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Canadian

SPRING 2019

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Girl-Driven Guiding

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Girls First Tips

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Girl Guide Superpowers

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Inclusive Song Lyrics

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Behind the Blue


YOUR GGC

The Power of Song Hello Rangers and Guiders,

Photo: ©GGC

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sk any Girl Guide member her favourite song, and chances are she’ll tell you it’s impossible to pick just one. From silly songs to rowdy songs to the songs that touch us to our core, there’s just something about coming together with girls and Guiders to sing. And the songs we sing in Guiding matter to many of us deeply, warming our hearts in ways that other music does not. We love every song, but our personal favourites are “Barges,” “On My Honour,” “On the Loose” and “Softly Falls” (“The Light of Day”). As Guider Emma Fisher-Cobb writes in her article “Inclusive Song Lyrics: Small Changes – Big Impact” (page 16), what we sing around the campfire or in a unit meeting says a lot about who we are as an organization. As with many traditions, song lyrics are always evolving. Emma explores how even small changes in lyrics can have a big impact, ensuring the songs we sing make everyone feel comfortable. “When we choose to be inclusive in our song choices, we create a safer space for the girls and Guiders in our units and in the broader Guiding community to be who they are,” she says. Be sure to check out Behind the Blue on page 44. It’s a brand new section of the magazine, through which we examine what makes our organization tick. As with Behind the Blue in our GuidePost e-newsletter, this section will showcase the unique, innovative and passionate work happening at every level of

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Guiding across the country. It will also take a behind-the-scenes look at new ways we’re supporting our volunteers as catalysts for girls. In this issue, we feature an interview with our Chair, Robyn McDonald, and share an update on how we’re making girl registration subsidies more accessible to families. Also in this issue of Canadian Guider . . . • For tips from Guiders on navigating the Girls First digital platform, see page 8. • We all know that Girl Guides are part of a powerful sisterhood. Some might even call them superheroes. Take our quiz to find your personal Guiding superpowers on page 12, and check out some super-easy DIY superhero capes and masks on page 15. • To meet the girl members on our Diversity and Inclusivity Action Team, and hear how they want to make Guiding the place where all girls can truly feel, “I belong here,” see page 20. Yours in Guiding,

Krysta Jill Guiding Ambassador CEO, Girl Guides of Canada CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Illustration: ©iStock/drante (edited)

CONTENTS Features

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4 Girls’ Interests and Program Goals 8 Girls First Digital Platform Tips

12 Quiz: What’s Your Girl Guide Superpower? 15 Superhero Capes and Masks 16 Inclusive Song Lyrics

20 Diversity and Inclusivity Action Team Girl Members 34 Eco-Service Projects 41 Citizen Smarts

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And more.... 2 Your GGC

23 Outdoor Guider: The Humble Hot Dog

Photo: Katherine Adye

Photo: courtesy Huda Nasir

38 Go Global: Learning to Lead

27 Camp Blanket Crests

30 Ask a Guider: Fresh Ideas 32 Join Team Link!

36 Organization and Self-Care 44 Behind the Blue 47 FYI

Cover Photo: Saajid Sam Motala

32 Canadian Guider, Volume 89, No. 2, SPRING 2019 • ISSN 0300-435X Published three times annually (Winter, Spring, Fall) by Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada, 50 Merton Street, Toronto, ON, M4S 1A3 416-487-5281 • 1-800-565-8111. Web site: www.girlguides.ca • Email: cdnguider@girlguides.ca • Viceregal Patron: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada • Chair: Robyn McDonald • Chief Executive Officer: Jill Zelmanovits • Publisher: Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada • Chair, Editorial Committee: Hilary Feldman • Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications: Andrea MacBeth • Communications Specialist: Mary Vincent • Editor: Sharon Jackson • Art Director: Geraldine Withey • Associate Art Director: Ross Woolford • Annual membership fee includes a subscription to Canadian Guider. It is sent free to all registered adult members and Rangers. If you are a member and have an address change please notify iMIS in your provincial council office. If you are a paid subscriber and have an address change please notify the Canadian Guider directly, enclosing your Canadian Guider mailing label if possible. Send changes to Canadian Guider, Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada, 50 Merton Street, Toronto, ON, M4S 1A3, Canada.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) recognizes and values the richness of human diversity in its many forms, and therefore strives to ensure environments where girls and women from all walks of life, identities, and lived experiences feel a sense of belonging and can participate fully. This commitment to inclusion means GGC’s culture, programming and practices encourage self-awareness and awareness of others; room for difference; and environments where girls and women feel safe, respected, supported, and inspired to reach their potential. SUBSCRIPTIONS RATES: $12 per year inside Canada, $15 to USA, $20 overseas. Single copies $4.25 each. Canadian Publications Mail Product. Sales Agreement No. 40065172. All submissions to the magazine become the property of Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada unless other arrangements are made prior to publication. Most articles and artwork in this magazine are owned by Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada.

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GIRL-DRIVEN GUIDING

Finding the Balance Girls’ Interests and Program Goals At Girl Guides, we know there are no better experts on girls than girls themselves. That’s why girl-driven Guiding puts girls in the lead by

Photo: Donna Santos Studio; Illustration: ©GGC

supporting each girl’s choice,

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voice and action. Of course, this all sounds good in theory – but what if girls want to do the same thing every week? Here are some ideas you can try to incorporate the girls’ interests into the Girls First program goals. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

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GIRL-DRIVEN GUIDING

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irl-driven Guiding doesn’t involve an all-or-nothing approach. Seeking girl input makes a lot of sense, but the girl-driven approach doesn’t mean, for example, that you just give a Spark or Brownie the keys to the car and wish her luck! First, you’ll have to teach her about cars and

the rules of the road. Once she’s a Guide or a Pathfinder, you might sit beside her in the passenger’s seat, so you can grab the wheel if things go off-road. By the time she’s a Ranger, she’ll be in the driver’s seat, and you can sit in the back and enjoy the ride, offering directions if and when she asks.

Girl Choice, Voice, Action

The ultimate goal of the girl-driven approach is to ensure girls will: • have the freedom to pursue their interests • be heard and taken seriously • advocate for their interests in GGC, and engage meaningfully in the wider community. It’s all about girl choice, voice and action. However, girls have different needs and abilities, which is why girl-driven Guiding looks different for each branch and unit. That’s where Guiders come in. Guiders play a critical role in providing girls with age-appropriate opportunities for leadership and decision-making. As leaders and mentors, it’s your enthusiasm and guidance that encourage girls to explore their current interests and awaken new ones. By supporting her choice, voice and action, you can help each girl develop her sense of self-confidence and independence, as she learns to be everything she wants to be, regardless of her age. For example:

Our youngest members may not lead meetings or plan the annual unit calendar, but they can still share their interests and choices in lots of ways. Girls can create an “about me” picture and update it over the Guiding year. Younger girls can share their choices through tangible and visual representations of activity options (try the new program Discovery Sheets for Sparks and Brownies on Member Zone under Guider Resources).

or Looking f and more tips tricks?

en e girl-driv th t u o k c e Ch h ach branc tools for e grams on under Pro one. Member Z 6

Guides

Girls can share their interests using games, dotmocracies (dot-voting) and surveys. Check in regularly, as girls’ interests change. Guide-age girls can exercise lots of leadership ability. Invite them to contribute their unique skills and knowledge by leading a simple activity in their patrols. Support positive identity by offering a variety of activities to help awaken new interests. Include some that are new for girls.

Pathfinders and Rangers

Ask yourself: “Am I leading girls in a way that increases their independence?” Older girls can share how they want Guiders to support them. They can explore the Girls First digital platform to “like” and “favourite” activities, and can pretty much plan their own meetings. Invite girls to identify their strengths and the skills they want to practise. Engage them as “experts” in their areas of strength.

To support girl-driven Guiding, Girls First program activities encourage girls to take the lead in age-appropriate ways. Because the program areas are consistent across branches, girls will develop their confidence and decision-making skills as they progress through the program.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Illustration: ©GGC

Sparks and Brownies


Girl-Driven Planning Strategies

How can Guiders get to know the girls in their unit, and incorporate their input in meaningful ways? Girls First Champions* have compiled some simple strategies to help you listen to the voices and incorporate the choices of girls:

Branch

Planning With Girls

Awakening New Interests

Sparks

Ask the girls to draw things they love to do and use these ideas to build meeting plans.

Host a kitchen-sink meeting with lots of little things to try from different program themes.

Observe the girls – what kinds of activities keep them happy and energized?

Use favourite activities, such as crafts or active games, to introduce new program areas.

Use tail wiggles and waggles. The girls close their eyes and wiggle for ideas, from small wiggles for things they like to big waggles for things they love!

Host a mini round-robin, in which girls can rotate through activity stations to try out new program areas.

Brownies

Post program-theme cards around the room and invite girls to stand by the ones they’d like to explore.

Guides

Pathfinders

Rangers

Try a mystery meeting, during which Guiders lead surprise activities.

Try alphabet picks. Ask Guides in patrols to write down something they want to do using each letter in the alphabet.

Try “hiding the vegetables in the sauce,” to explore an unfamiliar topic using a favourite or familiar activity.

Create a secret-vote ballot box to enable girls to choose their favourite activities and topics without peer pressure.

Give voice to the minority! Occasionally, pick the least popular activity.

Create dream or vision boards – they can be tangible collages or digital representations.

Bring in expertise and passion by engaging a guest to run an activity or address a new topic.

Try backwards planning. Ask girls to identify their long-term goals and work backwards to reach them.

Connect the program content to the real world – find connections to make the program areas and themes relevant to girls’ lives today.

Set group and personal goals for the year, and then create a shared calendar together.

Host a Guider’s-choice surprise meeting. Discuss the reasons why certain program areas are not being chosen.

Pass along facilitation skills – invite Rangers to guide planning conversations and activities.

Ask: “What obstacles are you facing? What’s holding you back? How can we approach the idea in a safe or interesting way?”

