In just over one week there will be an army of girl guides arriving in Smithers.
The over 2,000 guides will be in Smithers for a week, flying in July 21st for the Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous (SOAR), which is a back to basics outdoor camp sponsored by the BC Council of Girl Guides of Canada for girls between the ages of 11 and 18 who come from across the globe.
Laurie Hooker is the spokesperson for SOAR. She said they’ve been working alongside the Smithers airport in preparation for the many inbound flights as most of the guides will be flown in.
“We’ve worked really closely with the ground services at the airport in Smithers and we’ve maxed out a lot of the commercial flights, but for the most part a lot of our flights are coming in on a charter base. We have two planes that are dedicated to us, 737s that will be coming in on Friday morning from about 9:30 to noon. There’s going to be about 700 people arriving,” she explained.
As for transportation for the girls when they arrive, they’ll be getting bused to the off-site locations that are outside of Smithers.
The guides will take part in activities such as science and technology, basic crafting, and will go outside of Smithers for day trips to Houston. The older guides will take part in a two-day trip to go to a horseback camp, white-water rafting, and going to a farm to learn culinary experience.
While the girls will take part in learning activities, they’ll also be giving back to the community.
“At the actual fairground’s site, we’ll be painting the horse rings. They’re going to be doing some work in one of the women’s shelters, making packages,” she said.
Gladys Atrill of Tourism Smithers said it’s going to be great having the guides here.
“It’s great for the community, it’s nice and exciting. Two thousand plus five hundred volunteers is a pretty amazing group of people to land in this town,” she said.
“They make memories for a lifetime and make friends for a lifetime,” said Hooker.