Monday, 16 October 2017

Brownies Visit Mountain Equipment Co-op!

Every year as a unit we complete several interest badges in addition to the program keys. Typically the girls get to choose which interest badges they want to complete together and then my co-leaders and I pick a few more to round out the other badges we are doing. Now that its my 5th year leading a Brownie group I've pretty much done every interest badge with my girls. There are however a few that have always been tricky to accomplish as they require going somewhere specific. 

In early October I got a call that our meeting space wouldn't be available that week due to a large church function. I was worried we would have to cancel as its often hard to find a meeting space - especially in a time crunch. Luckily with come quick thinking and a great community partnership led to the perfect idea. A Trip to Mountain Equipment Co-Op!

When I called up our local MEC store and asked if i could bring a bunch of rowdy 7 & 8 year olds to run around their store for an hour and a half I wasn't sure what the were going to say. The gentleman I spoke to was AMAZING and said not only that the girls could come to tour the store but what programming did he want them to provide? I sent him the requirements for the "Go Camping" interest badge and he said not to worry he would plan something awesome for the girls. 

When we got to the store we were greeted with this happy sign. We chatted with the girls about using our best manners in public and that since the store was still open for shoppers that we would need to be mindful of our voice volume. The first thing we did was meet with Graeme our MEC Liaison who answered any and all the girls had about camping equipment and gear. Afterwards he handed out a group scavenger hunt which had the girls tour the store and find out information about different products they might use while tent camping. 

We went around the store in small groups - taking pictures of the fun camping gadgets and equipment that were available to purchase. The girls learned a lot about what was things were waterproof and why it was so important to stay warm and dry when being outside. 

All of the Brownies loved the "tiny things" you could take camping with you. Collapsable water bottles, tiny flashlights, etc. were all super exciting to the girls. 

After the scavenger hunt we came back to the MEC community room and got to learn about tents! The staff at MEC provided 2 tents for the girls to practice setting up. We learned about where is best to pitch tents, about tent poles and most important - the waterproof rainfly. The girls LOVED setting up and playing in the tents. Truly a highlight of the trip!

Thank you SO MUCH Mountain Equipment Co-Op! We had a FANTASTIC TIME!

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