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

*Girls First Champions

Girls First Champions (GFCs) support Unit Guiders with the transition to the Girls First program. They facilitate interactive Girls First sessions that focus on the program structure, requirements and online platform, as well as on ways to leverage the program to ensure a girl-driven experience. They also support Unit Guiders through regular check-ins, in person, by telephone, or through web conferencing.

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PROGRAMS

Navigating Girls First Digital Platform Tips and Tricks

Last fall, we launched the new Girls First program, putting girls in the driver’s seat of their Guiding experiences. Now, it’s all systems go, as units across Canada are busy diving into the program and eagerly sharing its impact and successes – especially through the Girls First digital platform.

To help you navigate Girls First, we’ve put together Guiders’ top tips for using the digital platform, some inspiring testimonials about their units’ Girls First explorations, and a list of the top Girls First resources and supports.

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Photo: ©iStock/SoleLibero

We’ve heard about the innovative and powerful ways that Guiders are engaging with Girls First to help support meaningful and exciting Guiding adventures. We’ve heard about the benefits girls are experiencing by seeing themselves represented. We’ve heard about the strong relationships that girls and Guiders are building together. And we’ve heard how the Girls First digital platform is helping to facilitate all of this.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

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PROGRAMS

Girls First Top Tips

3 Track what you do at multi-day camps and events. Is your unit planning an amazing multi-day Guiding experience? You can track your progress by using the platform to break the event into days, and record each day as a separate meeting, or by adding a one-day meeting and using the notes section to describe what you do each day. Be sure to choose a fun and descriptive title for your camp.

1 Use “Unit’s Own” to include your own activities.

Bonuses:

• If your unit has more than one idea for an activity, you can use “Unit’s Own” multiple times. • If you have a great idea you’d like to share on the platform, you can use “Unit’s Own” to submit activity suggestions to Girls First.

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2 Use creativity to get girls on the platform. Unsure about how to entice girls to check out the Girls First digital platform for the first time? Create a scavenger hunt by providing clues to navigate to specific content on the digital platform. Or leave secret messages for girls in the unit meeting plans, and reward those who come prepared. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Illustrations: ©GGC

Want to do an activity that’s not on the digital platform? That’s great! Every theme has a “Unit’s Own” activity that you can add to your meeting plan. It acts as a placeholder for all the innovative new activities that girls and Guiders create. Here are just some of the great ideas girls and Guiders have come up with so far. For the Art Studio theme, one unit shared their adventures working with fused glass tiles. Another unit embarked on a scavenger hunt at their local sports hall of fame to learn about women in sport, and logged this adventure under the Gender Power theme. And another unit put a fairy garden to bed as part of preparing a camp for winter, which counted towards the Spirit of Guiding theme. That’s the beauty of Girls First – it’s flexible, so units can make the program their own! Girls can be innovative and really shape their Guiding experience.


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Program and Platform Applause

Help girls explore the program on their own. Are you hearing from girls that they want to do activities at home? The new Girls First program offers lots of opportunities for girls to pursue their own interests. They can find individual activities on the search page by clicking on “Activity Type” in the filter menu and then clicking on “Individual.” I have been suggesting that girls go online with their parents to find activities of interest and do them together. . . Each girl will get credit for work she does at home. . . We should emphasize the process – not the reward. – Audrey D’Souza, ON

5 Get to know what your unit really wants to do in Guiding. Want to learn more about the interests and needs of your unit? By encouraging favouriting on the platform, you can get clear feedback from the girls, start discussions about their interests, and respond directly to their needs. Showing the girls that you value their feedback will bolster their confidence and encourage them to share their ideas. Girls can also fill out the interests section on their profile page to tell you about themselves. Working with younger girls? You can use the program Discovery Sheets, available on Member Zone under Guider Resources, to enable Sparks and Brownies to indicate their interests using pictures instead of words. I had the girls go home and favourite an activity, then immediately we did those activities or made a plan to do them. The girls saw that we took them seriously. – Nicole Gow, ON

Here’s what some Guiders are saying about getting themselves and girls engaged with the new Girls First program and the digital platform. The Girls First digital platform has created a huge learning curve for our unit – but definitely for the better! For Guiders, it has been a blessing. For girls, it offers huge benefits. We Guiders will have an easier time tracking attendance and program work, which will ensure the girls receive recognition for all the work they do. – Tifani Shannon, ON I absolutely love this platform! It makes planning meetings so easy. I know that more material is being added constantly, and look forward to seeing it. I love that all the materials are listed and include the directions. I really feel this is a great step towards instilling and facilitating leadership skills in our girls. – Mary Ann Hounsell, NL As a Guider, I’m so pleased that my Rangers can now receive badges and awards, and that they can get what they want out of the program. Introducing badges changed one Ranger’s mind about not wanting to come back to our unit – she sent me a message saying, “I can’t wait for the new Guiding year to start!” This is definitely a great step forward in retaining older girls. Thank you! – Marsha Goodyear, NL

Girls First Resources

• Digital Platform e-Modules: • For girls: bit.ly/2AZDfov • For Guiders and volunteers: bit.ly/2Sv9PWn • Guider handbook – check under the All About Guiding tab on the digital platform. • Find activity tracking resources, planning support packages and more at Member Zone>Guider Resources>Programs>Girls First Program Delivery.

To get your girls engaged, check out the girlguides.ca Girls First page for e-modules, handouts and more: bit.ly/2rujFMy CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

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QUIZ

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CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Girl Guide

SUPERHEROES What are Your Superpowers?

Illustration: ©iStock/drante (edited)

As a Guider, you belong to the Super Sisterhood of Guiding – a worldwide team of superheroes. Trading in capes for camp blankets, Girl Guide superheroes work tirelessly to create experiences that will inspire girls to become superheroes themselves. Take this quiz to reveal your personal Guiding superpowers.

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SECTION HEAD

QUIZ 1

A science experiment has an unexpected result, and you now have elephant toothpaste everywhere! You: a) grab whatever is handy to scoop up the foam from the floors b) pull a couple of squeegees off your superhero utility belt (i.e., from your supply box) c) collect the foam and create artwork d) check in with everyone to find out how they reacted to the experiment

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On a hike, someone asks you the name of a bird you don’t normally see in your region. You: a) take a picture of the bird and look it up later b) pull out the bird guide you always have in your pack c) stop and sketch the bird – and practise its bird call d) ask others to give their opinion, and see if anyone else has ever seen a bird like that

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Your girls are only halfway through a craft and you realize you’re about to run out of glue. You: a) use push pins to hold it together until you can pick up more glue b) go into your supply box, pull out hot glue and set up glue stations – you always have hot glue on hand c) enjoy the unfinished craft as a work in progress and turn it into something else d) help someone else to finish their craft and come back to yours later

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A guest speaker is running 20 minutes late! You: a) play a favourite active game, to engage the girls as the time passes b) always have an activity in mind that relates to a guest speaker – your unit gets started on that instead c) create a handmade thank-you card to give the guest after the meeting d) discuss ways to make the guest speaker feel comfortable, in case they’re frazzled when they do arrive

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Your girls want to build their own shelters using different knot techniques. You: a) bring all the knot tying materials you can find to the meeting and learn together b) watch a bunch of online videos to make sure you know the best ways to tie the knots needed and practise until you can do it without looking c) bring the materials you need to experiment, play around and then look up ideas after to help you improve d) ask someone from your community who has experience in building shelters to come to a meeting

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You’ve planned a nature hike and it’s pouring rain, but still safe to go. You: a) rig up some garbage-bag ponchos for those who need them, and head out into the rain – time for a puddle jumping contest b) go ahead with the hike – last week you came up with a “rain-or-shine” plan, and everyone who comes is prepared to go out c) change the theme of your hike to reflect the weather, and explore how different the wet world looks from the dry one d) decide as a unit if you want to reschedule the hike or go in the rain – you can always stay in and play games or do something else

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You’re working together to plan your next few meetings, and a group of girls keeps going off-topic with their own side conversations. You: a) break up the group so the girls are more integrated with the others in the unit b) remind the girls about the group expectations you’ve set up in advance for these types of discussions c) change the conversation to a dotmocracy-style game and get everyone up and moving around the room d) take a few moments to explore the girls’ ideas as a unit – something interesting might come out of the discussion and give you the chance to redirect.

What Your Answers Say About You If you mostly answered “a,” your superpower is resourcefulness! You’re able to use what you’ve got on hand to come up with efficient solutions to problems. If a tent pole is broken or an outdoor shower needs rigging, you’re the one who can fix anything with a bit of duct tape and other items you have on hand. If you mostly answered “b,” your superpower is preparedness! You live the Guiding Motto to “Be Prepared.” You know that the best course of action is having not only a great plan, but also a back-up plan – actually a few more contingencies in your pocket, just in case. No one worries when they’re with you, because you’ve helped them think of everything. And if something is forgotten or misplaced, chances are you’re ready for that, too. If you mostly answered “c,” your superpower is creativity! You’re an innovative problem-solver who knows that a glue gun and a bit of optimism can go a long way. Whether you’re on the trail and need to make a hypothesis about trees or your plan somehow goes horribly awry, you’re ready to figure things out – even if things get messy in the process. If you mostly answered “d,” your superpower is empathy! You understand that having meaningful experiences starts with the people in the room. When faced with a problem, you focus on people and ensure everyone feels safe and supported. Whether it’s coming to a consensus, bringing in members of your community to share their knowledge, or checking in when someone is struggling, you’re there with a supportive smile. Of course, we know that most Girl Guides have more than one superpower – and all our members are superheroes!

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


IDEAS

Easy Superhero Capes and Masks S U B M I T T E D B Y K AT H R Y N LYO N S

Mix and match these costume elements to create fantastic superhero outfits in a flash!

