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WINTER 2018 VO L U M E 8 8 , N O 1

8 World


4 DeCode


38 Safe Guide Myths

23 Winter


12 Girls


Voices: Chair’s & CEO’s Message

Girls’ Voices Matter Hello Rangers and Guiders,

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Everything she wants to be.

Five powerful words that speak volumes about what Girl Guides of Canada is all about, now and into the future. These words capture the limitless possibilities that girls find for themselves in Guiding. GGC is a place where every girl knows she belongs. Where she is supported. Where she can discover herself. Where she can set and achieve her goals. And ultimately, an organization she is proud to talk about with her friends. Everything she wants to be also reflects the heart and core of Guiding. We are the place where girls take the lead, put their ideas into action and jump into awesome activities – all with the support of engaged Guiders who are committed to creating an environment in which girls empower each other. This will be a significant year for our organization, as we introduce our brand new, girl-driven program in September. In addition, 2018 marks the beginning of our new three-year strategic plan – the framework that will guide us in ensuring our sustainability as an organization. The plan is built on four strategic priorities: relevance, empowering, diverse and inclusive, and agile. This will ensure Guiding is in a position to support not only girls’ voices but also a positive volunteer experience for our adult members. You can learn more from the insert in the centre of this issue. Moving forward as an organization, we’ve also refreshed our visual identity. Front and centre is our new logo, which takes our Trefoil from traditional to fresh and contemporary, open and inclusive. Check it out on page 43.


Also in this issue: • On page 14, discover how you can support positive mental health and wellbeing in Guiding at unit meetings, large events and beyond. • Excitement is definitely building for our new program, launching this September. Check out the FAQs on Girls First on page 12 to learn about the role of badges, camping and more. • On page 47, meet Krysta Coyle, our new Director-Guiding Experience on the GGC Board and Guiding Ambassador. You can look forward to hearing more from her directly in this opening message in future issues of the magazine. Girl Guides of Canada is going to have an incredible year in 2018. We hope you’re as excited as we are about the journey ahead. Yours in Guiding,

Pamela Chair of the Board, Girl Guides of Canada

Jill CEO, Girl Guides of Canada


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TABLE OF CONTENTS Features Submissions from across the country and around the world

Challenges Challenges, contests and issues for Girl Guides today

Focus The business of Girl Guides

Ideas Ideas, thoughts and activities


Co v e r Ph o t o : Wa y ne E ard le y

Guiders and girls

8 GGC at the WAGGGS World Conference 18 Trex on the Trail – Backcountry Adventure Role Models by Corina Fischer 20 Girl-Driven Cross-Canada Exchanges by Kathryn Lyons 30 Embracing New Canadians by Shannon Kennedy 4 GGC DeCode Challenge 10 Keeping Older Girls Engaged by Taylor Ball 14 Supporting Mental Wellbeing by Hilary Feldman and Kathryn Lyons

38 Ask a Guider: Safe Guide Myths 43 Our Trefoil Steps Out of the Box 44 GGC Donor Thank You 46 fyi 47 Meet Our New Guiding Ambassador 23 Outdoor Guider: Your Winter Camping Gear Guide compiled by Kathryn Lyons 32 Ideas to Go: Micro Games for Filling Time compiled by Kathryn Lyons

2 Chair’s and CEO’s Message 12 Girls First – FAQs 28 National Youth Council – New Members 36 GGC’s New Link Program 40 Meet Three GGC Role Models by Taylor Ball and Diamond Isinger

Canadian Guider, Volume 88, No. 1, WINTER 2018 • 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: • Email: • Chair: Pamela Rice • Chief Executive Officer: Jill Zelmanovits • Publisher: Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada • Chair, Editorial Committee: Hilary Feldman • Senior Manager, Advocacy and Communications: Myna Kota • Supervisor, Communications: Catherine Campbell • 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.


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. With the exception of our own merchandise, Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada does not endorse the advertisers found in this magazine, or their products or services. All submissions to the magazine become the property of the 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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Navigating the Digital

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World 4


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The GGC DeCode Challenge Phones. Tablets. Laptops. Girls from Sparks to Rangers use them all to connect with each other and to express themselves online. Our new DeCode Challenge will help them effectively explore their digital reality, especially how girls are represented online.


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uiding has always played a role in helping girls navigate their world. Today, girls live in the digital world. For many girls, there’s very little distinction between their offline and online lives. While most embrace social media to create their own stories and present themselves in positive ways, the digital world throws a whole new set of challenges their way, often affecting their self-esteem and their relationships with others.

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Designed with the digital literacy experts at Media Smarts, DeCode helps girls build critical thinking skills about what they see and experience online. Girls want to learn how to question and change those messages to reflect a world that offers each of them the chance to explore every opportunity that comes their way. They want to make online spaces safer and more positive, to reflect the same empowering experiences they have in their units. They also want to gain the self-awareness to know when they need to disconnect and reconnect in real life (IRL). DeCode helps girls navigate the digital world, while giving them the tools to establish and protect their own digital identity and voice.

Girls Say

As part of International Day of the Girl 2017, GGC released the results of a survey conducted by research company Ipsos, identifying the key challenges confronting teenage girls in Canada. Here’s what girls say:



55% of all girls agree

that trying to meet social media expectations about how they should look or act has negatively impacted their self-esteem. This concern rises to 71% among heavy users of social media.

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Girls should be the drivers of the DeCode Challenge in your unit. They know this world better than anyone – after all, it’s their world – and their experiences will be the key to success. Engage them in the planning process and listen to their stories. As a bonus, you’ll learn more about their world along the way.

Digital Trailblazers Girls’ digital reality is a lot different from most of ours. (Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled to stay on top of the latest app, hashtag or Snapchat filter.) This is a world they’ve grown up with and are making their own. Here’s what their world looks like:

girls, but they are already carving out their own little piece of the digital world.

Guides Guide-aged girls stand at the cusp of digital trailblazing. As with their younger peers, they still play games online, but some are beginning to use the internet for their homework and to connect with friends through social media. They are also budding content creators who are exploring self-expression through apps such as and posting videos to YouTube.

Sparks and Brownies Girls as young as five (and likely younger) have experienced the digital world in some capacity. They may be watching videos on YouTube or playing games through apps or online platforms. They love being surprised when they watch online videos of other kids “unboxing” chocolate eggs or opening toys. They may not be connecting online or through social media the same way as older

Pathfinders and Rangers True trailblazers, teenaged girls own the digital world. They are confident navigators who understand their tech and are deeply immersed in social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. And, while they have the technology mastered, many are also building the confidence to find their voices and pursue their causes online. Many girls, especially Rangers, may even have tried their hands at digital activism, where they stand up for their beliefs through posts, tweets and likes.

25% of girls

93% of girls

have felt pressured to write or post sexy or provocative things about themselves on social media.

use more than one social media platform on a regular basis, while 12% regularly use as many as six.


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DeCode launches in January 2018, in advance of Safer Internet Day – February 6.

83% of girls

use Instagram regularly – the most popular social media platform – followed closely by Snapchat, which is used regularly by 82%. 7


#ForHerWorld Ph o t o s: c ou r t e sy WAG G G S

GGC at the WAGGGS World Conference

As the largest Movement dedicated to girls and women, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is focused on strengthening its global influence and leadership on the issues that are most relevant to girls. Canadian Guiding is playing a leading role in ensuring girls’ voices and the issues that matter to them remain at the core of global Guiding’s future. 8


n September, more than 500 delegates came together in New Delhi, India, for the 36th WAGGGS World Conference. Focused on the theme #ForHerWorld, the conference provided an opportunity for Member Organizations (MOs) representing 10 million WAGGGS members worldwide to build connections and work together to shape the future of our Movement.

Where All Girls Belong The conference opened with the induction of Aruba, Azerbaijan, Palestine and Syria as full MOs, and the recognition of Albania and Niger as Associate Members, increasing WAGGGS’ CANADIAN GUIDER

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representation to 150 countries. This growth in membership gives girls an even stronger voice to represent their rights and concerns both domestically and on the international stage. It is also a significant step towards WAGGGS’ goal of bringing Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting to 12 million girls and young women in 154 countries by 2020.

Showcasing Canadian Guiding A key component of any WAGGGS World Conference is the opportunity for MOs to exchange ideas for the delivery of high-quality experiences and programs that empower girls. The GGC Mighty Minds program was by far the most

In a world where many things seem to divide us, I am thankful for the global Movement of WAGGGS that will continue to unite girls and women. — Janice, Canada

popular display at the Market of Ideas, eliciting significant interest from Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting organizations around the world – all eager to learn more about offering mental health programming to girls in their countries. With its girl-driven focus, our Girls First program was also enthusiastically received by our global Guiding sisters.

