Tag Archives: Guiding

I got to sleep at the aquarium!

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.

They’re so spectacular up close!

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.

So so yummy!

So so yummy!

November 22

Blog post: a gift guide of sorts!
Run: 3.2k on the treadmill after work

November 23

Blog post: this is it!
Run: 3.2k around the neighbourhood just as the sun was going down



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Some fun Guiding photos

I sat down to write this post with the intention of writing something deep and meaningful about what Guiding means to me, because I am so full of warm fuzzies from the weekend. We had an absolutely amazing weekend at camp and I wanted to put those heart-warming experiences into words.

This is one of my absolute favourite photos from this weekend.

This is one of my absolute favourite photos from this weekend.

Unfortunately, I’m totally zonked from a crazy weekend and I’m not really capable of writing anything coherent right now.So instead I thought I would share a few Guiding photos from the last little while that illustrate some of the things that make being a Sparks Guider an insane amount of fun.

November 16

Blog post: Just a short one about being halfway through November.
Run: A 3k around camp in the evening.

November 17

Blog post: This one’s a little bit sad, I will admit. More tomorrow!
Run: A 3k around the neighbourhood after getting home from camp. Hoping for a long run tomorrow evening?


November 17, 2013 · 11:17 pm

Three things Thursday: pre-Sparks camp edition

This weekend is our annual Spark and Mom Camp, which is one of my absolute favourite things we do during the year, but every year it just about kills us all in the week before while we’re trying to get everything ready to go. This year is no exception. (This will be the make-or-break weekend for my running streak and blogging streak this month. It’s not going to be easy to find 18 minutes to myself for a 3k run on Saturday, but I swear I’m going to make it happen.)

Here are three things I’m thinking about on this pre-camp Thursday.

  1. I really, really, really, really wish I had in-suite laundry. Some weeks not being able to do laundry after 10 pm makes doing laundry extremely difficult. I desperately need to do a load or two of key things before camp, and it somehow has to dry before I pack it. I’m trying really hard not to think about the fact that the laundry situation will be WORSE after the weekend. (To any of you who do laundry for a whole household: I’m impressed. And terrified for the day when that will become my reality. How old do kids have to be to do laundry??)
  2. I’m already looking forward to going to bed on Sunday night. Pre-camp I’m always busy with last-minute details, and no matter how much sleep you get at camp, it’s never quite enough. (Thank goodness at camps with moms we’re not the first ones woken up when the first kid inevitably wakes up at 6.)
  3. Did I mention that I really love being a Sparks Guider? I might complain sometimes about the time and energy that goes into it, but I love it so much. I love introducing girls to new experiences, taking them to camp, teaching them things, and getting to be a 5-year-old for at least an hour a week. We have an insane amount of fun, and it’s worth every bit of effort we put in.


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