BY KALISHA MENDONSA
One Girl Guides leader in Lacombe has been cooking up something extra special with her girls to get into the holiday spirit.
Traci Anderson built 54 gingerbread houses that have been lovingly decorated by Girl Guides and Brownies members to brighten their holidays and get them excited about Christmas.
Anderson said she first learned how to bake the gingerbread houses at a young age, and has been sharing her tradition with the young girls for a few years now, with a great response.
“We end now for Christmas, so this is a really fun way to end our year. It’s a great activity for the kids. I bake the houses and the kids cover them with as much candy as they can possibly hold, so it’s really fun,” she said.
“People think I’m crazy for doing all of that baking, but the girls like it and it’s fun for us so I’ll keep doing it.”
She said the annual activity is one that she looks forward to all year. She said she’s experimented with recipes, putting the houses together with chocolate or different kinds of icing but all in all, the houses remain a simple family recipe made with extra love from the little girls.
The girls decorate the houses, but so does the Anderson family and friends group. The children take them home, and this year extras were donated via a facebook group to people around the community.
“It’s just something fun that we all like doing. It’s fun because every year the girls change their decorating, and some of them throw as much candy on as possible and others take time to make pretty designs and it’s just fun to watch,” she said happily.
Anderson is a local leader for Sparks and Brownies, now in her eighth year of working with the kids. She said she enjoys the activities she’s able to do with the girls, and loves bringing them out of their shells to try new things.
All of the activities the girls do as groups, including overnight trips, crafts and outdoor programs, are done thanks to the power of Girl Guide Cookie fundraisers.
“We work to sell and save enough from the cookies to be able to provide opportunities for the girls to try new things. For example, we were once able to take them dog-sledding, which is something that isn’t usually easy for families to do together,” Anderson said.
The Girl Guides, Brownies and Sparks groups continue to thrive in the area and will be bringing their beloved cookies back out in the spring to continue to build up their community groups.