FIELD TRIP IDEAS

Due to meeting place schedules, the unit I help with goes on at least one field trip per month. We have been to many interesting, fun, and educational places that have both tied in with programming and provided positive and memorable experiences for the girls (and Guiders). Here is a list of a few places we've been and things we've done that may interest other units as well:

STARS Helicopters

Learn how STARS plays an important role in transporting the ill and injured. Watch a video about how STARS works, talk with the pilots and medical team, and (if the helicopters aren't on a mission) get a tour of the hangar. Some of our girls even got to sit in the pilot seat of the helicopter! Learn more at www.stars.ca

Local Emergency Services

Whether it be police, fire, or ambulance, local emergency services teams are more than willing to visit your unit or bring you on a tour of their facilities. Our girls have sat in fire engines, been hooked up to heart monitors, had a mini-disco in the fire hall, and been locked up in gaol. Contact your local emergency services office(s) for details - use their administration phone numbers, not the emergency lines.

Library

Whether you want to host a reading party, mini book club, learn how to use the catalogue or computers (Girl Zone!), do some research, or even have story time, there's always something to do at the library. Our library offers tours and programming and we've also gone just to do our own thing. There's something for all ages. Contact your local library for details.

Edmonton Humane Society

Everyone can earn their pet badge here! Their tours and programming are excellent and age-appropriate. They cover everything from responsible pet care to veterinary medicine. They introduce girls to the facility and teach them how/why animals come there, how they are taken care of, what happens to ill or injured animals, and how they help animals find loving homes. Learn more at www.edmontonhumanesociety.com

Paradise Pet Centre

This pet store in St. Albert offers programming for units as well. They cover many of the same topics as the Edmonton Humane Society, especially now that they adopt out animals themselves. Animal care lessons includes fish and lizards, rodents, cats, and dogs. You'll get to meet Spike, the resident bird, and learn a few rules about keeping a pet in St. Albert or Sturgeon County. They do ask for a donation made to SAIF in return for the session, and due to new GGC guidelines we ask the parents to donate directly to the organisation if they choose to support it. Learn more at www.paradisepetcentre.com

Gymnastics, Dance, Martial Arts

Local gymnastics, and martial arts clubs/schools often have birthday party or school group programming you can sign up for at their facility. Since many of them offer regular programming on weeknights, you may have to visit on a weekend. This provides girls with quality and safe instruction in these fields, something most Guiders cannot provide in their regular meeting places. Contact your local clubs/schools for details.

Jurassic Forest

Girls like dinosaurs too! Located near Gibbons, their programming varies by group and includes detailed information about paleontology and botany. You can even go on your own and do your own tour. The facility is wheelchair accessible and has many paths with animatronic dinosaurs, information boards, and unique plants. Learn more at www.jurassicforest.com

Seniors' Residences

Much like we love going places and having guests come to us, seniors do too! We've gone to local seniors' residences and care facilities to lead crafts, sing Christmas carols, serve tea, and even play card games and socialise. They are always appreciative of our time and the girls learn so much from interacting with the seniors. Contact your local seniors' residences and care facilities to book an activity together.

Geocaching

It's a buzz word you hear time and time again. Even Sparks and Brownies can join in the fun with a little preparation ahead of time. Alberta Council has lots of information and even a challenge on its website. They have some GPS devices that can be borrowed by your unit. Whether you go hunting for registered caches or make your own by recording the coordinates of some carefully hidden snacks and badges, everyone can go Geocaching in their community. Contact Alberta Council for more details.

Hardware Stores

Surprisingly, or maybe not, our local Rona store has (free) kids programming! If one store offers it, there's a good chance others do too. Girls get to build a small project such as a serving tray, snow measuring stick, or bird house. They use little hammers, nails, pliers, sanding paper, and everyone gets a project to take home. Call your local hardware store to see if they do this too!

Yellow Fish Road

Create awareness of water pollution with a program by Trout Unlimited and your city. Girls paint yellow fish near storm drains and hand out informative door hangers. All supplies are provided. Learn more at http://www.yellowfishroad.org

Supermarket Tour

Save on Foods has a nutrition tour that can be booked by anyone, including members of the public and units! A registered dietitian will bring you through the store and talk about good nutrition, making wise decisions about food, how to read labels, the food guide, and more. It ties in perfectly with our usual programming and it's both informative and fun. Contact your local Save on Foods to set up a tour. (Perhaps other stores offer tours too?)

Community Art Walk

Communities are full of interesting features and artwork. Even if there isn't much art in your community, you can still go for a walk and do a scavenger hunt, learn about the different trees or buildings, or do some games or activities along the way.

Family Fun Day

Go to a local park, invite family members to attend, and have fun! Whether it be obstacle courses on the playground, ice skating (with helmets, of course), swimming (per Safe Guide), or a mini carnival, get outside and play hard!

There are so many more places you can go and have a great time: science centres, museums, historical sites, local government buildings, sports facilities, and more. The list is endless. I hope the above suggestions will inspire you to go on a few more field trips and learn and discover new things. Have fun!

Submitted by Jennifer Duggan