Note: Attempts have been made to update this page for 2020. Disclaimer: this has not yet been proofread!

About SOAR About Sooke About Camping
About Finances About Prerequisites About Patrols
About Programming About Patrol Guiders
About Core Staff

About SOAR

What is SOAR?

The Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous, SOAR for short, is 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 and 18. (Note: girls may be 10 at the time of camp, if their birthday is between August and December 2009).

The purpose of SOAR is to provide opportunities that empower girls and Guiders to challenge themselves and to develop skills in a safe environment all the while creating lifelong memories they can carry with them as they venture out into the world.

In 2017, the eighth SOAR was held in Smithers. They have been located around the province (Prince George, Sooke, Trail, Merritt, Parksville, Agassiz, Enderby) in order to give girls an opportunity to see various parts of BC.

SOAR 2020 will be held in Sooke, in the Southern Vancouver Island area.

When is SOAR?

July 24 – August 1, 2020. It is expected that all Camp Participants – girls and Patrol Guiders – will arrive with their Patrols, and be there for the entire duration of the camp, and will participate fully for the entire camp. Parents/Guardians are not permitted to take their daughter/ward off-site during the camp, unless this is for a family emergency. Any such request must be approved by the Camp Responsible Guiders. Patrol Guiders, given their responsibility towards the youth members in their Patrol, are bound by these same rules and must remain on site for the entire duration of camp, unless this is for a family emergency. Any such request must be approved by the Camp Responsible Guiders, and a suitable replacement must be found.

What birth years will Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers be for SOAR 2020?

Girls born in 2008 or 2009 will be Guides at SOAR 2020.

Girls born in 2005, 2006 or 2007 will be Pathfinders at SOAR 2020.

Girls born in 2002, 2003 or 2004 will be Rangers at SOAR 2020.

How many participants attend SOAR?

A total of 2,336 girls and leaders from BC, other provinces and other countries (Australia, Japan, New Zealand,Peru, Scotland, United Kingdom and the United States) attended in 2017. Most groups came as a complete patrol of eight girls and two leaders. There were 252 volunteer core staff who spent more than a year making preparations for this camp.

In 2020, as many as 2500 participants may attend.

Where were past SOARs held?

See History & Facts.

Is there a Tour Day?

Yes. Tour days are held usually on the Wednesday of camp from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Visitors are able to tour the site and see SOAR in action. Visitors are not able to visit specific participants, as they are actively involved in the program.

How do we apply?

Guiders must apply by September 15, 2019.    Applications from Interprovincial Guiders will be vetted through their Provincial Camping or PC teams, after they apply.  All applicants will be notified by October 1st if they are approved to attend.

Girl program registrations will commence in January 2020.  Additional information on registering the full patrol will be sent to approved Guiders.

Guiders who wish to be Core staff can apply on an ongoing basis, until March 2020.

All registration is done online.

How do girls apply?

Girls generally apply through their patrol Guider, often their unit Guider. If your unit is not going to SOAR or you don’t have a patrol to apply through, please contact your area liaison. She will try to place you with a patrol in your area.

Who organizes this kind of event?

Volunteer Guiders organize. The steering committee meets for two years prior to the event. It is a huge undertaking – especially considering most of these women hold full-time jobs, as well.

How does ePACT increase efficiency?

Previously, there would have been a health form submitted with registration and then an additional two copies sent to camp with the girl. ePACT is also taking the place of the SG.5 form. By having the records electronically, our health and food services directors have been able to easily sort the data rather than wade through thousands and thousands of individual papers, to ensure girls’ and Guiders’ health and dietary needs are met. Our health services director at SOAR 2014 had 18 x 6″ binders full of paper (yes, EIGHTEEN binders!). Now she has an iPad.

Similarly, in the past our program team had thousands of pieces of paper as we collected paper copies of every waiver from every girl. Now we can quickly and easily locate the waivers for the girls assigned to each program, and print as needed. We collect waivers from all girls in case there is a reason that a girl assigned to an activity is unable to participate in her assigned activity for some reason (perhaps ill or injured at camp?), and we need to fill her spot – we can quickly pull up girls’ program preferences and waivers using the online system.

About Sooke

How do we get to Sooke?

You will be notified by your Area Liaison or the International/Interprovincial team, about ferry schedules that are arranged for you.  You/your patrol will be responsible for the cost.  A bus will pick you up on Vancouver Island.

More information will be sent as it is available.

About Camping

What will a typical day at camp look like?

