Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013: Camping and Training and Debating Oh My!

March was another crazy busy month for me. This post is probably going to be pretty short because it is 1 AM (Happy Easter!) and I am sleepy- but I was determined to get the March update up on time. Enjoy!
I started the month out at Brownie Camp- click here for a full post about it. I really did enjoy myself and it was great to meet some new people. I am looking forward to my next camp (potentially the end of April, for sure the May long weekend) so I can practice some of the new skills I learned with the Brownies.
 More snowman making at Brownie Camp!
 Some of the castles before they were painted.

The Multifaceted Training happened mid-March and I also did a full post on the event here. This was my first training weekend like this and I really learned a lot and had a great time- I will definitely be going to the next one!

 Me and my tiara- I felt a bit like Amy from Big Bang Theory :)
One of the stations during the round robin was to write a verse to "My Favourite Things," this is what my group came up with.
 At Sparks we taught the girls how to tie their scarves with a proper reef knot. I am so impressed by how well they did and how nice the ties look now. This meeting activity was also a part of a new project I am working on about Guiding traditions. Once I find the right music for the first one I will post it on my YouTube channel.

It's cookie time! One of the best parts of being a cookie receiver is getting pictures of all the cases all lined up! 

The biggest part of my month was the 42nd Session of Alberta Girls' Parliament. I was the activities coordinator this year and it was my last year on staff. I have been a part of AGP since I was first a page as a Guide and I think it is an amazing event that happens every year. I am currently working on a special post about this session that will be up next Saturday. For now just enjoy these pictures. :)

The delegates in the office of Premier Alison Redford at the Alberta Legislature.

 Me and my sisters all fancy in uniform. :)
All of the delegates and pages with our Honourary Lieutenant Governor Edna Dach at the parliamentary opening. 

 One of my favourite parts of this session was the photo booth we set up at the start of the event. Our theme was Alice in Wonderland and here are a few of us as Cheshire Cats as well as the full photo board displayed throughout the event.
One of the most inspiring things I saw this month was all a comic strip of about Malala Yousafzai (if you have never heard of her- you need to Google her!) and her story. She is such an amazing young woman and her story really is an inspiration. I definitely cried reading the comic and I cannot wait to read her book. You can see it here.
April will not be as busy as March, but it will still be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Multi-Faceted 2013: My Favourite Things!

I attended the Multi-Faceted Training in Red Deer this weekend and it was so much fun! I love meeting new people in Guiding and hearing their stories/opinions/experiences etc. within Girl Guides and this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Thank you so much to the Edmonton Area Training Team for organizing such a fun event- well done!

We had a bit of a "snow-pocalypse" a few days before Multi-Faceted so I was very happy for the bus we could take down to the training. There were about 22 of us on the bus and it was full of laughs and Big Bang Theory and amazing sunsets! I was sure the aliens were coming... has anyone see the sun do this before?! It is a bit blurry (going 100km/hr will do that) but that ray was going straight up- no camera tricks!
When we got to Red Deer there were some brief introductions and a snack. This next picture comes with a bit of a back story...I love soft pretzels and I don't get to have them very often so when I can it excites me greatly. :) One of the snacks was pretzels so I was standing in line and then the person in front of me got the very last pretzel! I was sad but the hotel staff said that they would bring more out right away. I waited at the front of the line for almost 20 minutes and then I got my pretzel and it was wonderful!!

The theme for Multi-Faceted was "My Favourite Things" which was great! A lot of the trainings and decorations included "brown paper packages, tied up with string" like this board of favourite songs, recipes, program activities, and games. It was really neat to see what other people thought and how many are my favourites too!

The sessions I did were really interesting and a lot of fun! I did "So You Think You Can Dance?" first and I really enjoyed learning the dances to a lot of the songs in Guiding songbooks which was very useful because my Sparks love to dance. The next session I did was called Night Prowl and we played some flashlight games, munched and crunched on Wintergreen Lifesavers, and played with glow sticks (picture below). I will take better pictures of glow sticks in action later on, but this is the best I could do...

The Standing Committees of Alberta Council did a fun little Jeopardy game about what they do which was a lot of fun and it got pretty intense. I was pretty proud of myself for knowing most of the answers.

Part of the evening was a craft round robin and it was a lot of fun! We made (from left to right) a catapult out of Popsicle sticks and mini elastics to launch mini marshmallows. This was a lot of fun and I was on clean up duty for that station- there were marshmallows absolutely everywhere! We also made cork boats, tiaras out of plastic hairbands, pipe cleaners, and beads, and mod podged shapes on rocks for our campfire. The ruler charm is my favourite because "Guiding Rules!" (I also love puns...) The last craft is a miniature weaving loom- this one was very therapeutic.  
My favourite part of the entire event was the campfire we had in the evening. I did not take any pictures because I wanted to full experience it but I could not resist to record this song- Ira Congo- it is so beautiful. Take a listen!
Sunday morning we had one more session, I did a session all about technology which was really interesting! I got a whole bunch of new apps for my iPad from apps that identify leaves, animal prints, birds, and scat, to how to tie knots and campfire recipes. It was really interesting and I am looking forward to trying them out.
Overall it was a great event. I had a lot of fun and learned new things too!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

February: 28 Days- Most of them Guiding!

