Crunch time preparing to lead training sessions

This weekend, my wife, Marnie, will be travelling to Collingwood for the Ontario Girl Guides’ Provincial Annual. This is a training weekend for leaders of girls and women from five to . . . (history tells me I shouldn’t put in an upper age limit).
Marnie is participating as a trainer, and her two different sessions each will have 60 participants. Last week and this week, our house has been transformed into an assembly line of materials and crafts.
As a trainer, my wife doesn’t believe in half measures.
One session will have five different complete meeting packages, along with the craft ideas, handouts, and meeting notes as to how each meeting fits into the Sparks program. All have been road tested with her own Sparks group here in Fort Frances.
Our household was never blessed with girls and maybe this is why my wife throws her heart and soul into Guiding. The Girl Guide movement of Canada is focused on providing girls and young women with the confidence to go out and be successful Canadian citizens.
Marnie seems to continue to challenge the idea of what young girls can do. My responsibility often lies in creating parts to her craft kits in my woodworking workshop.
This past week, for instance, I cut Popsicle sticks into pieces to make clothespin airplanes with floats.
I also have to build some knock down stands from doweling and wood blocks to show the completed projects from. That is tonight’s work assignment.
Most people, when working on projects, would work from one computer. Marnie has been using two, and neither has been totally co-operative. In fact, I think the two have, at times, raised her blood pressure.
Marnie has bits of material on both and over the Easter weekend, she produced all the meeting notes and directions, then photocopied the material here at the Times office.
Hundreds of pages were reproduced, gathered, punched, stapled, cut with scissors, and packed for transporting to Toronto and on to Collingwood.
While Marnie was co-ordinating getting all of her materials ready, the apple cart was upset with hosting an Easter family meal as the dining room and kitchen tables had to be cleared of Guide material. The papers were transferred to both sons’ bedrooms (it is a good thing they are both away at school).
Marnie’s second training session is an introduction to the new Sparks program that will be unveiled at the Provincial Annual for implementation next September (she has been part of the team creating this new program).
And in Fort Frances, the Sparks have been beta testing the program for the past year.
Sparks will now receive badges. But before the program could be unveiled in Ontario, Marnie was waiting on pins and needles for the final drafts of the program and badges.
That material arrived by e-mail late last Thursday. Over the next three days, that also has been shaped into a session.
It is a good thing that teachers have Easter Monday off as a holiday. On Monday, Marnie was back at the Times photocopying and punching handouts. I was recruited to do some fancy cutting with the Times’ cutter to sever off the corners that outlined a key.
And when I arrived home for lunch, I was conscripted into stapling the gathered sheets of ice cream cone notes.
Marnie, who also is involved in making costumes for the musical the high school students are performing this week, let me know that any of those cones that she hadn’t finished would be waiting for me this evening as she attended the dress rehearsal.
Each Guider from the district heading to Collingwood for the weekend will travel with an extra piece of luggage. Marnie, who will spend the next three evenings boxing the material to travel on Friday, will provide that extra piece of luggage.
And the best part is that the following weekend, the training will be repeated in Thunder Bay.

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