Testing – Eckville Fire Department firefighter Pam Freestone shows Brynne Engen which button to press to test the smoke detector during the Girl Guides visit to the department. ECKVILLE ECHO FILE PHOTO

Girl Guides raise money for Gull lake Bridging Camp in May

The Girl Guides of Eckville are adding to their famous cookie fundraiser by also collecting bottles and cans in order to raise money.

The Girl Guides of Eckville are adding to their famous cookie fundraiser by also collecting bottles and cans in order to raise money for a special opportunity in the month of May.

“We have a district bridging camp in May,” Troop Leader Shauna Chilibeck Van Dirstein said. “It is a weekend camp at Gull Lake that we do with units out of Sylvan Lake and Bentley.”

The girls are looking to off set the cost of the camp which is a vital opportunity for young girls to network and develop.

“Collecting bottles allows us to off set the cost a bit for the girls,” she said. “The Gull Lake Centre provides different opportunities for the girls then we can do with our regular programming. They have a climbing wall, archery and different things that we can do on a regular basis.

The total cost of the multi-faceted camp is over $100. Fundraising for the events helps families afford the cost of sending their girls to a camp that includes activities outside the normal routine.

“It allows them to have different experiences that they may not normally get,” Chilibeck Van Dirstein added.

Currently the Eckville Girl Guides has nine members, but there is still room for girls to register and join in time for the game. The camp is also an opportunity for young girls to network with girls from other communities.

“Having the Bridging Camp with other units from other Town’s gives them a chance to build relationships with other areas,” she said.

The fundraiser is unique, as international Girl Guide guidelines state that troops need special permission for fundraising outside of cookie sales.

“It is the only fundraiser we our doing outside of our main fundraiser which is, of course, selling cookies,” Chilibeck Van Dirstein said. “Girl Guides have to get special permission to do other fundraisers which means we are a little bit limited.”

Chilibeck Van Dirstein sees the value of Girl Guides for the Town of Eckville and believes that any girl can find a place within the troop.

“This was a special opportunity for this Town,” she said.

While Brownies and Spark classes are full at current time, Girl Guides is still looking to round out its troop with new recruits.

“I think it is a great program for this Town because it gives girls a place to belong,” she said. “There is something for everybody whether you are outdoorsy or artsy and whatever.”

If you would like to donate cans, bottles or cash donations to Girl Guides you can contact Chilibeck Van Dirstein at 403 373 8361.

“We will take donations anytime all the way until the camp in May,” she added.

reporter@eckvilleecho.com