Capes

Masks

Cuffs

Plastic Tablecloth Cape

Template Mask

Bracelet Cuff

T-Shirt Cape

1 Have each girl bring a plain (no pictures or words on it), brightly-coloured, adult large or extra-large crewneck T-shirt. 2 Lay the T-shirt flat. 3 Cut the front of the T-shirt out, leaving the neckband intact. 4 Cut the arms off, and reserve that material for a mask and headband. 5 Trim the sides to create a tapered shape from bottom to top. 6 Adjust the length as required. Capes can be worn plain, or you can add superhero badges, attaching felt or peel-and-stick adhesive sheets to make a variety of shapes and symbols. (Think lightning bolts, stars or letters.)

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

1 Select a printable mask template online (e.g., bit.ly/2Rgr4Kc). 2 Trace the template onto cardboard and cut. Younger girls may need help, especially with eyeholes. 3 Place the template on your choice of material: felt, cardstock or cereal box cardboard. 4 Decorate with hand-drawn words or shapes and stickers, as desired. 5 To wear the mask, punch a hole in each side and insert lengths of elastic, ribbon, or string – or for a quick and secure fastener, use chenille stems. T-Shirt-Arm Mask

1 If you’ve made your cape with a T-shirt, recycle one of the sleeves for the mask. 2 Pull the sleeve over your head, and use a felt marker to carefully indicate where to cut eyeholes. Fold the arm in half to cut both eyeholes at the same time. The sleeve should fit most heads. 3 Decorate with fabric paint or markers, or use fabric glue to attach symbols.

1 Use felt or cereal box type cardboard. 2 Make strips approximately four inches (10 centimetres) wide and long enough to wrap a wrist with a little extra. 3 Colour the cuff, and add shapes and symbols, as desired. 4 To attach the cuff, use stick-on Velcro, or punch holes and secure with a metal brad. Sock Gauntlet Cuff

1 Use colourful socks. 2 Cut the toes off each sock, leaving one inch (2.5 centimetres) above the heel, to make room for your fingers. 3 Cut the heel out, to make room for your thumb. Kathryn Lyons is a Guider in Ottawa, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

Photo: ©iStock/Rawpixel

1 For each cape, choose a large, plain, brightly-coloured rectangular tablecloth. 2 Cut the tablecloth into a cape shape, creating a hole for the head and leaving approximately four inches (10 centimetres) in width on each shoulder.

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Photo: Wayne Eardley

INCLUSIVITY

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CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Inclusive Song Lyrics Small Changes Big Impacts BY EMMA FISHER- COBB

There’s something magical about the sound of Girl Guides raising their voices in song – and often laughter – at a singalong. Whether at a campfire or a unit meeting, part of the magic is that there’s meaning behind the songs we choose to sing. Keeping that meaning inclusive of all members is why song lyrics sometimes change. And even small changes can have big impacts.

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ach fall, our unit gathers together with girls and Guiders from across our community at a campfire to welcome the start of a new Guiding year with songs. It’s a cherished tradition, and I’ve noticed nothing unites girls from different cities, backgrounds and experiences like sharing a song. Singing songs together can build connections within a Guiding unit and to the broader Guiding community. It’s wonderful to see a girl’s face light up when she realizes she knows the words to a song sung by another unit. But when we forget that the songs we sing have meaning, they may also distance or exclude people. For example, when we choose to sing a song that includes religious references, or words such as God and Lord, we might be assuming that the religion or ideas in the song match the values of the group by default. When your cultural identity is the CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

dominant one, it can be challenging to step outside of that identity and see things from another perspective – this is why it might be difficult for some people to realize that some songs may be exclusive.

Unpacking Lyrics Our intention when choosing a song is certainly not to make a girl in our unit feel left out or “othered.” But this can happen, if we don’t carefully consider the meaning behind the songs we select. Words can be like luggage – little suitcases of meaning that are often carried around without considering the symbolism of what’s inside. When we “unpack” the lyrics to better understand the meaning of a word or phrase, we may discover that it has negative connotations, or makes people feel that they don’t belong. Sometimes, we assume that we should sing a song with its original lyrics as it is our tradition – in other words because “we’ve always done it that way.” We may think that singing the song differently would be “going against our history.” The truth is that many song lyrics aren’t as cut-and-dried as they first appear. “Thunderation” comes to mind as an example of this. Every time I sing the song with my unit or with a larger group in my Guiding community, I hear many versions of the second and third lines. Sometimes it’s, “We’re the Girl Guides Association/When we work with determination.” Other times it’s, “We’re the Girl Guides across the nation/When we sing with determination.” I’ve heard many versions

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INCLUSIVITY of these lines over the years. No girl or unit is wrong when they sing it the way they’ve learned it – in fact it can be quite beautiful to hear the different versions sung together. I think it’s a great illustration of how each girl and Guider brings something unique to the song, and when we sing together, beautiful music is made in the form of girl empowerment, leadership, and the spirit of Guiding.

Embracing Adaptation and Change Even songs we think of as permanent fixtures of Guiding have a colourful history of adaptation and change. For example, the song “On My Honour” was written by a Girl Scout Leader named Cindy Dasch at an international camp in Illinois in 1971. From there, it travelled quickly all over the world, but it wasn’t put into print until the late 1980s. In a letter Cindy wrote in 1991, she noted that, “a Guide unit from Manitoba once taught me two new verses!” In an epic game of broken telephone, some song lyrics have changed organically over time, while other lyrics were

When we choose to be inclusive in our song choices, we create a safer space for the girls and Guiders in our units and in the broader Guiding community to be who they are.

“O Canada” – English O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all of us command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

“O Canada” – Bilingual O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all of us command, Car ton bras sait porter l’épée. Il sait porter la croix! Ton histoire est une épopée Des plus brillants exploits. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

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deliberately changed in an effort to make sure everyone who gathers around the campfire feels that they belong. So how do we know when a song lyric needs changing? It can be challenging, especially when it’s a song we’ve been singing for years, and that fits with our own beliefs. Being curious about the girls in our unit, and getting to know their stories and experiences without singling anyone out can help us to make more inclusive choices. It’s important to remember that thinking some girls could “just leave out a line or sing a different lyric” is not inclusive. Some folks (including girls and Guiders) are not comfortable making the choice, for fear of appearing “different” from the group. And, sadly, some will just quietly leave Guiding, rather than continue in an environment that doesn’t feel welcoming to their unique identity. In my own unit, we made the switch to a new version of “Taps.” The change in song lyrics came with a learning opportunity – we flagged that “God is nigh” may leave out members in our unit who practise a different religion or no religion at all. We voted on our new closing line, presenting a few options, and ultimately chose to go with “Friends goodnight.” Over the course of this discussion, I learned that many girls didn’t even know what “nigh” meant – so they learned a new word in the process. We now encourage the girls to identify any song lyrics that they don’t understand going forward, providing more learning opportunities for the whole unit.

Did you know? • Proclaimed to be Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980, “O Canada” was first sung in French on June 24, 1880 – more than 100 years earlier. In 2018, legislation was passed to change the English line, “In all thy sons command” to “In all of us command.” This change makes the anthem gender neutral and, therefore, more inclusive. • While the English lyrics have been changed several times, the first widely accepted English version was already gender neutral. The line was “Thou dost in us command.” • According to the Government of Canada: “There is no law or behaviour governing the playing of the national anthem; it is left to the good citizenship of individuals.” There are people who sing “we keep our land” instead of using the word God, but for others it might be more meaningful to use God. • Consider opening a discussion with the girls in your unit to see what they think of the lyrics. With almost any song, you can provide them options – or they can come up with some together – so they can see how different/altered song lyrics provide one way to make space for everyone.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Avoiding Cultural Appropriation

“Taps”

Day is done, gone the sun, From the lake (sea), from the hills, from the sky. All is well, safely rest. Friends good night.

Alternate/daytime version: Thanks and praise, for our days, ‘Neath the sun, ‘neath the stars, ‘neath the sky. As we go, this we know — Friends goodbye.

There is nothing like a good tune, joined in together, as a friendship maker. – Olave Baden-Powell (Foreword, Our Chalet Songbook)

Photo: Wayne Eardley

Another important concept to consider when choosing your song list is cultural appropriation. Every culture has specific symbols that are considered restricted for their exclusive use. This means that not just anyone can wear or display them. An example of this in our own organization is the difference between Guiding awards and fun crests. Anyone can put the "I love Girl Guides" crest on their camp blanket, but only those who have earned the Canada Cord can wear it. The Canada Cord and other awards are restricted symbols within Guiding, and it would be inappropriate to have or display them without earning them. Likewise, when we consider using symbols from another culture – whether it be in arts and crafts or in a song – we should first consider whether the symbol or idea we are considering is restricted. If you’re unsure, just ask! Do some research on the internet or check in with GGC’s Diversity and Inclusivity national team, to make sure you’re on the right track. When we choose to be inclusive in our song choices, we create a safer space for the girls and Guiders in our units and in the broader Guiding community to be who they are. Inclusion is not about erasing or diminishing individual differences and beliefs. It’s about creating an environment in which these individual qualities are valued and respected – and where shared practices, traditions and symbols reflect that diversity, and allow for everyone to participate fully.

Sometimes, we assume that we should sing a song with its original lyrics as it is our tradition, because “we’ve always done it that way.” We may think that singing the song differently would be “going against our history.” The truth is that song lyrics are always evolving.

Did you know? • The melody for “Taps” comes from bugle calls sounded at the end of the day (lights out). The version we know began use during the American Civil War. • There are no “official” lyrics. Multiple verses have been created over time. • The intent of “Taps” is to formally recognize the closing of a Guiding event, and to leave the event safely, in the spirit of Guiding.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Have Questions?

Do you want to know about a song or activity you’re considering, and whether it’s an inclusive fit? Email: inclusivity@girlguides.ca

Emma Fisher-Cobb is a Guider with the 5th Ancaster Guides and 1st Ancaster Trex, as well as a Community Guider and Girls First Champion.

