This past July, a Québec Council sponsored patrol and an independent patrol from Greenfield Park set off for SOAR – a week long international camp in Enderby, British Columbia. Pathfinder Leah had some words to share with us about her adventure:
My Experience at SOAR
One of the many things about Girl Guides that I find great is the travel opportunities we have as girls and leaders. I found out about ‘SOAR – Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous’ when I was invited by another Quebec patrol to join their group. The 1st Greenfield Park Pathfinders held pre-camps that I went to which helped me to become better prepared for SOAR and to get to know the wonderful girls I would be going on this adventure with. Before I knew it, I was on a plane headed for British Columbia!
My previous Girl Guide and Pathfinder experiences helped me to get to where I was. At Quebec’s provincial camp, Wa-Thik-Ane, I have learned many camping skills that helped me at SOAR such as knowing how to put up a tent without instructions, being capable of telling the weather forecast without an iPhone or something as simple as the recipe to tacos in a bag.
When we arrived at SOAR we set up camp and then sat down to try and take in how breathtaking it was that we were on the other side of the country without our families and about to have the experience of a lifetime. SOAR began on Saturday night with an opening ceremony followed by a parade through the town of Enderby. The welcoming feeling I had as I marched through the town was like nothing I had ever experienced before. “Welcome Girl Guides” was printed on the windows of many of the small town’s local stores. I was just as proud to be representing Quebec as the people of Enderby were excited to host us!
The following week was filled with fun activities such as visiting a water park, going to a forest fire fighting helicopter base, learning about the stars at Kelowna’s science centre and shooting a 22 caliber rifle! While I was not at an organized activity, I had time to trade crests and crafts with all the girls at SOAR. It was not until I started to meet hundreds of amazing people that I realized how welcoming the Guiding community is. I did not meet one single girl who didn’t want to be a friend. Meeting people from all around the world and learning about the differences and similarities of their everyday lives felt like travelling around the world in 8 days.
On the second day it was international night. Everybody who came from outside BC had a chance to go on stage and show us a little bit about where they come from. I feel like this is the most valuable thing I have taken home with me from SOAR; the worldwide friendship in the Guiding sisterhood! I will never forget my experience at SOAR 2014!
Here are just a handful of photos from their amazing week out west! (Photos courtesy of Patrol Guider and Provincial Commissioner Valerie Zaloum)
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