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.
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!
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!