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VOICES

Champions of Change Girls Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity

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Imagine a place where every girl knows her voice matters – where she can say “I belong here.” Helping to ensure Girl Guides is that place is the ultimate goal of our new Diversity and Inclusivity Action Team, which includes both adult and girl members. For the girls on the team, a big part of the work involves creating fresh programming activities that will open new doors to GGC members from all backgrounds. Huda, Sophie and Alexis share their thoughts on why they are eager to be on the Action Team, and how they intend to help make Girl Guide membership truly diverse and inclusive. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Huda Nasir (left) Burlington, ON

What perspectives do you bring to your role on the Diversity and Inclusivity Action Team? Every person has a unique story, and our stories affect our perspectives of the world and how we respond to situations. When I heard of the Diversity and Inclusivity Action Team, I was thrilled to get involved. Having grown up in a family belonging to a cultural and religious minority, I understand the perspective of those who hesitate to join Guiding, because of racial, cultural or religious differences. I hope my own experience with this will enable us to understand how to make Guiding a more welcoming place.

What do diversity and inclusivity in Guiding look like to you?

Sophie Bezanson

New Minas, NS

I would like to eliminate all boundaries for those who want to get involved in Guiding – to see people of all races, religions, ethnic/cultural backgrounds, ages and physical/mental abilities welcomed with open arms. The uniqueness that each individual brings to a group makes experiences more special and worthwhile. It’s important that we learn to understand and connect with each other, regardless of our differences.

How has Guiding made an impact in your life?

What does it mean to you personally to have a voice in shaping Guiding?

Why did you want to be a part of the Diversity and Inclusivity Action Team?

Knowing that my voice will be heard is both thrilling and inspiring. It thrills me that what I say and do can make a difference in the Guiding community. It inspires me to work harder to represent and speak for so many girls whose voices aren’t yet heard.

How can units and Guiding as an organization make sure girls’ voices are heard? Individual units should encourage girls to get involved in bigger parts of Guiding, whether that be through the National Youth Council or provincial girl forums, or Canadian Guider. It’s important that girls reach out to their friends and peers to get them involved as well. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

This organization has served as a platform for me to advocate for gender equality, to represent the issues that matter most to the youth of my community on the National Youth Council, and to help shape Guiding into a safe, positive and inclusive “girls-first” environment for all members.

I want to serve as a catalyst for diversity and inclusivity to ensure that Guiding bears no limitations to acceptance. I am of Métis descent, but my culture has not been discussed much within my family and society. Our traditions and identities have been lost through the generations because of the past oppression and prejudice toward Indigenous peoples. My experience as a young Métis woman has provided me with a unique perspective in recognizing the potential barriers that girls and

young women in Guiding may face. Knowing what my ancestors experienced has motivated me to advocate for Indigenous rights and for keeping our traditions, languages and cultures alive. I am eager to use this platform to encourage Indigenous girls and women in Guiding to celebrate their roots and recognize their identities.

What do diversity and inclusivity in Guiding look like to you? Diversity and inclusivity work when Guiding reflects our Canadian population; when members from diverse identities and communities feel included as they share their experiences; and when they, in turn, recognize and celebrate other members’ cultures and experiences. Flexibility is the key to diversity and inclusivity. If girls and Guiders keep an open mind and are eager to explore other people’s experiences, to recognize their own biases, and to consider and accept different perspectives, all of our members will feel that their stories and experiences are valid, valuable and respected.

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VOICES

Alexis Holmgren Red Deer, AB

Why did you want to be part of the Diversity and Inclusivity Action Team? As a young disabled person with rare, genetic, chronic illnesses, I bring a unique perspective to this team. I know what it is like to be excluded for something you cannot change – something you’re born with. I know what it’s like to be singled out for your differences. At almost every event I go to, when people see my big leg braces and my cane, I find myself having to explain and answer some version of the question, “What’s wrong with you?” I know what it’s like to be told that you’re “less than” – that you’re less capable. I want to change this for those who come after me, so they never have to feel the way I have, and they can be everything they want to be.

What do diversity and inclusivity in Guiding look like to you? Diversity in Guiding looks like a group of girls and women from widely varying backgrounds, life experiences and cultures, who are recognized and celebrated for their differences – not made to feel that they have to hide them or “blend in” with the majority. Inclusivity in Guiding means every girl and woman being able to participate in all activities. Inclusivity removes barriers. It requires activities that everyone can do and benefit from. Inclusivity looks like every single member of the group feeling important, valued, and that she belongs.

How can units and Guiding as an organization make sure girls’ voices are heard? We need platforms and opportunities for girls to speak up. More importantly, girls need to feel comfortable being honest and sharing their authentic opinions and experiences. Units and GGC as a whole need to listen to what girls are saying, and then follow through with making the changes they’re asking for. That’s the most effective way to ensure girls feel heard.

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CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


OUTDOOR GUIDER

The Humble Hot Dog

Illustration: ©iStock/Neuevector; Photo: ©iStock/mphillips007

Praise for an Iconic Camp Food B Y K AT H R Y N LYO N S

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

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OUTDOOR GUIDER

Photo: Van Chau

Oh humble hot dog – You’re so often maligned for your processed, nitrate-ridden nature and ridiculed with names such as tube steak and weenie. Nevertheless, so many of us still look forward to your company at camp. Indeed, is there a more versatile, delicious and iconic camp food than you?

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T

o be frank, dear frankfurter, our affair with you isn’t based on love at first sight. After all, you’re wrapped in eco-unfriendly plastic and made up of ingredients that aren’t exactly whole foods – not to mention that you’re habitually high in sodium and fat. But, wonderful wiener, as a camp food, you’re worthy of – well, we’ll just admit

it – a resoundingly warm welcome! Girls invariably choose you when planning camp menus. You’re gentle on the food budget. You don’t require cutlery or plates. And you’re a fun, tasty and versatile teacher’s assistant for outdoor cooking skills. Here’s a breakdown of your many tasty advantages.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Because most hot dogs are already fully cooked, they can be a safe choice for first-time outdoor cooks. And, unlike marshmallows, they don’t turn into flaming sugar bombs! Here’s how to roast a hot dog over an open-fire: 1 Prepare a cooking fire, with lots of hot coals. 2 Place the hot dog on a toasting fork or sturdy, long, pointed stick. 3 Roast the hot dog over the coals – not in or above any flames.

YOU HELP TEACH BROWNIES KNIFE SKILLS.

What has eight legs and curly, quirky charm? It’s octodog (or spiderdog, if you prefer). Hot dogs can be cut relatively easily, giving Brownies a chance to practise basic kitchen knife skills. Octodog/Spiderdog

1 Cut four slits lengthwise, three quarters of the way up a hot dog on each side. This will create eight legs. 2 Roast over hot coals, using a fork or stick. The legs will curl as your octodog or spiderdog cooks. 3 Add eyes with ketchup or mustard, if you wish.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

YOU TAKE GUIDES BEYOND THE BUN.

Who said hot dogs have to be served in buns? How about wrapping them in bannock? (If you make the dough strips thin enough, you can create mummy dogs.) Here’s the recipe: Bannock

• 2 cups/500 ml flour • 4 tsp/20 ml baking powder • 4 tbsp/60 ml butter or vegan margarine • 2 tsp/10 ml sugar • ½ tsp/2.5 ml teaspoon salt

1 Add all ingredients to a zipper-lock bag; seal and massage the bag until the mixture is crumbly. Keep refrigerated or in a cooler/on ice until you’re ready to use it. 2 When ready, slowly add one to two cups (250-500 ml) of water to the bag, until you have a sticky consistency that you can work with your hands. 3 Knead a small chunk of dough in your hands. Roll it into a long strip and wrap it around the hot dog. Don’t make the dough too thick – it will be harder to cook. Roast over a fire. You may prefer to pre-roast the hot dog, and then cook the dough over it.

PATHFINDERS CAN ELEVATE YOUR FOODIE-NESS.

Use your favourite TV cooking challenge show as inspiration, and let Pathfinders push the limits of hot dog possibilities! For a start, try a mystery ingredients hot dog challenge: 1 Give teams four mystery ingredients, including hot dogs, of course. 2 Reveal the ingredients, and set a timer for 30 minutes. 3 Challenge the teams to come up with a plated dish that uses all of the ingredients. 4 Have judges award points based on taste, presentation and creativity.

Illustration: ©iStock/Neuevector; Photo: ©iStock/cnicbc

SPARKS LEARN TO COOK OUTDOORS WITH YOU.

Admittedly, hot dogs are by no means a perfect food, and some are better for us than others. While there are lots of options (all-beef, beef and pork, chicken, soy or veggie varieties, and nitrate/nitrite-free, gluten-free, lactosefree), it’s difficult to find a readily available single hot dog brand that covers all diets, is tasty and is a truly healthy choice. Many camp cooking skills that hot dogs cover can also be taught using a combination of foods (cheese, tofu, carrots, zucchini). Work with your girls to make food choices that are appropriate for your unit. And always read ingredients to ensure camp food products meet your girls’ dietary requirements, as confirmed with their families.

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OUTDOOR GUIDER

RANGERS CAN TAKE YOU ON THE MOVE.

Heading out on a hike and need some fast food? Put hot dogs in an insulated bottle/thermos and carefully fill it with boiling water. They will stay hot for hours. When hungry, pour out the water, pop a hot dog in a bun, and enjoy!

strips for easier lighting. Place the carton in a fire pit, and light the top strips. As it burns down, it will heat the hot dog within. • Solar roasting: Use your preferred solar cooker, and the power of the sun. (Be aware, the stacked potato chip can method tends to take a long time.) • Slicing: Yummy-up baked beans, macaroni or pea soup by adding sliced hot dog rounds. You can throw them in pre-heated at the end, or add cold in the last 5 to 10 minutes of the cooking process.

YOU MAKE ROOM FOR SUBSTITUTES.

Don’t share the hot dog love? Still not persuaded? Try a marinated carrot instead. Seriously, although not a source of protein, a roasted carrot will fit nicely into your bun! Here’s how: Carrot Dogs

THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS YOU CAN BE COOKED.

