A Collaborative Blog: Winter Carnaval


The Pathfinder & Ranger winter trip to Carnaval in Québec City got off to a rough start as the snowstorm keep us back one night. On a positive note, however, it meant an extra hot shower and a good night’s sleep in our own beds… (Jennifer)

The girls and leaders started their journey on a very cold Saturday morning. We had girls from different districts. Some had met on other provincial trips or at summer camp. For others, it was their first time with any of the others. The roads were very clear and it took us 31/2 hours to reach Québec City… (Helena)

After arriving, we settled into our hall super quickly and efficiently — it was impressive. Carnival passes were handed out, girls and Guides geared up and off they went into the cold for lunch and their personal winter Carnaval adventure. (Olivia)

Even though the temperature was truly frigid, the girls were very enthusiastic and walked from venue to venue without complaint. Many even braved the cold a second time after supper to catch the parade. (Kathy)

Hats felt like the theme for the day as almost everyone got a new one. The most popular colour combination was pink and white, but there were also red and black, some with ear flaps and some without…all with pompoms! (Caitlyn)


I found my new favourite restaurant for poutine. The hot chocolate was delicious and the beavertail was excellent. (Annsophy)

We walked a lot in the cold but we made some discoveries. I mostly liked visiting the ice hotel and walking around. (Catou)

I met new people and had sooooo much fun walking around the city. I got to see Québec in a wonderful atmosphere.The tubing and the ice hotel were definitely my favourite part. (Kate)

I had the most amazing time ever! I loved the fact that we were free to explore the Carnaval with our friends and enjoy the very very cold festival at our own pace. Also, the tubing was thrilling and the sugar shack was to die for! Thank you to all the organizers of this trip: I would redo it anytime! (Zoé)

This weekend has been a blast! Despite the weather and waiting for the roads to clear. The weather cooperated and didn’t send us any more snow — just a nice chill. It was a successful trip. (Vicki)


We had an amazing group of girls and Guiders to travel with. Tobogganing on the slide in front of Chateau Frontenac was fantastic under the Snow Moon. And the maple sugar on snow was a hit both days! (Joan)

This weekend was one to remember. We did many things, but my favourite had to be the tobogganing after sunset. We had sugar on snow as well. Some might say I had too many, but I say I had just the right amount! (Julianna)

I love meeting and reconnecting with new and old friends. I got to hear so many cool stories. I loved going to the Carnaval and exploring the city. (Evelyn)

This weekend was my first time in Québec City and Girl Guides really helped make it special for me. I had such a fun time exploring the streets with my group. It cool getting to see the awesome parade they had last night — there was combo of fire and ice. But I also got to meet nice people everywhere I went like in a small local cafe where we met an old Girl Scout leader from Vermont. And I especially enjoy seeing the ice castle. Needless to say that this weekend is one that I will definitely remember and I would love to come back again next year! (Kristin)

This weekend started off strong with my first time at the winter Carnaval in Québec City. There were so many different things to do and I enjoyed them all. I was amazed by the parade at the end and the people walking on stilts while holding fire! Tubbing was such fun and the ice hotel was stunning. (Sandra)


There was a lot of laughing and playing in the snow and inside. Even after we left and went tubing it was still fun and the ice hotel was beautiful. I think that all of us had a great time at the sugar shack. (Abigail)

This trip was the first trip I did with my Ranger unit and I made some awesome memories with the girls. I met some friends I knew from Snow Trails or from summer camp at Wa-Thik-Ane. I loved the carnival and the free tuques! My favourite thing would definitely be the Ice Hotel. It was so beautiful and worth my great photography skills. The tubing was scary for me since I was afraid of heights, but I still enjoyed the funny moments that happened. Even if we lost a day, I think we did everything we needed to do in the time we had. (Amy)

We got to do so much in just two days. I would definitely do this again because it was a great experience. I met new people, I got to learn how to throw an axe at the carnival, and I faced my fears by going on this tube slide I was afraid of. (Sarah)

I was not sure about going on this trip but as soon as I got settled in, I felt better. Everything we did was fun and interesting. We never had nothing to do! The food was really good and the Carnaval was lots of fun. I wasn’t sure about tubing either but once I went down my first run I knew that it would be lots of fun! The ice hotel was breathtaking! (Lauren)

This was my 2nd time on this trip and I was worried that it would be too repetitive. As it turns out, nothing in Girl Guides can be repeated! The number of new people and new adventures that happened on this trip cannot be counted. (Emily)