  • 7:00-8:30 AM: Breakfast at your patrol site; make your bagged lunch to take with you.
  • 8:00-9:00 AM: If your program is offsite, you will need to meet your bus. This includes day trip travel.
  • 9:45-11:45 AM: Morning program sessions.
  • 11:45 AM -1:15 PM: Lunch. Could be on the go between program activities. Often there is lunchtime entertainment (Karaoke) at a stage area. If your afternoon activity is offsite, you will need to meet your bus.
  • 1:30-3:45 PM: Afternoon program sessions.
  • 4:30-6:30 PM: Supper, prepared and eaten at your patrol site.
  • 7:30 PM: Evening activities typically begin. Campfire, international/interprovincial performances, dance night, etc. A schedule will be provided at camp.
  • 11:00 PM: Site curfew – lights out!

Are there special camp activity highlights?

Yes, every SOAR has Opening and Closing Ceremonies, an International/Interprovincial Night and other all-camp events.  Further information will be posted as the plans are developed.

How do meals work at SOAR?

SOAR is a “back to basics” camp and patrols do their own cooking. Guiders “shop” for the food for their patrols. No, this does NOT mean that you need to bring money to pay for food! This means that you will take the food that your patrol needs from the “Quartermaster’s Store” but no more than you need.

How large a space will we have for our patrol campsite?

Patrols should expect to be assigned to a 25′ x 25′ patrol site. Sites may include small trees, heavy brush and uneven surfaces that you associate with forested areas.

It is up to your patrol to decide the size of your equipment. Many of you already own your tents and shelters so you just need to make sure that they fit in your allotted space.  At your pre-camps, make sure you set up your site within these dimensions.

Given the size of the camp group, what security and safety measures are taken?

The camp is patrolled 24 hours per day and has a 24-hour staffed First Aid Station.Health Services building, and first aid staff on sub camp sites.

Are there flush toilets and showers for campers?

There are no flush toilets available for campers. Portable toilets will be available in each sub-camp and activity area.

There are no running water showers for campers. There will be a wash tent available on each sub-camp (Bring a solar shower).

Can Portable Campfires be used at SOAR?

There are to be no open fires at SOAR. Portable campfires / fire bowls / fire pits are not permitted.

About Finances

How much will it cost to attend SOAR?

  • Patrols of 8 girls and 2 Guiders:
    • BC patrols $4,400 including GST
    •  Out-of-province patrols $5,500 including GST
  • ½ Ranger Patrols (4 girls, 1 Guider), divide costs above by 2
  • Core Staff:
    • BC core staff – paid for by BC Council
    • Out-of-province core staff $300 including GST

Payment Schedule

BC Patrols – a single cheque is to be sent from your Area.  Speak with your Area Liaison about whether your payment goes to your District or directly to your Area.  Deadlines to Area are as follows:

  • $1,466.67 January 15, 2020
  • $1,466.67 March 15, 2020
  • $1,466.66 April 15, 2020

 Interprovincial and US Patrols:

  • Payment dates:
    • January 31, 2020
    • March 31, 2020
    • April 30, 2020.
    • Each payment to be $1,833.33  ($916.67 for a half patrol).
    • There will not be a reduced fee for an incomplete patrol.

International Patrols:

  • Payment date: January 31, 2020.
  • All payments in Canadian dollars and sent via bank transfer.
  • There will not be a reduced fee for an incomplete patrol.

There will be no reduced fee for an incomplete patrol.

What’s included in the Registration Fee?

Note: travel costs to and from Sooke are not included in the registration fee. This is an additional cost that your Patrol will need to budget for.

The registration fee covers: food, on-site program activities, off-site program activities (including travel to off-site program activities during the week of camp), campsite, all-camp t-shirt, camp hat, a camp crest.

What additional costs do I need to budget for?

Adult and Girl Members are responsible for transportation costs to and from Sooke, additional accommodations (if required), insurance, all camping equipment, and personal expenses.

When fundraising to attend SOAR, what are the guidelines I need to follow?

Members must apply to their Area for permission to fund raise before undertaking any fundraising efforts other than selling cookies. The FR.1 form can be found in MemberZone at the following link: https://www.girlguides.ca/web/MZ/Admin/Fundraising/MZ/Admin/Fundraising.aspx. Fundraising Guideline for BC can be found on the BC website.

An SG.8 is not required for BC patrols, as per the SG.8 Travel Preauthorization – BC Patrols post.

Members from other provinces must check with their provincial office for all fundraising questions.

If I need to cancel, will I be entitled to a refund?

No refunds or substitutions after June 1, 2020, and no refunds for individual participants. Replacements are welcome until June 1, 2020.  Program changes will be accommodated if possible.

What if I need an ambulance while at camp?

On the required health form for both Guiders and girls, it states the following:

H.1 – Personal Health Form – Girl Members
Every care and attention will be given to the health and comfort of the participant.
“I hereby authorize a Girl Guides of Canada representative to: share information and provide first aid and/or secure such medical advice and services (e.g., contacting EMS/ambulance) as may be deemed necessary for the health and safety of myself or my daughter/ward during activities. I agree to accept financial responsibility in excess of the benefits allowed by my provincial/territorial health plan or the Girl Guides of Canada insurance plan.”

