A STEM Visit to Medtronic

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When I suggested the idea of bringing my Brownie unit to visit my workplace to a couple of my co-workers at Medtronic, I never thought it would turn into such an amazing visit for the whole district!!!

So there we were, months later, on a dark and cold Monday evening in January:  47 Sparks, Brownies, and Guides along with their Guiders and unit assistants arriving at the reception doors of my workplace, not really knowing what to expect from their visit to Medtronic.  We were greeted by 15 of my amazing co-workers who volunteered their time (after a long day’s work) to assist in any way they could.

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Everyone was given a visitor badge — individually personalized with their names printed on the front (a highlight of the night for the Sparks!)!  Our opening songs were performed for our hosts, who were impressed by our amazing singing and marching skills 😉   Rules were communicated, and we were led into the large training room.

We were met by Teresa Mihalik, an incredibly bright and accomplished engineer, who explained the inner workings of the heart.  The girls learned the difference between a healthy heart rhythm and a diseased heart rhythm, using a bicycle pump as an example.  Many questions were asked, and Teresa was up to the challenge of answering them all!

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Pretty soon we were whisked away and sent to different group activities by unit.

The Sparks were invited to take part in the “Fairytale Challenge”, where they had 3 STEM kits to choose from.  The girls worked in teams to build their kits.

  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Build 3 chairs to support the three bears.

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  • Three Billy Goats Gruff: Build a bridge to hold 3 goats and tall enough for the troll to stand underneath

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  • Three Little Pigs: Build a house strong enough to keep out the big bad wolf.

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The Brownies were invited into the R&D lab to try out some experiments.  They learned a bit about cryoenergy, guessed at what was under microscopes, played operation, dressed up in cleanroom gowns, and got to fish for underwater dinosaurs using a cryocatheter!!  It was awesome!!!

DSC_1173.JPGdsc_1045dsc_1048dsc_1206Guides were challenged with the task of building the tallest tower using a specific list of materials:

  • 20 dried spaghetti noodles
  • 1 marshmallow
  • 12 inch piece of masking tape
  • 12 inch piece of string

The teamwork and levels of concentration were astounding!!

dsc_1150dsc_1097dsc_1020After a quick snack of bear paws and water, we headed back to the reception area for a group photo and our closing songs.

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Thank you Medtronic!!!  What an incredible visit… We look forward to our next one!

 

Lisa Labelle

Riverdale Brownie Guider

Member of QC Council

(Oh… and employee of Medtronic)

 

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A Rockin’ Great Sleepover

In January, the 2nd Lakeshore Pathfinders hosted an amazing sleepover. We had many activities planned, and all had so much fun!

Fiona, our leader brought RockBand. We set it up and started to play. We had one singer, a drummer and a guitarist. While some rocked on, others played board games. As a group, we then made a three-course meal.

One of the best parts was cooking. A few girls made leek and potato soup for an appetizer, others made pasta for the main course and the final group made Girl Guide cookie chocolate mint squares for dessert.

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After supper, we made short films. We used props and practiced our acting. We all pitched in and brought some food like cookies, fruit, vegetables for snacks and breakfast. We watched Hercules — well most of us did — the rest were sleeping. In the morning we did a music quiz with Nikki. This was a great weekend and we had a lot of fun.

Sierra is a first-year Pathfinder with the 2nd Lakeshore Pathfinders. Read her previous blog post here.

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Girl Empowerment: In Their Sights

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In December the 2nd Lakeshore Pathfinders went to the Pointe-Claire Rifle Club. After getting geared up with safety goggles and headphones, four by four, we learnt how to properly and safely use firearms. We had the chance to learn about different types of bullets and other firearms. However, we mostly learnt about range safety and how to protect ourselves. Each of us tried shooting three times, and got better and better. Even the leaders got to take some shots on the target and learnt a lot too.

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As a souvenir, we got to bring back many different types and sizes of bullet casings. We also kept our targets with the bullet holes in them and the score of our shots. The range officers taught us many things and even brought us brownies. It was an amazing experience and we learnt so much!

Sierra is a first year Pathfinder with the 2nd Lakeshore Pathfinders.