The experiences and great people I met will never go forgotten. It was definitely well planned and executed! (Melanie)


Everything from the people to the food to the different activities we did was amazing. I wouldn’t have prefered to have done anything else with my weekend — no matter how cold it was. I loved the freedom that the leaders gave us and I loved all the little things we got to experience. (Emily)

We particularly loved getting to explore the ice hotel with all the funky rooms and Tubing. Seeing the Château Frontenac with all the snow around it was beautiful. This trip was a great opportunity to spend time with friends we generally don’t get to see outside of our meetings. It was also so much fun getting to meet and talk to other members. (Cassandra and Gemma)

I loved this trip! It gave me an amazing little break from the stress of exams to explore a city we had heard about in every single one of our textbooks. I got to see Carnaval which I’ve heard about for years now and got to experience a more touristy yet super exciting side of my province! (Dylan)

It was a great way to enjoy the beautiful snow and weather. I haven’t been to Quebec City in 10 years and this trip brought back all the amazing memories I had and allowed me to make so many more. (Emma)

I haven’t been on a Girl Guide trip in two years. Carnival was the best way to start up again. As a first-year Ranger, the freedom to walk around and see everything that we girls wanted to see was new, but it was a relief not to be followed 24/7. (Madeleine)


The weekend was amazing and I loved exploring Québec City. I ended up meeting one of the sculptors for the ice hotel. (Brianna)

This trip was one of the best trips I’ve gone on in my Guiding years. We got to see and explore stuff pretty much on our own. Tubing was super fun, especially the “Everest” slide. It got cold when I wasn’t moving, but I survived. (Rebecca)

It was an awesome experience with a great group. I still learn so much from these amazing young women. I am glad to have shared in the many memories and laughs with them. We may have been cold and tired, but I’m sure glad I came. This blogging feels like a virtual Guides’ Own. (Loretta)

The girls and leaders showed us how they could endure freezing cold temperatures but still enjoy winter in Quebec! They proved the Carnaval slogan was true! « PLUS FORT QUE LE FRETTE » . (Chary Hyndman & Daphne Sauvé)


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A Love Worth Sharing

When I entered Guiding, I did so as a Mom answering the call for volunteers when my daughter was a Brownie. I quickly became aware that I wanted to share my love of camping with girls and other women in the organization. For many years now, I have done just that. As many of you know, my heart is deep in our local Guide Camp Wa-Thik-Ane and I have been able to use this beautiful place to share my love of camping by hosting lots of youth over the years in spring, summer and fall.


Two weekends ago, I was excited to share my love of winter camping and the wonders of nature in the snowy season with Pincourt District. Our theme, “Winter Wonderland,” enabled us to have all the fun we could outdoors in the winter.


I watched as the magic of the weekend unfolded: Pathfinders and Rangers took the lead, playing in the snow with the Sparks and Brownies, all ages taking turns leading the way on marked snowshoe trails as the excitement of winter scenes brought wide eyes and smiles.

“Where does one find the sliding hill?” “Can we go anywhere?” they asked. Sure, as long as there are no trees or a lake in the way, you can make a sledding path. Shrieks of excitement and laughter filled the air as they made short and bumpy paths or tiny, little ones that offered their level of thrill in the fresh white powder!


Mealtime indoors brought teamwork and bridging in the big kitchen as the meals were prepped and cleaned up and lots of conversations and winter crafting could be found in the dining hall. By quickly folding up the tables, hanging a few streamers and lights, voilà, we made a dance floor for the Snowball dance.

As the little ones settled for snack and bed after their big Saturday, I offered a nighttime snowshoe hike for the older girls. To my joy, they jumped at the chance to go back outdoors and experience the wonders of winter at night!


For some, this was their first camp and for many, their first experience at snowshoeing and leading a trail by following trail tape markers. Thank you once again, Wa-Thik-Ane, for an amazing weekend packed full of laughter and great memories!