Illustration: ©iStock/Neuevector; Photo: ©iStock/_jure

• Boiling: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Slip in your hot dogs, and boil for approximately 5 minutes. • Grilling: Pre-heat your grill to medium-low. Place hot dogs on grill. Turn every few minutes until they are warmed through and are lightly browned. • Baking: Preheat an oven to 400°F. Cut a slice halfway through the hot dog, and place it on a baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes, until the hot dog is starting to curl. • Milk-carton roasting: Cut the pointy top off a one-litre milk carton. Place a hot dog in a bun and wrap it in heavy-duty foil. Place two wrapped hot dogs in the milk carton. Tear the top two inches (5 cm) of the milk carton into

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• 4 carrots, scrubbed and cut into bun lengths, ends removed • ¼ cup/60 ml seasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar with a dash of salt • ¼ cup/60 ml water • 2 tbsp/30 ml soy sauce (use gluten free as required, or coconut aminos) • ¼ tsp/1 ml garlic powder or ½ clove garlic minced • a dash or two liquid smoke (optional) • pepper to taste

1 Bring half a pot of water to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium and add the carrots. Cook until just tender enough to pierce with a fork. Run cold water over them to stop them from cooking further. 2 Combine the other ingredients to make the marinade. Put the carrots in the container and marinate for a few hours to a few days. 3 Roast the carrots in a 350°F oven, grill in a pan, or roast on skewers over an open fire. 4 Slide a roasted carrot into a bun, and enjoy! Kathryn Lyons is a Guider in Ottawa, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Photo: Mackenzie Furey

GUIDING MEMENTOS

Brighten Up Your Blankets

rest C r o f s p Ti rs Collecto B E R G E R

HZ A WEC BY LIS CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

EL

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GUIDING MEMENTOS

Do you carry crests to trade at every Guiding event? Do you swap crests when you meet other Girl Guides and Girl Scouts? Do you also have all kinds of badges? Wondering what to do with these great Guiding mementos? The answer is simple and cozy – attach them to your camp blanket or poncho!

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amp blankets and ponchos have been part of Girl Guides of Canada since the organization began in 1910. Girls and Guiders cherish their blankets, and many have more than one. I have two. My first, which was made by my mother when I was a Brownie in 1988, features a large felt owl to hold my Brownie badges. My second features a large Trefoil that I cross-stitched myself on the centre. I treasure them both to this day!

Blanket or Poncho? Ponchos, which are often used at campfires, can double as blankets – so the term “camp blanket” tends to cover both versions. While obviously keeping us cozy, camp blankets also provide the perfect place to display not only our badges and crests, but also our ties, pins and other Guiding mementos. My blankets also display crests from countries I’ve visited.

Fabric and Size Traditionally, camp blankets were made of wool, which is heavy, warm and durable. These days they are often made of polar fleece, which is lighter and dries more quickly. Common colour choices are navy blue, royal blue and grey, but you can use any colour. The Guide store carries a GGC-branded fleece blanket. You can also create a poncho from fleece or wool purchased at a fabric or outdoor supply store. The most common blanket size is 50” x 60” (127 cm x 135 cm), which might be a little large for Sparks and Brownies, but will fit as they grow. Ponchos are often slightly smaller and may be square. However, a blanket can also be transformed into a poncho. Simply fold the blanket in half and cut a slit to pull it over your head. Blanket-stitch around the edge to keep the neck hole from stretching. Some people also attach a hood and pockets.

Badge and Crest Layout

Photo: ©iStock/pederk

There are many ways to lay out your camp blanket: • Keep related badges and crests together, categorized by branch, event or other common characteristic. • Place badges and crests randomly. • Girls can sew their badge sashes and neck scarves onto their blankets, as they move up the Guiding branches.

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• For crests that belong in sets, you can leave space to add to the set, or sew each crest individually wherever there is space.

Sewing Tips A blanket stitch is most commonly used to finish the edges. There is a basic version of this edge-stitch, as well as more elaborate versions. Do a quick online search for blanket stitches to find step-by-step written or video tutorials. For attaching badges and crests, you have two options: 1 Thread and Needle – Attach them by hand-stitching or using a machine. Pin the crests and badges in position on the blanket and then stitch along the edges. It’s best to use two pins in each badge to keep it straight, and tackle just a few badges at a time. Hand-stitching requires only a needle and thread, but will take more time. Machine-sewn badges may stay attached longer, but you will need access to a sewing machine, and it will take some manoeuvring to keep the crests and badges from moving around while being sewn. Tip: Keep the same colour bobbin thread and change the top thread to match the crest, if you want a more polished result. 2 Glue – Some badges and crests have a glue backing that can be attached by running an iron over the front of the badge. There are also other glue products available to attach crests to fabric. Some people find glue messy and the badges may become loose over time. Caution: Be careful to avoid touching a fleece blanket with the iron, as it will melt.

Want More Crests for Your Blanket? The best way to build your collection is to attend lots of Guiding events and activities. You can also complete extra challenges to earn crests. Many groups hold trading events – start your collection by trading extra crests you have at home, or purchase bags of crests online to trade later. Over and above creating a fabulous camp blanket, remember that the goal is to have fun, meet new Guiding members and build lifelong memories. Lisa Wechzelberger is a Guider in Surrey, BC.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Photo: Lisa Wechzelberger

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

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ASK A GUIDER

Inspiration Station How to Keep the Fresh Ideas Flowing BY HILARY FELDMAN

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e asked four Unit Guiders to share some tips on livening up meetings and events to keep them from going stale. Here are their contributions to our “inspiration station” for feeding the flow of fresh ideas.

Illustrations: ©GGC

Do you repeat some “tried and true” topics each year? Annalisa, in Madeira Park, BC, repeats some topics but varies the content. She says there are lots of new things to discover in Guiding, and she relies on guest speakers and outings to change things up. Van, from Delta, BC, keeps to the tried and true for popular activities, saying, “The girls enjoy the same service projects every year, because they’re hands-on and fun.” According to Dena in Lennoxville, QC, “Science-themed meetings are a

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As Guiders, we all want to unleash awesome experiences for girls. But sometimes it can feel like we’re walking a fine line between trying something new and getting stuck in a rut by relying on familiar, comfortable unit activities. favourite, along with anything food-related.” In Burnaby, BC, Bethany says, “We always do programs related to self-discovery and expression. This helps the Guiders get to know the girls and provides ideas about activities and events.”

What is your favourite go-to idea? Keep some active game ideas up your sleeve. “The girls love running around the gym,” says Van. “Often 5 or 10 minutes is all they need to re-focus on a task.” Bethany’s Sparks prefer a freeze dance. “When you have a few extra moments, pop out the tunes for a quick game,” she says. She brings a portable speaker to meetings and camps and keeps a girl-friendly playlist on her phone. Skits are another option; girls enjoy being silly and animated – plus they get to act out scenarios and role-play in front of their peers. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


What resources do you use for planning?

How do you innovate on Guiding traditions? Openings and closings: Girls like the structure and repetition of these two traditions, but you can modify them to suit the group – after all, it’s hard to do a horseshoe in a library full of tables. “It’s all about customizing an experience for the girls in your unit,” explains Bethany. Enrolment and advancement ceremonies: “We try to make ceremonies interactive for the girls,” says Dena. Annalisa’s girls have organized ceremonies on a ferry, at camp, or during a day trip. Campfires: Even without a real fire, these are a hit. Dena’s Brownies have their own Lennoxville Girl Guides song booklets. “Everyone has fun picking songs to sing,” she says. Bring-a-Friend meetings: Bethany likes these. “Not only is this a great membership growth tool, but girls of all ages love to help plan a special day to show off Guiding to their friends,” she says. “This is a great way to facilitate discussions about what makes Guiding special and what the most awesome activities we do are all about.” CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Bethany checks social media and posters for opportunities. “I love getting girls out in the community to check out art exhibitions, sports events and festivals,” she says. “Approach event organizers about the possibility of scoring a group rate. Even if they don’t advertise group sales, once they hear that Girl Guides is a non-profit organization, they’ll often strike a deal. Find out what’s out there. Does your local college or university have a Quidditch team? Do you know someone who can teach Bollywood dance? Does your local government offer a scavenger hunt?” Girls are the ultimate resource. Depending on the branch, they can do all or part of the planning. Dena’s Brownies make suggestions that help the leaders plan meetings. Annalisa’s Guide/ Pathfinder unit uses their Girls First cards to create posters for each program area, then spend a meeting filling up the posters with ideas. Van’s Pathfinders plan most meetings and camps, while she looks for guest speakers and fun outings. Facebook and Pinterest have crafts and theme ideas; recipe sites offer camp menu suggestions; and travel blogs record seasonal activities, campgrounds, hikes and excursion must-sees. Guiding blogs offer songs, crafts and activities, while provincial Guiding websites offer challenges and program newsletters. The UK Girlguiding website has good challenges and activities. Of course, units that develop their own amazing activities can share them on the Girls First platform.

Do you prefer something old or something new? “I’m pretty adventurous with trying new things,” says Dena. Van agrees. “I try to introduce new activities and experiences every year, so the girls have various opportunities,” she explains. “This includes booking different campsites each year, from tenting to cabins and everything in between.” Annalisa doesn’t consider herself adventurous, but does stretch her personal limits. “I challenge myself so the girls are challenged,” she says. According to Bethany, Guiding helps her become more adventurous. “Exploring the girls’ interests helps me expand my horizons,” she says. “It’s fun to try something they’re excited about when it’s outside my regular comfort zone.” Hilary Feldman is a Guider in Vancouver, and Chair of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

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MEMBERSHIP

Start Your Next

Adventure Join Team Link! Are you a young adult GGC member looking to stay connected and expand your Guiding peer network? Not sure how to make it all work, as you balance studies, career, family and friends? No worries – all you need to do is to “Link” yourself in!

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Photo: Katherine Adye

ink is a membership option designed specifically for women under 30. It provides opportunities for you to participate in Guiding in whatever capacity you choose – whether by completing Link program activities, joining a Link unit, becoming a Unit Guider or volunteering in Guiding in any way that balances your busy schedule. Most importantly, Link keeps you connected to the Guiding Movement and its powerful sisterhood.

