We had an extremely packed day today that began when my alarm rang at 7:30 am. I didn’t really want to get out of bed, but thoughts of the excitement ahead convinced me it was time. They had a lovely breakfast buffet set out for us (Holiday Inn has REALLY good food) and so I got to sit with and meet some new people. I’m not doing any better with names than yesterday, but I’ve been trying to sit with a new group for every meal.
After lunch, we had 2 great sessions run by the Disney Institute where we learned all kinds of things about Disney’s management style and how that can apply to Guiding in a session called “Making a Difference as Leaders.” It lived up to all the magical things I had heard about Disney trainings and I even got a tiny figurine of Mulan!
Then came lunch, more amazing food including salmon, chicken, lasagna and a giant table of pies and cakes!
After lunch I went to my second pre-chosen session: “Super Ideas Beyond Community Service” where we brainstormed about service projects that are appropriate for Guides before planning a few out. I got now new ideas such as lee-lee hats, adopting a family at Christmas, housewarming gifts for Habitat for Humanity, bat boxes, milk bag matts and craft kits for hospitals. Did you know that there is even a Guide and Brownie unit at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto?
My next session was the one I was looking most forward to: Watt is Love (aka STEM). We zipped through many, many science, technology, engineering and math activities that I’m looking forward to bringing back to my Guides. Some we got to try out, some our session leader demonstrated and some we just talked about. I’m currently studying Science Communication so that made it extra interesting.
After that we had a little break before dinner. There were many tables set up with information about different Guiding topics (links, GM, etc.) and we had a scavenger hunt to do through that.
Dinner was a big sit-down deal with steak, chicken, potatoes and veggies. It was delicious — as all the food here has been! I sat with a girl I didn’t know, but after talking to her for a while we discovered that we guided in the same district when we were Guides and Pathfinders. It’s a small world!
After dinner came the keynote speakers for the evening: Becky Kellar and Cheryl Pounder. Now I’m not a huge hockey fan so I didn’t know who they were, but I soon discovered that they were winners of Olympic Gold medals and that they could tell inspirational stories very well. Their best advice: “Success is not a result of spontaneous combustion. You have to light yourself on fire.”
Then came my absolute favourite part of the day: Campfire! We sang many songs I knew and many I didn’t but it was amazing to listen to everyone singing together! Some of my favourites were: “On my Honour,” “Cathedral Bells,” “Linger,” “Say Why,” “Walk Around,” “One Tin Soldier,” “The Guide Marching Song,” “Barges,” “Land of the Silver Birch” and an animal version of “Good King Wenceslas,” the last of which I can’t wait to teach my Guides! After the official campfire was done, they brought out more food (including the tinniest grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever seen), but many of us carried on singing for another hour or so!