Raising Girls’ Voices GGC’s focus on increasing the voice of girls and young women within our own organization was well represented by two of our conference delegates, Janice Noble, a university student and Guider in New Brunswick, and Madeleine

Deschenes, our National Youth Council Chair. They spoke to the plenary session in support of a motion for WAGGGS to examine how to ensure that young women under 30 are appropriately represented on the World Board. Another key milestone of the conference was the election of GGC member Tashia Batstone to the WAGGGS World Board. A longtime Girl Guide, Tashia, from Torbay, NL, brings extensive experience in financial management and governance to the table, ensuring WAGGGS continues to operate as a strong and vibrant organization that supports the ongoing development and growth of girls and women around the world. CANADIAN GUIDER

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I want Girl Guides and Girl Scouts membership to be everywhere, not just 10 million. Every girl deserves to feel this strong. — Zain, Syria Girls can bring about change – we make up half of our society. — Lola, Kuwait If every girl is able to learn about her rights, speak up for herself and demand change, the world would be a much better place. —Olympia, Greece 9


Staying Power Keeping Older Girls Engaged

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As Pathfinders and Rangers, we have a lot going on in our lives. And as we move towards adulthood, our responsibilities and commitments will add to the complexity of our daily lives. So, what will it take to keep us engaged in Guiding and continue to make it a priority in our busy schedules?


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recent Stanford University study revealed that the average high school student spends 9.6 hours on extracurricular activities each school week. On top of this, we’re busy with school work, family, friends and more. Our time is stretched in many different directions. Girl Guides of Canada wants to encourage girls to remain involved in whatever capacity works for them. Here are some ways Guiders can help us remain active and engaged.

Put Girls in the Driver’s Seat Pathfinders and Rangers are the experts on what we want out of the program. To keep girls from leaving Guiding, give us what we want – it’s as simple as that. Unit activities should be about what the girls want to do and how they want to do it. Take the lead from us and support us as we create our own Guiding experiences.

Create a Unit that Meets Girls’ Needs It is important to recognize what type of meeting works best for the girls. Maybe they would prefer meetings every other week or maybe just before an upcoming camp. Although these may not be traditional meeting formats, it is a worthwhile discussion. Many of my Ranger friends loved being Girl Assistants but found it difficult to squeeze that role into their busy schedules on top of weekly Ranger meetings. Realizing this, our District created a Ranger unit for Girl Assistants that meets once a month. This specialized unit focuses on issues specific to Girl Assistants, such as how to run an effective meeting, how to get a group’s attention, what type of activities work best with each age group, and so on. The Rangers also attend a weekend leadership training workshop. All this catered to my friends’ schedules and enabled them to remain involved in Guiding.

Unit activities should be about what the girls want to do and how they want to do it.

Foster a Supportive Culture One of my favourite things about my former Ranger unit was that, at the start of each meeting, we would talk about the things we had done that week, share our plans, and invite other girls to join. If a Ranger announced she had landed a role in the school play, we would all buy tickets and go as a unit to cheer her on. You can create a supportive atmosphere by encouraging girls to share important events with your unit, and to organize meetings around their favourite non-Guiding activities. One might organize a soccer match, while another might teach everyone to paint.

Create a Social Media Account If you want to stay connected with girls, go where they go – and that means going digital. My Ranger unit had a closed Facebook page that we used to post updates and to share pictures. (Some units use private Instagram accounts.) Girls submitted photos of themselves at meetings, events and camps, which were then posted on the page. With the popularity of social media, using Facebook and/or Instagram this way can help keep girls enthusiastic about Guiding. Just remember to always state guidelines and expectations before creating a social media account. If your unit is uncomfortable using this technology, you can create a “social media” poster board, to which girls can attach pictures and notes. Either way, having any kind of message centre that gets updated regularly will keep girls excited to come back and see what’s new.

Graduating from Rangers For many Rangers, Guiding has been a big part of their lives for a long time. Sadly, graduating from high school frequently means also graduating from Guiding. This is often the case for girls who decide to move away from home and attend university in a new area. It can be difficult to get involved with a new unit or a new district. However, Guiders can help bridge the gap by connecting girls with units in their new towns before they leave their current unit. Guiders can also talk to Rangers about their future plans. It is important to remind girls that there are many ways to remain involved in Guiding. They can join a Link group and continue to participate in Guiding activities that focus on the interests of young women in post-secondary school or just starting their careers. And if graduating Rangers are worried they’ll be too busy during their first year of post-secondary education, they can volunteer on occasions in a way that fits their schedule, which means they retain their connection with Guiding, even if they can’t take on specific roles at this time. Taylor Ball is a Ranger from Vancouver, BC, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.


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Girls First

Why is GGC launching a new program?

I l lu st rat i on s: © G i r l G u i d e s of C an ad a

FAQs on the New GGC Program In September 2018, GGC will launch our brand-new program for girls across all branches. We know that, as Rangers and Guiders, you’ve got questions about Girls First and how it will all work. Here are answers to some of the questions we are hearing from members across the country. 12

Improving our program isn’t a new concept for GGC. It has always evolved to meet the needs of girls, since Guiding first enabled them to create something specifically for themselves more than 100 years ago. Listening to girls’ voices and being relevant and meaningful to girls is at the core of everything we do, and we want to make sure we’re hitting the mark. Today, girls are telling us they want to be in the driver’s seat. They want every girl to be empowered to be everything she wants to be. The new program will enable girls to set individual goals and track their progress as they move through the branches. Guiders will support them by facilitating the programming that best helps them achieve each specific goal. And it will be girl-driven, with girls’ interests placed at the forefront, as they actively shape their Guiding experiences.


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What is the new program structure? What are the program requirements? • The new program will have seven Areas of Program (AoP), each with three to four themes. • The Guiding AoP will be completed each year by each branch. • Sparks and Brownies will complete the remaining six AoPs over their two-year program, while Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers will complete the remaining six AoPs over their three-year program. • Program time can be divided equally between all AoPs in ways that make the most sense to each unit. Program content will be available in three formats: – Challenges (branch-specific; two to four meetings to complete) – Instant Meetings (branch-specific; one meeting) – Stand-alone Activities (branch suitability indicated to create each unique plan)








THEMES THEMES THEMES THEMES Our Inclusivity Story DiversityLiteracy & Diversity Inclusivity &Financial Global GuidingGender Gender My Future

Great Outdoors Self Identity

Self Identity Real World Skills Leadership



BE WELL THEMES My Mighty Mind Physical Health





THEMES Financial Literacy My Future Real World Skills Leadership



Physical STEM Healthin the World

Healthy Relationships Healthy Relationships STEM in the Future Creative Expression

Will there still be badges? Yes, there will be badges – for themes and for the AoPs. Girls will earn theme badges first, leading to associated AoP badges. Guiders will be able to track progress towards badges completed by girls through the online platform (see below), while girls will be able to view their individual progression in achieving their goals.

How will girls and Guiders access the new program? We’ve heard loud and clear from girls that they want to access and engage with their Guiding program digitally. Responding to this, the new program will be available to girls and Guiders from coast to coast to coast through an online platform that will have a responsive design for accessibility on desktops or mobile devices. The platform will enable you to browse, search and explore all that the program has to offer across all branches, as well as to tag,



THEMES THEMES THEMES THEMES STEM in my Life Nature & Environment Nature & Environment Your Voice

STEM in the World Social Justice

Social Justice Your Choice

STEM in the My Future Local Community My Local Community Your Action


Your Voice

Your Choic

Your Actio

Creative My Expression Global Community My Global Community

print and download program content. This means that access to Wi-Fi or digital data will not be required to run the program in a meeting space, and members will not need to be engaged with tech during unit meetings.

There’s a girl in my Brownie unit who wants to complete all the current badges. Will she be able to finish? Girls can certainly choose to continue working on any current badges or program elements. A transition plan and equivalencies will be in place in time for the September 2018 Girls First launch. Units can start their transition to the new program incrementally, all at once, or at any time during the 2018-19 Guiding year.

Will camping still be part of the program? Definitely! As has always been the case in Girl Guides, outdoor activities will CANADIAN GUIDER

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continue to provide opportunities for girls to set personal goals, lead activities and challenge themselves. While camping is featured in the Great Outdoors theme of the Guiding AoP, each of the other AoPs and their themes offer countless ways girls can achieve their goals through camp experiences.

What about awards? We will continue to offer girls the same Guiding awards to work towards. A transition and equivalency plan will be released with the new program. Girls will not have to restart their awards; any work and progress to date will be recognized and credited. Be sure to check girlguides. ca/girls_first for ongoing updates on our new program.


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Supporting Mental Wellbeing Tips for Your Unit BY H I L A R Y F E L D M A N A N D K AT H R Y N LYO N S

Self-confidence. Resilience. Learning to cope with challenges. These are life skills every girl needs to be fulfilled and achieve her dreams. Whether at unit meetings, special events or large sleepover camps, Guiders can support girls by employing various strategies to create a safer and more welcoming space.


ith an increasing awareness of mental health, we can play a supportive role in smoothing the way for all girls to fully engage, meet new challenges, relax and have fun in Guiding. The 12th Ottawa Guiding Group offers these tips for all branches from Sparks to Rangers.