February was a big month for me! It started off with a bang at Sparks Friendship Camp and finished with a bang at Teacher's Convention.
Because I did a huge post on Sparks Camp alone I will just say that camp was amazing! I had so much fun and it ran so smoothly! Here are a few more pictures I didn't post...

Me and the Grinch! He is made of 2 large gift bags- one for the body and one for the head, arms, and legs. The face is hand drawn and eyes and heart are card stock.
This is paradise for me- out at camp with the sun shining. :)
Every Valentine's Day my Sparks unit goes to a seniors residence to sing for the seniors and do crafts and play games with them. It was very cool to see the girls come out of their shells and really interact with the seniors.
Valentine crafts they made!
I was lucky to be a part of a Thinking Day celebration at West Edmonton Mall- it was awesome even though I was very sick... Definitely brought on the goosebumps!
It is always fun to have a beach party in the middle of winter so that is what we did! We pulled out a parachute, made beach scenes on paper plates, and sang one of my favourite songs- Super California Expert Surfer on the Ocean.

To the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Super California surfer, expert of the ocean.
Even though the most of them
Do not use suntan lotion.
When they hit the waves too hard
They always cause a motion.
Super California surfer, expert of the ocean.

Um didle iddle iddle um diddle lie,
Um didle iddle iddle um diddle lie,

Because I was afraid to surf
When I was just a lad,
My father took my board away
And told me I was bad.
But when I learned the word
That every surfer knows,
The biggest word you ever heard,
And this is how it goes...

Super California surfer, expert of the ocean.
Even though the most of them
Do not use suntan lotion.
When they hit the waves too hard
They always cause a motion.
Super California surfer, expert of the ocean. 
 I finished off my month with Teacher's Convention which was really cool. One of my favourite parts was hearing the group The Buried Life speak. It was really inspirational and reminded me about my own Bucket List. :)

Brave at Brownie Friendship Camp!

I wasn't intending to do much camping this winter but as of now I have been at camp every other weekend since mid-January. When the Brownie Friendship Camp lost a leader last minute I was asked to come instead. I love camping (of course!) and I was hoping to increase my experience with Brownies so this was the perfect opportunity. I love theme camps and the theme of this one was the Disney and Pixar movie "Brave" which has so many cool things you could do with it. Here is the trailer for the movie in case you have not seen it or want a quick refresher.

There were 45 Brownies and 10 leaders which made for a very busy weekend but it was fun! We were divided up into groups when we first got there and the group leaders were the Queens of different characters in the movie like bears, crows, wisps etc. I was the Queen of the Queens which I cannot complain about. :) The leaders stayed up really late to get the lodge ready for the girls in the morning and I made a little swing for Merida because she looked a little too creepy just hanging by her hair. We also had the little bear brothers from the movie all over the place for the girls to take home on Sunday (the camp was lucky with a very healthy budget).
The main activity on Saturday was a craft round robin where the girls made castles in their groups, Merida dolls from wooden spoons, soap carvings, crowns out of fun foam, design their own coat of arms and tartan, and Brave activity books. I think the girls had a lot of fun and made some really cool souvenirs from the camp. I was manning the soap carving station which was super messy but really cool to see what the girls came up with. You can get more information about these crafts if you would like to do them with your girls here! They pretty much have an entire camp already planned on the website which is quite convenient.
Soap for Soap Carving

 Merida dolls made with wooden spoons!

Some of the cool castles the girls made.

In the afternoon we went outside for my favourite part of the camp- a hike and snowman building contest. The girls had been inside all day and I thought it was important to get outside because the weather was beautiful and you are at camp, you should go outside! On the hike we came across some real life "nature in action" that consisted of wolf tracks, blood, and some anxious Brownies. Now that I have said that it sounds a little bit sketchy but let me explain... We were hiking along the trails and i noticed some pretty big prints in the fresh snow. They were too big for coyote and there should not be any dogs out on site so i was pointing them out to the Brownies and talking about some of the other tracks we were seeing. After about 100 metres or so the snow was getting a little bit spotty with red as we were walking there was more and more and I was worried that we would come across a meal in action. With 45 Brownies behind me I kept on going until we got to a hill with a pretty sharp turn I asked the girls to stop, look, and listen while I went ahead and checked things out. Luckily there was nothing there and the bloody paw prints disappeared into the woods but imagine what it would have been like to see something like that! I think it would be cool but the Brownies would probably be pretty spooked. I didn't take any pictures but this is what wolf prints look like in the snow.

Onto something less grim! The snow was perfect for snowmen and so we set out a challenge to build the biggest snowman. I was so impressed with what the girls came up with I will let the pictures speak for themselves.



We finished off the day by watching the movie and the girls enjoyed it a lot. I have never watched a movie at camp (besides Break the Rules camp in Pathfinders) so it was a new experience for me. The whole weekend was full of new experiences and I think it was quite interesting to camp with people I have never camped with before. I know the girls had fun and I hope the leaders had a good time too! :)