Girl Guides of Canada - Senior Branches

Special Events for Senior Branches in Various Provinces

Last Updated: February 26, 1999

Compiled by Jennifer Walker, Edmonton AB






Aggie 1998

The Aggie conference was held at West Hill Collegiate in Scarborough on April 24-26/98. Over 250 delegates from the 14 Areas of the Province attended, as well as 2 girls from British Columbia (who I never had a chance to talk to). The event was Hostessed by Willow Bluffs Area

Friday night the girls arrived at the school at about 7:00. They had a variety of activities to take part in including a craft room with Cindy Linn where they tried to make monkey-fist knots. Swimming, singing and partying in general. After a short opening, they were treated to a Pizza/Pool Party and retired to the gyms and crash sites at 12:00. Some delegates stayed up all night and played cards in the cafeteria. Aggie was standing at the Registration desk until about 11:00. I heard she then changed into her "jammies" and slept with the girls from Niagara Area in the Gym (Aggie has her own sleeping bag)

Saturday, the girls had breakfast of bagels and cereal then it was off to tours including Ceramics making, rock climbing, Metro Zoo, outdoor cooking, backpacking, Commonwealth award, Dof E, Program crafts, Law Enforcement, International Trips, Backpacking to name only a few. Later additional tours to the Science Centre to see Thrill Ride and visit the new Environment Area as well as the CN Tower, Skydome and walking tour of Toronto were options.

The dinner was at The Blue Danube and was dress uniform. Aggie was there, too. In full uniform. (Aggie has a special Guiding tie which is made up of the 3 Sr. Branch Ties combined). I wasn't at the banquet, as I was setting up the Mardi Gras at the school, but understand the room was decorated with hot air balloorns, the symbol of SOAR and commonly identified with Sr. Branches in Ontario.

The girls arrived back at the school at 10:00 and partied at the Mardi Gras where they had an opportunity to make masks, costumes, and noise makers out of recycled materials. They then created parade floats out of garbage and paraded around in competition. Highland Glen Area won a blue ribbon, but I can't remember who placed first. The floats were amazing, including the Royal Coach constructed out of garbage by Trillium Area, which included one of their delegates dressed up as a Princess and being carried by her adoring servants.

Sunday, the guest speaker was Sue Johannsen, noted Sex Therapist and she held us captive for 2 hours, speaking about the common misconceptions of sex. Hamilton Area then invited the delegates to Aggie in 1999 where AGGIE Goes Groovy (was that the title?) Anyways, it is a 60's theme in Hamilton Area next year.

--Sue Hutchinson, Willow Bluffs Area Drama Trainer 

AGGIE is a provincially sponsored (Ontario) weekend for Senior Branches - Cadets, Junior Leaders and Rangers. Named after Lord BP's sister, Agnes, who originally assumed responsibility for a girl's program, it's a fun weekend with SB members coming from all over Ontario. They usually take over a highschool for the weekend. Youth members sleep in one of two gyms - quiet or loud - and bring theirown sleeping gear. Leaders are usually off on some classrooms. Saturday is spent in "training" sessions (like Know-Your-Car; rock-climbing; Native Spirituality; self-defence ...) then there's the banquet that night followed by some sort of entertainment. No sleep but it's a blast!
--Liz Lovis 

A few years ago the Ontario Ranger Regatta was cancelled (I think the last one was in 1992?). It had gotten too competitive and there were certain Ranger units in the province that were only still around cause they spent the whole year training for it.. their members averaged about 23 yrs old. I only ever went to one and there were a lot of competitions in canoeing, rowing, drill, tent pitching, orienteering, first aid,etc... There are now and have always been other events for sr branches in Ontario.

In April we have the AGGIE Conference. It's a weekend thing for all Sr branches with different sesions in crafts, surviving university, rock climbing.. I did archery one year.. they have all kinds of things. Guiders and girls do two sessions and one tour of their choice.. when it was in Whitby I went to the Metro Toronto Zoo:) There's a big banquet on the Saturday night where everyone goes in their formal uniform:) The conference is named for B-P's sister Agnes and there's a doll called AGGIE who travels around the province along with the conference. The Area hosting the conference makes a special outfit for her pertaining to the theme and she has a big suitcase full of clothes from all the past AGGIE's she's been to. At the end of the conference she is passed on to the girls of the Area hosting the following year.. in the year before the next AGGIE she is taken around the hosting Area to visit Area events, units, whatever.. it means that the younger girls learn something about her and about sr branches.

