Happy Canada Day

I have no idea how long these celebration packs will be up on the government website but these are some links to some great activities

Maple Leaf activity pack

Get creative! Paint, read, dance, produce your own stop animation film or sing along to some of your favourite Canadian tunes.

Peace Tower activity pack

Test your Canadian knowledge and display your Canada Day cheer with fun crafts and games! Challenge your family and friends in a quiz, have a paper model build-off, decorate your house or share your story with other Canadians.

Beaver activity pack

Get active in your backyard and explore your natural surroundings! Go on a scavenger hunt, decorate your sidewalk or work out like a Canadian athlete.

O Canada activity pack

Are you an aspiring master chef? Try out these fun and delicious Canadian recipes to enjoy during your Canada Day celebrations.

My Local Community

Now that the public and separate school boards have started sending out work for my Pathfinders and Rangers to complete at home, I’m going to start generating at home meetings every two weeks to give the girls a bit more time to work on them. This weeks meeting is from the Local Communities Theme.


For an opening I put together a kahoot! quiz on the origins of street names in Toronto.  I originally wanted to run it live during our online meeting but that didn’t work out.  Still the girls can complete it on their own time.  If I had known they would be doing it on their own I might have used Google Forms instead.


This weeks at home meeting activities includes a community photo bingo, favourite places in your neighbourhood and an urban planning activity.

My Local Community


“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Down Under Camp

Theme: I ran this camp for Pathfinders and Rangers but I will include some ideas for younger girls as well.  Ideas were generated from online sources, lived experience by my co-Guider and the Festivals and Celebration Challenges section on Australia.

Patrols: Patrols could be named after Australian animals.

Program Connections:

  • Spirit of Guiding 
  • Global Guiding
  • World Stage 
  • Commonwealth Award



Dot Art

Koala/Australian facts swaps

Boomerang swaps


Netball ( or Action Netball)

Try throwing a boomerang


My Country by Dorothea MacKellar


  • Corn Fritters
  • Baked Apples
  • Pancakes
  • chicken stew
  • Loaded baked Potatoes
  • damper and billy tea
  • pavlova


  • Australian Campfire Opening
  • Kookaburra
  • Cuddly Koala
  • Little Johnny English
  • Waltzing Matilda



Future Voter Challenge

This is a brand new challenge from Ontario developed for units who want to discuss democracy along side the current Federal Election.  The details of the challenge can be found here.  Basically the units have to finish the appropriate Voices to Vote 2019 Instant Meeting (Sparks and Brownies | Guides | Pathfinders and Rangers) and then complete a few other activities with your unit using democracy to plan your year.

Festivals and Celebration Challenges

The Festivals and Celebrations challenges are a challenge from the BC International Committee.  There is one challenge for each WAGGGS region.  Each regional challenge included three countries from that region, information about Guiding in that country and lots of activities from that country.  To earn the center crests girls are suppose to try at least one activity from all 15 countries.  You could also work on the sections individually, exploring one region at a greater level of detail.

Review: Reptilia Guide Program

What:  Reptilia is a reptile zoo, with two locations outside of Toronto.  We went to the Vaughan location but there is also a location in Whitby.  We participated in their Endangered Species program.  We started in one of their classrooms.  The staff brought in some different animals and used them to discuss why animals become endangered and what we can do about it.  Then we had a tour of the zoo with the staff member. We were lucky that our tour corresponded to an alligator feeding so we paused the tour so the girls could watch that.

I was a little concerned how my Guides would react to the lizards and snakes but they really enjoyed the day.  And at least two of them now want a pet snake.

When: Our program was in October 2018.

Cost:  The Girl Guide program was $15.25 per girl and include 1.5 hours of program and a crest.

Booking: Booking was very straight forward and was conducted by e-mail.  I did run into a slight problem when the second location opened and some of their e-mail addresses changed but I suspect this was a one time issues.

For more information see: https://reptilia.org/scouts-guides/ 

Reptilia also offered sleepovers and now that I’ve seen how the girls reacted to the animals I would consider that in the future.



Review: Scouts and Guides Program at the Legislature of Ontario

What: This is a tour of Queen’s Park designed especially for Guide and Scout groups. It is a 90-minute program consists of three segments: A visit to the Legislative Chamber; an exploration of the Legislative Building through a scavenger hunt; and a participatory mock debate. I was unable to attend with my unit but the feedback from the other Guiders and the girls was very positive.