Regular Unit Meet-Ups Use meeting strategies that help all girls. Establish a consistent meeting routine throughout the year, to build comfort and familiarity. Before starting each meeting, describe what to expect and, if possible, give plenty of notice when changing the plan. Offer a variety of different activities, balancing cooperative, individual and competitive approaches. Additionally, try to provide some flexibility and choice with creative activities such as crafts, to help reduce stress. There are many ways to complete crafts, and many different versions of success, so let the girls know there is no single “perfect” outcome. Talk with the girls. Many girls are pretty self-aware about what works for them and are able to advocate for their own needs. If you notice a change in behaviour or attitude on the part of a girl, have a quick private chat with her. Ask open-minded questions and listen carefully. When something that is happening in the unit is troubling a girl and/or the other group members, Guiders need to work with her to ensure she has positive choices to help manage the situation. Model positive and inclusive language and behaviour. Avoid using labels or derogatory language about people or their behaviour. Rather than calling an action, statement or situation “crazy” or “insane,” try to find less stigmatizing words. CANADIAN GUIDER

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For instance, you could describe any of them as surprising, unexpected, or even epic – these are all more appropriate descriptive choices. Similarly, avoid singing songs that use words perpetuating negative stereotypes about mental health. Make sure to gently correct or challenge girls who use negative language and help them become more aware of these choices. Work with families. Who knows girls the best? Their families! Open and ongoing conversations with parents and caregivers will provide insight into girls’ behaviour and health concerns. In turn, this helps Guiders plan for everyone’s needs in all situations.



Emphasize the positive. There is rarely only a single way to be successful. Success can vary from person to person, and day to day. Look for positive aspects of each and every girl’s participation – and focus on those.

Overnights and Events Sleepovers and camps add more challenges, as girls will be away overnight in an unfamiliar environment. Whether it’s the menu, the sleeping arrangements, using porta-potties, or some other aspect of camp, be prepared to have a conversation with girls about different strategies

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“Flexibility and patience are the key to providing every girl with enjoyable new experiences.” for making the experience a positive one. Some girls may find the group dynamic overwhelming and need a quiet space. Others may struggle if separated from a reassuring best friend. Ultimately, flexibility and patience are the key to providing every girl with enjoyable new experiences. Use a pre-event check-in. Advance preparation and information can be valuable for girls, their families, and Guiders. Distribute a simple questionnaire to all the girls, asking how they feel about the upcoming event. More specific questions such as, “What are you looking forward to doing?” and “What are you unsure about?” will help Guiders plan and anticipate girls’ concerns. Identify your first aider. Tell the girls they can go to this person for any health or wellbeing concern, including their mental health. If it is a better fit for your group, have two separate first aiders, one for physical ailments and another for emotional concerns. Provide quiet times and places. Downtime should be built into the schedule for everyone – even though it’s tempting to pack as much into your camp schedule as possible. Set aside a quiet and safe place for those who need it. Some time reading or sketching might be all it takes to help a girl regain her emotional balance, and then rejoin the group.

Large Group Events Make mental health part of your first aid plan. It can be particularly challenging to attend huge events with hundreds – or thousands – of people. The noise, chaos and general hubbub can make girls and Guiders feel not quite themselves. Add in a busy schedule, camp stove cooking and close quarters,

and there will be not only increased excitement, but sometimes overwhelming stimuli. Offering opportunities to check in with someone sympathetic, understanding, patient and knowledgeable will expand the caregiving horizons for girls. This also provides a valuable support for Guiders. The availability of someone specific a girl can go to can provide a lifeline to anyone juggling the wellbeing of a whole patrol. The organizers of two recent national and provincial camps, Guiding Mosaic 2016 and SOAR 2017, incorporated mental health support into their health services. Not only can this support help smooth the way for everyone, it makes all the difference for some girls. One parent of a girl attending SOAR wrote to her daughter’s Commissioner, saying, “I have long believed that Girl Guides was going to be the thing that saved my daughter from having anxiety taking over her life, and my theory was absolutely proven true.” She went on to explain that, while her daughter found the weeklong camp quite demanding, having a dedicated onsite mental health nurse was hugely positive. She praised the Guiders for providing the necessary encouragement, enabling her daughter to feel more comfortable throughout the week and have a successful camp experience. Looking back at the experience and the supports and strategies provided, not only was this girl glad she attended, she was excited to discover she could cope with new challenges. That realization strengthened her self-esteem and confidence. Additionally, her patrol had come together to respect and accommodate her needs, embracing her in a safe and supportive environment, in which her Guiders and peers encouraged and reinforced her, while gaining a valuable life experience of their own in the process.

Mighty Minds and Mental Health Mighty Minds provides a great way to get girls talking about mental health, whether in a regular unit meeting, at an event or at camp. Designed for girls in every branch, the program helps girls develop positive mental health skills they can use to cope with the challenges they may face in their daily lives, while addressing the stigma that exists around mental health and mental illness in our society.

Hilary Feldman, of Vancouver, BC, is Chair of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee. Kathryn Lyons, of Ottawa, ON, is a member of the committee. CANADIAN GUIDER

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on the


Looking for a truly Canadian adventure? Want to put the wilderness camping skills you’ve developed in Guiding to the test? A great place to do it is on Canada’s West Coast Trail with a few other experienced Trex members. And greater still is knowing you can use the experience to inspire girls to work towards their own Trex adventures!

P ho t o : Ka t e B o u r ne


Backcountry Adventure Role Models



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irls and Guiders are drawn to Trex for outdoor opportunities they might otherwise find hard to access. Many families don’t go extreme camping or push their physical limits in the great outdoors – but Guiding can offer unique outdoor adventure skills training and mentorship to girls and Guiders alike. And, after developing those essential skills, there’s no need to stop. Buoyed with the backpacking and backcountry camping expertise they gained as Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers, a small group of Guiders and former members from the 1st Emily Carr Trex unit in Victoria, BC, decided it was time to tackle the West Coast Trail. Skirting the west coast of Vancouver Island from Bamfield to Port Renfrew, this isolated trail is considered one of the most beautiful and challenging hikes in the world. Crossing pristine beaches amid crashing waves, and traversing an ancient mossy rainforest, the 75-kilometre hike offers spectacular vistas and opportunities to view awe-inspiring wildlife. Part of the traditional lands of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations, the trail is overseen by a unique guardianship, which includes a partnership with the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Girl Guide Role Models On the trail each day, we donned our Trefoil-adorned, quick-dry shirts and answered questions about Guiding from other hikers. We shared stories of previous Trex experiences as we sat together around the evening campfire. Guider Theresa Leask shared two such encounters: As we got to a campsite one evening, another camper called out to her friend, “The Girl Guides are here!” Surprised, because we hadn't talked to this woman previously, we asked how she knew we were in Girl Guides. “I just guessed,” she told us. It turned out she used to be a Guider herself, and her daughters were girl members, so she was very familiar with our values and program. Something in the way we were conducting ourselves just telegraphed to her that we were Girl Guides. Another flattering comment came from a mother hiking the trail with her 11-year-old daughter, who told us she was delighted to have such good role models for her girl.

Guiding provides an environment that empowers girls to take on challenging activities and feel accomplished.

Girl Guide Skills While hundreds of groups travel the trail annually, apparently six women hikers make an unusual sight and attract a lot of attention. When asked – and we were asked frequently – we explained our Guiding connection. Some of the people asking were surprised and intrigued to discover that Girl Guides do more than sell cookies! These encounters sparked conversations as we travelled, and we all acknowledged that, without the influence and mentorship of our Guiding role models, none of us would have been there. From fire-building, compass skills and gadget-making in Guides to camp planning, water treatment, and lighting backpacking stoves in Pathfinders and Trex, each year we learned more and more from each other and our Guiders, gaining expanded skills and increased confidence along the way.

Girl Guide Resiliance Guiding provides an environment that empowers girls to take on challenging activities and feel accomplished, even with the setbacks that are almost guaranteed with any adventurous activity. My own first backpacking experience in Pathfinders turned out to be a very muddy and exhausing trek on the Juan de Fuca Trail. But despite the discomfort and fatigue, I was hooked. I continued to embrace outdoor adventures as a girl from then on, and still do as a Guider today. An incredibly rewarding aspect of being a Trex Guider and backcountry adventure role model is observing girls as they go through the same processes I did, facing challenges, learning skills and building self-confidence and self-reliance in the wilderness and in life. Guiding prepares and empowers us to pass outdoor adventure opportunities to the next generation of strong, smart, skillful and resilient girls. I look forward to seeing many future generations represent Girl Guides on the West Coast Trail and wherever else their outdoor adventures and life goals take them. Corina Fischer is a Trex Guider in Victoria, BC.