H.2 – Personal Health Forms for Adults
N. B. Every care and attention will be given to the health and comfort of the participant.
“I hereby authorize a GGC representative to provide first aid and/or secure such medical advice and services (e.g., contacting EMS/ambulance) as may be deemed necessary for my health and safety. I agree to accept financial responsibility in excess of the benefits allowed by my provincial/territorial health plan and the Girl Guides of Canada insurance plan.”

SOAR 2020 will have qualified medical professionals on site. However, in the event that a Guider or participant requires an ambulance while attending SOAR, these costs will be borne by the patient or her family. While an ambulance will not be called without due cause, the final judgement will be that of the medical staff at SOAR. A further explanation of these charges from BC Emergency Health Services, can be found here: http://www.bcehs.ca/about/billing/fees.

About Prerequisites

What is the minimum age for a girl to attend SOAR?

Girls from Canada must have been born in 2009 or earlier to attend SOAR 2020.  This means that the youngest girls at SOAR must be turning 11 in 2020. Some girls may still be 10 at the time of camp, if their birthday is between August and December 2009.

International participants must be at least 12 years old at the time of camp.

Are there any prerequisites or camping experience necessary to attend SOAR?

Guiders and all girls must be registered in Girl Guides and have four nights tenting (need not be consecutive), at Girl Guide of Canada or a WAGGGS affiliated organization, and have four nights of tenting (need not be consecutive), at a Girl Guide/Scout camp, by July 1, 2020.

Do I need to complete a swim test to attend SOAR?

Anyone (girl and adult) who wants to take part in the water activities swimming program must successfully complete the swim test. For more information on swim tests , see Safe Guide page 98.

Swim Tests (for swimming and boating) should be entered into iMIS before program selection, but no later than March 1, 2020. Use the Swim and Boat test verification forms from MemberZone to submit to iMIS. (International patrols must submit proof of qualification to soarbcinternational@gmail.com for every participant by February 15, 2020). Anyone who does not complete these tests will not be allowed in the water.

Do I need to complete both a swim test and a boating test?

Any girl or adult that passes their swim test does not have to do a boating swim test.

About Patrols

What is a Patrol?

A patrol is a group of Guides and/or Pathfinders or Rangers attending SOAR. Normally, patrol Guiders will pre-register members of their units of Guides/Pathfinders or Rangers to attend SOAR together, as a patrol.

How many people are in a Patrol?

Guide/Pathfinder patrols are made up of 8 girls and 2 Guiders. Ranger full patrols are made up of 8 girls and 2 Guiders; Ranger half-patrols are made up of 4 girls and 1 Guider.

I don’t have a Patrol to register with. Can I still register to attend SOAR?

Please contact your Area Liaison to indicate your interest in SOAR. The Area Liaisons will support the placement of individual girls into patrols.

Will Patrols be responsible for bringing their own gear?

Yes. Patrols are responsible for bringing their own tenting equipment and personal gear. Requirements will be posted on the SOAR website and will be communicated to patrols that register to attend.    International and Interprovincial patrols will be contacted by the International/Interprovincial Director regarding their gear requirements.

How are Ranger Patrols different from Guide/Pathfinder Patrols?

Rangers may attend as a half patrol (4 girls plus 1 Guider) or a full patrol (8 girls plus 2 Guiders). Rangers will participate in a 3 day out trip program, not available to Guides or Pathfinders.  Rangers will be physically separated into their own sub-camp area, away from Guides/Pathfinders on site.

Can Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers be mixed to form one Patrol?

Guides and Pathfinders can be mixed.  Individual Rangers who are not included with a Ranger unit, will camp with Guides/Pathfinders, and participate in Ranger activities.   The Ranger sub-camp will be separate from the Guide/Pathfinder sub-camps. Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers can prepare for SOAR at pre-camps together, and they may travel together.

How do Trex Patrols register?

Trex patrols, if comprised of combined Pathfinder/Ranger aged girls, will camp with the Guides/Pathfinders  (patrol Guiders apply to bring Guides/Pathfinders, rather than Rangers). The girls who are Ranger-aged will be able to choose to participate in Ranger adventure trips, or in the Guider/Pathfinder Program.  The girls who are Pathfinder-aged will participate in the Guide/Pathfinder program. If the girls are all Ranger-aged, they will camp with the Rangers.

About Programming

What types of activities do the girls take part in?

The program consists of traditional camp-type activities such as cooking, campfire sing-alongs and crafts. The girls may sign up to try out activities in each of the program areas-Active Recreation, Crafts, Environment, Fine Arts, Service, Science and Technology and Waterfront – and go on day trips to tour the local area. See the Program Information page for the most up-to-date program information.

