Canadian Guider Winter 2020

Page 1




Girl Assistants


Brownies’ 100th Anniversary


DIY Escape Rooms


World Thinking Day

40 Knot Skills


Every Girl Matters! Dear Rangers and Guiders,

Photo: ©GGC


ne of the best parts of Guiding is belonging to the ultimate global sisterhood of girls and women. Each of us is connected through the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), a global Movement with 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 150 countries. As the world’s largest organization for girls and women, WAGGGS is front and centre when it comes to empowering girls and women with diverse backgrounds and experiences as leaders. From Guyana to Germany, from Corner Brook, NL, to Cranbrook, BC, and Iqaluit, NU, together we are united in unlocking the power of girls to create a better world. In Guiding, every girl matters! On February 22, Girl Guides across Canada will observe World Thinking Day (WTD) 2020, and reflect on being united in an organization that spans not only our own country, but the entire globe. This year's WTD theme is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – providing a chance for us to not only celebrate the


immense diversity of our Movement but also to think of how we can put these principles into practice in our own Guiding activities. What does diversity, equity and inclusion in Guiding look like? It’s as simple and as powerful as every girl and woman in Guiding feeling important, valued and that she belongs. It’s Guiding as a place where every girl and woman has a voice. Where her story matters. It’s girls and women from widely varying backgrounds, experiences and cultures being recognized and celebrated for who they are – and not feeling like they have to hide or change who they are. Ultimately, it’s supporting girls in creating a world where every girl can be everything she wants to be. To make this happen, as individuals and GGC as a whole, we need to embark on the “heart work” of carefully examining how we can remove barriers and move past biases that can limit all girls fully participating in Guiding. In Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (page 22), we share suggestions on how members can help ensure Guiding is a place where all girls can say “I belong here.” Our new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Event Checklist (page 24) offers tips covering venues, activities, food and more, for planning inclusive special events and activities year-round, including WTD.

Also in this issue of Canadian Guider . . . • Check out page 4 to hear from Girl Assistants themselves how they can bring extra support and new ideas to your unit, while building their leadership skills along the way. As the article headline says, it really is Win, Win, Win! • Take a trip down memory lane through a pictorial celebrating the 100th anniversary of Brownies (page 12). • If you’re looking for some fun and inspiring ideas to try with your unit, we’ve got you covered with DIY Escape Rooms (page 14) and DIY Slime (page 36). Yours in Guiding,

Jill CEO, Girl Guides of Canada

Krysta Guiding Ambassador CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography

CONTENTS Features 4 Girl Assistants


8 Ask a Guider: Girl-Driven Guiding for Sparks and Brownies 11 Digital Defenders

12 Brownies’ 100th Anniversary

14 DIY Escape Rooms

18 Mental Health First Aid

22 World Thinking Day 2020

24 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Event Checklist 30 Trefoil Guilds Celebrate 60th Anniversary

Photo: Erin DeBruin

31 Trefoil Guild Opportunities


And more... 2 Your GGC

20 A Young Leader Takes Charge

26 Outdoor Guider: DIY Dehydrated Foods 33 Upcycling GGC Shirts

34 Global Guiding: The Magic of the Sisterhood 36 DIY Slime Time

40 Tackling Knots Without Getting Tangled

Cover Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography

Photo: Hilary Feldman

44 National Service Project 2020 46 GGC Awards 47 FYI

40 Canadian Guider, Volume 90, No. 1, WINTER 2020 • ISSN 0300-435X Published three times annually (Winter, Spring, Fall) by Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada, 50 Merton Street, Toronto, ON, M4S 1A3 416-487-5281 • 1-800-565-8111. Web site: • Email: • Viceregal Patron: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada • Chair: Robyn McDonald • Chief Executive Officer: Jill Zelmanovits • Publisher: Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada • Chair, Editorial Committee: Hilary Feldman • Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications: Andrea MacBeth • Communications Specialist: Mary Vincent • Editor: Sharon Jackson • Art Director: Ross Woolford • Annual membership fee includes a subscription to Canadian Guider. It is sent free to all registered adult members and Rangers. If you are a member and have an address change please notify iMIS in your provincial council office. If you are a paid subscriber and have an address change please notify the Canadian Guider directly, enclosing your Canadian Guider mailing label if possible. Send changes to Canadian Guider, Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada, 50 Merton Street, Toronto, ON, M4S 1A3, Canada.


Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) recognizes and values the richness of human diversity in its many forms, and therefore strives to ensure environments where girls and women from all walks of life, identities, and lived experiences feel a sense of belonging and can participate fully. This commitment to inclusion means GGC’s culture, programming and practices encourage self-awareness and awareness of others; room for difference; and environments where girls and women feel safe, respected, supported, and inspired to reach their potential. SUBSCRIPTIONS RATES: $12 per year inside Canada, $15 to USA, $20 overseas. Single copies $4.25 each. Canadian Publications Mail Product. Sales Agreement No. 40065172. All submissions to the magazine become the property of Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada unless other arrangements are made prior to publication. Most articles and artwork in this magazine are owned by Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada.



Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography

Win Win Win!

with Girl Assistants 4


Girl Assistants bring fresh ideas and new energy to units. They help share responsibilities, while developing and polishing their leadership skills. And everyone in the unit

Sophie Bezanson

benefits. The Guiders get extra help and support, the Girl Assistants gain new experience, and the girls discover new role models. It’s win, win, win! Here’s what some Rangers and Guiders across the country are saying about Girl Assistant leadership opportunities.


Audrey Chen

Ranger/Brownie and Guide Unit Girl Assistant, Ontario


volunteer with younger units to gain new knowledge and skills. Through the meetings,

outings and camps, I’ve learned how to speak to and treat kids of different ages, how to teach, and how to take on responsibility and leadership roles. The experience has benefited me in other ways, from completing school projects to getting a job. I help the Guiders in leading activities and planning meetings. I help the girls as an older sister figure they can come to with questions. It’s amazing for me to see the little Brownies that I’ve volunteered with move up to Guides and Pathfinders, and to watch how they’ve matured along the way! Leadership opportunities are crucial for all girls in Guiding. Being a Girl Assistant has helped me become more confident in my voice and actions. And I’ve learned that once you see yourself as a leader, the girls will see you that way, too.

Ranger/Guide Unit Girl Assistant, Nova Scotia


olunteering as a Girl Assistant has provided me with the opportunity to learn from the girls as much as I help teach them. It’s rewarding to observe

the personal development of the girls over time and to share in their happiness and enthusiasm in such a close-knit sisterhood. During a typical Guide meeting, I lead games, activities and crafts, as well as facilitating discussions, and otherwise lending a helping hand. I also make time outside of meetings, to correspond with the Guiders on planning and preparing various activities.



Katie Mierau

Brownie Unit Guider and District Commissioner, British Columbia

Emily Vandermeer


Ranger/Spark Unit Girl Assistant, Alberta

love working with younger girls. Their frank honesty and innocent perspective on life are a joy. And it’s awesome to

see them progress from starting school, in kindergarten or grade one, to going to their first sleepover away from home. Being closer in age to the girls than the Guiders are, I can better relate to them when they talk about their favourite television characters, what games they play at recess, and what they’re learning in school.  A large part of my role as a Girl Assistant is to attend the meetings, entertain the girls, run stations and tell stories, so the Guiders have more time to sort out the paperwork and speak with the girls’ parents. Last year, my role grew with even more responsibilities, when one of the Guiders could no longer attend meetings. When girls are given the opportunity to take on leadership roles at Girl Guides, the benefits will show up in our daily lives, including on our resumes, as we move forward into the workplace.


Kristyn Serniuk


Ranger/Brownie Unit Girl Assistant, Ontario

s a Girl Assistant, I often run games or activities and programming during unit meetings. I also help plan special

events and camps, including making schedules, kit lists and menus. This helps spread out the unit’s workload, so no one on the leadership team gets overwhelmed. Leadership opportunities in Guiding empower girls to truly create a better world, by girls. Being a Girl Assistant enables me to support this, by sharing my love of Guiding with younger girls. I get to help them step outside their comfort zones, as they try new things. I’ve also been able to learn and grow as an individual, while inspiring younger girls to be the best that they can be.


t was absolutely amazing to have a Pathfinder Girl Assistant take on a leadership role with our Brownie unit last year.

She listened and learned – and was able to complete and create tasks very well on her own. The girls looked up to her as a youth role model, and discussed that if they were in Pathfinders, they would like the opportunity to become Girl Assistants, too. We hope she will be able to join us again this year, as she has amazing teamwork skills! I definitely recommend using Girl Assistants in your units. Include them in your Guider planning meetings. They can help make activities more fun and relevant to the girls. Also, encourage them to experience and explore what we do as Guiders, and ask for their input and ideas, so they can flourish in creativity and leadership. Give them every opportunity to explore options and skills as adults. The things they experience and the skills they develop as Girl Assistants will make a vital impact on their self-confidence and personal development, and may also encourage them to become future Guiders.


Get In on the Win Girl Assistants and Your Unit Who are they? Girl Assistants are Guide, Pathfinder or Ranger-aged girls who assist Guiders in units at least two branches below them. (Some people call these girls Junior Leaders.)

There are two things all Girl Assistants definitely do: • They participate as part of the unit’s leadership team. • They become youth role models for younger girls. Beyond that, it’s completely up to the Unit Guiders and Girl Assistant to decide together. For example, she might provide support in a variety of ways, from planning meetings to running activities to helping with material preparations to offering one-on-one support to girls when needed.

Most girls get involved by expressing their interest to their own unit Guiders, who help them find units that want Girl Assistants. So, keep your ears open for girls who are looking for leadership opportunities. Also, as a Unit Guider yourself, you can speak up! Let it be known that you’d welcome a Girl Assistant on your leadership team and actively recruit an older girl member to join your unit. We’re introducing a new, online tool that makes it easier for older girl members to find younger units to volunteer with. It’s being piloted in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Once we’ve completed this test-drive in the Atlantic provinces, we hope to make it available to girls all across Canada.

Why is this opportunity important?

Is there official recognition for Girl Assistants?

