SOAR 2014

Debbie Fee finally gets to go to the provincial adventure rendevous in Enderby recently

Senior guiders meet every third year for the provincial SOAR gathering. This year the event was in Enderby.

Senior guiders meet every third year for the provincial SOAR gathering. This year the event was in Enderby.

Debbie Fee has been a devoted leader with Girl Guides of Canada for many years. However one experience was not open to her as her focus in the organization was with the younger members, Sparks and Brownies.

Stepping up to a leadership role with the older Girl Guides level allowed Fee to apply for the Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous (SOAR), a week-long provincial back-to-basics outdoor camp sponsored by the BC Council of Girl Guides of Canada for girls between the ages of 11 – 18.

SOAR is held every three years at locations around the province providing Girl Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers an opportunity to see various parts of B.C. This year, 2,500 girls and 250 core staff gathered in Enderby’s Riverside Park, July 16 – 28, including attendees from Quesnel as well as from across Canada and around the world.

Fee was honoured to be chosen to attend and was assigned to the public relations team where her excellent camera skills were put to good use.

The park was very well organized with more than 650 tents for the girls, accommodation for the core staff, program area marquees, food distribution tents and the two well-used municipal buildings on the grounds.

Fee spent most days recording the beehive of activities the girls participated in including some off-site events as well. Each day core staff ensured every girl was fed, active and safe in all they did.

However, one of the most impressive aspects to SOAR 2014 was the incredibly warm welcome the community of Enderby extended to the massive gathering.

“They had store windows painted, banners, they helped us prepare a fabulous scavenger hunt for the girls which helped them learn about the history of the community, provided security fencing, waterlines to the five separate camps and during our parade every resident lined the streets, they loved us,” she said.

Enderby residents went one step further to help the temporary tent city residents when three successive thunderstorms blew through the camp in just one day.

As the girls and staff took shelter in the municipal buildings on site, pounding rain, on and off all day, soaked the camp.

“The next day, more than 100 local firefighters and Enderby and Armstrong residents showed up, collected everyone’s sleeping bags and clothes, took them away, dried them and returned them later that day and everyone’s sleeping bag included goodies and notes of encouragement, it was amazing,” Fee said.

By the time closing ceremonies rolled around, SOAR 2014 was declared another resounding success with hugs all around as participants boarded buses to return home, vowing to return in three years.