Typically, all girls will have the opportunity to choose several of these activities:

  • Active Recreation:  Amazing Race, Mountain Hiking, Lakeside Nature Walk, Roller Derby, Skateboarding, Fly Fishing, Horseback Riding, Hip Hop, Archery, Cycle Touring, Zumba/Yoga, Riflery
  • Crafts: Wire, Stone & Beads, Gem Tree, Glass Etching, Mosaics, Leathercraft, Beach Bags
  • Environment: You’re Never Powerless, Habitat: Where it’s at, Bee-lieve it or Not, Weather Wizards, Dairy Divas, Leave No Trace, Smoke in the Air, Ecosystem Celebrations
  • Fine Arts: Painting, Shadow Theatre, Drumming, Belly Dancing, Drama, Photography, Puppets, Mural Painting, Face Painting, Culinary Arts
  • Service: Comfort Bears, Dog Toys, WAGGGS/Education kits, Activity Aid for Seniors, Painting, Resource Centre, Shuswap Trail, Pruning, Okanagan Gleaners, Sanitary Kits/Skirts
  • Science: Chemistry, Tree Talkers, Brain Boosters, Science Centre, Forensics, Waterways, Robotics
  • Water Activity: Scuba, Paddleboard, Kayaking, Canoeing, Waterslide, Lake Swim/Raft Building, River Float, Snorkeling, Beach Break
  • Day trips: Ranch, Ghost Town, City

Each girl’s personal program selection choice will be entered online, within each program area, by order of preference. A personalized camp schedule will be distributed to each girl upon arrival at camp. Patrols will all have the same program area at the same time, but each girl within a patrol could have a different program activity based on her program selection and assignment.

How can Transitioning Members participate in SOAR?

Transitioning members (TMBRs) are members who have completed Rangers, but are not of the age of majority in their province. TMBRs who are 18 by July 24, 2020 (born in 2001) can apply to attend as Core Staff. Transitioning Members (TMBR) will be required to get signed parental permission before attending camp.

A TMBR will be treated as an adult member and will be screened in the same manner as other Core Staff applicants and will follow the Core Staff application process. TMBRs will be required to complete a PRC through Back Check and have it entered on their iMIS profile by June 30, 2020.

Is there programming available for adults at SOAR?

SOAR is a girl-focused camp and as such, adult program is not offered. Patrol Guiders assigned to help at program stations are expected to supervise and ensure the safety of the girls in the activity. In some instances, it may be possible or necessary for Guiders to try or participate in the activity, but Guiders should not be expecting to participate.

About Patrol Guiders

Do patrol Guiders need to be members of Girl Guides?

Canadian Guiders and all girls must be registered in Girl Guides of Canada. From outside of Canada, all participants must be registered members of a WAGGGS Member organization.

All Guiders must have completed Police Record Checks (or the equivalent for their country) and Canadian Guiders must have completed current Safe Guide Training.

Can a non-member attend with a patrol by signing an A7 Volunteer Record Form?

No, not as an adult with the patrol.  Under Safe Guide procedures, non members are not counted in ratio, and cannot be left alone with the girls.  Due to the complexities that would pose at SOAR, it is not possible to have non-members attend as “patrol guiders”.

What level of First Aid training do Patrol Guiders need and when does it need to be recorded in iMIS?

At least one of the two Guiders in each patrol needs to have current first aid training. But what level is necessary?

OFA1 or Emergency First Aid is sufficient for your patrol if you are staying on site with your patrol.

Standard First Aid is required if you would like to be considered to join any of the off-site program groups during the day as the First Aider. You are more likely to be selected to join off-site program groups if you have Standard First Aid.

First aid qualifications must be recorded in iIMS by May 31, 2020.

How does one Guider replace another Guider in a patrol?

Please contact us – the replacement Guider will need to go through the application and screening process.

My PRC will expire before or during SOAR. When does it need to be renewed?

If your PRC (Police Record Checks) expires before or during SOAR (before August 1, 2020), then it must be completed and recorded in iMIS by May 31, 2020. Any Guiders who do not have a current PRC in iMIS by May 31 will require a replacement Guider to take their place in their patrol.

My daughter/ward has special needs and requires a care aide.  Can I attend?

Care aides – those who are needed to assist specific girls – can be non members, but must complete the A7 volunteer record form, and successfully achieve a police record check.

About Core Staff

How do I apply to come as Core Staff?

Please see the Core Staff Applications page.

Can Core Staff job share?

Job sharing is not possible at SOAR.

Is travel provided to camp for Core Staff?

Travel will be arranged and provided for BC Guiders attending SOAR as Core Staff. Core Staff from outside of BC are responsible for their own travel arrangement and expenses.

How can parents find out more about Girl Guides?

The toll-free number for Girl Guides is 1-800-565-8111. You can also visit our BC website, www.bc-girlguides.org or our national site, www.girlguides.ca