It’s a GGC priority! Girls have said loud and clear that they want to take on more leadership roles in our organization, and one of our strategic priorities (Empowering) aims to increase the number of girls in leadership positions in units other than their own. If you’re a Guider, make sure Girl Assistants are registered in the units with which they’re volunteering, so we can count them in that number!

A Girl Assistant can earn the Girl Assistant Certificate of Appreciation, which recognizes her commitment to the leadership of a unit over the course of a year. You can find the certificate on Member Zone. Check out for more information on Girl Assistants and other youth leadership opportunities.

What do they do?

Christine Downey


Spark Unit Guider, Quebec

t’s wonderful to have Girl Assistants working with the younger girls. They combine the

spark of youth with the experience of an adult, and bring fresh energy, ideas and activities to the meetings. The girls adore and look up to them. As they are closer in age to the Sparks, Girl Assistants relate on a different level than Guiders, and are able to get young girls to try things they’ve been reluctant to do – and often the girls end up loving the activity! A bonus for everyone in the unit is when a Girl Assistant comes up with an activity that relates to her own program. When a Girl Assistant comes forward asking to run such an activity, we sit down together and see how we can fit it into our unit’s schedule, while ensuring we meet everyone’s needs. In the end, we all benefit.


How can units recruit Girl Assistants?

Where can we find more information? There are two new resources to support units and Girl Assistants working together: • For Guiders: Working with Girl Assistants is available on Member Zone under Guider Resources > Programs. • For Girl Assistants: Being a Girl Assistant can be found on the platform under your branch in the All About Guiding tab.

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Younger Girls Take the Lead! Girl-Driven Guiding for Sparks and Brownies BY YVONNE HARRISON

Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography

Many Guiders working with Sparks and Brownies likely pre-plan activities to bring to unit meetings. Our motive is to keep the girls engaged during meeting time. But is that engagement girl-driven, or is it time to let these younger girls take the lead? Here’s a quick “how-to” on engaging younger girls’ voices and choices in your unit planning.


s a Spark and Brownie Guider, I find there are times when it seems easier to plan unit activities myself. If you’re like me and work with a large unit, you may think it just seems impossible to have so many voices sharing input and choosing activities. And if the girls are already having fun doing our activities and coming back for more, we must be doing something right. Right? Perhaps not. There are ways to provide these young future leaders with opportunities to share their voices and choices – to incorporate girl-driven programming in your unit.

On the Platform

All About Guiding > All About Sparks/All About Brownies > Discovery Sheets There is a sheet for each of the program areas, and the girls can use the pictures to identify what they like. I’ve used these at the beginning, and also throughout, the Guiding year, as we talk to the girls about the different program areas they’d like to work on. If they love everything, we do a vote to select the one to do first. TIP: Younger girls often want to be with the group and put their hands up or their “dots” beside the same activities as their friends.



To avoid this, try a “secret” vote, using cups for the different activities and a number of buttons, starting them at different spots around your meeting space.

Leading with Confidence for Sparks/Leading with Confidence for Brownies These activity resources are great for engaging Sparks and Brownies as leaders and team members. TIP: Leadership Charades, Get the Ball Rolling and Follow the Leader are a few of the very popular activities in these resources.

Try Something New This was an activity that our Sparks loved, because they could demonstrate and share their skills. We did it as an active game, and had lots of silly dance moves, gymnastics, yoga moves and more. Having the Guiders join in the fun demonstrated that adults can also embrace new challenges and learn new things. Even our shyest girls participated, because there was no pressure – if they repeated a move another girl had already done, we simply did it again. TIP: Using a follow-the-leader format and rotating the leader works well to engage all the girls in the activities, and to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to lead in their safe space. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

On Member Zone

Guider Resources – Programs • Girl-driven Guiding Checklist for Sparks and Brownies – these checklists outline strategies and reminders for Guiders to notice what’s happening in their units. • Girl-driven Leadership Strategies for Spark and Brownie Guiders – these strategies include tips for engaging the girls. TIP: Last year, we tackled the badge puzzles from Puzzling the Program Areas in the Shaping Our Story instant meeting, for Sparks. The girls enjoyed putting the puzzles together and learning about each of the associated badges. They picked the badges they wanted to know more about, and we worked together to earn them. (There is a separate Shaping Our Story instant meeting for Brownies, as well. Both instant meetings are designed for girl-driven unit planning.)

Managing Activities

Younger girls need lots of variety, so we limit activities to no more than 15 minutes each. We also ask the girls what games they’d like to play or songs they’d like to sing, or perhaps to learn. If they come up with lots of ideas, we don’t always pick


Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography


the favourite – sometimes we pick the game or song that has the least votes. And, to encourage them to try new things, we incorporate learning a new song within lots of familiar ones. The same applies to the games or other activities. TIP: Do a popular activity, and then do a new activity that challenges the girls.

Adapting to the Girl-driven Focus

Every Unit Guider has had the experience of having a meeting all planned, but when it gets started, the girls just aren’t into it. Perhaps they just aren’t ready, or they’ve spent too much time sitting and just need an active meeting. What to do? Adapt! Adapting to the girls’ needs is the essence of girl-driven Guiding. TIP: Let the girls just play games and be active – you can still apply it to the program. Whether it’s Mighty Minds, My Physical Self, Global Guiding or Going Outside – the girls get to decide!

Encouraging Participation

I use lots of online sources to learn from other Guiders. I look on Guider Facebook groups, along with Pinterest pages from Guiders for inspiration and ideas. An idea that worked really well for our unit was to have the girls (with parents’ help) share their thoughts on what they’d like to do and learn in the Guiding year. The Guider who shared the idea did it at a meeting, but our unit sent home a sheet of paper with a series of questions: • What things do you like to do? • What things would you like to try in the unit? • How can we make the world a better place for girls? • What guests would you like to visit our unit? • What places in your city/town would you like to visit? • What new activities would you like to try?


This strategy enabled the girls to each have their voice heard. They returned their “homework” with great outside-the-box ideas – especially in response to How can we make the world a better place for girls. We reviewed all their responses at our planning session, and used their ideas for activities, crafts and even our day camp theme to fill out our unit’s fall calendar. We’ll check in with them in January and start the planning for our next months, along with discussing what badges they’d like to earn. I encourage you to join in conversations and collaborations with your Guiding sisters at meetings, trainings, community events and online. It’s a great way to share your girl-driven activities and get some tips from other Guiders. It’s important to have girls take the lead at all ages – and, beginning with Sparks and Brownies, we empower girls at an early age to learn to advocate for themselves now and in the future. Yvonne Harrison, is a Guider and Girl-Driven Ambassador in Regina.

Girl-Driven Ambassadors Girl-driven Ambassadors are a team of peer mentors who are supporting Guiders across Canada in the delivery of the girl-driven approach. These women provide support through mentorship, webinars and in-person sessions. All sessions are hands-on and practical – providing branch-specific strategies for facilitating girl leadership and group decision-making. BONUS TIP: Girl-driven Ambassadors have special crests to give out! For more information and to get connected to your closest Girl-driven Ambassador, email:



Digital Defenders

Revving up Girls’ Tech Know-How At Girl Guides of Canada, we’ve always empowered girls with the relevant skills they need to excel. Today, learning about hacking, encryption and malware are part of the skills they need as active tech users and innovators. With this in mind, and in partnership with BlackBerry, we’ve launched a new cybersecurity program – Digital Defenders.

Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography


hrough Digital Defenders, girls will build their understanding of the technology they use every day, ensuring they are equipped for the tech landscape they live in, and the tech careers they may aspire to. While there are plenty of opportunities out there for girls to learn about basic online safety, with this one-of-a-kind program, they will develop critical cybersecurity skills that they might not be able to get elsewhere. All girls – from Sparks to Rangers – will now be able to learn about the kinds of cyber threats they may face, how cybersecurity works, and how it impacts their daily lives, as well as gaining exposure to in-demand careers in cybersecurity. Digital Defenders activities on the program platform include games, art creations, puzzles and an escape room, as well as handy facilitator notes for Guiders and a take-home resource for girls to continue the cybersecurity conversation at home. Using a discovery approach to explore cybersecurity concepts, girls will earn the Digital Defenders crest by diving into questions such as: • How does a computer work? • How does data travel? • What is a virus or cyber attack? • How can data be protected? • What is malware and encryption? • What careers are there in cybersecurity?


Cybersecurity Opportunities Our research tells us that there are a lot of obstacles and perceptions that can hold girls back from exploring their potential interests or careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). To develop the program’s activities specifically for girls, we collaborated with female cybersecurity experts at BlackBerry, who shared their expertise and experience as women in the sector. (Members of this team even included past Girl Guide members!) As cybersecurity jobs are going unfilled in Canada, we are confident that girls and women can be a part of the solution. But first, let’s get girls interested in cybersecurity! Thank you to BlackBerry for supporting girls in being everything they want to be!



100 Years of Magic Celebrating the Centennial of Brownies Isn’t there something magical about Brownies? And that magic derives from so much more than the owl and toadstool that have always been a special part of their traditions.


Photos: courtesy GGC Archives; Background Photo: ©iStock/K_Thalhofer

n this Guiding branch, girls aged seven to eight are eager to dive in and learn new things, and to share their knowledge and ideas. But perhaps the best magic is their delight in banding together to live up to their motto – Lend a Hand. Brownie units are warm and inviting places where these girls can turn their ideas into action and use their energy and enthusiasm to help others. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Brownies in Canada. Originally, this branch was called Rosebuds in the United Kingdom – a name adults thought was sweet. However the girls themselves disagreed. And, in the spirit of girl-driven Guiding even way back then, they wanted their branch renamed after some mythical magical creatures known for doing secret good deeds – Brownies. The girls were convinced this name better reflected their uniqueness and character. And they were right! The very first Brownie unit in Canada was the First Hanover (Ontario) Pack, registered on April 22, 1920. As we approach the anniversary of this date, it’s no surprise that girls in Brownies today continue to band together in mighty teams to make their voices heard, to take action on what matters to them, and to make a difference in their communities and in the world!