Until we camp again,

Joanne Cardinal aka Super Eagle

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Pathfinders’ 40th Anniversary Celebration


Pathfinders from across the province celebrated the 40th anniversary of Pathfinders. They shared their favourite parts of the day:

  • Today we went to mini putt. It was glow in the dark. All of the blue Girl Guide stuff was purple in the black light! I made an awesome new friend that I talked to the whole day! We had so much fun!
  • Today we went to the Illumi light show. It was beautiful! The decorations were exquisite and the craftsmanship of the lights and their shapes were truly breathtaking.
  • It was so fun. It was a great experience – we saw a lot of creative things with beautiful lights. I loved this exciting outing.
  • It was great to be part of the 40th birthday. Girls met up with old friends and made new friends. We also had a special visitor – a Guider who was one of the first Pathfinders in Montreal.
  • Today we went to Putting Edge and played mini put. It was a lot of fun. Then, we walked to Illumi to look at the lights. Finally, we went to Boston Pizza to eat supper. It was a fun day!
  • Today was really fun. I met some really cool people and had a lot of interesting experiences. I even met a girl who I will hopefully be friends with for a long time.
  • Even though I was bad at mini putt, my friends still cheered me on the entire time. 🙂 I had a great time!!!
  • Today I had lots of fun even though this was my second time at Illumi!
  • What a fabulous day! We went to Mini putt, Illumi and finished off with eating dinner at Boston Pizza. We had two special guests: our amazing Provincial Comissioner, Roseanna Cirino, and Heather Martin (one of the original pathfinders). What a great adventure to celebrate 40 years of Pathfinders!
  • Today was pretty fun. First we went to neon mini putt. I was really bad at it but I figured it out in the end. Then we went to Illumi, a light show that was really cool.
  • Today we got to be part of a milestone by celebrating Pathfinders’ 40th anniversary. A special new bond with new friends and stories. It was a pleasure to meet Pathfinders from across the province to share this special time together. I would love to have more special events like this for girls by girls. Let’s keep the Guiding sisterhood alive!

Thank you to Talia, Sandra, Roselyn, Sofie, Rebecca, Brianna, Hailey, Imogen, Kaitlin, Vanessa, Emma, RoseAnna, Chelsea, Helena and Jennifer for contributing to the blog!

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Why Make the Transition from Girl to Guider

I have been a Girl Guide since my first year of Sparks, so it only made sense that I continue as a leader once I turned 18 (I was presented with an A.1 form on my birthday).


As the one and only Ranger in my district for a whole year, I became a unit helper with my former Guide unit. I got to know the girls and their families well, which made it very easy to be accepted as one of their “real” Guiders — all I had to do was change my shirt. The biggest challenge for me was trying to figure out the new Girls First/ExceptionElles program while also discovering what new things were expected of me as a Guider. My first year of adult membership was the same as the transition year, and there were times when I had no idea what was going on. Thankfully, there were friendly and experienced Guiders ready to help me along the way.


There are many opportunities within Guiding that you can only take advantage of once you are a responsible adult. For example, this past summer, as part of the federal Summer Jobs program, I was able to work as program staff during the Wonderful Weeks at Wa-Thik-Ane and Voilà Québec! camps. I had so much fun meeting and learning from new girls and Guiders from across the province (and other provinces too).


Even though my schoolwork can sometimes get ridiculous, I am motivated to continue in Guiding to watch the girls in my unit have as much fun as I did when I was a girl. Their parents and my co-Guider are all very supportive and understand that sometimes I will have to skip a meeting or two if it overlaps with my exam schedule.


I can’t imagine myself leaving the Guiding world anytime soon and I doubt that I would be the person I am today if I was not brought up through Guiding. Without Guides, I may be able to get more sleep, but I certainty wouldn’t have as much fun. I suppose my real answer to the question “why continue as a Guider?” would have to be quite simply “why not?”, after all, it only takes one hour a week.

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Blog post by Elizabeth Barnes, a Guider with the 110th Montreal Guides in Monklands District.

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Calling All Voters: A Mock Election Night in Pincourt District

The 2019 Canadian Federal elections were held on October 21, 2019, and so was the Pincourt District mascot election and what a super turnout! The girls got to vote for which mascot they thought would best represent the spirit of the district.

In this mock election, Pathfinders and Rangers entered their names to each run a campaign: Confirmed candidates were Charlie the raven, Desneiges the polar bear, Max the walrus, Neevee the caribou and Sam the wolf.  The Pathfinders and Rangers carried out various tasks and were engaged in the electoral process.  It was clear that the girls were prepared and they even brought props for their speeches.  They ARE Girl Guides!

True or False?… Prior to 1918, most women were not allowed to vote in a Federal election because some men thought that “nice women didn’t want the vote” and “it would break up the home.”  (TRUE)


Running the Election. 

