A Proud Mama Hen

I’ve been a parent volunteer for the last 3 years, since my daughter joined Guiding as a Spark.

I can tell you that Girl Guides has been a great experience for me personally. Watching the girls learning, laughing and growing is fulfilling. There are some moments when the girls really make me feel like a proud mama hen. Here are a couple of examples:

It’s not easy working with 14 little girls — sometimes trying to get them to listen as a group is very challenging. Forest Owl and I worked with them on manners and being a good audience for weeks it seems. One day, the Pathfinders came by and presented a skit to our girls. Every single one of them listened attentively and didn’t talk during the presentation, which was my biggest fear. That night, I told Forest Owl that the girls had truly earned their “listen to this” badge.

Another example is when the girls learned the song, “Land of the Silver Birch.” At our sleepover, we showed them a video of the lyrics and how the song should be sung. The girls practiced singing it and using the drums they had made. At Winter Camp, the song came up during campfire and the girls sang it so beautifully, I was beaming with pride when one of the leaders said she had never heard that song sung so well.

There are so many moments, I can’t really narrow it down, but it does the heart good when you see a girl who is usually painfully shy start opening up or when a girl decides that she wants to take up skating after going to our skating party, or even just having a girl come up to you at the end of a meeting and simply say “Thank you.”

All these moments wouldn’t be possible without the great bunch of Guiders in the Milles-Iles District. From the Spark leaders to the Pathfinder leaders each one of them works really hard to make sure every Girl Guide in our district reaches her girl greatness.

P.S. Here’s a joke one of our Brownies told us to get her “Tell It” badge: What do you call a cow that eats grass? — A lawn mooer.

Still cracks me up…

Sheryl Quimpo
1st Two Mountains Brownies Parent Volunteer

 

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Celebrating youth and finding inspiration at WE Day

“What is WE Day?” you may ask. WE Day is a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. WE Schools is the program that brings awareness of issues in local and global communities, nurtures compassion in youth and gives them the tools to create social change. The goal: to empower young people to change the world.

It is important to note that one cannot buy a ticket to WE Day. The event is free to attend thanks to generous sponsors however youth must earn their way by participating in the WE Schools program and taking action on the issues that matter most to them. WE Day MTL-19

One the common ways to “take action” is to raise money for a local or global cause.  As Girl Guides of Canada members, we are not allowed to raise money for a third party cause so we took action in other ways. We made Remembrance Day cards for veterans and holiday cards for residents of a seniors’ residence, did a clothing drive for Syrian refugees, put on a holiday concert at a seniors’ residence, did one month of “Random Acts of Kindness” which the girls kept track of on a calendar, baked cookies for a seniors’ residence and more to come! Many of these service projects were suggested by the Guides.

Armed with our WE Day bracelets we gathered bright and early on February 22nd just outside the Theatre St-Denis. At our seats we found our WE Day gift bag which included items to help with future WE Day challenges.

WE Day MTL-04One exceptional speaker/entertainer appeared after another, including some great local personalities, each with their own inspirational story. Some of the speakers/entertainers at the English WE Day were: Oscar winning (deaf) actress Marlee Matlin, Canadian hip hop star Kardinal Offishall, Lauren Rathmell and Mohamed Hage (co-founders of Lufa Farms in Montreal), Tristan Williams (a two-time cancer survivor by age of 21 and also diagnosed with MS), Dr. Stanley Vollant (first aboriginal surgeon in Quebec), novelist Joseph Boyden, photographer Mikaël Theimer, Canadian musicians Francesco Yates and Scott Helman, Spencer West (a WE Day regular), and founder Craig Kielburger. The diversity of speakers was incredible!

Overall we all left WE Day overwhelmingly inspired and wanted to do more things to change the world! Ultimately, participating in WE Day drove home some of the principles of Girl Guides, and really made the girls realize how important our service projects are and how much impact that we have.

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Submitted by Patricia Tellis, Guider with the 82nd Montreal Guiding Unit.

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90 Days of Campfires for Wa-Thik-Ane’s 90th Anniversary

 

Beginning February 20, all units, gatherings and/or districts are invited to book one of the 90 days on the official Campfire calendar! On that date they can record a snippet of a campfire song (edit down to your best minute!), or take a photo of their group, to be posted here, on the Québec blog. Please send your photos, videos and other memories of Wa-Thik-Ane to wta90(@)guidesquebec(.)ca

Let’s fill every one of those 90 days, commemorating each of those 90 years! Watch the space below for all the campfire action. Be creative and be counted. Challenge another district. Make this an “emerald” year.

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Campfire #33 (March 23)

  • Northern Lights District Sparks Sang “Corn” at their badge and enrollment ceremony.

Campfire #32 (March 22)

  • Trainers at the Train the Trainer event chose “I Like the Flowers” as their song to celebrate 90 Days of Campfires.