Gotta Get Outta Here! Do-It-Yourself

Escape Rooms B Y C A E L A N S H AW

Illustraion: ©iStock/Bobboz (edited)

Looking for a challenging activity that helps build teamwork, observation and problem-solving skills? Want something that also promotes bonding and provides a lot of fun, but wonder how to create it? Have no fear – escape rooms are here! 14



hile escape rooms can take many forms, at their most basic they present a series of connected puzzles that the escapees must solve in a set amount of time. The excitement of finding clues and escaping a locked room with friends leaves girls wanting more every time. And, as fun as escape rooms are to participate in, they’re also fun to create – especially when girls take the lead. I’ve really enjoyed creating escape rooms for Girl Guide events such as Quest – a Nova Scotia event organized by Rangers for Pathfinders. And they’ve all been hits with Guiders and girls alike. If you think doing this with your unit seems complicated, think again. The following five simple steps will help you and your girls create awesomely fun escape rooms of your own.


Do some research.

Go online for information, or check out some professional escape room places near you, and try out one or a few of them with your friends.

Decide on a theme.

Choose one that isn’t too specific and that would typically have a “room” aspect to it. For example; an underwater shipwreck theme would be cool and easy, but a fish theme would be harder to work with. Airport, haunted mansion, abandoned classroom, broken down train/bus or after-hours shopping mall themes are good escape room possibilities. There are also suggestions for escape rooms and themes in the GGC Science on the Scene and What the Forensics instant meetings, and more suggestions for older girls in the new Digital Defenders cybersecurity instant meeting.

Determine your escape room objective and develop a storyline.

Of course, the overall objective for any escape room activity is to escape the room – but what’s the objective of your do-it-yourself escape room itself? It might be included in your storyline. For example, if you are planning an underwater shipwreck theme, your storyline might run something like this: You and your team of SCUBA divers are exploring a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean. As you swim around and check things out, one of your team finds an open door to a room on the lower level of the ship. Curious, everyone goes in to see what’s inside. The last diver accidentally kicks something while entering the room, causing the door to shut behind her, which locks everyone inside. You all try to push against the door, but it won‘t budge. Someone tries the door handle, but it breaks off in the process. There’s a keyhole below where the handle used to be, but no key in sight – just some artifacts from the ship. You have 20 minutes to get to the surface before your SCUBA tanks run out. What do you do?


Your objective is, of course, to get out of that locked space. But you also have to use your knowledge of SCUBA to maximize your use of oxygen, to avoid panicking (a potentially deadly condition when SCUBA diving), and to figure out who should do what with any of those artifacts that might help you open the door again.

Set a time limit.

Choosing a time limit depends on what you’re using the escape room for, as well as the age of the escapees. I find it easier to come up with a time limit once I’ve developed the storyline. In terms of age-appropriateness, I would suggest between 20 and 30 minutes for Sparks and Brownies and between 35 and 40 minutes for older girls. A time limit also depends on the types of clues you want to use (see Plan it Out on page 16).

Photos: Caelan Shaw

Step Figure out the Basics




Step Plan it Out Think about how you want your escape room to start, and how you want it to unravel. What will the first clue be? What kind of clues and hints can you use? How will the escapees know what to do first?

Determine the age group.

You’ll want to make sure your escape room is challenging enough for the girls, but not so difficult that they won’t understand some of the clues.

Look around for inspiration. Sometimes typical everyday objects make the best clues. Books are great to use, especially if their titles or chapter names correspond with the theme of your escape room. Think about clues that could be solved by different types of learners, for example: audio hints (a recording or song played on repeat as “background noise”); visual hints (three red books, two yellow books and one green book, which then reveal the code for a lock); and hands-on hints (a puzzle made out of popsicle sticks with letters written on them that escapees will need to line up correctly to get the answer). When brainstorming ideas for hints and clues, don’t be afraid to ask other people for their ideas, too. I’ve discovered that asking other people and/ or looking online for ideas is very helpful. Even just going to a toy store and looking around helps inspire ideas.

Keep in mind where your escape room will be set up.

What size room will you have? Tables? Chairs? Maybe you’ll be at camp and use a dining shelter – what else will you need to bring? Knowing the venue you’ll be hosting your escape room in will make it easier to plan the types of clues you can use.



Photos: Caelan Shaw

Brainstorm ideas for possible hints and clues.

escape room to other units, you can’t go wrong by using a bit of everything – just make sure the clues are not too difficult.

Begin with an easy clue.

For example, use a code for a lock that’s hidden in a message that opens a box. Then add more complex clues.

Build in a loophole.

Sometimes creating a loophole effect with a clue can be a lot of fun. The escapees can either follow the clues as you had originally planned, or if they find a certain clue and apply the clue to the correct lock, they can skip some clues and exit the escape room more quickly. Some escapees won’t find this clue, if they don’t piece two and two together.

Source clue materials wisely.

Don’t spend a lot of money on the materials you need to make your clues! Visit thrift shops, dollar stores, second-hand stores, and other places where you can get things for a better price than buying something new. Again, check out the GGC Science on the Scene, What the Forensics and Digital Defenders instant meetings for suggestions on materials and stories that make use of materials your unit likely has on hand already.


Step Test it Out Create a pilot team.

Once you’ve pieced your escape room together, get a pilot-team to test out your escape room to make sure everything works properly. Use their feedback to complete Step 5.


Step Put it Together Choose your clues.

Select ones that correspond with the age group using your escape room. Younger girls typically love hands-on clues, whereas most older girls typically prefer a variety of clues. However, also keep in mind that preferences can change from girl to girl and unit to unit. If you’re making the escape room for just your unit, chances are you know the girls’ strengths and interests, so you’ll be able to plan accordingly. If you plan to offer your



Step Make Adjustments Enhance and polish your escape room.

Follow your pilot-team’s comments and suggestions for things you can eliminate, add or modify. These may include changing the length of a coded message, making hints more or less obvious, taking away clues or adding clues, etc. Once you’ve done the basics, planned your escape room out, put it together, tested it, and made adjustments, you and the girls in your unit can get busy working on some great escapes! Caelan Shaw is a Ranger in Bible Hill, NS, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.




Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography

Each Other



Mental Health First Aid BY LIZZIE KNOWLES

Our overall wellbeing involves more than our physical health. Our mental health is as vitally important. Most of us understand and can provide physical health first aid. But what about mental health first aid?


ental health first aid prepares us to offer emergency assistance during crises. As with traditional first aid training, it isn’t intended to teach us how to handle mental or emotional issues for the long run – that’s the job for medical professionals. What it prepares us to do is to provide informed support when it’s immediately needed.

Wellness vs Wellbeing As Guiders who care about the wellness of our girls, naturally we take first aid courses. And we often use the word “wellness” to describe a person’s overall health. But wellness just covers physical health, whereas “wellbeing” covers the more holistic concept of emotional and mental health. To be able to truly support our girls (and each other), we need to focus on both wellness and wellbeing. That’s where mental health first aid comes in. When one of my Pathfinders opened up about her struggle with mental health issues, I realized I want to be as prepared as I can to help her and anyone else suffering a mental health crisis.

First Aid Training I discovered an excellent course offered by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). My two co-Guiders, a number of other Guiding members, some adults from our community and I came together for a day-and-a-half training session on mental health emergencies. We learned theory, watched videos, shared stories from our own experiences, and practised our CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

new skills to respond to different mental health-related emergency situations, using dramatizations and scenarios. The training felt much more familiar than we expected, and was very similar to traditional first aid trainings we had taken – except that the focus was on mental health scenarios, rather than on cuts, bruises, sprains, broken limbs, fevers, allergic reactions and other physical health emergencies. This course covered substance-abuse, mood-related, trauma-related, eating and psychotic disorders, as well as anxiety and deliberate self-injury issues. We learned how to provide support through five key actions.


Assess the risk of suicide and/or harm. How much of an emergency

is this? In what kind of danger is the person we are helping?


Listen non-judgmentally.

Everyone can use an open ear and a compassionate friend—especially one who listens objectively and respectfully, without telling us how or what to think.


Give reassurance and information. Going through a

mental health crisis is exhausting and terrifying. Having someone tell us that mental health problems are recognized medical conditions, that they’re not uncommon, and that they’re not character flaws can be extremely comforting.


Encourage seeking appropriate professional help. As with all first

aid responses, we cannot provide ongoing solutions. Much as we would encourage someone who has broken an arm to see a doctor, we should encourage a person

facing a mental health crisis to also see a doctor, and reassure them that medical assistance is as acceptable for mental health as it is for physical health.


Encourage other supports.

Sometimes people don’t want professional help, and even if they do, having others provide immediate and ongoing support is key. We can’t, and shouldn’t, put it all on our own shoulders. Supporting wellbeing takes a community! While I can’t say that I’ve become even close to an expert in any one of these areas, I will now feel more confident supporting someone in a mental health crisis situation. So, I strongly recommend taking a course in mental health first aid to anyone who is interested. There are far more people around us with mental health issues than we imagine. Our wellbeing impacts all of us, which makes mental health first aid training just as important as physical health first aid training. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I would love to think that those around me are prepared to step up in an informed manner, should I ever need support. We take physical health first aid training to be prepared to help anyone in the event of a sudden injury or illness. Doesn’t being prepared to help anyone in a sudden mental or emotional emergency make as much sense? For more information, contact the MHCC. Or try another organization that offers mental health first aid, for example, The Canadian Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance. Lizzie Knowles is a Guide, Pathfinder and Ranger Guider, who also works in the Québec Provincial Office in Montreal.

New Resource for Guiders!

Care: Responding With ental Health M ’ rls Gi g tin or Supp ort skills by Improve your supp when mental learning what to do your unit, in ise health issues ar ide effective ov pr n ca u and how yo ember Zone > support. Go to: M ent Training > Enrichm



Voilà Québec! A Young Leader Takes Charge

Photos: Emily Lillies


Mentors play a key role in developing leadership skills, especially when it comes to a first-time event for both the mentee and her Guiding community. I learned that when, as a young leader, I was empowered by several Guiding mentors to take a big idea – a new interprovincial camp – and bring it to fruition. 20


n 2014, before my last year of Rangers, I was content thinking that I would become a Unit Guider and perhaps one day a District Commissioner. Then, after a trip to the WAGGGS’ World Centre, Our Chalet, and a role as Ranger Media Arts Co-Lead at a national camp, my long-term outlook on Guiding changed. I wanted more! After those international and national experiences, I decided I wanted to lead an interprovincial camp. By June 2017, having turned 20 and taken on the roles of Unit Guider and Deputy Program Advisor for Quebec, I pitched the idea to our International, Program and Camping Advisers, as well as to our Girl Engagement Coordinator. Seeing what a unique opportunity this camp could be, they said yes to Voilà Québec – and I was to be in charge of it. Being a Unit Guider and a full-time student while leading a large camp was definitely a challenge. As I began planning, I knew CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

My Top 10 Successful Leadership Tips

what the end result would be – but I didn’t know how to get there. I had to learn the steps of planning a successful event. Luckily, I had four amazing mentors to guide me. Without them, I wouldn’t have developed the skills to accomplish what I wanted to do.

