1,200 Girl Guides descend on Doe Lake

SPRUCEDALE, ON – From Aug. 4-10, four Girl Guides and four Pathfinders from the 1st Alma Units were some of the 1,200 Girl Guides to come from across the country to participate in LEAP 2019, a provincial camp sponsored by the Ontario and Nunavut Council of the Girl Guides of Canada.

It took 18 months of planning and logistics to organize a small city of 10- to 17 year olds.

“We have a huge, amazing volunteer team,” said camp director Lisa Nicholas. 

“The planning has all been girl-driven, with girls on steering committees making decisions on everything from programming to special events to what kind of food to have — it’s been a lot of work, but it’s all worth it.” 

Established in 1949, the Doe Lake Girl Guide Camp has been a proud symbol of the Guiding program in action for 70 years, but this is the first time they have hosted a camp of this magnitude in Ontario.

The eight girls from the Alma units along with their two leaders Eileen Parkinson and Marlene Skerritt met many girls and leaders from across the country and the U.K.

“This was an amazing experience for the girls” says guider Marlene Skerritt, “It showed them that no matter where in the world they may travel they have a sisterhood of guiding friends.”

The girls participated in waterfront activities like canoeing, kayaking, sail boarding and stand up paddle boarding and the wonderful inflatable playground. 

They did outdoor activities like archery, axe throwing, high and low ropes and rock climbing along with art activities such as paddle painting, glass etching, pajama pant sewing and macramé. Stem projects included drone flying, making robots, learning about solar power and electricity.  

Each girl also participated in a service project like hand sewing Izzy dolls, making tied blankets for Project Linus, learning about Monarch butterfly habitats, Turtle Island Conservation Project and Days for Girls sewing reusable sanitary pads for girls in Third World countries.

The girls and leaders would like to thank all of the local service clubs, local businesses, the community and all people from the Alma area who helped to make their fundraising such a success. 

Without that help, the trip would have been very difficult to achieve.