Excitement was building —  it would be an activity not to miss!  The voters’ list was prepared (the District Roster).  Each girl member received a simulated Notice of Registration card as part of the election process.  Individual voting cards were distributed, ballot papers were produced with candidates’ name and mascots’ pictures,  activity booklets were prepared, campaign posters were ready to hang and ballot boxes were set up.


On election night, the gym area was chosen for the mock electoral campaign platform.   Each candidate introduced herself and spoke about why she should be elected.  The candidates showed enthusiasm, built curiosity among the voters and gave good speeches.  From Sparks to Rangers, the girls lined up at the voting polls set up in the adjoining room.  The Pathfinders and Rangers served as election officials who helped voters with the process.  From identifying the voters on the list to being led to a private booth to mark their ballots, the girls were very serious in keeping their votes secret and placing their folded ballots in the ballot boxes even if the younger ones could not reach the top.  Some held their ballots close to their hearts.  It was awesome to watch the girls vote and exercise their right to choose a “person” to be their representative.

The polls were closed and the ballots counted.  Then came the announcement: Sam, the wolf was elected as our spirit mascot.  Sam’s speech (Abigail, Pathfinder) was about how her family enjoyed a good tug-of-war over a bone or a piece of wood.  Sam spoke about how she liked running, hunting and howling.  When wolves howl, it’s to celebrate a good hunt or to get together.  It’s their way of talking to each other.  The grey wolf is the largest of the dog family and won the girls’ hearts.  Congratulations Sam!  You are the Mascot we needed!


Melanie, Brownie Guider with mascot Sam.

Blog post by Elaine Keeble from Pincourt District.

A big thank you goes out to Chantal for her creativity and for getting the kit ordered through Elections Canada.  Ellen played a big role getting the plan in place and helping to facilitate the event.  Charlene came up with the individual voter cards and Joanne found some fun crests.  A shout out to Pavolina and the Pathfinder and Ranger Guiders along with the Pincourt Pathfinder and Ranger Unit for executing the event in such a fun manner.  Our DC, Heidi, kept everything rolling.  All Guiders jumped in to make this event a success while providing the girls with first-hand experience with voting.  It was an engaging and informative voting activity!

If you are interested in hosting a voting experience, we have the simulation toolkit for anyone to take.  The contents include a Guide, ballot boxes, voting screen, voting templates, pencils, mascot posters, activity booklet, CD, teacher resources and step-by-step instructions for different age groups.   Email elaine.keeble@gmail.com.   Also check https://experience.girlguides.ca “vote for a Mascot” Topic:  Citizenship.

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Voilà Québec! A Pathfinder’s Perspective


Voilà Québec! was educational and a definite confidence booster for me. I came with the intention of developing and strengthening my social abilities and leadership skills, in order to honour the people I met and the lessons I learned at Count Me In Leadership Summit. My experience there, under the influence of the legendary Shane Feldman and his crew, brought me to a point at Wa-Thik-Ane where I found myself embracing my skills and place within my unit.

During our first night there, on a Saturday, everyone at the Huron campsite settled down at the fire pit for a session of singing songs taught by Girl Guides from all over Canada followed by two fun rounds of the popular card game “Lourgarou” (or Werewolf). It was intriguing and amazing to me how many songs we all knew together, along with ones completely foreign to me. When I helped lead a few like “Eddie,” “Umm Plucky Plucky,” and “Avoine,” it was even more fun of an experience. I chose these three specifically to lead because

A) It would help girls from outside Québec practice their French,

B) It would allow those not familiar with the hand movements of Eddie to have fun outside their comfort zones, and

C) It was funny to see the reactions of the girls from other provinces when they heard how morbid some of our songs could become.

I realized that the experience was much more fun with the interactions I had with the other girls because I felt appreciated for my actions.

Blog post by Kendra. Kendra is a Pathfinder in Riverdale District. She participated in Voilà Québec! as part of the provincial patrol.

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Volunteering at Summer Camp: A True Girls First Experience

As a leader, camp can be exhausting: The planning before you leave, making sure all girls are happy and healthy during the week, and the extra-long recovery process upon your return…

It is then that you find yourself asking… Was it all worth it?

Well, for 2 leaders and 12 girls at Algonquin site during week 1 of the Wonderful Weeks at Wa-Thik-Ane (summer camp)… It ABSOLUTELY WAS!