1 When in doubt, ask.

Self-Doubt and Success I’d never led an interprovincial event, or even a District or Area event. As much as I loved camping, I’d only ever participated as a leader – I’d never helped plan transportation or food or programming for 100 campers. So, naturally, I had my doubts. However self-doubt turned out to be a valuable part of my learning process. Asking, “Can I actually do this? How am I going to do this? How did I get myself into this?” made me even more determined to succeed. Having a mentor really helped put me in this mindset. I bounced ideas off her, and let out my frustrations and concerns. In turn, her years of wisdom guided me and enabled me to make decisions and gain the support of women and girls who all greatly influenced camp. Everyone has hidden talents, and this group was no exception.

2 Get help. Having a mentor doesn't mean you can't do it. It means you're wise enough to understand that no one can do it alone.

3 Delegate. You can’t do it all, so don’t even try.

4 Be okay with not always being right.

5 Learn to say no.

6 Have a secretary to minute all meetings. If you’re running the meeting, you can’t take notes, yourself.

Pieces of the Puzzle Before I knew it, I’d assembled a team of experts whose knowledge was invaluable in putting the pieces of the puzzle together for this camp. I was familiar with most of the team members from other Guiding events, but there were some who were new to me. Meeting after meeting, I discovered that planning isn’t about who sits at the head of the table – it requires everyone sitting at that table. And the experience and input of each person affects all the others. After watching my team challenge themselves in all different aspects of camp organization – from logistics to food services to programming to Safe Guide and more – I gained a greater understanding of, and respect for, all the puzzle pieces that come together to create any event. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

Take Your Passion . . . From a personal development perspective, Voilà Québec! has most definitely been a highlight of my Guiding life – and of my life in general. When I reflect on my leadership of this camp, I remember a line from one of my favourite songs, “What a Feeling,” by Irene Cara: Take your passion and make it happen. I had an idea and took my passion to make it a reality. I’m sure that all my Guiding sisters can make your ideas into realities. It takes time, patience, perseverance and mentorship – but you can take your passion and make it happen, too! Emily Lillies is a Guide and Ranger Guider in Montreal.

7 A second pair of eyes always helps.

8 Snacks help any meeting.

9 If you’ve done your review and editing thoroughly and are ready to send an email, send it. There’s no point in second guessing yourself forever.

10 Take pride in what you’ve done. Don’t understate your accomplishments, when no one else could have done what you did the way you did it!



World Thinking Day 2020 As February 22 approaches, it’s time for units to prepare for World Thinking Day (WTD). Our step-by-step guide will help you match your celebrations with this year’s theme – Diversity,

Photo: Cat & Jeff - The Apartment Photography

Equity and Inclusion.


Diversity Equity Inclusion 22

ow do we ensure that every girl and woman feels she belongs in Guiding? This guide will demonstrate how to create WTD celebrations that honour and respect diverse cultures, lifestyles and perspectives in your unit, your province and beyond. At GGC, we’re committed to building inclusion into our culture, programming and practices. And we recognize that when we make conscious commitments to inclusion, we empower girls and women to feel safe, respected, supported and inspired to reach their full potential. We also recognize and value the richness of human diversity in its many forms. We strive to create environments in which girls and women from all walks of life, identities and lived experiences feel a sense of belonging and can participate fully. What does a commitment to inclusion look like in a Girl Guide unit? Use these commitments to lay the foundation for all your unit’s activities, including your WTD celebrations.


In Guiding, we step back to welcome the experiences and voices of marginalized people. We build a sense of belonging by recognizing that the people we aim to CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

support are experts on their own lives and experiences. When we’re challenged, we listen and acknowledge – and when we’ve made a mistake, we actively work to grow and change.


We’re open, honest and transparent about why and how decisions are made. We take responsibility for following through on our commitments to creating equitable and inclusive environments. And we’re accountable to the process, not just to the end result.



We pause and reflect on how our identities and lived experiences shape our perspectives and behaviours. We understand that our perspectives and behaviours aren’t always objective or impartial. Consider these self-reflection questions: • When we encounter difference, we ask ourselves: o What are my immediate thoughts and behaviours? o Are my thoughts and behaviours in line with GGC’s commitment to inclusion? o How do my identity and past experiences influence the way that I think, behave and the decisions I make? • When we make a statement, we ask ourselves: o What am I basing this on? • When we see or hear about unfair situations, we ask ourselves: o How can I contribute to more equitable outcomes?

The work of diversity and inclusion can’t be accomplished in isolation or with a singular focus. We work with people who are affected by our decisions, attitudes and actions, and actively seek their input. We engage with thoughts, ideas and approaches that are different from our own, in order to imagine, facilitate and realize new possibilities. We build relationships with individuals, communities and organizations based on respect, mutuality and trust.

Self-reflection will ensure we demonstrate our commitment to inclusion and making equitable choices when planning celebrations.



When it comes to supporting diversity and inclusion, we’re committed to doing what’s right, even when what’s right may not be easy. We don’t shy away from difficult, uncomfortable or unsettling conversations, because we trust these conversations will move us in a positive direction. We resist simplistic solutions to complex problems, and confront systems of inequity wherever we find them.


We consciously and consistently make decisions that will move us towards a more inclusive culture. We recognize that trust is earned – not given – and we work to earn trust by ensuring our commitments are demonstrated with tangible actions. We take ownership over our impact on others, and invite them to join with us along on the same journey. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

she feels comfortable including her perspective in planning your celebration. • One way to open up your celebrations to greater diversity is to contact the girls’ families to see if they would like to participate. This will help to acknowledge that some people may celebrate differently. • Ensure that everyone involved in planning, executing and evaluating the event understands GGC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

What is World Thinking Day?

Each year on February 22, Member Organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) celebrate World Thinking Day to reflect on our global sisterhood in Guiding, and to think about issues that are important to girls and women around the world. February 22 is also the joint birthdays of Guiding and Scouting’s founders, Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. This year’s theme, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, reflects one of the fundamental values of their vision for our organization.

Our unit meetings and Guiding events are environments in which every girl should feel a sense of belonging. By thoughtfully and collaboratively choosing inclusive activities with the girls in our units, we can make all girls feel included and valued. Here are some tips to consider in planning WTD celebrations: • Ask the girls in your unit how they would like to celebrate and honour this year’s theme. • Consider if all the girls in your unit would feel safe, included and valued in your activities and celebrations. • It can be difficult to strike a balance between recognizing/valuing differences in your unit and singling girls out for their differences. If you feel a girl’s culture, community or need isn’t being considered in the celebration, try approaching her individually to see if

Get Your World Thinking Day Crests! Explore the World Thinking Day 2020 programming for Sparks/Brownies and Guides/Pathfinders/Rangers on the program platform.



Guiding is for Everyone! Diversity Equity Inclusion



o Does your planning team

o Is the venue accessible by

include the girls in your unit and their families, to ensure input from people who have diverse experiences and who can provide different perspectives? This diversity can be related to different dimensions of identity, including culture, ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability and gender identification.

Event Checklist When planning your World Thinking Day celebrations, use this checklist. It was designed to assist you in planning all your activities, special events and camps, year round – including WTD.


Did you make sure that a faith and spirituality day calendar has been consulted, so that the date and time of the event does not conflict with any religious holidays?


Do you have a budget to accommodate accessibility requests?


If you will be holding your celebration in a place other than your unit meeting space, have you visited the venue to ensure that it is physically and culturally accessible?


public transit?

o Is an accessible bus/van required?

o Have you thought about and

printed clear signage for all the locations your participants will use?

o Is there accessible parking at the venue?

o Are maps and signs in all

languages of the communities you serve?


o Are the bathrooms in the venue accessible (handlebars, braille signage, low sinks and light switches)?

o Is there a gender-neutral bathroom at the venue?

o Have you left adequate distance between tables and chairs, and checked that walkways are wide enough for all people (especially


or area? Will any activities cause a participant to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, or will any potentially cause harm?

o Are under-represented and

marginalized groups included in planning and facilitating the activities?

o Is the activity affordable to

everyone in your unit? Is there a plan in place to support families who may not be able to afford the outing/activity?

o Is there time between activities for health breaks, if necessary?

o Are the activities accessible

o Does the venue have alarm

systems with audio and visual cues?

inclusive to all? (Tip: Say “everyone” or “folks” instead of “ladies and gentlemen.”)

o Are all printed materials

provided for the event visually accessible (i.e., featuring large enough text and high enough image contrast?)

o Does the venue have level,

smooth floors along with ramps and elevators?

o Have you considered providing a quiet room for anyone who may need a break?


o If you will need speakers

or other participants in the presentation, do they come from diverse backgrounds and have varied identities and experiences? Have you prepared a land acknowledgement to begin your event?

o Have you ensured that

presenters will use language


Food/Drink Do your food options take into consideration dietary needs and restrictions (e.g., kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan, etc.)?


o Is all food clearly labelled with the ingredient list?

o Are all food and beverages

within reach of individuals who use wheelchairs?


o Do your activities consider the

needs, interests and aspirations of all the girls in your unit, district

o Are all activities accessible for all fitness levels?


o Has an evaluation form been

created and circulated to, and collected from, the participants with a section for feedback on improvement?

o Is the evaluation form available in the languages of the communities you serve?

o Is the evaluation form

anonymous and confidential?

o Have all members of the

planning committee and participants been given space to contribute their voices and view their concerns?


