In this article, we’d like to introduce you to a mother and her daughter who have been part of the Girl Guides for over the last 20 years. Laura started as a Brownie and stayed with the program until she finished high school. When Christa her daughter turned 5, Christa became a Spark and Laura became a Leader. Christa is now in the Rangers and Laura is still a Leader.
Guiding provides a safe, all-girl environment that invites girls to challenge themselves, to find their voice, meet new friends, have fun and make a difference in the world. Girl Guides of Canada strives to ensure that girls and women from all walks of life, identities and lived experiences feel a sense of belonging and can fully participate.
Today’s Guiding program helps girls learn about global and cultural awareness, career exploration, science and technology, and the arts. Girls in Guiding participate in environmental projects and explore important issues such as bullying, self-esteem and body image. They develop the skills needed to speak out and take action on issues that are important to them. Guiding gives girls the tools and resources they need to achieve greatness.
Girl Guides of Canada’s core programming allows girls and young women to develop life and career skills in age-appropriate groups. They participate in a number of standard activities to earn badges.
In Don Mills guiding is alive and well. The Sparks (5 – 6) and Brownies (7 – 8) meet at St. Bonaventure’s Church, the Girl Guides (9 – 11) meet at The Donway Covenant United Church and the Pathfinders (12 – 14) and Rangers (15 -17) meet at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church.
Most of the 358th Pathfinder Unit girls have been together since they were Sparks and now are planning to travel to the Girl Guides Pax Lodge World Centre in London England in August of 2019. Pax Lodge offers Girl Guides from around the world to meet other girls from different countries and learn about other cultures, while making new friends and learning new skills. This is a huge undertaking for the girls as they hope to raise most the funds to travel by fundraising. They have been busy all summer planning events and putting ideas together to raise funds. So this year, when the Pathfinders come around with their cookies – buy lots, actually as Laura explains, you don’t buy cookies – you donate and the cookies are their way of saying thank you. (FYI cookies can be pre-ordered by the case (I’m just saying), please email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org)
I asked Laura why she wanted to be a leader with the Girl Guides and she was quick to say – it was such a wonderful part of her childhood that she just wanted to pass that on to her daughter. Laura is one of 6 incredible women who volunteer as leaders. Without them there would not be a program.
Over 7 million Canadian girls and women have been involved in Guiding and although they have had many changes their main focus has always remained the same: Preparing girls and women to become strong, resourceful and respectful members of the community.