When: The tour is offered several times a year.  For the rest of 2019 the dates are: April 6th (10:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm), May 4th (1:30 pm to 3:00 pm), October 26th (10:30 am to 12:00 pm), November 16th (10:30 am to 12:00 pm). Large groups may request week day dates (during the day).

Cost:  Free

Booking: Booking was really straight forward.  You can call 416-325-0061, or email tourbookings@ola.org.  You do have to provide a detailed list of attendees two weeks in advance (for security) so this isn’t a great last minute activity.

For more information see: https://www.ola.org/en/visit-learn/programs/scouts-guides





Canadashistory.ca recently posted a story and short history about the uniquely Canadian game of Crokinole.

Crokinole is a truly Canadian game: It borrows a bit from both the traditional British game squails and a game called carrom that’s popular in places like India and Sri Lanka.

Although not as popular as it once was if you have access to a Crokinole set, it might make a fun addition to a Canadian heritage night.

If you need to learn or review the rules, this video may help.

Or if the opportunity is available to you, take it outside and try Crokicurl, the combination of Crokinole and Curling.

Canadian Women of Valour Challenge

The Canadian Women of Valour Challenge was jointly developed by Girl Guides in Alberta and Valour Canada.  The purpose of this challenge is to learn about and appreciate the efforts of Canadian womens’ efforts during WWI and WWII.  There is a mandatory section on active Remembrance and then a collection of program ideas based on the wartime activities of Canadian Women.  The number of optional activities depends on branch. The challenge is supported by documents on Valour Canada’s website.

This is also the first challenge I’ve seen released where the program tie ins are all for the Girls First program.

Review: Fort York Sleepover – Second time around

This February my Guide unit returned to Fort York for our second sleepover.  They run a great program and I can not recommend it enough.

Where: Fort York, Toronto

What: Sleepover Program

When: Winter 2019

What was Included: A full Saturday of program (starting at 10 am) and use of a two story barrack building for our sleepover.  They included a period appropriate dinner, before bed hot chocolate and breakfast.  We brought our own lunches and snacks.

Booking:  The booking process is very easy but this is a popular program that fills up quickly.  If you want to book this sleep over it is not a bad idea to be contacting them now for 2020.  They can only accommodate one group per weekend.

After the initial booking I contacted them a month before hand with the exact number of girls, dietary restrictions and our workshop selections. We paid at the fort when we arrived.

Program:  The workshops they offer fit in well with Canadian Connections.  They have a wide selection of workshops you can take.   Some might be more relevant to a school group but there were lots that were relevant to our program.  We learned about the history of the fort, baked in a historic kitchen, played instruments and learned how they were used at the fort,  learned about the different approaches to war of the British soldiers and their First Nations allies, handled some archaeological finds, learned a period dance, learned period songs and played some period games.   I was even more impressed with the facilitators this time around.  They really engaged the girls and were knowledgeable, enthusiastic and patient.

There is an hour of free time for the girls before dinner.  We bought a casual craft for them to do and the girls enjoyed that. The fort program ended at 8pm so we had an hour long campfire program before the girls settled into bed for the night.  Breakfast isn’t served until 8:30 so the girls all had a decent time to sleep.

Food:  The food the fort provided was really good.  The dinner consisted of a beef (or vegetarian) stew, bread, rice and carrots.   The cookies the girls baked in the Officers Kitchen were provided for dessert. There was plenty of everything no one left hungry.  For breakfast the girls had a choose between cold cereal or oatmeal.

Accommodations:  There were bunks on both floors of the barrack building.  (18 upstairs, 16 downstairs) There are also three large tables with benches on the main floor.  The bunks were sturdy and included a thin matrices.  The lighting cupboard was unlocked this time so we had more control over our own lights.  Around 8:30pm, the overnight guard came by and went over fire alarm practicals with the girls. There are lanterns on a dimmer switch throughout the building but it gets quite dark upstairs.  I brought some glow sticks to scatter around and that was well received by the girls.

The bathrooms are in a different building then the sleeping quarters, maybe 50 m from one door to another. This is a tad inconvenient but understandable in a 200 year old building.

The main floor was quite chilly.  We ended up moving a few matrices upstairs so all the girls could sleep on one floor.  Some of the Guiders downstairs were quite cold.  It is worth adding and extra blanket to your kit list.

Coffee and Tea are available for purchase in the fort store but only during the hours the fort is open. We brought a kettle with us this time and were happy we did so.

Crests: We were able to buy the girls a lovely crest at the fort store.  We had a choice of two designs.

For more information: email the fort at fortyork@toronto.ca