Photo: Cat & Jeff - The Apartment Photography

those who use wheelchairs or walkers)?

for those who have physical disabilities? (Tip: If participants will be asked to stand up during an activity, have an accommodation for those who have mobility restrictions and devices.)


Lightweight Camp Cuisine DIY Dehydrated Foods

Photo: Erin DeBruin




Planning a winter camp, backpacking trip or paddling adventure? Want to lighten the load in your backpack? Put dehydrated foods on the menu.


ehydrated food Is lightweight and relatively non-perishable. If you do your own dehydrating and use your favourite herbs and spices in your recipes, your meals will be more nutritious and delicious than what you’ll find in commercial dehydrated brands. And you’ll be able to tailor your menus to your campers’ preferences, dietary needs and hunger levels. Whether you’re new to using dehydrated foods, or simply want to expand your current options, here’s everything you need to know to get started.


Taking the time to plan ahead is an important part of meal preparation, especially when you’re going camping. • Breakfast and lunch can be individualized. Each person fills her own mug and uses boiled water to rehydrate. The contents might be porridge or sunshine spuds for breakfast and soup with sides for lunch. Rinse your mug and finish with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. • Save larger meals for dinner. Meat, beans, rice and grains take time to rehydrate. Consider adding water while on the trail, two to three hours before dinner. Or try having dessert in the late afternoon, followed later by dinner and mug-up together. • Use core ingredients, and add variety with different flavour options. Use items over several meals; for example, green onions, sour cream, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, apples and yogurt can be used in many different recipes. • Don’t skimp on salt. You’ll need to replenish electrolytes on active trips. • Add two extra servings for every meal as a contingency, but be careful about bringing too much food. It’s easy to over-pack, and people on the trail sometimes eat less than you might expect.


Breakfast Oatmeal or instant potatoes supplemented with trail mix, cinnamon, apples, peaches, yogurt, chia seeds, sour cream, green onion, cheese, milk or vanilla protein powder, are all good stock supplies for easy and nutritious breakfasts. Lunch Depending on whether you’ll have time to boil water for a hot meal, stock up on soups, mixed vegetables, trail mix, fruit or yogurt roll-ups, mashed potatoes, hummus, bruschetta, salsa, and jerky. Dinner Go for delicious options such as mushroom risotto, chili, stew, beef and broccoli, chicken and vegetables, chickpea curry, teriyaki tofu, and much more. Avoid pastas, which will waste water, fuel and time – unless you bring a dehydrated macaroni and cheese mix. Consider a pasta alternative, such as cauliflower rice: prepare, dehydrate ahead of time, then cook up quickly at camp.


You can use an oven to dehydrate food, but it takes more time and costs more in energy. Any type of electric dehydrator will do the job more efficiently. Look around for used ones in good condition at yard sales and online. Make sure to have enough trays. Round electric dehydrators come with multiple trays, including mesh and solid – and more can often be purchased. For oven dehydrating, a regular large mesh tray works for large items such as jerky; a thin mesh tray holds small items




Red Pepper

such as a chopped onion; and a liquid tray is useful for fruit leathers and soups. To plan portions, measure food before and after dehydration. For example, four fresh apples might produce half a cup of dried pieces. Since meal sizes are specific to each group, you need to know how much to bring. If one cup of chili reduces to half a cup when cooked, and you have 10 hikers, then you need five cups for the meal. Also, two cups will feed four people for two nights. Label each filled container with the portion size. Soups dehydrate well – bring several types for easy lunches while on the go. Refer to your electric dehydrator’s instructions for optimum drying times. For storage, use hard containers for meat or dinner items, such as chili, which need to be rehydrated in advance. You can add water to start the process, and the container will double as a waste bin afterwards. To keep things more compact, use zipper-lock bags to store breakfast and lunch ingredients.


Many common recipe ingredients are readily available as dehydrated powders, including milk, coconut, peanut butter, protein powder and nutritional yeast. These are easy to add into recipes, and help keep up energy on the trail. Save yourself time by purchasing them, and focus on dehydrating fruits, vegetables, proteins, soups and yogurts.

Raw Fruits


• Slice fruit into very thin slices. (Apples, peaches, strawberries, grapes, pears and bananas are all good choices for dehydrating in slices. You can also dehydrate whole berries, such as blueberries and blackberries.) • Briefly soak in cold water with lemon juice, and place on a dehydrator tray, ensuring the pieces do not overlap. • Dehydrate at 135º F for four to six hours.

Cooked Fruits

• Applesauce and other purees dehydrate nicely into fruit leather. For variety, experiment with mixed flavours – for example, apple-strawberry with cinnamon. • Blanch peaches or apples to make a dessert crisp, so the fruits rehydrate in a semi-cooked state. Try a combination of chopped raw fruit with purees to create a mixed texture. Here are two fun and simple fruit crisp ideas: Apple Crisp – In a camp mug, add three tablespoons dehydrated chopped blanched apples, a strip of apple leather, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a third cup of hot water. Top with oatmeal, trail mix or milk (protein) powder to taste. Peach Crisp – In a camp mug, add a half cup dehydrated blanched peach slices, a quarter cup breadcrumbs, a pinch of nutmeg and a half cup water.

Photos: Deb Best; Background image: ©iStock/LokFung (edited)

Diced Chicken


• Cook or blanch vegetables before dehydrating. Steamed broccoli is popular. Other choices include red peppers, onion, kale, mushrooms and cauliflower. Frozen vegetables, such as peas, corn, edamame and carrot, require no blanching. • Spread the vegetables on the trays, without overlapping. • Dehydrate at 135º F for approximately four hours.


Sour Cream


• Staple proteins for dinner meals include ground beef, diced chicken and diced tofu. Cook the meat and drain off all fat, then dehydrate. Tofu can be sliced or cubed and dehydrated without pre-cooking. • Flaked tuna, chicken or other meats dehydrate and rehydrate more quickly than cubed meats. These are good choices for lunches – for example a quick meal of tuna on crackers. Always rehydrate proteins separately from other ingredients, unless already cooked into a meal, such as in soup or stew.


• Beef or tofu jerkies are easy and popular. Start with good-quality inside round roast or a chunk of firm tofu. For beef, slice thinly across the grain, and for tofu slice thinly into strips or small cubes. Marinate for 24 hours in your favourite BBQ sauce with added teriyaki or soy sauce. Lightly grease the trays (the sauce will have sugar, which can stick to the tray). Spread the meat/tofu slices/cubes without overlaps, and dehydrate at 160º F for six to eight hours. • Yogurt makes a special protein treat, as a snack or add-on for oatmeal and desserts. Use the liquid tray in a dehydrator or a cookie sheet lined with parchment in the oven. Cover the bottom of the tray with your favourite flavour(s) of yogurt and dehydrate until it becomes firm and forms a leather. Leave it longer and it will harden into a caramel treat.

Super Soups

Peaches and Breadcrumbs

• Prepare store-bought or homemade soups and chili. Ensure the soup is fully cooked, then pour into the liquid tray to dehydrate. Soups reduce by quite a lot – chili not as much. Bring tasty soup choices such as Thai chicken, butternut squash, potato-leek or minestrone. Packaged ramen and cup-a-soups are easy alternatives. When serving at camp, add condiments such as cheese, sour cream, parsley and crackers.


After you’ve mastered the basics, dehydrating foods opens up all sorts of possibilities for creating great camp cuisine. Bring tasty meals to your remote cabin, keep a contingency soup stash in your backpack, lead by example when snowshoeing with friends, and personalize your favourite fruit leathers. All you need is imagination and some advanced planning. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll begin to find all kinds of shortcuts to making great meals on the trail. Here’s an example of how you can begin “making” your dinner before you even get to your camping destination: Beef with Broccoli and Rice – Begin rehydrating ground beef covered in water in a closed container approximately three hours in advance, for example, while walking the trail. At camp, begin to rehydrate the broccoli (plus optional onion) 20 to 30 minutes in advance. Cook the meat in rehydration water to ensure it’s hot and tender, then add the rehydrated rice and broccoli. Flavour with bouillon cubes. Fruit Leathers


Of course, you’ll need great recipes to complete your culinary quest. There are many delicious dehydrated food recipes available in books, magazines and online. For a start, check out seven DIY dehydrated meals for the trail or on-the-go (with vegetarian/vegan options) at

HAPPY DEHYDRATING AND BON APPETIT! Deb Best is a Lions Area Ranger Guider in North Vancouver.

gurts Packaged Yo Cherry Tomatoes and Mixed Vegetables




Oh, the Places We’ve Been! Trefoil Guilds Celebrate 60th Anniversary BY NOREEN REMTULLA

Photos: courtesy TG News

In 2019, Girl Guides of Canada celebrated three exciting milestones – 30 years of Sparks, 40 years of Pathfinders and 60 years of Trefoil Guilds. Helping to mark their 60th Anniversary, more than 250 Trefoil Guild members from across Canada came together at a National Gathering last summer in Sudbury, Ontario. 30


orking under the theme, Oh, The Places We’ve Been!, members of Sudbury’s 2nd Nickel North Trefoil Guild and North Bay’s 2nd Near North Trefoil Guild did an outstanding job of hosting the gathering. These 16 members were always available to help, and no question or request was too big or too difficult to answer or fulfill. Organizing large events is a huge undertaking, but working with such an amazing team made the job seem effortless to participants.

Learning Sessions The gathering’s hosts offered a wonderful variety of learning sessions, including fraud prevention, belly dancing, wills, global positioning systems (GPS), transgendered sisters, jewelry designs, tile coasters, meditation, Sudbury landmarks, hand bells and chimes, self-defense, rustic nail and string art, paddle painting, quilted placemats, and an introduction to astronomy.

International Guests Adding to the celebration, Trefoil Guild members were joined by three Guiding sisters from Australia, two from the United Kingdom and two from the United States. “It was a wonderful experience to spend five days making new friends, greeting old friends and spending time with sister members of Girl Guides of Canada and our Guiding sisters from abroad,” said National Trefoil Guild Liaison Judy Pavlis, who is concluding her term. “And the American delegates told us that they have now convinced Girl Scouts USA to recognize Trefoil Guilds under their Scouting banner.” Out trips took participants to Science North, North Bay, museum tours, Onaping Falls for plein air painting, downtown Sudbury, Dynamic Earth and an art studio crawl. “On our outing to North Bay, we cruised Lake Nipissing and rode on a miniature train and a vintage carousel,” said Judy. “It was fun to be a kid again!“ CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020


Of course, no Guiding event would be complete without a service project! The gathering’s participants donated nine wagon-loads of blankets, knitted hats, books, diapers, baby wipes and toiletries, along with gift cards to the NEO Kids Foundation, which supports children’s health needs in Northeastern Ontario. “With every donation made to NEO Kids Foundation, we move one step closer to keeping NEO Kids and their families closer to home,” said Judy.