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MORE Girl-Driven Cross-Canada Exchanges BY K AT H R Y N LYO N S

Travel to another part of Canada for free? Work with 15 Pathfinders and Rangers on a totally girl-driven travel plan? Connect with another Guiding unit? Yes, please!


hrough Experiences Canada’s youth exchange program, Girl Guide members can receive full travel funding (air fare included!) to go farther, explore more and gain an even better appreciation of our country and its peoples. And, in sync with our own focus, Experiences Canada promotes and supports girl-driven planning for all these exchanges.

Ottawa and Yukon Girl Guides Team Up In the lead-up to Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation last year, the 12th Ottawa



Guiding Group thought it would be a great time to invite another unit to experience the celebrations, events and sights of our nation’s capital. The girls also decided they wanted to visit a place as different from Ottawa as they could imagine. They asked to travel to Canada’s North. In less than a year, with only modest fundraising, our group was able to team up with Pathfinders and Rangers from four units in Whitehorse and Haines Junction, Yukon, to organize an exchange during the summer of 2017. Travel expenses for both groups were funded through Experience Canada’s youth program. WINTE R 2 018

Ph ot o: Ka th ry n Ly on s

Sharing my city was really interesting. It reminded me of so many things we take for granted. I liked going to places that I hadn’t seen or properly enjoyed before, even though they’re in my own city. Having someone stay at my home was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It added a new positive experience. The people had many more similarities than you would think. It was not hard to find things I had in common with Yukon Guides – Isabelle, Pathfinder

It is easy to get to nature in both Ottawa and Yukon, because they each have wonderful provincial and national park spaces. The most impressive sight was Yukon’s never-ending wilderness, especially the sheep that live way up on Tachäl Dhäl Mountain. – Celeste, Ranger

I remember the new Canadian history exhibit that opened (at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa) and I appreciate how thoroughly the exhibit covered our history, including the not so great parts as well as acknowledging the history of First Nations peoples. – Montana, Ranger In Yukon, I loved glass blowing and watching the RCMP musical ride, which was visiting there at the time. But what I liked the most was to actually go to Yukon. Yukon has small buildings and tall mountains, but both Yukon and Ottawa have the same skies. – Naomi, Pathfinder

My favourite thing was meeting new girls for the first time. I couldn’t wait to meet the girls from across the country. This was a once-in-a-lifetime event that has given me new friends and great stories. I will remember this trip forever! – Alexandra, Ranger

Ph ot o: Ev i W at t

It was fun sharing our beautiful Yukon nature with the Ottawa girls and seeing them encourage and support each other up (and down) the steep hike. There was some wonderful emotional teamwork out there. – Evi, Guider

Ly on s Ph oto : Ka thr yn

son Sep hto n Pho to: cou rtes y Alli

In July, the Yukon group came to Ottawa for a week, and the Ottawa group travelled to Whitehorse a few weeks later in August. Here are a few impressions of this awesome experience from some of the exchange participants:

Girl-Led Success Experiences Canada and Girl Guides prioritize youth involvement in planning and decision making for exchanges. For the 12th Ottawa Guiding Group, that meant the girls chose the region they wanted to travel to and also planned the itinerary for the week we hosted. They incorporated things that the Yukon group was looking forward to. The result was a truly satisfying mix of events, sights and activities that all the girls were eager to experience and share. It truly was a girl-driven success! CANADIAN GUIDER

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P hoto: courte s y 12 t h O tta wa G uidin g G roup

Ph ot o: Ka th ry n Ly on s


How To Planning a Cross-Canada Exchange Find a unit to partner with before applying to Experiences Canada. Single units can apply directly for the exchange, but will have to wait for Experiences Canada to match them with another willing Girl Guide unit. This also means units do not have control over their travel destination. Having two units apply jointly makes it easier to plan, and increases the chances that Experiences Canada will fund the exchange. The Guiders of the 12th Ottawa Guiding Group used their network of friends and family to make contact with Guiders in Yukon.


Check for rules on age and eligibility. In Guiding, eligibility is usually defined by a girl’s age at the time of travel and/or by what level of Guiding she is in. Experiences Canada will fund travel for 12- to 18-year-olds, but participants’ age is based on their fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). The Ottawa-Yukon exchange was able to get exceptions for the oldest girls initially disqualified by the fiscal year definition, but exceptions shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Manage the paperwork. An exchange is essentially two trips, with each group planning the event in their own city. Both GGC and Experiences Canada require their own paperwork. With a little planning and family support, it is manageable. Safe Guide forms may have different deadlines, depending on the region, and must be coordinated between the two groups. Finances can also be CANADIAN GUIDER

Communication, flexibility and positive attitudes are key to a successful and fun exchange. tricky and time consuming. Start early, and ask a lot of questions. And make sure the physical address provided to Experiences Canada can receive mail on behalf of your unit.

Take advantage of homestays. Homestay is not the only option for housing, but it has a lot of advantages. We chose it for part of the Ottawa visit. This meant placing participants in family homes, and meeting both organizations’ safety requirements for homestay. This helped keep trip costs down, and encouraged WINTE R 2 018

connections between girls from both groups. Almost all participants rated the homestay as one of their favourite parts of the exchange. And parents were happy to share in part of their girls’ experiences.

Communicate. Communication, flexibility and positive attitudes are key to a successful and fun exchange. Be clear and open with your exchange unit. Discuss itineraries, budgets and expected out-of-pocket expenses between units frequently. Understand that there will be differences between what each unit is able to organize and provide. Encourage the girls to ask your hosts about your destination and what your group might expect there. Kathryn Lyons is a Guider in Ottawa, ON, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

Ideas: Outdoor Guider

GEAR UP FOR WINTER Your Winter Camping Gear Guide CO M P I L E D BY K AT H R Y N LYO N S

Ph ot o : ©i S t o c k . c o m /g as p r 1 3


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Ideas: Outdoor Guider The right equipment can make your winter camping experience totally epic. Sometimes, though, it can be tricky to wade through all the options for sleeping bags, tents and clothing. In this issue of Outdoor Guider, we’ve broken down what you need to know to pack the gear that will keep you warm and cozy.


efore heading out on a winter camping adventure, make sure you and the girls review the clothing and equipment you will need. While you’re at it, keep in mind that, although the best gear for winter camping is that which is often specially-designed for winter conditions, it may be possible to adapt some of the gear that your unit and your girls already have on hand.

Clothing Be an onion – dress in layers! Each layer manages one of the four Ws: Wicking – Avoid cotton for the wicking layer. Wool and synthetics provide much better moisture-wicking properties. Warmth – The warmth layer adds insulation and space to trap warm air, in much the same way birds fluff up their feathers to keep warm on a cold day. Excellent options for this layer include down, polyester fleece and thicker wool. Wind/Water – The outside layer keeps all that warmth in by blocking out wind and water. Make sure you have shells made of windproof and waterproof materials, such as Gortex.

Footwear Also essential for winter camping are warm socks, made of wool (preferably) or synthetic fibres, and proper-fitting boots; tight footwear will chill down feet very quickly. As an extra precaution, include hand and toe warmers with your gear. They may help an uncomfortable camper who has less than ideal boots or damp mitts become a happy camper again.

You can stay warm sleeping in a tent, even without high-end, expensive winter-rated sleeping bags. As with dressing for winter, sleeping in winter is all about using layers. Key to cold weather sleeping is to have at least as many layers between your body and the ground as you have on top of you. Think about it as a complete sleep system, rather than just a sleeping bag and mat: Ground sheet – A plastic sheet, tarp or shower curtain that is wider than the sleeping mat will help control moisture. Pad or mat – Avoid air mattresses. They do not insulate; they get cold! A thick, winter-rated, self-inflating mat, or a foam pad with a thinner, self-inflating mat both work well. Even two foam pads can do the job. Sleeping bag – Yes, super-expensive, high-end winter-rated down sleeping bags are great. But if they are not a viable solution, you do have options: for example, two sleeping bags, one inserted inside the other. Test this combination in advance of your camp, to be sure that they fit together well and provide room

Ph ot os : Mo r g an Ken ny

Sleeping Gear

for you to move inside. Other options include sleeping bag liners, designed to increase the temperature rating of a sleeping bag. Blanket – This may not be necessary, but can be useful for added insulation between the ground and the sleeping bag. Sleepwear – Campers need a specific set of warm clothes for sleeping, but these do not need to be pyjamas! Synthetic materials are best; they help control moisture. Do not use cotton. Night clothes can also be layered. But the layers, including the sleeping bag, should not be too tight. Tight layers do not keep you warm. Be sure to include socks, a hat and even mitts that are just for sleeping. If there is lots of extra space inside the sleeping bag, campers can stuff extra clothes in the bag to provide insulation.