What an incredible week with incredible people! It was amazing to see girls and Guiders come together and create something so exciting and memorable.

From Day 1, when Lisa Labelle and I asked the girls what they would be interested in performing at the end of the week for our theatre and drama camp, they took matters into their own hands. In a matter of minutes, girls were asking each other what they felt comfortable doing in order to prep for the production, and before you knew it, we had a script-writing team, costume and prop departments, an advertising group, and actors rehearsing their lines. Each person had a role (or roles!) they wanted — including doing things that took them a step or two out of their comfort zone.


As a Guider who has not worked with a unit since Girls First came into play, it was so exciting to see it in action. It made me so happy to see girls explore their strengths and talents, take risks, and turn our simple idea into something so extraordinary.


It was also nice to be able to share my own knowledge of theatre with the campers through several drama workshops held throughout the week about voice and projection, memorization, script-writing and stage direction and building self-confidence. I am hoping that they were able to take something away from the workshops that they can use in their own lives, either for school or their own performances.


With all the skills accumulated throughout the week, on Friday night, in front of the Brownie and Guide camps, our group of Pathfinders put on a hilarious 30-minute production, complete with full costumes and musical numbers. To see all the girls come together to create something on such a large scale with this level of teamwork made us close as a group as well. It lead to an even more enjoyable experience at camp as a whole. Since we worked so closely during the week on our production, helping each other with dishes, cooking, or keeping our space clean wasn’t a problem at all — we were like a well-oiled machine…or like a little family.


My sincere thanks to Super Eagle and the week’s WWWTA staff, our audience members for the special performance night, and especially to Lisa and the girls (Kyla, Talia, Emma, Ruby, Chloe, Estelle, Lily, Meïeve, Kayoon, Abby, Shannon and Coralie) that I was lucky enough to share such a wonderful week at Wa-Thik-Ane with. Thank you to you all for reminding me what the spirit and sisterhood of Guiding is truly about.


Blog post by Sarah Di Milo who volunteered at the Wonderful Weeks at Wa-Thik-Ane – Week 1. Sarah is a Guider in Riverview District.

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Summer Friendship Event at Our Cabana, Mexico


Six Pathfinders/Rangers and three Guiders from Monklands District headed off to Mexico City and Cuernavaca to attend a Summer Friendship Event at Our Cabana, one of the World Centres. Each member took turns helping to blog every night. This is a condensed version of their posts. The originals can be found here.

Day 1: Welcome to Mexico

The day started off well, with everyone arriving on time! We’d learned a few weeks ago that we got an amazing deal on our tickets and half the group was getting to travel first class each way. It turns out the perks were great – better food, extra snacks, fancy napkins, actual cutlery and even footrests! In economy, breakfast (or disappointment) involved a perfect semi-sphere of powdered scrambled eggs with ham, a questionable red sauce, some fruit and yogourt.

Once we arrived at the airport, we went through customs, including being fingerprinted at a machine. We made it through looking for our driver with a sign with our name. Unfortunately, we finally managed to contact him 45 minutes later and found out that he was another 45 minutes out, having gotten the day wrong.

The drive to Ticalli was uneventful and the Mexican Guide Centre is welcoming and functional. We didn’t take too much of a break for fear of not getting up again so we dropped off our gear and headed out. We were very excited to find “churritos.” We opened the bag, dug in to enjoy our mini churros until we discovered that they were hot pepper flavored. Someone more observant might have noticed the chili on the bag.


Last on our day’s bucket list was actual churros. They were as good as we hoped, dipped in sweetened condensed milk, caramel and chocolate. They were much longer than we expected so we could break them into pieces and dip multiple times.


Day 2: Over 20,000 Steps!

After the feedback we received from yesterday’s blog (too much talk about food), today we saw lots of CULTURE.

We visited the Mexican Guide shop before heading out towards Chapultepec park. It’s amazing to have so much green space in the middle of the city!


Bathrooms were harder to come across (and cost 4 pesos, about 25 cents), but searching for one led us to the entrance of the castle we’d planned to visit. We felt very lucky as they told us we didn’t need tickets – being students and “teachers” – and started the long walk up a hill to the entrance. They checked our bags at the bottom of the hill and told us we were ok to bring our water bottles up as long as we didn’t drink from them, but apparently communication between them and the security guards at the top was iffy because they insisted we empty our water bottles and also head back down for tickets since we didn’t have student ID.