We also now have an event in October called "Rise Up Branch Out". This has replaced the old events, Ranger Ranger Guider and Sparkle (which was for JL's and Cadets?).. The new event is for all of the branches and is held at the Provincial Camp, Doe Lake. So far every year it has had a focus more for girls working in units so few Rangers have gone from our Area, nobody from my unit... they have all kinds of sessions pertaining to the theme chosen for that year.. I can't tell you much about this one since I've never been but maybe someone else on the list could?
--Susan Thorpe 

I just wanted to comment that Sparkle did not just undergo a name change. Instead, what happened is that three previously-existing Senior Branch events, which all took place in the fall, were rolled into single event instead. The three events were: Regatta, Ranger-Ranger-Guider (also open to other branches, though) and Sparkle. There was a lack of success in some of these events and interest had waned -- they were no longer meeting the needs of the girls. 'Rise up, Branch out' is the new Senior Branches Fall event in Ontario. It is open to all Senior Branches. However, the experience in the past few years has been that the sessions are very much geared towards developing skills, etc. for working in units. Which is fantastic for Junior Leaders and Cadets, and for Rangers who work in a unit. But the girls who don't work in units were finding that it isn't as relevant as they would like. The suggestion has been made that they continue to offer many sessions on working with units, but add just a few that have a different focus, in order to better serve all the girls who are interested in attending this provincial event. I guess we have to wait and see what it's like next year! They are after all in the very early stages of developing this annual event.

Marianne Mitchell, Guider 167th Nepean 'Andover' Rangers

Sadly with the loss of Regatta there is nothing that a Ranger unit can really go to as a whole on a provincial level. The other events available are for individuals to apply to. The main problem we have that is is almost impossible to find some place in Ontario that physically will hold everybody. The year I joined Rangers was the first year there was no Regatta (4 years ago). I had been looking forward to it because I heard a lot about it when I was a Pathfinder and the unit I entered (Ker Cavan) was famous in the marching competition.

For Aggie this weekend we have 6 girls going from our unit that was all that applied but for a while two of them were on a waiting list because our area (Silver Birch) had filled all of our spaces, we had to wait until we were told other areas had no filled their quota (usually the Northern areas because if the event is in southern Ontario it is a long way) to tell us we could use some of their spaces. Rise Up, Branch Out is another option for Ontario Senior Branches but it does tend to attract a different "type" of Sr. Branch member (espically as Marianne mentioned girls working in units).

I find it facinating how many other provinces get all of the Senior Branch members together on a regular basis, I wish we could do that.

Because of this lack of a camp that you can go to with everyone our area is now holding Area Sr. Branch camps. Last year was our first year we held it at CFB Borden and it was a blast. I think for this coming fall it will be at Elora Gorge. We are currently looking for a speaker to come. Last year we had someone who did something very similar to Colours only it was geared towards teenagers looking out into what they will become "When they grow up".

Suzanne Wiley, 1st Royal City Rangers, Guelph

"AGGIE" is an Ontario province-wide weekend event for Sr Branches. It's held every year in a different area around the province, and is a LOT of fun. I went to four different AGGIES with I was a Ranger and had a blast at every one! Typically the event is held in a local high school (usually there's around 500 - 1000 people at these things). Friday night is usually opening ceremonies, open craft room, campfire, and icebreaker games. Saturday everyone (leaders included) goes to sessions that they sign up for in their application form. Some sessions I've been to include archery, self-defence, outdoor gourmet cooking, puppeteering, etc. Great stuff. Saturday afternoon there are usually a number of tours that you had to sign up for beforehand - I went on a 1000 Island boat tour in Kingston, went on a historical site tour in Hamilton, etc. Popular trips at the Ottawa Aggie included Parliment Hill, various art galleries and museums, and of course the Byward Market! Saturday evening is always my favourite - everyone gets together for a big formal dinner. Each year there's a theme and the dinner sticks to the theme. I went to "Aggie Comes of Age" where the dinner was a prom (complete with prom dresses)! Aggie in Hamilton was a mideavel theme and we had an AWESOME medieval dinner - complete with everyone coming in costume, and King Arthur! Sunday there's a Guides Own and closing ceremonies, and then its time to leave. Believe me, AGGIE is one WONDERFUL event. I highly recommend that any Sr. Branches in Ontario try to go to it! So now you know!

Becky (aka Dragon) Vincent

Aggie (the doll)

The first Aggie was in London in 1973. The idea came from Mable Anderson (d.1997) and the Aggie doll was the first "guest speaker."
--  info from Joan Woodland (Ontario Archives) via Dorothy Crocker.