Tents Use a tent that is rated for winter. If you’re not sure yours is winter-proof, here are some features to consider: • The roof line should let snow slide off easily. Flat roofs or cabin-style tents might collapse under the weight of snow. Dome-style tents are a good option. • The tent should provide adequate space for bulky winter clothes and bigger bedrolls. Consider sleeping one fewer person per tent than you would in summer. • A large, closed tent vestibule is handy for taking off outer layers and boots. • A full fly (the outer layer) will provide protection from rain, snow and wind, and a breathable inner tent wall with a waterproof fly outside will reduce condensation. A tent with a partial fly, with an additional tarp over could work, but may be more challenging to set up, and may prevent snow from sliding off. • The best winter tents have full fabric sleeves for the poles. These help distribute the force of wind or snow more evenly than do single clips, and are also easier to assemble when you are wearing mitts or gloves. • To stake tents down, use purchased stakes, or tie your lines to heavy objects and bury them securely in the snow.

Winter Camp Cooking Protect your fire. If you’re cooking with firewood, make a layer of medium-sized sticks on the base to prevent melting snow from drowning the fire. If you’re using a camp stove, place a fire-proof pad underneath it to slow down heat transfer that will melt snow and create a puddle. Metal cooking utensils create temperature drops in food and therefore require you to use more fuel while cooking. Use plastic or wooden utensils, and serve hot food in bowls, which will keep it warm longer than plates. The body uses more energy in cold weather. Plan for more food, especially high-density, high-calorie snacks. Depending on the temperature, the average person can consume approximately 3,000 calories or more per day (the colder the temperature, the higher the caloric intake). High-energy foods such as cheese, creamed coconut, nuts or seeds, nut or seed butters and guacamole, and quick-burning sugary foods such as chocolate, candy, raisins and granola will help the body stay active and generate heat throughout the day. Pre-cut and pre-cook as much food as possible before camp. The more you prepare in advance, the less time you will have to spend mixing and chopping in the cold. Keep well hydrated! Dehydration is as unhealthy and potentially dangerous during winter as it is in summer. Drink several servings of water to kick-start your body each morning, and continue to drink water throughout the day. Never eat snow as an alternative to drinking water. If you need to use snow, boil it for at least 10 minutes.

Stoves If you will be camping without access to water or indoor cooking, you will need a stove that can provide adequate heat to boil a lot of water in cold weather. Generally, white gas or liquid fuel stoves are the most reliable for winter. Bring three to four times more fuel than you would for a summer camp, and consider also bringing a back-up stove. (For winter cooking tips and a couple of tummy-warming winter camp recipes, see page 26.)

Sleds Winter camping gear is bulky and heavy. If you will be travelling a fair distance to your campsite, use plastic sleds with ropes to haul your gear. This will be easier than carrying it on your backs. And – bonus – you can have some fun sledding while at camp!



Ideas: Outdoor Guider


P hoto: S a n dra Ku ch ta

• 5 cups/1,250 ml old-fashioned, gluten-free rolled oats • 2 cups/500 ml unsweetened shredded coconut • 1 cup/250 ml sunflower seeds • ¾ cup/180 ml pumpkin seeds • ½ cup/125 ml maple sugar • 2 tsp/10 ml ground cinnamon • 1 tsp/5 ml dried ground ginger • 1 tsp/5ml sea salt • ½ teaspoon/2.5 ml nutmeg • ¾ cup/180 ml unsweetened applesauce • ½ cup/125 ml maple syrup • 2 tbsp/30 ml vegetable oil

Winter Comfort Cuisine

Here are a couple of easy breakfast recipes to help you start the day with a warm and satisfied stomach and lots of calories to keep you comfortable in the cold.

OATMEAL CAMP SCONES • 2 cups/500 ml oats • ¼ cup/60 ml honey or maple syrup • ¼ cup/60 ml oil • 2 cups/500 ml flour* • 1 ½ tsp/7.5 ml baking powder • ¼ tsp/1 ml salt • water In advance of the camp, measure and mix the flour, baking powder and salt, and pack it in an air-tight container. At camp: 1 Thoroughly mix the oatmeal, honey or maple syrup and oil in a bowl. 2 Add the flour mixture and small amounts of water alternately to make a firm dough. 3 Form patties with the dough and fry or bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through to the centre *Wheat flour may be replaced with an equal quantity of gluten-free oat flour. Scones will be a little crumbly but will still hold together. Use gluten-free oats as well.


HEARTY HOT GRANOLA • granola • milk powder* • dried fruit • honey, brown sugar or maple syrup • boiling water 1 Mix the granola, milk powder and dried fruit in a cup or bowl. 2 Stir in boiling water to the desired consistency. 3 Sweeten to taste with honey, brown sugar or maple syrup. *For a vegan recipe, use maple syrup and replace the milk powder with creamed coconut.

1 In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, maple sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. 2 In a small bowl, mix applesauce, maple syrup and oil. 3 Mix the wet into the dry ingredients thoroughly; divide and spread the mixture evenly on two baking sheets. 4 Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 300 °F, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is deep golden brown. 5 Cool well and store in air-tight containers.

Kathryn Lyons is a Guider in Ottawa, ON, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

Allergy Awareness As with food planning and preparation for all Girl Guide camps, be sure to check for any food allergies your girls may have, and alter recipes and snacks accordingly.


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GGC National Youth Council Update How do we ensure that our organization continues to be relevant to girls? By giving them a seat at the decision-making table. That’s what our National Youth Council is all about – putting girls in the lead. Meet the council’s five newest members. We asked each of these girls to tell us who their role models are and to share a fun fact or joke. Continuing their terms on the National Youth Council are: Kianna Benson Andrea Chakma Madeleine Deschenes (Chair) Shelan Emre Hari Ilangomaran Nerissa Kassis Nayah Mang Sophie McCafferty.

P hoto: courte sy C arena B inder

Girls in the Lead

Ph o to : co u rtesy L au ren Hill


Lauren Hill Saskatchewan

Carena Binder Ontario My role model is my elementary school principal, because of her passion and interpersonal skills. She could easily be approached and was always on top of her work. In everything she did you could see her passion and love for her career. When I am older I want to pick a career I am as passionate about, to help create an impactful and positive environment for the people around me. I love skiing and snowboarding. One day I hope to go to Switzerland and ski/snowboard in the Alps.



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My role model is my mom. She has taught and shown me the value of hard work and has, for my whole life, been my biggest supporter in my various pursuits. Like all individuals, my mom has encountered obstacles, but rather than admitting defeat, she takes them in stride, and pushes forward with optimism – something she asserts upon me when I face difficulties. Alongside those traits, my mom is also loving, selfless and kind, and continues to serve as my greatest inspiration to this day. By the time I was five years old, I had visited every one of the 10 Canadian provinces, all of which I have had a chance to visit again this past summer.

Ph o to : co u rtesy E mily L ints

P hoto : co u rtesy C aro lyn Hu ang


Carolyn Huang Alberta My biggest role model would be my mom. She is the strongest person I know, and has helped push me to become a better person. Three fun facts about me: I am a reading addict who loves classical novels; I have attended six different schools so far; and I have completed all the Pathfinder badges.

J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, is my role model. Not only is she an outspoken feminist and charitable donor, but she fiercely pursued her passion for writing, and never gave up. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers, yet she persisted and became one of the most influential women of her generation. I believe all girls and women can look up to J.K. Rowling and her impact on society. I have danced competitively for 12 years, and yet still revert to the classic sprinkler move when asked to improvise. You can’t beat the basics.

P hoto: courte s y E m il y Va n de rm e e r

Emily Lints

Emily Vandermeer Alberta My role model is Emily Murphy, who fought for women’s rights in the 1920s. I consider her a role model because she carved her own path and did what she believed in. Emily Murphy helped give women the rights they deserved, such as the right to vote and the right to be elected to Parliament. What did the ocean say to the beach? Nothing . . . he just waved.


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A Place for Every Girl

Embracing New Canadians BY S H A N N O N K E N N E DY

Ph ot o s : C at h er i ne Ba ll i n Abi d i

Guiding has always been that safe, inclusive space where every girl belongs. Here’s how one Halifax unit welcomes, embraces and empowers girls from Syria and beyond, who are newcomers to Canada. 30


he YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth is a busy place, especially for the many new Canadians who frequent it. And along with adults who arrive to make use of ESL (English as a Second Language) and other programs offered to them there, you will also see their daughters arriving to attend Girl Guide meetings. When Guider Catherine Ballin Abidi was asked what she finds most rewarding about volunteering with this Guiding unit, she said, “There are so many things! We learn something new each week from the girls, and are as much learners in this group as are the girls. They are very engaged, and very grateful to be here – just beautiful little people who teach us something every time we’re together.” Operated in co-operation with the YMCA Centre for Immigrant Programs, Catherine’s unit includes Canadian-born girls and newcomers from all around the world, with Nepal, Russia and Syria among the most common countries of origin. Composed of 20 girls ranging from Sparks to Guides, and six Guiders, this


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unit’s members call themselves the YMCA Girl Guide Group, and typically meet every second Sunday at their Fairview location.