The castle was much bigger than we expected and also more museum-y, but we enjoyed it all the same. We found a globe from 1816 that included Montreal but not Canada. After all the running around, it was noon by the time we went in so there were some sections (apparently more castle-y) that we didn’t make it to as we were starving by 2 when we headed back down the hill.

The Museum of Modern Art had packed picnic lunches you could buy and eat in the park so we headed in that direction. Apparently siestas are a Mexican thing so we lay down on our picnic blanket and enjoyed a nice nap (some more intentionally than others) after lunch before heading in to the museum itself.

Beverly was extremely excited to see Frida Kahlo artwork and there was a neat interactive exhibition about art and games. A few pieces of art we’d like to mention: a neat painting of a Ferris wheel and people walking by, a boy peeling a creepy mask off his face, a shadow wall that you could stand behind with props, a weird movie with detached hands and legs reassembling their body, and a wall of stencil signs about Trump.

Day 3: Eagles and Eternal Spring

Today was a travel day: van, boat and feet. We left Ticalli right after breakfast and headed by van towards Xochimilco, the city of eternal spring.


Upon arriving in Xochimilco, we headed onto a boat called Fernanda. A dog followed us on and we were all sad when he had to be shooed off. We traveled around in the boat surrounded by 2499 other boats for about an hour. It felt more like 5000 boats because they were all we could see. There were carnivorous plants for sale for 30 pesos ($2), water hens, dead fish, people selling food and flower crowns and Mariachi bands. We decided to pay for a song.




We had lunch at a small place recommended by Luis (tacos for many of us) and saw a performance of circus performers dangling and spinning down a large pole. One of the played the flute while spinning upside down. Wow! We then got an hour to wander around the stalls and buy things like bags, magnets, plates and coconuts.


When we arrived at Our Cabana there fancy gates and we were greeted with chocolate and lemonade. We had some free time so lots of us headed to the pool with floaters, water guns and balls. The water was nice and warm!


We all joined up again for a tour of Our Cabana, and then dinner (quesadillas). During a short break after dinner, Alex, Stephanie, Chloe and Rebekka played tennis. We then played some icebreaker games (Stephanie won one of them) and then got an intro presentation.

Day 4: Our Favourite Things

Rather than a chronological post today, we’re posting everyone’s favourite event/activity/moment. We are writing to you after a Just Dance marathon and we’re very sweaty but happy!

Kathryn: THE GIANT BUG: A giant bug!!!!!


Stephanie: THE PANCAKES: they were delicious for breakfast. They were light and fluffy and covered in fake maple syrup, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk.

Fred: SITTING BY THE POOL, BEING ALL TOGETHER AND BLOGGING: I like it because it makes us think about our day and share our favourite moments. I also like having my feet in the warm pool water.

Beverly: DEAD SCORPION SOCIETY CHALLENGE: Lizzie roped me into attempting to become a member of the Dead Scorpion Society by completing the Our Cabana challenge. We have been working on doing things like learning 10 Spanish phrases, learning about the history of piñatas, complementing people in Spanish and doing a Mexican craft.

Alex: HENNA: as part of a World Centre tour we did different activities relating to the countries the world centre are in. My favourite was doing henna designs as part of discovering Sangam, a World Centre in Pune, India.


Clara: DECORATING BAGS: it was fun because we got to see everyone’s creativity and because everyone made different things. There are many crafts in the craft house we can do and I’d like to go back and try them. These bags will be used for secret friend gifts.

Lizzie: THE NOT LIME: we were told we could pick fruit from the trees so we found a lime we were excited to squeeze into our water. We cut it in half and discovered it was orange – not a lime but a very unripe mandarine! It was sad but also funny!

Other notable activities: a round robin of activities about leadership, a hilarious video and ultra competitive scavenger hunt about the history of Our Cabaña, a group photo, swinging and Magnum popsicles.

Day 5: Old and New

The 3 of us Guiders contributed to colours this morning with the theme of Leading for Innovation: Creative and Critical Thinking. We began with some inspiring quotes, then had groups of ten do the human knot and finally, raised the WAGGGS flag.

After breakfast we boarded mini busses for our excursion to the village of Tepotzlan. We started our time there at an ex-convent where Dominican friars converted the locals to Catholicism. Then, we continued on to the local church that has been under repair since an earthquake a few years ago.