Campfire #31 (March 21)

  • The Pointe Claire Sparks enthusiastically celebrated Camp Wa-Thik-Ane’s 90th anniversary during their meeting  campfire and sang: “40 Years on an Iceberg,” “The Moose Song,” “Banana Split” and “The Carousel song.”

Campfire #30 (March 20)

  • The 1st Cedar Park Guides celebrated with “Corn.”

Campfire #29 (March 19)

    • Northshore Sparks and Brownies sang “40 Years on an Iceberg” at their campfire.

Campfire #28 (March 18)

  • Ormstown Brownies held their campfire during their winter camp at the centre L’estacade, they sang ‘Herman the Worm’

Campfire #27 (March 17)

  • The 5th Beacon Hill Brownies enjoying their campfire during their winter camp.

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CAMPFIRE #26 (March 16)

  • The Knowlton Brownies sang “The Other Day (I Met a Bear)” as their song for 90 Days of Campfires.

CAMPFIRE #25 (March 15)

  • The 2nd Riverdale Guides sang “Ira Congo” for 90 Days of Campfires at their unit meeting.

CAMPFIRE #24 (March 14)

  • Members of Québec Council paid tribute to Wa-Thik-Ane with “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”!

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CAMPFIRE #23 (March 13)

  • The 1st Knowlton Guides sang ’40 Years on an Iceberg’ for their 90 days of campfires contribution!

 

CAMPFIRE #22 (March 12)

  • The 33rd Montreal Pathfinders sang for Camp Wa-Thik-Ane’s 90th Anniversary. Their song of choice: “Green and Yellow.”

CAMPFIRE #20 (March 10)

  • Provincial Commissioners and PC Elects from across the country joined together to sing This Land is Your Land” in celebration of Wa-Thik-Ane.

 

CAMPFIRE #19 (March 9)

  • Laval District sang “Can a Woman” at their district Thinking Day event.

 

CAMPFIRE #18 (March 8)

  • Girls from Saint-Laurent in Liesse District celebrated by singing “Tom the Toad,” “Fred the Fish” and “Herman the Worm.”

CAMPFIRE #17 (March 7)

  • Girls from Lennoxville proudly sang “Chinese Fan,” complete with the many actions.

CAMPFIRE #16 (March 6)

  • Lennoxville Guides celebrated with a rendition of “Okki Tokki Anga” at their winter camp.

CAMPFIRE #15 (March 5)

  • The 1st Milton Park Guides sang “The Pirate Song” at their meeting.

CAMPFIRE #14 (March 4)

  • Pathfinders in Lachine made a splash with their campfire with “The Swimming Pool Song”!

 

CAMPFIRE #13 (March 3)

  • The 5th Greenfield Park Brownies from Riverview District chose “Purple Soup” as their campfire song to share!

 

CAMPFIRE #12 (March 2)

  • The Property Committee is busy preparing Camp Wa-Thik-Ane for a new season of campers. They took a ‘campfire’ moment at their virtual meeting and sent in this snapshot to mark the occasion!

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CAMPFIRE #11 (March 1)

  • Festi-Guides Design Team – While the team is busy working on ways to get promote Guiding in our communities, here’s a little flashback to our campfire at Festi-Guides 2015 where we offered a ‘taste of Guiding’ in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

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CAMPFIRE #10 (February 29)

  • Camp Wa-Thik-Ane 90th Anniversary Event Task Group – These are a few of the dedicated members who are making it all happen! Their theme song? “Rise ‘n’ Shine” – GGC style! Stay tuned for details on formal 90th anniversary celebrations.

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CAMPFIRE #9 (February 28)

  • Lennoxville District Winter Camp – Along with Girl Guides from Quebec City, these campers huddled by the campfire and sang a beautiful piece of Canadiana – “Walk Around”.

CAMPFIRE #8 (February 27)

  • District Commissioners and Provincial Advisers kicked off their meeting with a round of “Tall Trees”.

 

CAMPFIRE #7 (February 26)

  • St-Bruno District sent us this great video of their ‘campfire’, where they sang “This Little Guiding Light of Mine”.

 

CAMPFIRE #6 (February 25)

  • Ormstown Sparks, Brownies, Guides, and Pathfinders joined together to sing “It’s a Small Word” to mark Day 6 of 90 Days of Campfires for Wa-Thik-Ane.

 

CAMPFIRE #5 (February 24)

  • Lakeshore District gathered for Thinking Day celebrations and shared some of their favourite campfire tunes.

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CAMPFIRE #4 (February 23)

  • Pincourt District

 

CAMPFIRE #3 (February 22)

  • It was a full house at Valois-Dorval District‘s Thinking Day celebration. They shared a rendition of the classic “Land of the Silver Birch”.

 

CAMPFIRE #2 (February 21)

  • Hayes-Apple Valley District: This morning, Girl Guides in Huntingdon connected with their community as they gathered at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church to celebrate World Thinking Day with the local Scouting groups and members of the community at large. During the service, those present sang together two campfire classics – “Peace Like a River” and “Deep and Wide”. (Click the song titles or the image below to watch!)

