There are some definite perks to being a Girl Guide leader. I get to do all kinds of fun things that most adults don’t get to do. Like sleep over at the Vancouver Aquarium.
We looked into doing it with the Sparks a few years ago, but the sleepover starts at 9pm, which is well after they normally go to bed. So we gave up on that dream (and did the Not Quite Overnight program at the space centre instead).
But we Guiders frequently tag along on other groups’ camps and sleepovers as an extra adult body, so when some of the Brownie and Guide groups planned an aquarium sleepover, I was very quick to offer my services.
After we arrived, we split into small groups and started our adventure. My group started with the wet lab, where we got to explore three tables of critters. We talked about predators and prey and how animals protect themselves. After that we had a break for a snack: meat and cheese trays, buns, veggies and dip, fruit, cookies and juice (plus coffee and tea for leaders). We were super impressed by the food, AND they insisted that leaders eat first! We never eat first!
Then it was on to a tour through the aquarium, including some behind the scenes areas. We visited the Arctic, the Amazon and the Pacific Northwest exhibits and talked about ecosystems. It was really neat being in some of the areas most people don’t get to see!
Finally, around 12:15, it was time to get ready for bed. We laid out our mattresses and sleeping bags in the gallery right next to the belugas! The girls were all exhausted by that point, so everyone fell asleep quite quickly.
Before we knew it, it was 6:50 and we were being woken up by our fearless aquarium leader Sue. We packed up our things, had some breakfast (cereal, banana bread, pastries, fruit, juice coffee) and then had free time to explore the aquarium before it opened. The girls made a beeline to the gift shop, and the adults all dashed outside to see the sea otters and got to see Elfin (the male sea otter) being fed. The penguins weren’t up before we had to go, sadly.
The girls got collected at 9 and then it was homeward bound. By way of the Rumpus Room, where we treated ourselves to breakfast poutine. Fries, gravy, cheese curds, plus hollandaise sauce, a poached egg and bacon. Amazing.
Blog post: a gift guide of sorts!
Run: 3.2k on the treadmill after work
Blog post: this is it!
Run: 3.2k around the neighbourhood just as the sun was going down