Since it’s been a while since we talked about food, we will permit ourselves to discuss this morning’s highlight: a local ice cream shop with 138 flavours (but only 125 were available). Flavours we tried included vanilla, blackberry, cream, mango, chocolate, kiwi and litchi. Some were made with milk and others were more icy but all were flavourful.


This afternoon, we played a game about WAGGGS. The girls were far more competitive than we were – especially Beverly who hates competitive games when they get violent. There are only of battle scars to show – none of them belonging to our girls because we are mean and make them were shoes rather than flip flops or bare feet.

We ended the evening with a fabulous campfire where everyone led songs from their country. There much hilarity, silliness and dancing. Then we had s’mores! Including some with pink marshmallows that tasted like fake strawberry flavour. They were…interesting…

Lizzie was very disconcerted when the buckets next to the fire that she expected to be water buckets were lit on fire! Where was the safety?!?!? It turned out later that there was a water bucket way off to the side.


Day 6: Tiny Humans, Lizards and Snacks

Today we drew on mini children with tattoo markers during a community service project where we welcomed tiny humans (orphans) to Our Cabaña. They were very cute and sticky. They were the best behaved children we have ever met and made us emotional. They also drew on us.

There was an awesome huge lizard that we kept scaring back into its hole. Did we mention it was huge??


After lunch we headed out walking around the neighbourhood. We found a Starbucks and, by chance, happened on some pyramids. We couldn’t get past a fence but it was still kind of neat!



Tonight was an international festival where each group presented something about their hometown/country and we all set up tables with food, badges, etc. The Bahamians handed out as much candy as people could carry, one of the US groups let us taste test all their cookies. We had maple cookies. During our presentation, we sang Oh Canada in both official languages and taught Cathedral Bells.



Day 7: Over the Falls Without a Barrell

After an early breakfast, we boarded a coach bus that drove us an hour and a half away into a different province (Guerrero) where we then took a half hour ride in the back of pick-up trucks. Amazingly the excitement didn’t ware off as the pain of the bumps began and continued. There was great joy through the “owwww”s. According to Rebekka’s Fitbit, we did 10,700 steps during the just a few hours today because it kept counting the bumps as steps.


The company providing a waterfall jumping experience gave us PFDs and helmets and we started out 1 mile hike out through twisting paths, rocks, mud, and trees that led to jumps that grew in height. We started with a 1m one to see what our technique was like and they eventually increased all the way to 6 and then 10 meters. A couple stray dogs followed us all the way through (minus the jumping) and we saw a number of cows and donkeys on our journey too.

All of our group members were brave enough to do the 10m jump and some of them even did it twice – they say they would have done it a third time too!

Day 8: SDGs and STDs

Most of our girls led the opening activity at colours today. Their theme was gender equality so they led a game where they read our jobs and character types and invited us to move between “male,” “female” and “unisex” depending on who we thought held these roles in our cultures.

The entire event group was divided in two and the other half went waterfall jumping today so our numbers were smaller (around 40) for our morning program centering on gender violence. We talked about different types of violence, their causes and what we can do to take action. We weren’t running around as much as most of our programs but that was nice given how much we ran around yesterday and we had some really good conversations as we all sat together. Many girls said they wished they had more of that kind of conversations in school and at a younger age.

After lunch we had a nice pool party with music and fancy drinks. There was an epic game of monkey in the middle and lots of sitting on floaty toys.

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After dinner we gathered at the craft house and worked on various projets like pottery painting and straw art. Then, we participated in an evening program about kindness. We played a buzzer type game with questions about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and when one of the questions came up asking us to name at least 8 SDGs, one of the groups started naming off STDs – accents can be confusing! We were all laughing so so hard!

Day 9: Practicing Our Spanish

We started out with a short program called Free Being Me which tackled the image myth. The focus was on social media and ads. We discussed how images are manipulated to present one standard of perfect which doesn’t truly exist. The final activity in the program was for each of us to write on a sticky note what physical feature of ours we liked the best. We then stuck them up on a wall so we could see all of our love for ourselves!


Visitors to Our Cabana create a page for a scrapbook so we spent some of our free time in the craft house working on our page. We have a Quebec flag as our background with pictures of us glued on and cute Canada stickers stuck on a bit willy-nilly.

