Monday, April 29, 2013

Pathfinder Skills Camp!

I spent the weekend at Pathfinder Skills Camp- a training of sorts for Pathfinders to help them prepare for their 3rd year camp (previously known as Gold Camp). I was one of the trainers and I trained on paperwork and budgets and themes and schedules. I enjoyed teaching the girls based on my experiences and knowledge.
I arrived at the camp earlier than everyone else so I grabbed my book and went and sat in the gazebo, my favourite place at the campsite. It was so calm and peaceful knowing that I was the only one out there.
Here are the sheets I gave to the girls for their reference. If you would like better copies please email :)
Friday night, and throughout the weekend, we made these adorable camp hat crafts. My personal favourite is the tray of cookies and the toilet paper- they are so cute!
We played camping bingo as one of the sessions and it was a lot of fun. Each square was associated with a challenge that had to be completed like hugging a birch tree or making music with nature (my personal favourite being the squelching of rubber boots in mud.)

There was a Leave No Trace "crime scene" set up as one of the sessions that was really neat. There is something in the crime scene that goes against one of the principles of  Leave No Trace.

The beautiful sunset from the deck of Trefoil House. I love it out at camp!!
We did leather stamping Saturday night. I had never done it before so it was a lot of fun! Here is my bookmark- no pattern, just stamps I liked.
This delicious treat is a strawberry with marshmallow fluff, toasted over the fire, and topped with chocolate sauce. It was wonderful, but I preferred it without the chocolate but I think caramel would be amazing!
Look at the beautiful sky Sunday morning! I just love how clear it is- Spring is FINALLY here!
I was obviously very happy that the sun was shining and we had a good weekend. :)
This is just a short little post about my weekend, I didn't take many pictures because I was so busy, but I hope this gives you an idea of what the weekend was like.
Talk to you later!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Debating in Wonderland

I am finally getting around to this post after a few weeks of relaxation. In my defense it was spring break and Easter so I did not really want to think too much about blogging. Anyways here we go into the 42nd Session of Alberta Girls' Parliament! We were up in numbers this year which was great, we had 29 delegates and they were all wonderful. :)  This sessions theme was Alice in Wonderland and after doing AGP for almost 10 years I think it is safe to say "we are all mad here!" :)  
One of the highlights of AGP every year is a trip to the Alberta Legislature. We started with the traditional photo on the steps and then went up into the chamber for a visit with the Deputy Speaker, George Rogers.

The Deputy Speaker was very interesting and I enjoyed hearing a new perspective on the government. He was very kind to the delegates and he answered all of their questions. It is always interesting to hear what is said in the chamber and I really liked how what we talked about with the Deputy Speaker became relevant very quickly during Question Period.

Even though we tour the Legislature every year there is always something new to see or learn about. This year we got to see the new portrait of our former Premier Ed Stelmach. I love it! I think it really captures his essence and interestingly enough he is the only premier who has the Alberta flag in his portrait.

You have to love Alberta weather... this is the view from Premier Allison Redford's office. 
The Robertsons in the premier's office.
The delegates of the 42nd Session of Alberta Girls' Parliament in the premier's office.
There was a protest on the steps of the Legislature by pharmacists in Alberta. which was very interesting to see.
Back at the centre we had our first guest speaker, MLA for Calgary-Varsity, Donna Kennedy-Glans. She engaged the delegates with her stories of working all over the world in various positions and about her views of women in positions of power and politics. You can read more about her here on her website.  
As a service project this year, we decided to put together clean birth kits. The kits contain five simple things that can make an enormous difference in the birth of a child. All you need to make them is a plastic sheet (garbage bag), soap, string, a razor blade, and gloves.  We will be sending them to an organization that gets the kits to parts of the world who need them. There are many organizations that distribute these kits, more information can be found here on one of them. This project of course ties in with our MDG focus for the year of reducing child mortality and increasing maternal health.
AGP is not complete without a trip to West Edmonton Mall- we are in the Disney store ogling over one of the princess dresses and wondering why they don't come in adult sizes. :)
Obviously the delegates had a lot of fun too!
Our next speaker was Dr. Joanne Minaker, a sociology professor at Grant MacEwan University. She spoke about Care, Leadership, and Guiding. The delegates had very insightful questions and conversations with her and also got some great information about one of the debate topics regarding youth in the criminal justice system.
The first debate was a great success! Look at how many placards are in the air for both sides! The delegates did a wonderful job of planning and carrying out thoughtful debates that were interesting to watch and listen to.
The delegates with our honourary Lieutenant Governor Edna Dach.
Going with the Alice in Wonderland theme, a congratulatory cake for a great opening and first debate!
Delegates and pages enjoying the delicious cake. :)
Edna gave a very interesting talk about her travels and experiences with Guiding and shared many artifacts from her trips- especially from Africa. They were amazing. Thanks Edna!
My booth for the Girl Guides Opportunities marketplace we had that included World Centre travel, Duke of Edinburgh, Link, Scholarships, etc. It was a really great session and I think the girls got a lot out of it.
We had two immunologists come out to speak to the girls about their topic of making vaccinations mandatory, which was very helpful in formulating a debate. The delegates learned a lot and I think they enjoyed it too!
This was part of a very cool Guides Own activity the executive came up with. The teacups had inspirational quotes in them and the girls each got to take home a teacup at the end of the event. Thank you to the Purple Martins Trefoil Guild for the donations!

The parliamentarians did a great job of keeping the pages engaged as well while waiting for the debates to begin. Here they are having their own mini debate about making Talk Like a Pirate Day a provincial holiday.
Here are some pictures of debating in action. This is the fun debate- banishing all criminals to Wonderland to serve out their sentence. It was an awesome debate and some of the delegates even dressed up!
Thank you to Melanie Reichle, former AGP Adviser for stepping in last minute as our honourary Lieutenant Governor for the prorogation of the 42nd Session of Alberta Girls' Parliament.
Here is our photo board/ backdrop for the event. It looks awesome and it was a great way for guests to see what we did throughout the week.
That's all for now. Thanks for reading!