The doll, AGGIE, is probably about 4 feet tall and is stuffed a la Raggety-Anne. She has a suitcase full of outfits that travels with her from Area to Area, unit ot unit. Most of her outfits are genteel outfits appropriate for a lady of her advanced years. However ...When she was visiting Trillium Area a few years ago, the SOCREO Rangers decided to take her to Wally World - a water theme park. We put her in a bathing suit, swim goggles and a bathing cap, and then stuffed her into one of my large See-through Seal-line bags (that I normally use for Canoe-tripping). She went down all the slides (except for the bullet because she wasn't tall enough!) and particularly enjoyed floating down the lazy river and the big wave pool. It took the lifeguards 3 hours before one of them finally asked us why we had a big doll in a baggie! *LOL* So now, we call any large clear bag (seal-line or otherwise) an "AGGIE BAGGIE"! She also went bungie-jumping from the second story balcony of Camp Kah-Ne-Do. But that's another story ...
--Liz Lovis, SOCREO Ranger Guider, Trillium Area

Aggie's adventure at the Ontairo Science Centre:
The Senior Branches and Pathfinders in Ontario had an opportunity to sleep over at the Ontario Science Centre in March. They participated in a number of workshops geared on the environment, as well as attended a screening of "Thrill Ride". They slept on the lower levels in the exhibit spaces. Giant slumber party for 400 served to order in the heart of Toronto. It is a great time and hope it will be repeated next year. Aggie was there with the West Hill Rangers who helped her try out the exhibits including cycling :)
--Sue Hutchinson

April 1998-
Well this year, AGGIE slept over at the Ontario Science Centre amongst other things. The Senior Branch girls from Willow Bluffs dressed her up last night for Mardi Gras using recycled materials and did an excellent job making AGGIE the hit of the Party! As a gift from Willow Bluffs Area's Sr. Branches, AGGIE has gone electronic and now has her very own (toy) Cellular Telephone. - What next!

So she is off to Hamilton Area and we miss her very much already. See you soon, AGGIE!
--Sue Hutchinson

12 May 1998
AGGIE just celebrated her 25th anniversary in Willow Bluffs. Her first appearance was in 1972 (I'll have to find last year's AGGIE fashion show video to tell you who the first Area to hostess her was.) The AGGIE conference was the dream of several women, amongst them Sandie Barnard, beloved friend who joined BP this year. Amongst AGGIE's belongings is a small gold locket with Sandie's picture in it. It was placed around her neck secretly at this year's AGGIE conference. Also now being a woman of the '90's and 25 years old, she was given her very own (toy) Cell Phone. What next? Her very own laptop???
--Sue Hutchinson

Newfoundland and Labrador

3 Oct 1998
In Newfoundland, we have had a Senior Branches Council for approximately 5 years now consisting of 4 members from each branch.  Meetings  alternate from coast to coast. I was elected to this council and  served 2 terms. We have a very interesting newsletter which is distributed every second month.We have just gotten approval from Provincial to make our very own crest, which has a great design.  Also, we plan a Provincial camp/conference every spring that is popular.
--Natalie Greene


10 May 1998
Our Division hosted  two events on the first weekend of May.  We rented the community recreation complex for the weekend (thereby closing it to the public).  We had, at one point over the weekend, over 200 people, in medieval costume, on site.  We slept about 165 on site.  One event was the last meeting of the BC Ranger Council and the opening meeting of CAJURA, the amalgamation of the Cadets, Junior Leaders and Rangers  into one organization.  The other event was the Area Guide Rally.

Although there were some negative comments made about having the two events happening at the same time at the same place, the benefits outweighed the negatives by far.  The biggest benefit was that we only exhausted our help (Guiders and non-Guiders) once this spring.  There was no way we could have done two events on different dates, and certainly not with the same scope of events. Another benefit was the bridging that went on - the younger girls seeing the older ones running their own
show and having fun.

The SCA (Society for Creative Anacronism) was the rock of our planning. They were great!  The Trefoil Guild took on quartermastering and came through with flying colours (more on that later).

Our events were:
- Tinsmithing (punching holes in tin cans for candle holders)
- calligraphy
- rune stone  necklaces (runes are old "alphabet"s etched into a fimo like substance (sculpi) and baked)
- knife throwing (you should see these knives!)
- boffers (fighting with soft "sticks")
- storming the castle (rock wall climbing)
- archery (held in the hand ball court with xmas trees and life size stuffed animals)
- candle making (a really big hit!)
- maypole dancing
- spotted dick (a pudding of sorts)
- making autograph books using premade paper
- cross stitch.
- swimming the moat (a trip to the pool)
- on sunday, the SCA held a tournament (battle with armour), and our Divison Ranger Adviser was one of the participants.