After lunch learned about Mexican traditions. There were a bunch of stations set up with different activities. Three stations helped us practice our Spanish: loteria (Mexican bingo),  a market game where we learned how to haggle and a word search. The haggling was one of the most fun, as June, the staff member running the station, was really playing the part. When we we were asking her to lower the price she rocked her imaginary baby and said it needed tacos.


For those more artistically inclined, there was a Day of the Dead makeup station and for trivia nerds, there was a challenging game of Jeopardy.

Day 10: Hasta Luego, Our Cabana

In the morning we went to Cuernavaca. We started off visiting the oldest Catholic Church in the Western Hemisphere (1500s) before buying our final souvenirs in a local craft market.

We made it back in time for a late lunch and some free time before our evening Fiesta! The few of us who were working to complete the Scorpion Challenge finished that up just in time. Examples of things we had to do were: taking a selfie with Nieve (Our Cabaña’s cat), finding out the meaning/history of things like the piñata (did you know it was originally from China?) and the Mexican flag, completing a Mexican art project, taking a picture of a volcano at sunrise and helping to ring the morning bell.


Our evening festivities began with some games like pin the tail on the burro, a ring toss, and other silly games.



Then, after dinner (with churros!!!), we’re treated to a show by a Mariachi band, girls got to hit a piñata, we enjoyed a slide show of the week including blooper photos and we received our special Our Cabaña pins that you can only get if you visit. There were some (lots and lots of?) tears, many goodbyes and photos.


We also traded the secret friends bags we had been filling all week and received fun things like crests, magnets, socks, snacks, tea, oats, water guns, a hand-painted journal, etc.

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It’s a wrap!

Saturday, August 3rd

It’s a wrap! It is hard to believe another season of WWWTA has come to an end. We are so fortunate to have this beautiful camp where campers can come and enjoy the beauty of nature and our splendid waterfront. Each season I have the privilege of seeing old friendships rekindled as they run to each other in the parking with squeals of delight and the chatter begins on events in their lives over the past year mixed in with the excitement of the time to be spent together in the coming week. The eagle’s feathers may be grey but I am so grateful to have watched some of these wonderful young ladies grow up and I am proud to call them my camp friends.


The camp challenges are such a big part of the camp season and many are repeated for the fun involved while doing them. Returning Pathfinders lead new Pathfinders on the Camp Tour so they to can earn their crest. As the campers grow so does the level of swim challenges grow with them. It has become obvious that we need new challenge crests as the older campers want to complete a second pie and there are not enough slices for two pies!

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I want to say a special thanks to the office staff and my sidekick JJ, without you this camp would not have come together. Also, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who gave up whatever time they could in answer to a huge call out for help. The memories and friendships these campers are going home with are possible thanks to the time and skills you share. I know it is a busy time as a volunteer on site but I hope you enjoyed your 2019 stay at Wa-Thik-Ane.

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Mother Nature treated our campers to some beautiful weather this year which enabled all our activities to run smoothly. From onsite activities to camping on the bluff trail overnight, climbing across rock faces, zip lining down above the mountain face and canoeing the L’Assomption river, the memories are endless. So, campers I have a challenge for you; let’s take our stories and share them around our unit campfires to entice new friendships at future WWWTA summer camps.

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As I close another season, we chat about ways to make next season better and I look forward to seeing you all again. Thanks for coming and being a part of my summer.

Super Eagle

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Thursday August 1st

It was a relaxing morning, after a big day yesterday. The expedition and adventure campers joined together to canoe to Blueberry Island this morning. It will be a test for who goes with whom on tomorrow’s big canoe outing. A few struggled with keeping their canoe straight but with some changes it should be a good outing.

At Blueberry Island one of the highlights is to bob around in your life jacket for a cooling off.

Upon our return it seems several geese have joined together and decided they also like Wa-Thik-Ane’s waterfront. They were all over the beach when we returned and it took some convincing to move them along while the girls paused in their canoes out on the water just off the shoreline. I love wildlife but I prefer these fellows find an unoccupied waterfront.

Coral worked on bedrolls today with the Guides and came up from waterfront to find girls kicking their bedroll along the roll down the hill. Apparently they were challenged to kick their bedroll down from Iroquois, around Stavert and back up the hill to see whose would last in the best condition. Needless to say there was plenty of laughter and silly fun as the event unfolded.


Dinner brought a. Celebration for the triplets who celebrated their 13th birthday today. Thank you to Bubbles and Squeak our lovely food ladies for making them a special treat!

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Happy Birthday times three ladies!

Super Eagle

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