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.
Friday night almost 90 excited Guides from near and far arrived at camp along with fourteen Guide Guiders. Many of the Guides first time campers. Some of the girls eagerly took their parents inside to show them their dorm rooms. There was lots of chatter as friends from summer camp (WWWTA) were reunited. While waiting for everyone to check in, the girls made “glittery snowballs”… very messy (sparkles everywhere) but lots of fun!
Once all the Guides and Guiders were checked in, we played a series of icebreaker games that allowed girls to get to know each other in a very fun atmosphere. We played Bingo, a communication game, the “family game” and very competitive game of charades! The evening ended with Taps and then we were off to bed to rest up for a busy Saturday.
Saturday morning, following a hearty breakfast, everyone went outside to play a wide game called Predator/Prey (also known as the Survival Game or The Game of Life). After the game, the girls divided into their Patrols for eight round robin activities, four in the morning and four in the afternoon. Round Robin activities included broomball, hockey, human tic-tac-toe, various relay games, croquet in the snow, snow bowling, snow sculptures/snow painting and of course sliding.
Upon completion of the round robin, the girls came in and had fun making an “edible snowman”. They then had some free time to do crafts and challenges, play games or prepare something for campfire. The “lounge/craft area” in the basement was a very popular place to go whenever girls had free time.
When we sat down for campfire we truly grasped how many girls and Guiders were present at this camp as our campfire circle was the size of the whole room! Esther was the “MC” for campfire however almost every song was led by girls. The highlight for the girls had to be the dance some of the Guiders did. Lucky for us very few girls had cameras to video the dance!
After such a long, busy day and all that fresh air the girls were longing for their beds.
Sunday morning, once the girls were packed up, we went outside again. This time there were only four round robin activities. Activities included laying trails/nature hike with feeding the birds (only if the girls were quiet), travois racing, “chuck the chicken” games and of course, the ever popular sliding.
After lunch, we all gathered one last time for Guides Own led by four eager Guides. Again our circle filled the entire room and we had to repeat “Make New Friends” several times to get around the circle twice.
Before Guides Own was even over, anxious parents were already waiting at the door so the girls had to say their goodbyes quickly. Several girls did manage to exchange e-mail addresses before leaving with promises to stay in contact til they camp together again.
The Glacier Games Camp was a wonderful weekend of Guiding sisterhood, making new friends and reuniting with old friends. There was also lots of teamwork as many of the activities required the girls to work together and communicate well. Most of all, the girls had FUN and many found it difficult to pick their favourite activity of the weekend.
We (Guides and Guiders) all look forward to camping together again!
Many thanks to the Guide Guiders who did a wonderful job promoting this camp to their Guides. Thanks also goes out to the Guide Guiders who attended the camp. You helped make this camp a success!
Submitted by Patricia Tellis, Deputy Provincial Camping Adviser, on behalf of the QC Guide Provincial Winter Camp 2016 Planning Team
Thanks to Carole Blais, Elizabeth Knowles, Laurie Bennett, Mary-May Hubert, Nancy Duffina, Patricia Tellis, and Shannon Jackson for their photos.