The weather was perfect, warm and sunny, which was a treat after the 8 inches of snow and several days of rain earlier in the week.  The biggest uncontrollable problem was that a transformer blew and put out the power in various parts  of the town for 2 hours Sat. afternoon.  This affected the preparations for the feast, but the quartermaster was great, and food was
 placed all around town to cook and the feast came  off on time and delicious.  However, we had moved all the tables and chairs outside, so had the feast outside, which changed the dynamics of it (and it got pretty cold when the sun went down).  It was a shame  that the guides missed three stations, and the senior girls most of their "fun" activities after a day of meetings.  The lifeguards at the pool let us shift our swim time for the guides earlier, so we were able to  move 100 people off site for the duration of the black out.  The Sr. Branches just continued with meetings and what other events they could.
--Pat Jones

April 1998
B.C.'s Senior Branches' (CAJURA) weekend is coming up May 1 - 3, in Kitimat. The Senior Branches Council coined the name CAJURA from CA = Cadets, JU = Junior Leaders, RA = Rangers. Their weekend has a medieval theme this year, and sounds like a blast!
--Kathy Breadner

1997 - Didn't do much at the conference that night except meet up with people I'd met at previous ones, and some new people. As well as Melissa from Mackenzie and some Rangers from Montreal. Got talking to the new Provincial Sr. Branches Adviser who I'd met at my first BCRC, before she was Adviser. Saturday we had the AGM for the morning and part of the afternoon. There was a 'discussion' about the new CAJURA council. It would be like BCRC but for all the Sr. Branches. Those of us from smaller Areas found it amazing of the "Branchaphobia" that they seem to have. None of us had ever seen it before then. After we got to go on an outing. I went to Science World. It was lots of fun. I got to suggest anyone traveling to go visit it.

When we got back it was time for the 70's to take over. There was even karaoke. It sounded great compared to what I've heard it's 'sposed' to sound like.

Sunday there was the choice of going swimming or to Granville Island before closing. I went swimming and it was at the UBC swimming pool. There was a group there playing water hockey. It looks really cool, got to try it.

Best news of all. Our Area will be hosting the next BCRC (and possibly the last). So far we're looking at a Medieval theme. The theme will be finalized by the end of this week. I know all the provinces have open invitations to come. Now you know where then next one's going to be :)

Rosemary Smith, 1st Kitimat Rangers 

Flaunter's Fortnight event...

11 Apr 1997
This evening was our Ranger unit's event to celebrate Flaunter's Fortnight (is that a national thing, or just BC?) - a time set aside to encourage Pathfinders to plan to join Senior Branches when old enough... We decided to work on the Look Wide at Health & Fitness part of our program, at the same time, so hosted an all-girl dance for the Pathfinders and their friends. Each PF was allowed to bring 2 friends. I set us our square dance calling equipment, and we plugged in some patio lights, turned off the gym lights and were ready to rock... Each Ranger demonstrated and taught one or two dances/line dances, etc., as well as just dancing around. We took a break halfway through to enjoy nutritious but delicious snacks... Everyone seemed to have a good time -- lots of giggling, and the younger girls danced in a tight little circle most of the time -- funny what a difference a couple of years makes! I think part of what made it so fun was because it was all-girl -- none of that boy-girl pressure........ The Rangers are already talking about repeating the event for next year. Admission was that each person had to wear red! (Red for Rangers!) Boy are my feet tired now.......

Luanne Taylor, Mackenzie

Alberta (information coming soon...)

AGP (Alberta Girls' Parliament)

22 April 1998
This year, I attended an event called the Alberta Girls Parliament. This took place in Edmonton, and about 35 girls including myself, spent the weekend debating, learning about the parlimentary procedures and having fun.

Our schedule at AGP was as follows: Friday night, we met in Edmonton and introduced ourselves and played some ice-breaker games. Saturday, we were taught how to debate, we had our first caucus, we had free time, and we had a guest speaker, Ms. Deborah Grey, M.P., Edmonton Strathcona. That night we also had a "Night Escapade" organized by a special guest. On Sunday, we had our Parliamentary Opening of the 27th Session of AGP. We had a speech from the throne, and during our luncheon, we also had a guest speaker, Ms. Rosalyn Schmidt, President of Girl Guides of Canada. That afternoon, we also visited West Edmonton Mall, and that evening, we had our second debate.

Monday came by, and we toured the Legislature. We had an appointment with the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta we were introduced into the Question Period by Karen Leibovici, MLA, Edmonton Meadowlark. We also toured McKay Avenue School (an ancient school house) and had supper there. Here we had another guest speaker. That evening, upon returning to the Bennett Centre (that's where we stayed), we held our election speeches for the following year's council.

The last day of AGP '98 arrived, and elections were held that morning. Caucus was held for the fourth and mysterious debate. (this was the fun debate, and only the elected executive knew what the topic was; this year, it was whether or not Superman should wear spandex!!!) The Prorogation of the 27th Session of AGP was done by Her Honour, Mrs. Lucille Olson. We later had lunch, and then we departed for our homes.

--Shivani Ruparell, Calgary

ASBC (Alberta Senior Branches' Council)

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