Feb21-90Days-Huntingdon

 

CAMPFIRE #1 (February 20)

  • 90 Days of Campfires kicked off at the Brownie Connect Carnaval – a Thinking Day celebration where Brownies from across the province connected with Twinning partners in Perú! The Twinning mascot is Fred the Moose – so what better song to sing than “The Moose Song”!

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Taking action for refugees… and a better world

With the plight of Syrian (and other) refugees so prominent in the news, the 1st Greenfield Park Guides took special notice when a Québec Council email “Take Action Now” arrived in our in-boxes. The email mentioned that GGC would be tracking the efforts of units across Québec to collect warm clothing for families fleeing from war and upheaval.

This was just the catalyst we leaders needed. At our last meeting before the Christmas holidays, the four of us talked to our unit about what it meant to be a refugee. Would the girls be interested in doing something to help displaced families settle into a new life in Canada? Our Guides were enthusiastic. Within 10 minutes, they had come up with a long list of items they could collect. From winter coats, blankets and school supplies to toys and toothpaste, their ideas were impressive. One girl thoughtfully proposed that we could raise money to pay for a Guiding membership for a refugee girl.

To build momentum, we started off our January programming with a round robin of activities based on a “Syria” theme. The girls learned some simple Arabic words such as “welcome” and “family”. They located Syria on a world map and worked together to answer a quiz about that country. They discovered that girls in Syria could belong to Girl Guides and that their promise was not unlike our own. “I think this made them realize that the refugees were real human beings just like them,” noted our newest leader, Marie-Lissa.

After that, the girls started collecting many of the articles they had brainstormed back in December. After two weeks, when all the donations had arrived, we made a game of sorting, counting and folding them. In the end, there was a mound of 15 large green garbage bags, each filled to the brim. Seeing the piles of sweaters, mitts, hats, coats and other items helped the girls better comprehend the reality of being a refugee. You could see the mental wheels turning when they asked, “You mean they really arrive with nothing?”

This initiative gave our unit a common purpose that girls, leaders and parents all shared. And we saw how even small actions on our part can, and do, contribute to a better world.

 

This blog post was submitted by Laurene (Laurie) Bennett, one of four leaders with the Greenfield Park Guides, on Montreal’s South Shore. She and her co-leaders would like to thank our provincial Guiders and Greenfield Park Brownie leader Cindy for giving them the information they needed to get started.

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Winter Guide Camp 2016 – A Glacier Games Camp

The first ever Provincial Guide Winter Camp in March 2014 was such a huge success that we decided to do it again!  This year, the camp took place January 29-31, 2016 and we returned to Centre de Plein Air L’Estacade in Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix near Lacolle.

The camp was even more popular this year than in 2014 with the camp filling up a day or two before the deadline.  There was even an extensive waiting list!

In the weeks leading up the camp, the planning committee anxiously watched the weather forecasts.  This year’s unusually mild winter made us wonder if there would even be any snow for the weekend of camp.   In order to “Be Prepared”, many of the planned outdoor activities were chosen as they were activities that could be done with or without snow.

The weekend of camp Mother Nature was very good to us!  We had just enough snow and perfect temperatures for a winter camp.

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Owls and Penguins in the Santa-Claus Parade

The Mille-Iles District participated in the Deux-Montagnes Santa-Claus parade this past weekend! They dressed up as owls and penguins and other creatures to represent Guiding in their community.

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By Linda Hamelin, Mille Iles District

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A Super Sleuth Sleepover!

The 82nd Montreal Guiding Unit and 1st Montreal Sparks Unit from Monklands District invited the brand new 1st Mile End Unit from Liesse District for their very first Girl Guide sleepover.

It was a multi-unit, multi-branch (Sparks, Brownies, Guides and Pathfinders), multi-district, bilingual sleepover!  The theme of the sleepover was forensic sciences and the girls completed the CSI Challenge from BC.

On Friday night after a few icebreaker games, the girls set off into a round robin to learn about some different aspects of forensic science: fingerprint analysis, handwriting analysis, hair analysis, codes/puzzles and a Kim’s game to test their observation skills.  For a craft, the girls made a mini evidence kit.

Saturday morning, following breakfast made by the Guides and Pathfinders, it was discovered that the Brownie Toadstool and Owl had been “stolen”!  With the knowledge and skills the girls had learned Friday night, the girls used the clues/evidence that had been left behind to solve the mystery of who had stolen the Toadstool and Owl.

New friends were made and fun was had by all!  The Guiders of the 3 Units have already started to come up with ideas for future joint events to do in the spring!

By Patricia Tellis, 82nd Montreal Guiding Unit. Photos by Patricia Tellis and  Angela Pietrantonio from 1st Mile End Guiding Unit

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