How Do You Join? You can become a Link member by contacting your provincial office. You can ask to also join a Link unit. There are currently more than 40 Link units across the country. However, if there isn’t one established where you live, you can open a new unit, by

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contacting your Provincial Link Adviser, choosing a name for your unit, and recruiting a small group of young women to join you.

What Do Link Members Do? While roughly 50 per cent of Link members volunteer as Unit Guiders, Link provides other ways to stay connected to Guiding and everything it has to offer. It’s your GGC and your choice! The main thing is that you have many opportunities to continue building social connections with other Guiding members. While Link has been around for years, in 2016, it established its very own program – created by young women, for young women. Designed to meet the specific needs of young women seeking growth and development opportunities while navigating life changes, the program provides them with opportunities to connect, to further develop their skills and to earn badges, while focussing on four main themes: • Personal and Professional Development • Outdoors and Adventure • Health and Wellbeing • Active Citizenship CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Link has helped me stay in touch with Guiding in a way that is entirely flexible – I can volunteer as much as works for my schedule, while I finish my degree. Link has also given me the opportunity to represent Girl Guides on an international stage.

– Samantha, BC Link member

What Happens in Link Units? Each Link unit meets and conducts activities based on the interests and participation of its members. It’s your chance to take the reins and make the most out of your Guiding experience. The overall objective of Link units is to provide young women with the opportunity to connect with other young women in Guiding. Here are just some of the possibilities: • Social – Get together for a night or day of fun and friendship with other sisters in Guiding. Meet for coffee, go out for dinner, see a play, organize a paint night, go for a neighbourhood walk – whatever suits your interests and schedules. • Service – Choose a service project that interests your unit and make a commitment to work on it as a team. For example, take on a community project, help support an initiative that a local unit from any branch is working on, collect items for a food bank – the opportunities are endless, and your community will benefit from whatever you decide to do. • Adventure – Get outside and enjoy nature together for a day hike, a night sleeping under the stars, a weekend camp or a wilderness excursion – the choice is yours. • Mentor – Bridge with a local unit and become positive role models by providing inspiration and encouragement to a new CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

generation of girls. You can host a session at a Pathfinder or Ranger conference, organize a volunteer event with Guides, volunteer to deliver a program or activity in a Spark or Brownie unit – whatever branch you pick, the girls will love working with you.

What About Other Opportunities? • Travel – Each fall, GGC announces nationally-sponsored trip opportunities for women aged 18 to 30. These include travelling to WAGGGS conferences and seminars and other exciting trips. • Scholarships – Each winter, the GGC national scholarship application opens for women attending post-secondary education institutions the following year. Scholarships are available for all levels of study. • Committees – As GGC strives to diversify representation on national, provincial and local committees, we are seeking out young candidates. Be sure to apply to opportunities that interest you!

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STEWARDSHIP

Get Your Green On Eco-Service Projects

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) by engaging your girls in the outdoor world. Even better, make this part of your year-round Guiding activities – there are plenty of ways to lend a hand to Mother Earth.

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ommunity service has been a fundamental aspect of Guiding since its inception. It helps build a sense of broader community responsibility and connection, allows us to take pride in our actions, and demonstrates how we each can play a small part as we work together to make a big difference. Applying these concepts to eco-service projects, we get girls outside to explore nature, to develop a passion for environmental stewardship, and to learn that big challenges can be broken down into small, manageable chunks. We’ve provided some project suggestions here, but every community has special initiatives, areas of need, and opportunities. Ask your girls what type of eco-service appeals to them.

Illustration: ©iStock/bubble86

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup offers two ways to help out: Lead a Cleanup (organize your own cleanup along any body of water, from a tiny creek to a river to a lake or ocean), and Join a Cleanup (take part in a larger community event). Whichever you choose, girls will come away with a better understanding of pollution prevention and the benefits of recycling. Participants track the items they pick up and fill in evaluation data sheets, enabling the girls to see citizen science in action. Bonus: once you submit your data sheets, crests will be provided by the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – see the Site Coordinator Guide (bit.ly/2SGJ0yN). For more information: shorelinecleanup.ca

TD Tree Days

Plant trees and shrubs to support forest stewardship and to green your community. The project’s goal is to plant a million trees by 2030, with many planting events taking place across Canada each year. Registration opens in July for planting dates in the fall. For more information: tdtreedays.com

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TD Common Ground Projects

Different projects are organized in communities through this funding program. You can take part in a local initiative, or propose one of your own. Examples of projects include creating naturalized areas and natural playgrounds at schools, collecting information about local parks and green spaces, improving trails and their accessibility, making community gardens, building and installing bird nesting boxes, removing invasive plants, and creating pollinator gardens. For more information: commongroundproject.td.com

Pitch-In Canada

Best known for its community clean-up campaign, Pitch-In provides free waste and recycling bags to help you collect unwanted rubbish around a local school, park or neighbourhood. They provide resources to help you organize educational CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Together, we can make the change we want to see. Terracycle

You can recycle many types of waste, from coffee capsules to cereal bags to lip balm containers. Choose a recycling program and start collecting in your home, school, meeting place and community. Terracycle provides free mailing labels, for sending your collected items to be recycled. For more information: terracycle.ca

Adopt A Stream or Storm Drain

By adopting a stream – picking up litter and debris and removing invasive weeds – you will help maintain cleaner water sources and preserve wildlife habitat. By adopting a storm drain – removing leaves and debris to let water through – you will help prevent flooding and pollution.

Butterflyway Project

Perhaps you’ve heard about the challenges facing pollinators – insects crucial to agriculture, gardens and natural habitat? To support our pollinator friends, such as butterflies and bees, create a network of native wildflowers in your neighbourhood. The Butterflyway Project website offers a guide to get you started, as well as lots of success stories and other resources. For more information: davidsuzuki.org/take-action/act-locally/ butterflyway

Other Ideas

programs on topics such as litter-less lunches, composting, and energy reduction. Resources are also available for action projects such as tree planting, habitat or stream restoration, invasive plant removal, and E-Waste drives. For more information: pitch-in.ca

Storm Drain Stenciling

Several organizations promote this program, including Yellow Fish Road (tucanada.org/yellow-fish-road/) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (bit.ly/2C7KivQ). The program involves painting yellow fish symbols next to storm drains, and delivering information brochures to nearby households and businesses. This awareness campaign reminds people that storm drains empty directly into local waterways and, therefore, should carry only water. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Every community has its unique natural environment, so pick something relevant to your girls’ interests. Want to try some recycling? Join a community light bulb exchange, help at a municipal recycling day event, or start a recycling program at your meeting place or local school. Keen to create wildlife habitat? Make bird feeders and donate them to a seniors’ long-term care facility, or install bat houses around your neighbourhood. Eager to preserve indigenous flora? Plant native species in local gardens. If you live in the Carolinian Zone in southern Ontario, check out the In the Zone program (inthezonegardens.ca), designed to transform backyards into woodlands and waterways. In Montreal, residents are creating green alleys by planting vegetation and calming traffic. Check for other initiatives at the World Wildlife Fund (wwf.ca) and the Nature Conservancy (events.natureconservancy.ca) Together, we can make the change we want to see.

Get in the program! Many of these activities fit with the Take Action program area - Your Action theme of Girls First. 35


CHALLENGES

Illustration: ©iStock/MashaStarus

KEEPING IT TOGETHER Organization and Self-Care BY FELICITY ORTHNER RUGARD

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CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Love Guiding, but sometimes find dividing your time between all your commitments challenging? You are not alone. Here are some tips that will help you keep it all together as you juggle school, work, family, friends and activities, while still enjoying Girl Guides.

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s a Ranger who has a very busy extra-curricular schedule on top of school and Guiding, I’ve had to find creative ideas for planning and managing my commitments while maintaining my wellbeing. I hope some or all of my tips will help you do the same.

ORGANIZATION AND WELLBEING

• Map your day. Include breaks, and recognize that you might have to change and adapt plans as needed. If you’re studying for a test, work on the material in advance each day instead of cramming the day before. If you’re working on a project or planning a big Guiding event, divide it into manageable tasks. • Prioritize. If you need to plan a weekly meeting and also organize a camping trip that may fill up quickly, booking the trip is your first priority. Then you can focus on the tasks required for the meeting and the trip. • Research. When studying, don’t limit yourself to copying and reading notes. Try also using flashcards, categorizing, word combining, song lyrics and picture notes. Any of these may work really well for you! • Select. At school, pick classes or project topics that genuinely interest you, so you don’t struggle through something that doesn’t inspire you. • Allocate. Whether for school, Girl Guides or any other of your commitments, set a specific amount of time for each task, so you can focus and get it done more quickly. • Notate. Handwrite your notes to help you process information more effectively. Get some appealing stationery items to make this more fun. Also, to better assimilate and remember information from your reading materials, write notes in the margins, and quiz yourself from those notes. In other words, don’t just highlight passages – notate and comment on them! • Work backwards. Use the reverse calendar method: 1 Write down your due dates for tests, assignments, projects, recitals, camping trips, community service projects and any other commitments. 2 Cross out all the times when you will be unable to work on these tasks. 3 Itemize everything you need to do. When should you have all the material memorized? How many days do you have to study or work on a project? Which tasks will take longer for you to complete? 4 Working backwards from the due date, write down everything that needs to be done day-by-day. Each commitment will be more manageable, because it will be broken down into doable tasks.