Keeping the Spirit Alive! A lovely surprise was a video greeting from Girl Guides of Canada CEO Jill Zelmanovits and Chair Robyn McDonald. Participants were inspired as they listened to Jill and Robyn recognize their past and look into the future by connecting all the places Trefoil Guild members have been to all the places they’ll go. “Keeping the Trefoil Spirit alive is what the Trefoil Guild has been doing since the beginning,” said Jill. “While our program has evolved over the years, the heart of Guiding remains the same and will never change. And we know we can count on Trefoil Guild members as we look ahead with excitement to the future of our organization.” “As Trefoil Guild members, your impact on Guiding has been extraordinary – as mentors for your sister Guiders, as catalysts, sparking exceptional opportunities for girls, as dedicated volunteers,” said Robyn. “Thank you for all you do for girls, for women, and for your communities.” Be sure to save the date for the next National Trefoil Guild Gathering – June 2022 in Winnipeg! A Guider in Edmonton, Noreen Remtulla is a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

So Many Options . . . Trefoil Guild Opportunities BY HILARY FELDMAN

The motto of GGC Trefoil Guilds is Keeping the Spirit Alive – and there are infinite options for members to keep that spirit growing. Trefoil Guilds are designed so each one can reflect the interests and abilities of its members. That’s the beauty of Guiding!


ome Trefoil Guilds are committed to community service, and enjoy providing meals for large Guiding events and snacks for meetings, as well as serving as quartermasters for unit camps. Others love to travel, and take their members on the road whenever possible. Still others keep their members active through monthly walks and hikes, often ending in informal gatherings to enjoy a tasty lunch and an extended opportunity to chat and connect. Trefoil Guilds also reflect the interests, talents and expertise of their individual members. Some are made up of Guiders who


Photo: courtesy Apple Blossom Trefoil Guild


Photo: courtesy Apple Blossom Trefoil Guild


Trefoil Guilds are designed so each one can reflect the interests and abilities of its members. That’s the beauty of Guiding!

are still active with units and districts, while others have moved away from working directly with girls over the years. Still others are made up of newer Guiders ready to tackle any challenge, and looking for a way to connect with other adults in Guiding.

A Young Trefoil Guild Photos: courtesy TG News

After several years of informal gatherings to hike, camp and take on other adventures, a group of young Guiders who initially met on their Area Camping Committee decided to form a Trefoil Guild of their own. In 2012, as they began passing their 30th birthdays (Trefoil Guild membership is open to women aged 30+), they created the Apple Blossom Trefoil Guild in BC. The idea started as each of these young women moved into different roles in Guiding – from Unit Guider to Area Committee


member to Provincial Adviser. They realized that they wanted to remain connected both to Guiding and to each other, but with the growing demands of work and/or family commitments, making time to meet up became increasingly difficult. For some members, these new priorities led to a reduction of Guiding time in general. Forming a Trefoil Guild offered the perfect solution to keep the group together and to also grow by bringing in new members. Since the initial members had a connection to the University of British Columbia (UBC), their annual visits to the university’s Apple Festival provided inspiration for their Trefoil Guild’s name. It was also a nod to their passion for getting outside. Now the Apple Blossom Trefoil Guild seizes interesting opportunities to meet up, beyond their traditional trip to UBC’s Apple Festival. They’ve formed a relay team for several UBC Triathlons. They also take an annual camping trip, expanding the campers over the years to include spouses and small children. A few times a year, the members might get together over dim sum, drive to the Okanagan for wine-tasting tours, share stories over steaming mugs at the Hot Chocolate Festival, and connect for other outings. They also support each other individually, as babies arrive, homes are purchased, and life’s challenges arise. Given their first connection through camping, it’s no surprise that these young Guiders are still actively encouraging girls to get outside. The members include Pathfinder and Ranger Guiders, trainers, adventure trip leads and assists, and Safe Guide assessors. Girl Guide camping brought them together and still forms the heart of their group.

Help Keep the Spirit Alive! What’s your passion in Guiding? How can you connect with other women who share the same interests? Consider forming or joining a Trefoil Guild to build and continue those adult relationships through Guiding. Are you already a member of a unique Trefoil Guild? Connect with your Provincial Trefoil Guild Adviser to let her know. She might help you attract some other like-minded Guiders to join you. GGC welcomes and applauds participation options – and that includes in Trefoil Guilds! A Guider in Vancouver, Hilary Feldman is Chair of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020


Old Uniform New Life Upcycling GGC Shirts BY JOANN FOX

In Guiding, we try to use our resources wisely. In this spirit, the West Coast Area Awards Committee devised a creative way to give unwanted items a new life, as we prepared to recognize our local Guiders.

Photos: Darlene Burns


e hold our annual awards event each spring. Along with presenting awards and celebrating milestone years, the committee presents handmade thank-you gifts to all the attending Guiders. This year, we decided to upcycle old buttons into bracelets, which double as handy bookmarks. I mentioned this idea at a Trefoil Guild meeting, and another member offered to help out. She suggested we create a little gift bag for each bracelet, upcycling old striped Alfred Sung uniform shirts for fabric. Needless to say, she was a little flummoxed when we told her we would need 200 bags!

Undaunted, she managed to collect enough old uniform shirts, and then set about cutting and sewing all the bags. Thank goodness for her steadfast resolve and stellar sewing skills. Two other members of our Trefoil Guild assisted her, by threading a drawstring through each bag, and adding a thank you card for the finishing touch. As a result of this collaborative creative effort, we were able to put a drawstring bag and bracelet at each of the 200 place settings for our awards banquet. When Guiders sat down at their tables, compliments could be heard all around the banquet hall, the most common of which was “What a great way to use the old Guiding shirts!� We know these Guiders will treasure their gifts and pass the idea forward, using imagination and ingenuity to create Guiding keepsakes that demonstrate ingenuity, creativity, thriftiness and thoughtfulness. A Guider in Richmond, BC, JoAnn Fox is Chair of the West Coast Area Awards Committee, and a member of the Legends and Out to Lunch Bunch Trefoil Guilds.




Photos: Kathryn Lyons; Illustration: ©iStock/Softulka (edited)

F riends Forever – Wherever The Magic of the Sisterhood B Y K AT H R Y N LY O N S

A truly compelling aspect of the global Guiding Movement is its power to forge friendships that last forever, and to unite girls and women from different generations and diverse backgrounds. It’s the magic of the sisterhood! 34


n 1963, a group of 24 Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from around the world met during a WAGGGS’ Juliette Low leadership seminar at Our Cabaña, in Mexico. Through earlier newsletters that were typewritten, mimeographed and mailed to today’s many internet communication options, and during face-to-face international reunions, many of these women have maintained lifelong friendships. Their latest reunion took place last fall, when 13 of them met in Canada for the first time. GGC Trefoil Guild member Tricia Roet organized a fall colours cruise, a Canadian Thanksgiving feast, and a very special meeting with some local Guiding members. Tricia’s granddaughter, Pathfinder Ely Toncic, is part of a group of Ottawa Pathfinders and Rangers, who are preparing for their first trip to Our Cabaña this coming summer. Although separated CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

by geography and generations, these girls, their Guiders and the women who bonded at Our Cabaña all those decades ago, came together at the Canadian reunion to enjoy an afternoon of laughter, wisdom, inspiration and mutual admiration.

Travel Advice There were plenty of tips for the first-time travelers, including advice from most of the original Our Cabaña group to learn some Spanish. Former Australian Senator Kay Patterson told Pathfinder Frida Symons-Swann, “Don’t expect it to be like home. Have a sense of adventure, and get a sense of what it’s like to live there.” When Pathfinder Nyah Clarke admitted to feeling a little nervous about making new friends at Our Cabaña, both Tricia and American artist and author Julie Dawson advised, “Just sit down with someone you don’t know, and think about what things you’re curious about.” Ranger Anusha Khare is excited about travelling to her first World Centre, and about making this trip without her family. “I learned how to pack only what I will need, and about the tourist sites the older women visited,” she said. “And I loved the songs they sang. It was beautiful.”

Bridging Generations As the girls and women spoke, the upcoming trip’s Guider, Laura Riggs, reflected on being between the two generations. “I was really moved by the experience,” she said. “While watching the Our Cabaña group interact with our girls, I felt proud to belong to such a unifying organization. I thought to myself how modern and inclusive the Guiding sisterhood has become, and how the core traditions and principles have remained unwavering since 1963.” Laura also mentioned what she calls a Guiding geek-out moment, when a couple of the Our Cabaña reunion women in the room described different instances where they had met Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting co-founder Lady Olave Baden-Powell. “What an incredible piece of Guiding history that CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

was,” she exclaimed. “I can’t wait to see who we’ll meet from other WAGGGS Member Organizations at Our Cabaña and Ticalli!” (Ticalli, which means “Your Home” in Nahuatl – the language of the ancient Aztecs – is a hotel open to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from all over the world.) “I also can’t wait to see Our Cabaña’s iconic blue door open, to reveal the beautiful oasis of its grounds,” she said. “Those grounds took my breath away on my first trip in 2014, and I’m looking forward to seeing the same reaction on the girls’ faces on this trip.” Pathfinder Ely Toncic is already looking forward to meeting people from all around the world. In meeting the older women, what stood out for her was their lasting friendship. “I found it incredible how they’re still close friends after all this time.” she said. “It was amazing to listen to their stories and learn about their life experiences.”