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The Satisfying Work of Girl Guides

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Girl Guides in the Laval-Mille-Iles District have been working hard to serve our communities in the last few months. In late November, we went door-to-door collecting donations for our local food bank in St-Agapit. Everyone from our littlest spark to our Pathfinders and leaders pitched in to help. Sadly our food bank was robbed the night before they were supposed to give out the Christmas baskets to unfortunate families (made the local news) but we didn’t give up. Instead, we got together and baked goods that were distributed the next day to seniors in our area for Meals on Wheels. As we rang the doorbell and sang Jingle Bells to the elderly, you could see the smiles from everyone around.
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We also participated in our community Santa Claus Parade, which is one of the longest running community parades in Quebec. Dressed as Christmas trees, we smiled, waved and danced our way to the end. Our hard work didn’t go unnoticed as we won the best marching group in the parade and have gotten interest from girls wanting to join Guiding.
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January is upon us but helping our community won’t end there. Next up: knitting hats for those less fortunate and collecting more food donations to help replenish what was stolen. A Girl Guides’ work is never done but it sure can be satisfying.
Sheryl Quimpo is a Guider with the 1st Two-Mountains Brownies in Laval-Mille-Iles District .
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A Bubbly Soap-Making Meeting

On a Wednesday evening, Jean-Loup, from La Cantine à Savon, came to our meeting place to run a very interesting workshop on cold process soap-making. He and his two assistants helped us all get decked out with safety goggles and gloves, before giving a demonstration of how soap is made. Simply put, very inoffensive oils are mixed with highly caustic lye and water to induce a chemical reaction called saponification.

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After the demo, we split into groups of three girls and one adult to make our very own loaves of soap! For these, we got to choose a colour and to smell a bunch of scents to chose the perfect one for our soap. The most popular scent was chocolate-mint, because it smelled just like our Girl Guide Cookies!

Since this was chemistry, it was important to measure out the ingredients exactly with a scale, a dropper and a second, more precise, scale. The girls completed this challenge with great finesse and surprising ease. Once everything was in the blender, we put on the lid and turned it on for only twenty seconds. That was it: soap!

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The liquid was poured into a wooden mold to allow it to harden for 24 hours. While it was still gloppy, we used a spoon handle to create a design on the surface of the soap.

Once hard enough, each loaf of soap was cut into seven bars: one for each girl and the extras as Christmas gifts for seniors in our community. Each week, with great eagerness, the girls ask if they will get their soap today… Finally, after curing for four weeks, the bars are ready and the girls will receive their soap this week, when we go caroling at the senior’s residence!

La Cantine à Savon has also offered us quite a wonderful fundraising opportunity: each girl left the meeting with a small display case full of soap and an order form with 18 varieties! These bars are currently being sold for $5 each, half of which goes directly to our Nova Scotia & Granby Zoo travel funds!

How amazing is that?! Sparks, Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders are all selling a product that they have experience making!

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If you would like to encourage our fundraising efforts, please see our Soap Menu and email lennoxville@guidesquebec.ca before January 20th, 2017.
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A Great Start to the Guiding Year

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On Saturday August 27, the 82nd Montreal Guiding Unit started off the new Guiding year with a “Welcome Back to Guiding Event” at Parc Mont Royal.  Last spring, the girls in our unit really wanted to spend a day at Parc Mont Royal but we were not able to schedule it so we made it a “Welcome Back” activity.

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We started our day at the SPVM cavalry.  The SPVM has 9 horses as part of the cavalry and they are housed at Parc Mont Royal so that they can patrol the park.  Agt Chantal Bouchard and Agt Dominic Merette gave us a tour of the museum where we learned about the history of the SPVM cavalry and the girls got to dress up in police uniforms.  We then went to the stable where we learned about the horses and each girl got to pet them…one of the highlights of the day!  After receiving some souvenirs from the police officers, we went to the outside paddocks and took photos with horses there.

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Then, we sat down for a quick picnic lunch near Maison Smith.  We then separated for our “urban/nature scavenger hikes.”  The Sparks and Brownies walked to Beaver Lake where they discovered a waterfall and playground.  At the playground we even met another Spark from our District!  The Guides hiked to the Chalet where they took in breathtaking views of the city.

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After our hikes, we all met up together at Maison Smith and had a well deserved ice cream!

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It was a great way to start the new Guiding year!

Blog post by Patricia Tellis. Photos were taken by Patricia, Jessica Ganten and Veronica Heffernan. All three Guiders are with the 82nd Montreal Guiding unit.

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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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