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

STRESS BUSTERS

• Take a screen-free break. To get a rest from daily stresses, we might go to Facebook or Instagram, but social media requires brain power to keep track of all the information flying at us. As our brains try to switch back and forth between tasks and online input, we have to refocus, which wastes time. A walk outside or some exercise away from all things online are better options to stay alert and focused. • Avoid procrastination. Set a timer and focus on the project until the timer finishes. If you’re feeling stuck, try the “just five” approach. Read just five pages of a book; write just five sentences; or do just five math problems. It might take several of these short sessions to finish a task, but short bursts of productive work are better than long hours of frustration. • Make lists. If you feel overwhelmed, write down everything stressing you out. Recording your thoughts on paper gets them out of your head, so you can focus your energy on solving problems, instead of obsessively ruminating on them. Likewise, recording everything you need to do can help to prevent stress from happening in the first place. • Avoid negativity. Sometimes we can be too harsh on ourselves, which doesn’t help us to be more productive; more often it has the opposite effect. To help take care of your mental wellbeing, start with noticing when you have a negative thought. Listen for extremes and over-reactions, such as “never good enough,” “no one likes me,” and other negatives that plague you. Then think about how you might have come up with these thoughts, and identify them as self-imposed. Distancing yourself can help you remember that you don’t have to agree with negative thoughts, and make the critical or unforgiving voice in your head less intense and easier to deal with. Think of positive examples that contradict negative thoughts, or imagine your inner critic as a ridiculous cartoon character not to be taken seriously. Recognizing and nurturing positive traits in yourself is not self-centred or narcissistic – it’s a healthy sign of self-awareness and self-forgiveness. Felicity Orthner Rugard is a Ranger in Toronto, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

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Photo: courtesy Diamond Isinger; Illustration: ©iStock/Enis Aksoy (edited)

GO GLOBAL

Learning I to Lead Stretching Our Leadership Mindsets BY DIAMOND ISINGER

Beautiful scenery. Big adventure. Guiders from across Canada. Women from around the world. We all gathered in Entebbe, Uganda, for a very special World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) event that stretched our leadership mindsets and gave us great lessons to bring home for everyone to share.

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n 2018, WAGGGS put a call out for women to serve as facilitators for seminars and events around the world. One of these events was the Juliette Low Seminar (JLS) – the WAGGGS annual flagship event for training young women leaders. Traditionally, the JLS has been held once a year in one location, offered to a small group of women aged 18 to 30. But having just one event and a limited capacity meant that many would-be participants were turned away every year. Committed to growing the leadership capacity of young women in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting, and ensuring that the Guiding Movement has strong young leaders who can take on big challenges, WAGGGS decided to go big – really BIG – in 2019! Instead of a single event in one location, this year’s training will run concurrently in 20 locations around the world, conducted in a variety of languages.

Training Trainers To make this happen, WAGGGS needs a large team of qualified facilitators, and therefore planned the train-the-trainer seminar in Entebbe, to get everyone on the same page. That’s where we Canadians came in, with six of us traveling to Uganda last year to prepare for the 2019 events. In Entebbe, we explored issues including gender equality through the lens of WAGGGS’ exciting new leadership model. As it was explained to us, “Leadership is a shared journey that empowers us to work together and bring positive change to our lives, the lives of others, and our wider society.” CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


Exploring Six Mindsets The new leadership model explores six mindsets that we can use in our own leadership practice, and to influence our daily actions, reactions, reflections, choices and behaviours. Through interactive discussions, hands-on activities and fun interactions with some 70 other participants, we delved deep into our own leadership styles, and reflected on our goals, aspirations and actions. What we learned in this new leadership model is not limited to one week in Uganda – this training requires an ongoing effort at home. Leadership is for all people of all ages, and other GGC members can now explore the six mindsets with us:

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Reflective Mindset: Leading Yourself

As a Guider or girl leader, do you think about yourself critically – but without judgment? Do you aim to be self-aware, as well as aware of others? You can explore this mindset by journaling on a regular basis about situations you encounter in Guiding and in your daily life, for example, how you handled a challenging issue with a girl, or an activity you thought up and tried out. Consider which of your reactions, ideas and plans worked well, and which may need a rethink, or might be better managed through practising yoga, meditation and other mindfulness techniques. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

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Worldly Mindset: Leading in Context

Whether you are leading adult learners or working with Sparks, understanding other people’s perspectives and experiences is vital to helping everyone grow. To do so, we must be observant and unafraid to ask questions. To discover this mindset, we can ask meaningful questions of each other (no small talk!), actively listen, have an open mind when encountering new cultures, people or ways of doing things, and beware of our assumptions.

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Collaborative Mindset: Leading Relationships

Guiding is a team sport. We are only as successful as those around us. To be collaborative leaders, we need to be willing to work with others, and to create a safe and positive environment that welcomes and supports everyone. The strongest teams are often made up of people who have totally different perspectives, skills and demographic backgrounds. Seek out amazing women who are completely different from you. Young Guiders may benefit from the experience of Trefoil Guild members. Rural volunteers may want to share ideas with urban Guiders. Those who have lived in Canada their whole life may wish to ask newcomers for ideas gained from their diverse experiences. We must also create an environment that elevates the quietest voices and encourages everyone to share.

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GO GLOBAL

“Leadership is a shared journey that empowers us to work together and bring positive change to our lives, the lives of others, and our wider society.”

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Responsible Action Mindset: Leading for Impact

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Gender Equality Mindset: Leading for Girls’ Empowerment

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Illustration: ©iStock/Enis Aksoy (edited)

Creative and Critical Thinking Mindset: Leading for Innovation

Good leadership involves establishing the space to encourage creative and critical thinking, and to foster innovative solutions. Is something not working in your unit? Be fearless in your efforts to try new strategies! Question what you think you know, and consider how others might approach the issue. Share ideas, so your mind is challenged to come up with even better solutions.

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From the beginning, Guiding has been all about gender equality. More than 100 years ago, girls demanded access to the same opportunities as boys in the Scouting Movement – and look at us now! Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting is a global Movement that boasts 10 million members. Whether you’re in Canada or Cameroon, there are still inequalities between men and women. The GGC program addresses many of these issues, including the new Gender Power badge in the Girls First program. Explore gender equality with your unit by reflecting on gender norms, celebrating achievements of amazing women, challenging gender stereotypes, and speaking up. The Your Voice, Your Choice and Your Action badges are a great fit with this mindset.

We all want to lend a hand. But lending that hand must first be examined through the lens of whether it works for us, for those around us and for everyone in society. From unit activities to service projects, keep this in mind when planning your Guiding leadership journey. Are you living the Guiding Promise and Law? Are your actions socially and environmentally responsible? And are you meaningfully partnering with the people you are trying to support? Before you take action, ask questions, do your research and avoid making assumptions. Our trip to Uganda was an awesome and inspiring experience, but the adventure is just beginning. In 2019, the six of us will facilitate the Juliette Low Seminars in England, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Taiwan and Thailand. We look forward to reflecting on what we learned in Uganda to explore our leadership mindsets every day. Join us on this adventure by exploring your own leadership mindsets today. Diamond Isinger is a Guider in Vancouver, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019


CITIZENSHIP

Citizen Smarts Explore Your Rights, Responsibilities and Benefits

Photo: Diamond Isinger

BY DIAMOND ISINGER

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

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CITIZENSHIP

Membership in Girl Guides of Canada does, too. When Girl Guides explore and sharpen their citizen smarts, they become engaged members of their communities, informed voters, and possibly candidates for election themselves one day. Here’s how you can explore this important topic with your girls, whether they are citizens or new Canadians who have not yet become citizens.

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e brought together 400 girls and adults from around the Ottawa area, and as far away as Quebec City, to participate in an activity day full of hands-on citizenship learning. We called the event The Great Canadian Citizenship Challenge – and it was a resounding success! A citizenship adventure can also be organized in any unit or Guiding community – no matter what distance you live from a capital city. And you can go big or keep it small. Do a unit meeting, or get together with other units and Guiding

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members. To receive their Canada Cord, Pathfinders must complete their Citizenship Certificate, and girls of all ages can fit citizenship activities into the new Canadian Connections or any other Girls First badge they choose. Citizenship is also a great topic for bridging – ask local Pathfinders to share with your unit what they’ve learned.

Brainstorm Ideas Whether you want to do some unit activities or plan a larger multi-unit event, talk to your girls to brainstorm activity ideas. For easy options, check out the

Girls First digital platform – just search for “citizenship” to find a wide variety of plans that are ready-to-use.

Search for Resources Take advantage of free print and online resources. Many organizations have ready-to-use items that you can request in hard copy or download digitally. For our rights and responsibilities activity, we ordered free posters of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a learning aid to accompany a card-style game focussed on rights vs responsibilities. You can request these posters from Canadian Heritage – the Government of Canada’s federal government department responsible for heritage. For more information, go to: bit.ly/2EQJXBQ

Use Props Having props makes even a simple activity more engaging and real for girls. To test their citizenship smarts, girls can play a game-show version of the Canadian citizenship exam, complete with special game buttons. If you have game systems CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Photo: Diamond Isinger

Canadian citizenship bestows rights, responsibilities and benefits.


(or even just faux button-like shapes to press), put those to work! You can download a free list of sample questions online by searching for “Canadian citizenship exam sample questions” on the Canadian Heritage site. Then develop your own game. DIY Jeopardy with paper taped to a wall is an easy bet; you can also do a relay during which girls are presented with a question, run to their group to determine the answer, and then run to a Guider to check if their answer is correct.

Go local Build on the strengths of your community amenities. Every community has something to offer to your unit! Here are a few examples: • Do you have a city/town hall, nearby provincial legislature, or other government building in your community? Plan a visit – it’s free! Some facilities also offer guided tours, if you book in advance. • Reach out to your mayor and/or councillors, or other elected officials, who are often glad to offer a meet-and-greet or Q&A with girls during a constituency tour. If you’re unable to visit a location in-person, see if the official can come to your unit meeting. If you have access to wireless internet at your meeting location, consider having the guest use Skype or other video technology to join you remotely. If none of these options work, have girls submit questions in advance and ask your elected official to record a video answering them. • Does your community have a local museum that explores the history of your area? Head there with your girls for a free or low-cost visit.