Unbreakable Bonds Although these women have very diverse backgrounds, cultures, professions and perspectives, they have such a good time together! It’s heart-warming to know that they’re still friends after all this time. Ely and Pathfinder Amarah Ali asked the women about this friendship. Japanese author Keiko Kimura attributed it to everyone’s open-mindedness. It was heartwarming to witness these remarkable women renewing their bonds, as they sang their favourite songs (and grumbled a little in good humour when asked to wear matching hats). Then, watching as they created new bonds with younger Guiding members was, as GGC Guider Sandra Kuchta said, “A moment of living the worldwide sisterhood of Guiding and Scouting.” For all of us, it was pure Girl Guide magic! Kathryn Lyons is a Guider in Ottawa, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee. Special thanks to Pathfinders and Rangers Amarah Ali, Nyah Clarke, Anusha Khare, Frida Symons-Swann and Ely Toncic, and Guiders Sandra Kuchta and Laura Riggs, for their collaboration on this article.



Chemistry and Physics in Action BY HILARY FELDMAN AND K AT H R Y N LYO N S

Photo: Cat & Jeff - The Apartment Photography

Making DIY slime is a great way to introduce a fun STEM activity into meetings. Girls learn to mix ingredients that will “magically” transform themselves into a gooey, malleable, wonderful goop! They’re sure to enjoy watching chemistry and physics in action, and then playing with the results! 36


iven the recent warnings about borax and boric acid in commercial slime products, now is a good time to try easy-to-make options that use safe ingredients. Here are some popular DIY slimes, but your unit might prefer to stir up other DIY concoctions, such as floam, sidewalk chalk and salt dough. Whatever the girls choose, you can be confident that the potentially toxic ingredients in commercial brands will be absent from your creative concoctions. Part of the fun of making slime is that, by combining a few ingredients, girls can create something unexpected, while learning a few basics of chemistry. And there are plenty of combinations they can try. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020


Also known as ooze, gook and magic mud, oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid. That’s a scientific way of saying it behaves like a liquid when poured, but like a solid when a force acts on it. This tactile mixture provides a fun physics lesson. Press on it with a spoon, and it feels hard. Squash it into a solid ball with your hands, then slowly release the pressure and it turns from solid to liquid. Pressing on oobleck increases its viscosity by forcing the cornstarch particles together. Release the pressure and it acts more like water. Without a force, the cornstarch particles move apart, so your oobleck ball will ooze through your fingers. FUN FACT: Oobleck gets its name from the 1949 book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). The story follows the adventures of a young boy named Bartholomew Cubbins, who must rescue his kingdom from a sticky green substance called – you guessed it – oobleck! CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

What You Need

• 1 part water • 2 parts cornstarch • a few drops food colouring (optional)

What You Do

1 Mix the ingredients together in a bowl or pie plate. 2 Play! Pinch, scoop and squish it to see what happens. How about when you poke it quickly? How about when you poke it slowly? Oobleck can be cleaned up with water. However, food colouring can permanently stain clothes and temporarily stain hands. To keep drains from clogging, dispose by putting it in your compost and not down your sink.

Mess Factors Mild Mild to Moderate Moderate to Extreme Safety and Allergy Considerations

Oobleck is food-safe but not advisable for consumption – it tastes awful! For corn contact allergies or sensitivities, substitute with an equal amount of arrowroot or tapioca powder.




Safe, easy to source and inexpensive, this slime-like mixture can also be made with common household ingredients, and you don’t have to worry about precise measurements. Better yet, girls can have fun experimenting with making it more and less runny. What You Need

• 1 cup baking soda • shampoo or dish soap (about 1 Tbsp) • a few drops food colouring (optional)

What You Do

1 Put the baking soda in a bowl. 2 Add approximately one tablespoon of dish soap or shampoo and stir. 3 Add optional food colouring. 4 Add more shampoo (or dish soap) to create a creamy consistency. If you add too much shampoo and your slime becomes too runny, add a pinch more baking soda. 5 Experiment to obtain different textures. Hands will get dirty mixing and handling, but can be washed with water. Food colouring can stain clothes and hands. Household slime is not for consumption. For contact allergies, it’s non-toxic and gluten-free. If any girls have fragrance sensitivities, choose unscented shampoo or dish soap.


Sometimes called Jell-O jigglers, gelatin blocks are wiggly building blocks. The gelatin needs to set, so make it in advance of your meeting, or at an overnight event. What You Need

Photo: Cat & Jeff - The Apartment Photography

• 2½ cups boiling water • 2 packages (8 servings each) jelly powder in your choice of flavour(s)

What You Do

1 Place jelly powder in a large bowl. 2 Add boiling water and stir for at least three minutes, until completely dissolved. 3 Pour into 9” x 13” (23 cm x 33 cm) pan. 4 Refrigerate until firm – at least three hours. 5 Dip the bottom of the pan in warm water for 15 seconds. 6 Use cookie cutters or a knife to make decorative shapes or cubes. Be careful to


cut all the way through to the bottom of the pan. 7 Reserve scraps for snacking. If using as a play activity, the blocks will break down and get messy. Use caution with boiling water. For consumption, gelatin is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Most brands are not halal or kosher (Amira brand is halal). Agar and carrageenan are vegan alternatives. FUN FACT: Using the same recipe, try “jewels in the trees.” Pour small portions of the jelly liquid into zipper-seal bags. Use clothespins to peg the bags to trees. The jelly will set overnight (or over a few hours) and look like shining jewels in the sunlight. For sensory fun, suggest the girls squish their bags before eating.


Playing with wet sand is a tantalizing sensory experience. To create similar sensory opportunities, try moon sand. Make this silky, soft and mouldable

substance to build castles, have an indoor beach party or just explore its sculptural texture. What You Need

• 8 parts flour • 1 part vegetable oil • powdered colour or drink crystals (optional)

What You Do

1 Place the oil and flour in a large bowl. 2 Add optional powdered colour or drink crystals. Mix thoroughly, using a pastry cutter, spoon or whisk. 3 Store in an airtight container. Like any sand, moon sand tends to get everywhere, but it’s easy to sweep and wipe away. Not for consumption – raw flour may contain bacteria. For contact gluten allergies, substitute these ingredients: • ¾ cup baking powder or baking soda • ¾ cup gluten-free cornstarch • 1 cup oil (add ¼ cup at a time to get your preferred texture)



No glue is required, but you will need a microwave to make the paint “puff” up. What You Need

• ½ cup flour • 2 tsp salt • 2 tsp baking powder • food colouring • a little water

What You Do

1 Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Carefully add water, just a little at a time – it doesn’t need much – until it forms a thick paste. 2 Stir well to remove all lumps. Little bubbles will start to form – this is a good sign that your paint will rise. 3 Transfer the paint into squeeze bottles or bowls. 4 Once the paint is divided, add a small amount of food colouring to each bottle/ bowl and shake/stir well. 5 Using cardstock and a paintbrush or squeeze bottle, create a design. 6 When ready, microwave each painting for 15 to 20 seconds, depending on the power of your microwave. The paint will puff right up! Used carefully and heated under supervision, your puff paint creations should not be overly messy. However, some cleanup will be required.

The pearls can be used to create art and/or eat, without much mess. Cooking is required. Pure tapioca is gluten-free, as it’s made from cassava root flour. Some prepared or processed pearls may contain allergens, so read the labels.


Use up all those leftover camp marshmallows with this mixture that can be manipulated like play dough or fondant. What You Need

• a 450-gram (16-ounce) package of white mini marshmallows – or equivalent in leftover campfire marshmallows. • 2 to 5 tablespoons water • 8 cups icing sugar • ½ cup solid vegetable shortening • a few drops food colouring (optional)

What You Do

1 Place marshmallows and two tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. 2 Heat on high for 30 seconds, then stir until mixed well. 3 Repeat for another 30 seconds, stir again. Continue until marshmallows are completely melted (about two-and-a-half minutes). 4 Add six cups of icing sugar to the melted marshmallow mixture and fold gently.

5 Generously grease your hands and work surface with the shortening. 6 Place the mixture on your work surface, gradually adding additional icing sugar. Re-grease hands and surface so the dough doesn't stick. 7 Knead in optional colour. If the dough tears easily, add a little water (half a tablespoon at a time). 8 Continue kneading for approximately eight minutes, until the dough forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that can stretch without tearing. 9 Store the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate. It should stay stable for several weeks. Hands will get dirty mixing and handling but are washable with water. Food colouring can permanently stain clothes and temporarily stain hands. Use caution with microwave and melted marshmallows. For consumption, some brands (e.g., Dandies) are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Most brands are not halal or kosher, so check the label. A Guider in Vancouver, Hilary Feldman chairs the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee. A Guider in Ottawa, Kathryn Lyons is a member of the committee.

Recipe contains wheat flour.


Commonly called fish eyes, tapioca pearls look like marbles, but feel like eyeballs. Roll them, squish them, or eat them. If you’ve ever had bubble (aka boba) tea, you’ve had these balls. What You Need

• 7 parts water • 1 part tapioca pearls (Large pearls are available in Asian grocery stores or online. Small pearl tapioca is often available in the supermarket baking section, but is not as easy to play with.)

What You Do

1 Follow the instructions on the tapioca pearl package. 2 Use the pearls soon after preparation. 3 Add your own colour or sparkle to these mixtures. Girls enjoy making these recipes and then creating art with them.


Program Connections GGC Slime Activities Looking for more fun activities that feature slime? Check these out:

• Icky, Sticky Slime! • Edible Oobleck • Oobleck in Action


Photo: Hilary Feldman




Tackling Knots Without Getting Tangled BY COLLEEN UPSON

Knot skills are essential to many of the camping and outdoor Guiding activities girls love. That’s why knots have always been included in the program. But some of us may not feel confident in our knotting abilities. So, here are some tips to help you avoid getting tangled up when learning and teaching about knots in your unit.


remember doing knots as a girl member – and they were not my favourite activity. My brain and hands just couldn’t replicate the knots demonstrated by my very patient Guiders. One memorable disaster happened at a Guide camp where we built tripods and ladders. My finished tripod fell over, and the steps on my ladder slid to the ground before I could place a foot on the first rung! Years later as a Guider, I still find knots difficult, and worry about being able to teach them well to girls. But luckily, many resources are available to make it less formidable.