Openness and Inclusivity Catherine believes that the Girl Guide program benefits all girls, and provides a sense of empowerment and accomplishment, whether they hail from Canada or from another country. “We have girls who have a variety of language capabilities, and Guiders who speak multiple languages,” says Catherine. “And we are able to ensure that, regardless of the level of their English skills, the girls are able to understand and participate fully. The Girl Guide program is already open and inclusive, so we follow it, and make sure that the girls have input and are encouraged to provide us with feedback.” The unit’s meetings also give the girls a chance to learn more about their new community, and to practise their English language skills. Catherine adds that the she and her co-Guiders are frequently approached by parents who are new to Canada and who had heard about the Girl Guide program in their home countries. They say they are happy that Girl Guides is a safe place for their girls, where they can meet new people, make new friends and have fun together. And dropping their daughters off allows the parents a chance to take advantage of the many support programs that the YMCA Centre for Immigrant Programs offers, such as active living classes and English language practice.

Transition and Connection Moving to a new country can be very challenging, so this Halifax unit and the local YMCA are determined to make that transition easier. “The girls really enjoy getting to know each other, and being a part of something big – connecting with their community and earning badges,” says Catherine. “Girl Guides definitely empowers them, especially the Guide-aged girls. They get to prepare activities for younger girls, and help with other things. And they learn about healthy lifestyles and relationships.” To make a unit like this successful, it’s advantageous to find the perfect partner in the community, and Girl Guides has found such a partner in the YMCA. “The program is so rich, it works beautifully for any and all girls,” says Catherine. “The girls really are enjoying it and each other! We are so fortunate to have these two organizations come together in a wonderful partnership, and to have exceptional women who take so much time out of their busy schedules to work with the girls.” But it’s the girls who ultimately make the unit so special. “Our programming instills in them a sense of self-confidence, and teaches them the skills needed to live healthy, active lifestyles,” says Catherine. “And we benefit by seeing them blossom and became a part of a community that is so much larger than themselves!” Shannon Kennedy is a Guider in Fall River, NS.


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Ideas to Go

Grab ’n Go

FUN Micro Games for Filling Time

Ph o t o: ©i S t o c k /D ra zen

Need some short, simple grab-and-go activities to fill up extra time at a meeting or camp? Here are some great micro games that will fit the bill. CO M P I L E D BY K AT H R Y N LYO N S



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GGC Girl Activity Illustrations WhyBecause: 1





What You Need • a bag of coloured candies • a task list

What You Do 1 Have the girls sit in a circle. For more than 25 girls, divide into multiple groups. 2 Assign a task to each colour of candy. Include physical activities (jumping jacks, hop on one foot, turn around), program related questions (“Say one line of the Guiding Promise.”), brainstorming questions (“What would you like to do at camp?”) or invitations for feedback on activities (“What did you think of the craft we did last week?”). 3 The girls pass the bag around the circle, each taking one piece of candy without looking in the bag, and performing the associated task before eating it.

WHY? BECAUSE. What You Need • scraps of paper • pens, pencils or markers

What You Do 1 If there are more than 25 girls, divide into multiple groups. 2 Have the girls sit, and give them each two pieces of paper and a pen, pencil or marker. 3 On one paper, each girl writes a question that starts with “Why” (e.g., Why is the sky blue?). On the other paper, she writes an answer to the question that starts with “Because.” (e.g., Because a green sky would look funny.) 4 Randomly place all the “Why” papers in one pile, and all the “Because” papers in another. 5 Taking turns, the girls select a piece of paper from each pile and read out the question and answer. Chances are most of them will be mismatched, to the amusement of the group. If two do match, have the girl select a different piece of paper from the other pile. The subsequent disconnect will still amuse everyone. 6 If you still have time on your hands, have the girls match all the “Why” questions with their original “Because” answers.


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I l l us tra tion s : © G irl G uide s o f C anada

P hoto: © P hotoS pin / D ina Trif o no va (artdesig n)


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Ideas to Go


I l l us tra tion s : © G irl G uide s of C a n a da ; P hotos : © P hotoS pin


What You Do

What You Do 1 Ask the girls to form into partners in an open space or hallway, on opposite sides, facing each other. 2 The game leader calls out activities, such as: •right-handed high five • right-handed high five, add left-handed high five • right-handed high five, left-handed high five, add double clap • low-five • over-the-top • fist pump 3 The girls move to the centre, meet their partners, do the activity as it is called out, then return to their original position and wait for the next activity. 4 For added fun, ask the girls to suggest activities and take turns as game leader.

1 This game is based on observation. The game leader looks at all the participants and secretly picks one observable trait (e.g., girls wearing a badge sash, hair ribbon or lace-up shoes, etc.) 2 The leader names all the girls who have that trait, and then all those who don’t have it. 3 The participants guess what the trait was. The first girl to successfully identify the trait can then be the game leader. 4 You can also ask the “have it” girls to move to one side of your space, and the “don’t have it” girls to move to the other. This may also help younger girls figure out more easily what the trait is.

HOT TAMALE What you Need • an everyday item, such as a pen or a hat (the “hot tamale”)

What You Do 1 Have the girls practise the following actions: • move backwards – back swim stroke • move forward – front crawl swim stroke • move to the side – side stretch • move up higher – climbing ladder motion • move down lower – squats • step in place as if on hot coals



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2 One girl is assigned to be “it” and leaves the room. 3 The other girls hide the “hot tamale” somewhere in the room. 4 “It” comes back into the room and the girls direct her to the object only by doing the actions. They cannot talk or point. When “it” is close to the “hot tamale,” they step in place as if on hot coals. 5 Once “it” locates the hidden “hot tamale,” another girl becomes “it” and the “hot tamale” is hidden in another location as the game resumes until every girl has had a chance to be “it.”

SILENT BALL V5 What You Need • one or more play balls (e.g., beach ball, dodgeball, volleyball, basketball)

What You Do 1 Have the girls spread out over your play area and stand or sit. 2 Begin by counting down “Three, two, one, silent,” and then pass the ball to one girl. The goal of this game is to throw or pass the ball without dropping it or making any noise. 3 That girl must catch the ball and pass it silently to another girl. 4 If a girl makes noise or drops the ball, she sits down (if the game started with the girls standing) or stands up (if the game started with the girls seated). 5 For younger girls, it may be better to play seated and roll the ball on the ground, rather than throwing or passing it.

MYSTERY BOX What You Need • a solid, lidded box, such as a shoe box • simple objects


What You Do

What You Need • an area that needs tidying up • a small prize or other incentive

What You Do 1 Without telling the girls, decide which item to be put away is your magic scrap. 2 Give the girls a set time limit to tidy the area. Whoever finds and puts away the magic scrap wins a prize or some other form of special recognition. 3 You can choose more than one item as a magic scrap, or use this game to reward someone who has been particularly helpful in cleaning up your meeting place or camp.


1 Without letting the girls see it, place an object in the closed box. 2 Pass the box from girl to girl, to try to figure out what is inside the box without opening it. 3 Each girl can ask one “yes” or “no” question about the item (e.g., “Can I eat it?”). Encourage the girls to use all their senses – holding, smelling and shaking the box. 4 Once they figure out what the item is, open the box and let them see it. 5 Begin again with another hidden object.

Kathryn Lyons is a Guider in Ottawa, ON, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

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Connected! GGC’s New Link Program Keeping connected to Guiding while launching into post-secondary education and new careers is now even easier with our brand-new Link program for adult members under 30. With a focus on what girls and young women have told us they want, this program is all about gaining valuable, transferable skills, while standing up for what they believe in and maintaining their Guiding connections.

P ho t o: Way ne Ea rd le y

Involvement in Link is self-directed and self-assessed, and members can complete the program independently or with a local Link unit. The focus is on four themes: • personal and professional development • outdoors and adventure • health and wellbeing • active citizenship Crests for each theme will be available in spring 2018. The objectives of the Link program are for young women to: • gain an increased ability to lead and advocate within Guiding • become more engaged in Guiding through social connections, and gain an increased sense of purpose and accomplishment • participate in skill-building activities and new experiences that will better equip them to navigate the transition to adulthood



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You Spoke – We Listened GGC heard you loud and clear! Consultations with Rangers and young Guiders told us that the time is right to introduce programming for young women. We also heard from our young Guiders that they want a new way to engage with GGC. Even though more than 50 per cent of our members aged 18 to 30 are Unit Guiders, you told us that you also want an opportunity to engage socially with other young women in Guiding, while further developing skills that will pay off as you pursue your professional and educational goals. We listened and learned and, as a result, the new Link program was created by a development team specifically made up of young women in Guiding from across Canada.

