgettable memories, and the knowledge that if you pay your friend 20$, he’ll prom-pose to his friend in front of the whole group for fun! Forum has had such a major impact on my life that I have changed my study path for CEGEP next year and now plan to go into political sciences.

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Last but not least, my Forum adventure would not have been possible without many people and organizations. I’d like to thank Girl Guides of Canada, The Canadian Legion branch 196 in Ormstown, and the teachers and staff at Châteauguay Valley Regional High School for all their support and donations towards my trip! It was absolutely incredible. Thank you.

 

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Guiders’ Gems

For our April Provincial Commissioner’s Challenge, we asked Guiders around the province to share their favourite and most memorable activities with us. Here are some of the answers that were sent in.

Natacha Michaud with the 1st St. Lazare Pathfinders

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We held an enrollment sleepover combined with a paint night meeting. The girls had a great time and went home with a banner for crests and badges. It involved lots of hours of work but it was worth it to see their reactions!

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Sarah Horrocks with the 1st Mount Bruno Pathfinders?

I’ve got three favourite meetings to share. The first was for the Camera Crazy badge.  The girls brought a couple changes of clothes and makeup and we did a “photo shoot” at our meeting location.  They then put the photos together in a digital album and they used different phone filters to edit and change them.

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The second was our Oscar night.  We had a party at my house, made appetizers and played Oscar-themed games. We dressed up in fancy Oscar dresses, did our hair and makeup, drank fancy mocktails and had a score sheet to determine which movies were going to win. We played “Oscar Bingo” and did Oscar madlibs to create funny speeches.  We used this for the Movie Mania badge.

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Finally, I brought in a bunch of old, unused computers and other electronics from home and various screwdrivers and other tools so we could take everything apart. We looked at the inner workings of the machines to tried and determine what made each thing work.  This one wasn’t badge related but it was a lot of fun, particularly since one of my girls is into robotics and she really liked the idea of seeing inside the computers to look at the different components.

Andrea Munster with the 1st St. Lazare Pathfinders and Trex

My best activity to do with the girls is what we call a “wake-over” with our Trex or Pathfinders from St-Lazare. We spend a whole night downtown doing a variety of activities from go-karting and eating in China town, to being guest speakers on CJAD in the early hours of the morning. The activities are never the same each year. It’s nice for the girls who don’t normally get a chance to go downtown to participate in some fun activities and explore the city.

The girls really enjoy it because they get to choose the activities and stay up until about 4 or 5 am when their parents pick them up.

 

Carole Blais with the 11th Laval Guides

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I’ve got two activities to share. We held a Mother-Daughter Spa night where we prepared a hand treatment, foot treatment, massage foot bath and facials made with yogurt and blueberries.  The moms and girls took turns providing and receiving treatments.  We also served smoothies to refresh our insides as well.  Our room was decorated with chairs, mats and candles to create the spa feeling. It was very well received and fun was had by all.

Our second activity was our Earth Day project.  We spent 10 minutes in the pouring rain collecting garbage – we then spread out what was collected on tarps.  The girls sorted what we had found into 6 categories:  recycling, reusable items, donations, landfill, dangerous goods, compost.  They enjoyed that challenge and we opened the discussion about the choices.  Our 3rd-year girls then led a rope game demonstrating what can happen when we work together for Mother Earth – they did an amazing job.  To end our evening everyone enjoyed cakes make in terra cotta pots with a small flower in a straw and then we gave each girl a canvas bag to use instead of plastic. (Based on the Guides Earth Day Instant Meeting)

Tracey Brennan with the 145th Montreal Brownies

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With our Spark, Brownie & Girl Guide groups in Saint-Laurent, we had someone come in and do yoga with our girls.

Jackie Wright with the 1st St. Lazare Guides

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I have so many great memories!  One memory is quite significant: having Pamela Rice at my enrollment for my second year as Brown Owl. Pamela spoke to the girls in a way that was empowering, engaging, on their level, and memorable.  She truly inspired us all — both girls and Guiders — to remember the beginning of our great organization (she told the story of our great beginnings) and to dream of its future!  She has a true gift, to reach everyone with her love and passion for our amazing organization. The girls listened and took to heart her message.  And now we see some of that dream come to fruition.

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