With one year to go until Guiding Mosaic 2016 (GM2016), we decided to hold a Mosaic practice camp for the girls registered in our patrol. So, in mid-July we headed out, looking to get to know our girls better and expand their camp skills beyond what we typically experience at unit camps. It was all about taking it to the next level when it came to backpack packing, laundry, dry shampoo, lots of hiking, and of course many long, fun-filled days in a row!
With seven girls attending camp (we just filled our patrol this month, woo hoo!), we loaded up our trucks and set off. Thankfully, we live by the Guiding Motto, Be Prepared! Before we even had camp set up, we were caught in a massive summer storm that flooded out the campground. With help from the girls’ families (and an okay from our Safe Guide assessor), we relocated and started camp again. Ah, the life of a Girl Guide!
After our initial escapade, we had a fantastic time as a patrol. Using the GM2016 Patrol Training as a checklist for activities, we prepped for all the fun we will have at GM2016 – both in terms of what to bring and what to do. But perhaps even more importantly, we started fostering friendships between the girls in our GM2016 patrol, who come from three towns and three different units.
We modified the training to complete it over four days, rather than one, which worked to our advantage because so much information all at once can be overwhelming. This also allowed our girls to think about how each piece of the training worked together, bringing out all sorts of great conversations we may not have discovered if we weren’t in a camp environment. For example, when we talked about how to pack their packs, it really helped that the day before we had discussed the things they wear at camp, and they were able to evaluate what they would pack differently for GM2016. After two nights, we took down the tents and put them back up with a new configuration of girls inside, and that new setup let them explore who actually sleeps well together, as well as the importance of keeping their stuff organized.
Aside from the activities required by the training, we took the time to have some fun playing relay games, nightly campfires, and trying out new ways of cooking, which really allowed each girl to show off her personality. And, we’re loaded up with hat craft swaps and ready to meet new girls in Sylvan Lake, Alberta!
By the end of our practice camp, we were all excited to get together again and go to GM2016. We’ve gelled as a patrol, we understand each other’s camping strengths and weaknesses, and we CAN’T WAIT for July to roll around. I’d highly encourage any Guider taking girls to GM2016 to hold a pre-camp. Now we have a whole year to practice their new skills at our unit camps, and foster the relationships that will keep them going at camp. See you all at Camp Woods for GM2016!
Guest post by Amy Jesse. Amy is the Responsible Guider for the 1st AB Mosaic Patrol, and is also the sole Guider for two units, 1st Olds Pathfinders and 1st Olds Rangers in Num Ti Jah District, Parkland Area, Alberta. She is a high school teacher, and loves camping, providing new experiences for her Girl Guides, and the camaraderie of other Guiders.