I guess with the completion of last weekends Guide camp it is time for my annual Guiding re-cap. As you may all recall last year was my first year back in Guiding since the start of Uni and the first time I was ever a Guider. I have to say that year was crazy, hectic, exhausting, and amazing. See, last year we had four Guiders and about 18 girls. This year we had two Guiders and 18 girls. Do the math, that’s a big difference! Sarah G and Cashelle both left us for bigger and better things, one finished school, the other left for school. Suddenly we were down to Sarah T (and I can drop the ‘T’) and myself. Hello insanity. That said, the two of us are now a well oiled machine and feel like we can take on anything Guiding might throw our way – and no, that was not a request for crazy to be thrown our way.
What did we do this year? Well, we took the kids camping three times, we visited the SPCA, we went swimming and skating, we completed several badges and at least one challenge, and all in all the kids had a blast! I have no doubt I’m missing things, forgetting things we did, but hey, I was a little busy! Unlike last year, I have no photo’s to share, as there wasn’t the time to take any. Maybe next year? I am still going to pepper the post with photos, but they’re all stock that I found on the internet.
As I mentioned briefly in the last paragraph we took the kids to the SPCA. See, the Nova Scotia branch of the SPCA has a challenge that they run specifically for the Girl Guides. It was great, we booked a day, got the parents to drop their kids off and then let the SPCA do everything else. All I had to do was snuggle cute little kittens and keep an eye on a few of the kids to make sure they weren’t getting in trouble/breaking any of the rules. We all even got to see a few day old kitten that had just opened his eyes! The girls and myself all just stood in awe at his cuteness. I have to say, I think they all liked the part where they got to have puppies climb all over them the best though. Nothing like puppy kisses to end an evening.
Swimming is one of our favorite back-up activities to keep on hand incase everything else falls through. Well, we had a really wet and cold spring here in Nova Scotia, so when Sarah and I originally planned several outdoor activities we had to start coming up with solutions. One of the was swimming. Every time we take them they LOVE it. I love it, because we get to sit on the side of the pool and plan upcoming events – such as camp.
The other really fun yet easy event we did was skating. As you may or may not be aware, this past Winter Halifax hosted the Canada Games and as a result we had a huge speed skating ring on the Common. It was pretty awesome because they opened it up to the public for several months before the games and everyone and anyone could skate for FREE. They even had free skate and helmet rentals. We figured this would be a super fun activity for the girls and arranged several extra parent volunteers and spent an evening skating outside with the kids. We even finished the evening off we some hot chocolate. The kids were thrilled 🙂
Our favorite badge to run this year was the “Outdoors in the City” badge. We decided to have some fun with it and set-up an Amazing Race style scavenger hunt in downtown Halifax. The kids went to the Public Gardens, The Freak Lunchbox, the Wave, an awesome book store, and the Town Clock, to name a few places. The day we did this it was cold and damp, just like every day this spring, but the kids had so much fun. The girls I was with were so happy and spent a ton of time laughing it was great. The parents who helped out couldn’t believe what a great event it was either. It was awesome!
Finally there is camping. Our Fall camp took place with the Pathfinder unit and was a CSI themed camp. We set up a crime scene and over the course of the weekend the kids had to figure out which leader stole the box of Girl Guide cookies. We also played a murder mystery style game, though the game we played was developed with children in mind and therefore didn’t involve any actual murder. I think it has to be one of my all time favorite camps…so much fun!
For the Winter camp we invited the other Guide unit along as they only had five girls in their unit, and only three of them came. We ran a “Betty Crocker” camp and spent most of the weekend cooking and baking. Wow, I have to say, I don’t normally eat quite so well at camp. So much good food. We baked muffins, brownies and bread, we made stew and chili, and I don’t even remember what else we made. All I know was that everything was amazing, every kid got to make at least one thing that was Gluten Free (one of our girls in also gluten-free), and no-one went hungry.
Last but not least we had Summer camp (which was just this past weekend). Both the Fall and Winter camps took place in cabins, Summer camp on the other hand was in Tents. Not only did we take the kids tenting, but we also took them canoeing. Well, I can honestly say it was the most eventful camp I’ve ever been to. As was mentioned earlier in the post, we’ve had a rather wet Spring, therefore we also had an insane number of bugs. Bugs tend to leave me alone, not so much this time. I was, and still am, covered in bites. Everything I took with me was damp – curse you Spring rains that never seem to go away! We did however get to go canoeing, and the kids went swimming. I had to cut my time in the canoe short to take one of our kids (E) to the Health Clinic though. Here’s the story:
E woke up covered in red dots. Of course she came straight down to tell Sarah and myself (I was the camp first aider), and our first thought was Chicken Pox – cue panicking. Moments later a couple other kids from the same tent come down and they too are covered in red dots – cue relief, its not Chicken Pox. Now, what is it? Before you tell me, keep in mind that everyone at this camp was city raised, we don’t know this stuff! As first aider I conclude it’s some kind of bug, and off we go. I can tell from E’s mannerisms that she’s still a little stressed, but I put on my brave face and tried to reassure her (all the while hoping that I’m right!). After canoeing for a while we stopped for snack which is when E noticed that the number of dots on her was increasing. I got out of my canoe, looked at her, and told her I was taking her to the clinic – none of the other girls were getting more dots, and I couldn’t fit five into my car anyway. After 2 hours sitting around in a small clinic, we were in Berwick, I found out that my kids were being eaten by noseeums. Sigh.
Of course the dots wasn’t the only excitement of camp, like I could get off that easily. One of our girls (F) ended up with a leech attached to her toes. Eww. There was no panicking this time, just some salting and reassuring. So, other than the extra First Aider duties, and the pouring rain (I won’t bore you THAT story) camp was great.
So, I have to say, the 2010-2011 Guiding year was fantastic, in spite of last weekend. I’m already getting excited thinking about next year. I guess Sarah and will have to start planning soon. There are still so many things we want to do with the kids!