Your Program – Your Choices The new Link program is flexible, to facilitate the needs of young women as you balance school, careers, family and Guiding. Link members can choose which themes, topics and activities you want to explore, based on your interests. While connecting with other


Link members in a unit is encouraged, the program can also be done independently. Link is based on Guiding principles, but is not just an extension of GGC’s girl programming – it is designed specifically for young women to offer even more autonomy and self-direction as you navigate adulthood.

Get connected! • Become a Link member or join a Link unit by contacting your provincial office. • Invite other young women in local Guiding to work on the program with you. • Subscribe to the Link community on Member Zone. • Share your journey by completing the Link program on social media #GGCLink. Find details on the new Link program at: linkmembership

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Focus: Ask a Guider

Safe Guide Myths Ph ot o: Va n C ha u

Busting the Misconceptions


Fun. Adventure. The great outdoors. One of the things girls love most about Guiding is that “I did it!� rush, when they succeed at a new challenge. But for many Guiders, the perceived hurdles of facilitating outdoor activities can seem daunting, especially for those who have come across Safe Guide myths and misconceptions.


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afe Guide is your go-to resource for planning outdoor adventures. Whatever activity girls want to try, it’s there to support Guiders and Rangers, not to limit them. This quiz is designed to bust 10 common Safe Guide myths and misconceptions.


Do I need to fill out a form and get extra parent permission to do anything beyond my unit meeting location? a Actually, it’s better to avoid activities outside your meeting location. b Yes. You always need to fill out a form for anything beyond your unit meeting location. c Not at all. Just check out the Activity Planning chart to see if your activity requires additional planning and permission. Many community outings, such as cookie selling or visiting a fire hall, are Green level and do not require additional authorization.


Can I take my unit to a public pool? a Never. It’s too risky. b Yes. But only if one of the Guiders is a certified lifeguard. c Definitely. Look at “Swimming at a Public Facility” and the chart showing the supervision ratios for swimming.


Can my unit take public transit? a No. It’s too busy. b Yes. But only on city buses, not subways or ferries. c Sure. All forms of public transit are permitted. Girls love exploring their community this way.


Can Sparks camp in tents? a No. Sparks don’t like camping. b Yes. But only if the tents are set up inside. c Absolutely. Start with a one-night camp if you’re unsure. Check out the Camping Activity guide.





Can Brownies take a weekend trip to camp? a Never. They’re not ready to be away for two nights. b Yes. But only if parents come too. c For sure. They love it! Practise with a sleepover earlier in the year. And check out the Safe Guide activity guides for camping and sleepovers, along with any activities you plan to do at camp. Can Sparks and Brownies go canoeing? a Never. It’s too difficult. b Yes. As long as it’s only in a public pool. c Certainly. If you’re using a third party, just be sure you have the required supervision ratio. If you’re providing the boating facilitators, check with your Safe Guide team for additional support.


Can Rangers working with younger girls count for supervision ratio? a No. Only adult members count for ratio. b Maybe. Provided they have a babysitting certificate. c Yes. For Green activities, under the supervision of a Guider, any member who is 16 or older can count for Spark, Brownie and Guide ratios. See the Supervision Ratios section for details.

Who can be a designated first aider? a Only a licensed doctor, nurse, or paramedic. b Any Guider who has a bit of first aid knowledge. c Any adult who is listed in iMIS with current first aid certification from a recognized agency. This can be a Guider or non-member volunteer. Check the Key Terms and First Aid Training sections for more details. The girls really want to go horseback riding. Now what? a Sorry, horseback riding is not permitted as a Guiding activity. b Okay. But only Trex units can go horseback riding. c With a bit of planning, horseback riding is totally doable. Safe Guide even has a Horseback Riding Activity Guide to help you plan your outing. It is generally a Yellow activity.


Can a Brownie bring a guest? a Yes. If you have supervision ratio and emergency contact information. b No. If the guest is a boy; boys should not attend. c Yes. Non-member guests can even come to camp. d All of the above.

Don’t Forget . . .

Getting your unit outdoors doesn’t have to always be a big production. Sure, more advanced adventures and travel require a bit of planning and assessment, but smaller outings, such as a simple trip to a nearby greenspace, a visit to a veterinary lab, or filming digital videos in the park, don’t require a lot of preparation. And you can always work your way up to more ambitious outings. Other Guiders can help. If you’re not sure what your options are or how to go about planning something your girls want to do, reach out. Chances are there’s a Guider in your community who’s done a similar activity, and provincial Safe Guide assessors are always ready to help. Get the girls involved. While they can’t necessarily help you complete the paperwork, girls can totally play a starring role in choosing and planning the activities they want to try. Engaging girls and setting safety expectations from the get-go will enhance their sense of achievement and up the fun-factor for everyone.


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Growing Up in Girl Guides Meet Three GGC Role Models Many former girl members attribute their success as adults to the values, skills and insights they gained in Guiding. Here are some notes about three inspiring GGC role models.

Brownie to International Commissioner

Sarah Govan-Sisk

Ph ot o s : c o u r t e sy S a ra h G o v a n- S i sk


“From the moment I put on my Brownie uniform, I was hooked on the idea of travelling with Girl Guides,” says Sarah Govan-Sisk. “On the first day of Pathfinders, I asked if we could go to Pax Lodge, and to my delight, my Guiders agreed. Three years and umpteen boxes of cookies later, I walked through the doors of Pax Lodge, and promptly burst into tears of joy.” Since then, Sarah has been extensively involved in Guiding at the international level, travelling to all five WAGGGS World Centres, and taking part in dozens of international Guiding seminars and events. Now, in her role as Girl Guides of Canada’s International Commissioner, she travels the world serving as a liaison between GGC and WAGGGS, and ensuring that Canada continues to be a leader on the world stage in global policy, programs and initiatives. Whether at home in Canada or attending events such as the World Conference in September (see page 8), Sarah listens closely to what girls want for their world and helps ensure that their voices resonate in WAGGGS’ policies and programs. She also works with WAGGGS to help identify Girl Guiding and



Girl Scouting initiatives that GGC can help support through the Canadian World Friendship Fund. And she reviews and endorses applications from young women who want to represent Canada as volunteers at the World Centres and international events. Perhaps Sarah’s most impactful Guiding experience was when she travelled to Rwanda to take part in the first Stop the Violence seminar. “I met a number of young women who had lived through the 1994 genocide and had been physically and sexually abused by men who, only 24 hours before, were their neighbours, family members and friends,” she says. “They were mentally scarred, and all had contemplated suicide. But their involvement in Guiding helped them through these difficult events. The Guides did not care if they were Tutsi or Hutu – just that they were women who needed help.” Guiding gave these women a support network, taught them skills, found them jobs and most importantly, gave them a place to belong. “We should never forget how much this organization does for girls and women around the world,” says Sarah. “And if we can each be a small part of it, we will all be better off.” She looks forward to helping girl members continue to be proud of the innovative and boundary-pushing organization Girl Guides has always been, and to ensure it continues to be relevant for girls seeking to fulfil their potential as responsible global citizens. Taylor Ball is a Ranger from Vancouver, BC, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee. WINTE R 2 018

Sarah Giles BY D I A M O N D I S I N G E R

For Sarah Giles, a humanitarian aid worker, resilience is a necessity. A family and emergency room doctor with a diploma in tropical medicine, she is based in Ottawa, but mostly “lives in airports,” flying to provide care to people from the farthest reaches of Canada to distant locations around the world. Sarah works in remote and rural First Nations communities in Ontario and NWT, and also serves with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, providing emergency medical care in even farther-away places – from a migrant ship on the Mediterranean Sea to concentration camps in Myanmar and a hospital in South Sudan. Sarah says it was in Girl Guides that she gained valuable skills that benefit her efforts to provide life-saving and life-changing care to others. A former Brownie, Guide, Pathfinder and Ranger,


Sarah is a Canada Cord recipient and has travelled interprovincially and internationally with Girl Guides. She says that her Guiding experiences, such as her Pathfinder silver camp, where the horrendous weather forced girls to be adaptable and flexible, provided opportunities for her to gain early skills in resiliency. Guiding also took Sarah to a summer job at Doe Lake, Ontario, where she worked as a member of the waterfront staff. “The first aid and rescue skills I practised there were all applicable to my work as an emergency room doctor,” she says. Sarah works 0n field assignments with Doctors Without Borders and as a volunteer on the board of Canadian Doctors for Medicare. She also understands the need for balance through exploring passions, finding opportunities to relax, and engaging in self-care. “I work in intense locations for short periods of time and then take time away to decompress,” she explains. “I have learned that I can’t work and volunteer every week of the year and expect to stay mentally or physically healthy. I love any form of physical activity, and I read, I hang out with my friends and family, and more recently I’ve taken up quilting!” Asked for advice for girls and women in pursuing their goals, Sarah says, “Failure is a necessary precursor to success. Don’t be afraid to fail. You’ll never get to your goal if you don’t try.” Diamond Isinger is a Guider from Vancouver, BC, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

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P hotos : courte s y S a ra h G il e s

Beyond Borders


Confidence and Compassion

Nafeesa Karim BY TAY LO R B A L L

Taylor Ball is a Ranger from Vancouver, BC, and a member of the Canadian Guider Editorial Committee.