Apps Some excellent apps can help you study and teach knots, including: • Knots Art 3D – This free app works on both Android and iOS. It features clear illustrations that you can download at home, if your meeting space doesn't have internet. • Animated Knots – This for-purchase app provides more detailed background information and an option for favourites, as well as a few more perks. • Knot Guide – Another for-purchase app, this one also provides more information, options and perks.

Books There are many well-written books on knotting skills. Here are a few examples: • DK Knots: the Complete Visual Guide – This book provides practical step-by-step guides to tying and using more than 100 knots, as well as estimates on how much rope you require for each knot. • The Knot Tying Bible: Climbing, Camping, Sailing, Fishing, Everyday – This is a complete guide to selecting, tying and using a wide array of knots, useful for everything from hauling logs to securing a canoe to wrapping a present. • The Field Guide to Knots – This book teaches you to identify, tie and untie more than 80 essential knots.


Photo: Hilary Feldman


Bringing Knots to Life Now that you have some knowledge and resources in your back pocket, it's time to bring knots to life. But where do you begin to teach the girls?

Knot Races Teach knotting backwards! Tie some colourful, fun and funky knots. Bring them to your unit meeting, and have the girls do relay races to see who can untie them first. Then have groups of girls practise a few knots of their own. The groups can trade their knotty creations and have more fun doing another relay race to untie them again!

Snack Time Knots

Photos: ©iStock/AntiMartina

Give out licorice laces and challenge the girls to tie up some fun and yummy snacks. Remember, practice makes perfect, so suggest doing the same knots they learned during the relay races. If you have different coloured laces, girls can also knot two colours together and add some slip knots and candy beads to create edible bracelets and necklaces.

Craft Knots Paracord projects are a fun way to work with knots. Paracord is a lightweight, nylon rope originally used for the suspension lines of parachutes. It comes in many colours and is flexible and easy to tie. Use colourful paracord to make simple or complicated water bottle handles, hat crafts, survival key chains, flashlight and bedroll straps, or any other items the girls can think up.


Program It! GGC Knotting Activities Check out these handy knotting activities on the program platform: • Tying Reef Knots (All Branches) • What’s “Knot” to Like (Guides) – Two Half-Hitch Knot – Round Turn and Two Half-Hitches Knot – Bowline Knot • “Knot” Your Average Activity (Brownies) – Bows – Reef knots – Packer’s knots • Lashing Out (Pathfinders and Rangers) – Square lashing – Transom knot (diagonal lashing) – Shear lashing


Beginner Knots



This knot provides a simple and reliable way to tie two ropes together. Have the girls sit in a circle, each holding a piece of coloured rope. Tell them to work with the girl sitting on their right and provide these instructions:

1 Hold one end of the red rope in your right hand and one end of the blue rope in your left hand. Cross the red rope over the blue rope, and bring the end under it, pointing to the left. 2 Pass the blue rope end over and under the red rope end. 3 Tighten the knot by pulling both ends at the same time. 4 Switch sides and work with the girl to your left, repeating the first four steps. When finished, the girls will have worked together to tie a colourful unit circle. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

This beautiful knot is commonly used for hat crafts and swaps. Adding a song is a great way to help the girls learn and remember the steps to this knot; music is a great memory tool, and singing is always fun. Try the first verse of “Make New Friends (But Keep the Old)” with each girl holding two coloured ropes the same length and singing while they follow your instructions:

Make new friends, but keep the old. 1 Cross one rope over the other, forming an X. Fold the right rope under the left one.

One is silver, the other is gold. 2 Take the top end of the left rope and fold it under the right rope. This should look like two loops hooked around each other.

A circle is round, it has no end. 3 Take the bottom piece of the left rope and fold it up over the other pieces. It will now point up. With the top piece of the right rope, fold it up and pass the end through the loop (where the two ropes meet). You should now have four rope ends, pointing up and down, left and right.

That's how long, I’ll be your friend. 4 Pull the ends of the ropes tight to form a friendship knot.

Photos: ©GGC/Ross Woolford

Here are a few knots that work well for beginners.


This is a great knot for attaching rope to tent poles. It’s also commonly used in macramé projects. Each girl will require a piece of rope and a pole.

1 Make a loose loop around your pole. Pass the short rope end through the loop. 2 Now take the same end, wrap it over the rope and down through the loop created. 3 Pull both ends to tighten the two half-hitches. This knot is very secure if tied tightly around the pole.

Need More Help?

For more information on knots and some visual demonstrations, just type in “Knots” on the YouTube search engine. You will find many explanatory, creative and fun videos. Happy knotting!

Colleen Upson is a Guider in Dartmouth, NS, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.



Be an

Be an

Animal Helper

Earth Advocate

Be a


Be a

Rights Protector

Be an

Equality Champion

A Better World, By Girls National Service Project Whether girls want to care for animals, break down barriers to gender equality on the sports field, or find ways to protect the planet, this year’s National Service Project (NSP) helps them make it happen. They’ll find all the tools they’ll need to imagine their better world and create their very own action plan to spark positive change in their communities.

Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography

There are many different ways girls can participate in the NSP. For example, they can . . . Be an Animal Helper Be an Earth Advocate Be a Peacebuilder Be a Rights Protector Be an Equality Champion 


Share the Better World! To showcase the impact that girls are making, we’ve created an interactive website that girls, Guiders and units can use to upload their visions, actions, photos and ideas for making the world a better place. Go to And don’t forget to check out the NSP instant meeting, A Better World, By Girls on the program platform. CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020

My better world is… What does “a better world, by girls” actually look like? Girls across Canada are sharing their visions for a better world and taking action to build that better world this year with the National Service Project!

“My better world is a more colourful world, where everyone can lean on each other.”

Looking for inspiration to get you started? Here’s what some girls have shared so far. Be an

Be a

Animal Helper


“My better world is a world with peace and more females in the field of space science.” Be a


Be an

Equality Champion


“My better world has no animal cruelty.”

Be an

Be a

Rights Protector

Earth Advocate

Be a


“My better world is environmentally sustainable, has equal opportunities and has no poverty and no discrimination.” 45


Recognizing Members GGC Awards


GC members contribute so much of their time, talent and energy to empower girls in Guiding to be everything they want to be! GGC awards provide one way you can recognize your sister members for their exceptional service – and that includes girls, Guiders and administrative volunteers.

Do you know someone who is exceptionally hard working, dependable and dedicated, or who has demonstrated great courage and endurance in hardship? Or perhaps a team whose members have organized an amazing event or project? Although many award nominations are accepted by GGC anytime throughout the year, check with your province to find out

if there is a deadline for awards requiring provincial approval. Regardless, now is the perfect time to submit your nomination, if you want the person you are nominating to receive her award before the end of the Guiding year. To make a difference in a Guiding sister’s life by recognizing all she puts into our organization, here’s what you need to do:

Go to Member Zone > Opportunities > Recognition > Member Awards to find awards offered at local, provincial and national levels. GGC awards recognize all levels of service, from non-members to Unit Guiders to administrative members.

Choose the award that fits best with the accomplishments of your nominee. There are specific criteria for each award listed. Contact your Unit Administrator or appropriate council to find out if the member has the award prerequisites, if necessary.

Fill out an R.3 application form (listed under “How to make a nomination”) and include letters of support, if required. See the tips for writing letters of support in the dropdown menu. You can get the nominee’s membership number from your provincial office or through your unit roster on Member Zone. Contact your local District Commissioner or Administrative Community Leader if you need help with your nomination submission.

Once your nomination package is ready, send it electronically to the appropriate council or Unit Administrator, as deemed by your province. If you live in Ontario, please visit their website for information on how to make an online award nomination.

Spread the word to your sisters in Guiding! Encourage them to nominate someone deserving of an award, too!


Most provinces have an Awards Adviser who can answer questions you may have about specific awards or the nomination form. You can also email

Make someone smile by nominating them today! CANADIAN GUIDER | WINTER 2020


In Memoriam GGC Tributes (July – November 2019) Girl Guides of Canada members are frequently recognized in their communities for the wonderful work they have done during their Guiding lives. As many of them may be familiar to you, we are sharing the following in memoriam announcements:

Has your unit done a one-of-a-kind activity? Do you have a unique story idea that will inspire Rangers and adult members, and support them in their Guiding journey? Canadian Guider wants to hear your pitch! Please email your story idea to: Please do not send completed stories – just your suggestions. Due to space limits in the magazine, not all submission ideas can be accepted.


Brenda McElree, SK Phyllis McEwen, ON Audrey McMurter, ON Camille Morris, AB Dianne Neisz, AB Shelly Patten, NL Gale Richardson, AB Dorothy Rockwood, NL Edith Roy, NS Rose Ruller, SK Olive Schurek, AB Daphne Sebag-Montefiore, QC Margaret Sharp, AB Muriel Shearer, BC Kathleen Shields, SK Kathleen Spilek, NS Lorna Stevens, AB Jane Thompson, BC Marg Thronberg, SK Florence Tobin, NL Frances Van Walleghem, MB Gwen Vickers, MB Phyllis Voytechek, AB Patricia Watt, ON

A Tribute Opportunity Supporting Scholarships

If you, or your unit or your Trefoil Guild would like to make a donation to the GGC National Scholarship Fund in honour of these women, we would be grateful to accept contributions. For more information, please email us at:


Photo: Natalia Dolan Photography

Got a ? h c t i P y r Sto

Lillian Anderson, NB Carol Elizabeth Bradshaw, BC Melrose Carlson, MB Pat Conchatre, MB Marilyn Cotter, BC Irene Crowson, BC Jeanette Davey, ON Julie Duddridge, BC Verna Embury, ON Elvera (Joy) Fagan, BC Laura Freeman, BC Jennifer Gardiner, NS Catherine June George, ON Mary Gibney, AB Margaret W. Grove, AB Nancy Gunter, BC Barbara Harris, BC Trudy Haughland, AB Catherine Henderson, ON Helen Inglebright, BC Lily Johansson, AB Sheila Laidlaw, NB Theresa Landry, NB Kristina Larsen, BC Shirley Martin, AB

In our Fall 2019 issue, we noted that all of the authors of Outdoor Guider – Camp Cooking 101 are from Quebec. Please note that Carmen Zayac is the Camping Adviser from Woodsmoke Area in Alberta. Our apologies to Carmen for this mistake.


Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada, 50 Merton Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1A3