Explore Elections Having a say in who represents us is a fundamental benefit of citizenship in a democracy. Voting for who will represent us is a fundamental right and responsibility of that citizenship. Here are some ways you can introduce your girls to the democratic process in which they will participate, once they reach voting age: • Is there a municipal, provincial/territorial election, or a federal by-election coming CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

up? You can gather brochures from candidates running in your constituency for a compare-and-contrast activity. You can also use GGC resources such as the Election Dissection activity in the Pathfinder program. Ask girls in your unit to bring in any literature their family has received in the mail or from door-to-door canvassers, and contact local campaign offices to fill in any gaps. You can also print off the “About Me” or “My Platform” pages from candidates’ websites for a quick alternative. Tip: Make sure to present a diverse array of materials from as many parties/candidates as possible to ensure a balanced, mulit-partisan perspective is provided. • And, of course, Canadian citizens will vote in a federal election this year. What better time to explore citizenship with girls? With increased media attention, public awareness, and discussion about civic issues, seize that momentum to get girls excited about government, politics, our communities, diversity and all other elements of citizenship: - Attend an all-candidates debate (i.e., a non-partisan event organized by a community group or news outlet to which all candidates are invited) with your girls to hear directly from decision-makers and those trying to become your representatives. This is a great opportunity to learn more about campaign issues, demystify the political process, understand what it takes to run for office, and be visible in our communities. Don’t forget to wear your GGC uniform or other Guiding wear! Tip: Be mindful of your association with candidates at these events; girls/women attending in their capacity as GGC members should not wear buttons or other materials that support a political party. Showing support as a private citizen is fine – as a representative of our organization, it is not. (For more information on GGC’s policies, check out the Advocacy Guidelines at: bit.ly/2ugb8vD - Bring in newspapers, online news feeds, interesting tweets, or other materials to discuss. Consider how media outlets or journalists cover certain issues or candidates. What’s

the difference between a news article and an opinion column? Is a letter to the editor the same as an editorial? Do journalists report differently on Twitter than they do on the front page of a paper or in a television or radio news broadcast? Gain media literacy skills while exploring your riding’s campaigns. - Consult the websites of organizations such as Equal Voice, to better understand the barriers facing women in politics and how to knock those down. Make your own campaign posters with your girls, as if they were running for a position of their choosing. Make up a campaign slogan. Plan a campaign canvass and get girls to role-play both canvassers and residents being canvassed. Host a mock election, with voters lists, ballots and voting booths. The girls can take turns role-playing voters and polling station attendants. Elections Canada has a treasure trove of information you can use to educate girls on the process of exercising their franchise as Canadian citizens. Go to elections.ca to find everything you need to know about voting in Canada. And don’t forget to check out the activities in the GGC Girls First Canadian Connections theme. Girls who are more comfortable with our political processes will be more likely to become voters, active citizens and potential candidates, should they aspire to that degree of political involvement. Guiding provides them with that first step towards a lifetime of interest in making a difference. By exploring the world of citizenship, they will develop their citizen smarts and take that desire to make a difference wider, as they become engaged and active citizens of their communities, their country and their world! Diamond Isinger is a Guider in Vancouver, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

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BEHIND THE BLUE

Up Front and Personal GGC Chair Robyn McDonald

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What does a typical month look like you for you as Board Chair? Each week is unique. Apart from my interactions with National management, it may involve preparing for a Board meeting, joining a teleconference for the annual budget process, reviewing WAGGGS information, or participating in a local STEM activity day. Definitely the main highlight of this role is getting to meet as many girls and volunteers as possible.

What impact do your personal experiences as a Girl Guide parent and Unit Guider have on your work on the Board? Being involved as a parent of two girls from Sparks through Rangers and as a Unit Guider for 15 years has given me many perspectives to consider. For me, every Board discussion centres on its impact on the girl experience: Does this decision put the girl at the centre? Are we supporting Guiders to deliver amazing opportunities to girls? Are we ensuring inclusion of all girls in Canada in our decision-making? Are we reducing barriers to membership? I know how dedicated our Guiders are, and many of these perspectives are shared by them as they bring their leadership skills and commitments to their units, districts, areas and provinces. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Photos: courtesy Robyn McDonald

If multi-instrumentalist and jazz musician Robyn McDonald has a theme song, it might just be “Rhapsody in Blue” – Girl Guide blue, of course. As GGC’s Board Chair, Robyn leads our volunteer Board of Directors in the strategic oversight of our organization, ensuring everything is ready, set, go to deliver on our Mission of girls empowering girls. A longtime Guider and Chartered Professional Accountant from Surrey, BC, Robyn shares her thoughts on the important role of Guiders in sparking extraordinary opportunities for girls – and how GGC can support them to do just that. Here, she gets up front and personal with Canadian Guider, answering questions about herself and her role as Board Chair.


As volunteers, our adult members are catalysts for girls empowering girls. Why is this role so important? We all have people in our lives who’ve made a difference to us at some point. Just close your eyes for a moment and think about that special someone who sparked a flame for you. Maybe it was someone who helped you become who you are today in your career, or inspired you to pursue a passion you have outside of, or within, Guiding. As volunteers, every little thing we do is remembered by the girls we are involved with – how many of them will think of us as having sparked their flame? From encouraging a shy Brownie to share with her group to supporting a Ranger in a project she wants to lead to lending an ear or a hand to another Guider, it’s our volunteers who bring Guiding to life every day.

Like many of our volunteers, you’re in the sandwich generation – caring for an aging parent, launching your daughters into adulthood, working full-time. How can Guiding create volunteer roles that fit women’s lives today? Guiders want to be involved in roles that are rewarding and manageable, and to be able to try something new. We know that many volunteers take on multiple units and additional administrative positions – but we don’t want our volunteers to burn out, and we cannot expect women in Guiding to be experts in everything or to do everything. That’s why it’s so important that we welcome women into the organization for what they can provide according to their schedules and talents, and that we value them for what they can offer. Our volunteers give so much to GGC, we need to ensure the amount of time we ask them to commit is appropriate. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Part of the job of the Board is managing risk within the organization. This means a lot more than just planning safe activities for girls, doesn’t it? Definitely. As a large, charitable organization operating in 2019, we need to responsibly address risks in a range of areas: girl safety, legal liability, technology and security, reputational risk and social media. As a Board, at the heart of what we do is ensuring we’re managing these risks and protecting the foundation of what we do without overshadowing the magic that volunteers bring to Guiding. Whether it’s through new technology support, stringent volunteer screening processes or fundraising compliance that protects our charitable status, the Board is committed to safeguarding organizational assets and policies by managing risk and identifying opportunities, so our members can focus on the vital work they do with girls.

As a jazz musician, you’re no stranger to both improvising and playing in harmony with others. Is there a parallel to what our volunteers do? Absolutely! Musicians need to be attuned to those around them, and sensitive to volume and tone and to setting the scene of the music for the audience. Sometimes a Sparks meeting resembles Dixieland jazz – everyone is running around yelling different notes, while the audience picks out many dissimilar melodies. On the other hand, Pathfinders often amaze me with orchestra-like manoeuvres that are completely in sync as they plan, execute and harmonize an event. As Guiders, we often act as the conductors of these ensembles to make sure everyone’s voice is clearly heard, and their instrument is keenly valued.

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BEHIND THE BLUE

New Subsidies Process We want every girl to have the chance to be a part of Guiding, and all girls to be able to jump into activities in a powerful all-girl space – a Girl Guide unit – right in their own neighbourhoods. Registration subsidies are one way we’re making Guiding more accessible to more girls. Starting this spring, families will have immediate access to these subsidies when they register girls online. What Guiding’s new streamlined registration subsidies process will accomplish: • Financial assistance will be more accessible to families right across the country.

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• In most cases, qualifying families will see their subsidy applied right away to their registration fee. • We’re lightening the administrative load for volunteers and staff, so they can focus on other parts of Guiding.

What’s New in Subsidies In the past, it wasn’t always easy for families to know what registration subsidies were available to them. Forms, criteria and processes could be tricky to navigate, and sometimes families didn’t always feel comfortable sharing their personal financial details with someone they might know locally. Now, the subsidy application process is built right into our online registration system. Information on subsidies will be easier to find, and criteria for qualifying will be consistent for families right across Canada, making subsidies more equitable. (Contact your provincial office to find out about financial assistance opportunities for uniforms and special events.) We’ve heard that some families have not even considered Guiding for their girls because they thought it was unaffordable to them – and that being part of a Girl Guide unit was simply out of reach. Working towards our goal of being an organization that welcomes all girls, our new subsidies process will make Guiding more accessible and inclusive – just another way we’re striving to break down barriers to membership. CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Photo: Wayne Eardley

Making Guiding More Accessible to More Girls


FYI

In Memoriam GGC Tributes (November 2018 – March 2019) Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada members are frequently recognized in their communities for the wonderful work they have done during their Guiding lives. As many of them may be familiar to you, we are sharing the following in memoriam announcements: Claire Arnold, ON Margaret Belcher, ON Shirley Corbin, NS Doris D’Entremont, NS Mary Ferguson, NS Grace Garneau, MB Lillian Gracey, ON Betty Greening, ON Elenor Hurst, BC Sharlene Lucyk, ON Leslie Matthews, BC Dorothy McPherson, BC Lee-Ann Miller, ON Judy Parker, ON Linda Puhallo, BC June Shibley, ON Noreen Simkins, BC

A Tribute Opportunity Supporting Scholarships If you or your Trefoil Guild would like to make a donation to the GGC National Scholarship Fund in honour of these women, we would be grateful to accept contributions. For more information, please email us at: funddev@girlguides.ca

CANADIAN GUIDER | SPRING 2019

Introducing . . . The New Girl Guide Classic Cookie Design The Girl Guide cookie has been updated with an imprint of the new GGC Trefoil. This new cookie design matches the update to the classic cookie box, which includes eight fresh spring and summer images. The cookie itself has also been updated with a change to all-natural colours and flavouring. Even better, we have been able to extend the freshness guarantee for our classic cookies to 10 months. This will allow units to continue to sell through the summer and right up to the start of the fall chocolatey mint season.

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Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada, 50 Merton Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1A3

Canadian Guider - Spring 2019  

Canadian Guider - Spring 2019