Ph ot o s : c o ur t es y Naf e ss a Kar i m

“Every day is an adventure when you’re a television news reporter” says Nafeesa Karim, a reporter for CTV Morning Live Vancouver. She starts her day at 4:00 a.m., and never knows what will happen during her shift. “Sometimes it’s a fire or a crime scene. Sometimes it’s city hall or a high-profile case,” she says. “Usually, I have to stand outside for hours and do live hits, no matter the weather.” But, rain or shine, Nafeesa will be there with her camera operator, braving the elements and getting the story. Nafeesa says her experiences in Girl Guides, from Brownies to Rangers, helped shape who she is today. From learning it’s okay to be silly and let loose among friends singing around a campfire, to travelling to Our Chalet as a Ranger, where she met girls from all around the world, Nafeesa has Guiding memories that will last a lifetime. And Girl Guides also taught her to be prepared. “I have pens, notebooks, jackets, plastic

bags, hand warmers, sunscreen, umbrellas, boots and snacks all stowed in my car,” she boasts. “As a reporter, I need to anticipate what each day will be like.” This preparedness has fostered Nafeesa’s sense of confidence on the job. “When there’s a big story breaking, I know I am prepared to get the best interviews and video,” she says. “And it’s important that others have confidence in me, too. People can’t believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself – it has to start with you.” For girls hoping to follow in her steps and pursue a career in broadcasting, Nafeesa says the industry is changing but there will always be a need for curious, compassionate and talented journalists. “To be a successful journalist, you will need a good understanding of new technology and social media,” she says. “But whatever the medium, strong journalism is rooted in facts, compassion and humanity.” Nafeesa attributes some of her compassion and humanity to Guiding mottos, such as Share and Be a Friend and Lend a Hand, which have strengthened her ability to empathise. “I aim to be compassionate, even though my job can be stressful and it’s easy to get angry under pressure,” she says. “Whether I’m trying to comfort an interview subject who has suffered tragedy, or to stay positive after five hours in the pouring rain, I remember that we are all human beings and we all deserve empathy and compassion.”



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Our Trefoil Steps Out of the Box As we move toward the launch of our new Girls First program in September, and with our new three-year strategic plan in place (see the insert in the centre of the magazine), it’s time to signal that GGC is on an amazing journey. To do this, we’ve refreshed our visual identity – front and centre is a vibrant new Trefoil. Throughout our history, the Trefoil and the colour blue have remained a visual constant, evolving over time to reflect our changing world. Our new Trefoil respects our proud history and, at the same time, takes us from traditional to fresh and contemporary, open and inclusive – and with the stem pointing to the right it says “GGC is moving forward.”


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THANK YOU GGC 2017 Supporters At Girl Guides of Canada, our goal is to empower every girl to discover herself and become everything she wants to be. Through the generosity of our 2017 donors, we are able to provide a safe and inclusive space where girls can explore, create, learn – and shine. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Canadian Guiding. We are truly grateful.


Ph ot o s : Va n Ch au

Beverly Ablard Jennifer Ayotte Anne Baillargeon Margaret Baldwin Marsha Blakely Roberta Bondar Kathleen Breadner Beverly Burton Chris Burton Tracy Burton Shirley Byrnes Sharron Callahan Susan Cameron Alister Campbell Jennifer Cessford Dianne Chandler Gayle Chiasson Grant Chow Marian Clark Glena Clearwater Katherine Clubine Barbara Coish Barbara Cook Brian & Jennifer Cosburn James Cowan Linda Crawford Mary Crocker



Margaret Daugherty Deborah Del Duca Marilyn Denike Alison Dodd Valerie Dyment Dawn Elliott Karyn Ellis Joan Ellis Wendy Fitch Tara Gaertner Shanali Gayadeen Elizabeth Getz Pamela Glen Sarah Govan-Sisk Jean Halliday Brian & Valerie Harris Erin Hauser Allen Heinrichs Lauren Henry Susan Houston Dawnette Humphrey Bonita Hunter Dave Hyink Constance Isherwood Christa Jessop Eric Jordan Nancy Kelly

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Geraldine Kelter Kathleen Kompass Rita Ladjansky Steven Latner Hilda Lawson John Lengyell John Robert Lennie Donna Leonard Robb Ann Lowe Deirdre MacIntyre Janet Mann Lyn Mariner Melissa Martin Christina Mavinic Kaitlyn Maycock Jan McCaghren Heather McCance Isabella McDorman Blair McLorie Jennifer Moorlag Marianne Murphy Stacy Newcombe Deirdre Nunan Pat Nykor Margaret O'Brien Kara O'Brien Deb Parker Isabel T. Parkin Elaine Paterson Susan Patten Lauri Paul Siobhan Peck Donald Peddle Ken Penrose Helen Perry Dianne Piaskoski Penelope Potter Robert Quart Dawn Quast Joelyn Ragan Elizabeth Renfrew Pamela Rice Marina Rispin Anne Robinson

Yvonne Rosenberg Elizabeth Rouw Pat Russell Kathryn Schleit Patricia Shane Margo Smith Cynthia Stevenson Mark Tobin Noreen Turvolgyi Madge Twolan Anna Vandendries Mary Vincent Marina Walker Laura Walsh Dale Watson Margaret Webert Dorothea Weiland Marie Wetmore Linda White Heather Wilberforce Paul Wong Elizabeth Wynne Patti Wynnychuk Valerie Zaloum Jill Zelmanovits

Trefoil Guilds 1st Canadian Internet Trefoil Guild 1st Humber Glen Trefoil Guild 1st Kingston Trefoil Guild

We would also like to thank those who have chosen to give anonymously.

Foundations and Corporate Supporters Actuarial Foundation of Canada Barrett Family Foundation Bayer Dare Foods Limited

Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada TD FEF Tree Planting Grant Program The Masonic Foundation of Ontario WBE Canada

To find out how you can support Girl Guides of Canada: Online: Search for Girl Guides of Canada, or Visit to download the donation form. Phone: (416) 487-5281 ext. 299


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In Memoriam GGC Tributes (June – October 2017)

Margaret Everett, ON Barbara Filliter, ON Arlene Hayden, MB Virginia Huggins-Egan, ON Jean Hughes, ON Edna Irvine, SK Helen Kubbinga, ON B Gwen Liddell, MB Angela Lozon, ON Pat Makulowich, BC Joan Pardely, BC Maria Paul, ON Sheila Ripley, ON Jill Thode, SK Joyce White, ON



Ph o to : Wayne E ardley

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:

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

Erratum In the Beaver Awards listing of the Fall 2017 issue of Canadian Guider (page 45), Beverly Simpson Headon is listed as living in Ontario. Please note that she lives in Alberta. We apologize for the error.

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Meet Our New Guiding Ambassador Krysta Coyle

P hoto: courte s y Kry s ta C oy l e

Girl member. Guider. District Commissioner. WAGGGS delegate to the United Nations. National Link Liaison. Now Krysta Coyle is adding another position to her Guiding resumé – as our new Director-Guiding Experience on the GGC Board and Guiding Ambassador. Krysta’s work as Guiding Ambassador will be focused on making sure we’re offering the kinds of programming that girls really want. She’ll also serve a spokesperson for the organization, attend Guiding events with members across the country, and work with girls and volunteers on offering programming for girls that’s innovative, inclusive and empowering. A strong advocate for gender equality, Krysta believes that the world and Guiding need to hear the voices of more girls and women. “For me, Guiding can be that place where girls feel heard, valued and supported in having control over what happens in their lives,” she says. “Our Guiders play such an important role in making that happen. Together, we are encouraging girls to see themselves as leaders and agents of change today.” Currently, Krysta lives in Halifax and studies at Dalhousie University, where she’s completing her Ph.D. in Pathology, with an interest in breast cancer treatment. Earlier in 2017, we announced we were retiring the title of Chief Commissioner and creating two new leadership roles. Our Chair of the Board, Pamela Rice, leads the Board on governance issues and the strategic operations of GGC, while our Guiding Ambassador oversees membership growth, program delivery and member experience – the very heart of Guiding. Emblemtek_Guider_Winter2017-18.pdf



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Canadian Guider Winter 2018  
Canadian Guider Winter 2018