Girl Greatness Starts Here: Thoughts from a New Guider

Today’s we have a wonderful repost by Guest Blogger, and now, new Guider, Karen, who shared her thoughts about Girl Greatness and why she took on a role she never imagined she would: being a Unit leader. Thank you Karen for allowing us to share this with our audience. We know they will enjoy the read and offer any support to you that they can!


There are so many posts I have swirling around in my head and none of them have been moulded into anything publishable. I want to tell you about our time at the cottage, about the creative project that my daughter Emily and I finally completed, about Emily’s birthday and about my sudden desire to get this house organized (one can only tolerate squalor for so long).

Instead I’m going to tell you about something I know virtually nothing about: Girl Guides of Canada.

Emily has been part of a Sparks unit (the youngest group in Girl Guides) since she was eligible at 5 years old. She finished Sparks last spring and was keen on moving up to Brownies. The difficulty was that most Brownie units are held in the evening, finishing around 8:15 pm. That’s not good for a girl whose school hours are 8:00 am to 2:30 pm and who requires about 11 hours of sleep to be tolerable. So I toyed with the idea of starting an after-school Brownie unit held at Emily’s school. I talked to my friend Julie about it (a seasoned Guider). She was keen to get back into Guiding after a long break and said that she would run the new unit with me. Girl Guides was very interested in my idea and after a couple of phone conversations and a screening, Bob’s your uncle. The Unit is starting this September.

Um, yikes.

I was never a Brownie or a Guide (although I openly coveted the chance to wear that brown pleated uniform and matching tam). I know very little about the organization save for the delicious cookies. But, I totally believe in this organization and what they stand for and what they’ve given to Emily. Here is Girl Guides Canada’s Mission Statement:

Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada enables girls to be confident, resourceful and courageous, and to make a difference in the world.

And then there is this excerpt from their program description:

The program fosters creativity, a wide variety of interests, self-esteem, healthy living, initiative, self-reliance, resourcefulness, leadership and the development of core personal values.

and this about Girl Engagement:

By developing and implementing girl engagement at all levels of our organization, we enable girls to develop leadership and life-skills and in turn improve their communities, their country and the world.

How could I not be fully supportive and excited about being involved? This is girl empowerment at its best. This is fostering and supporting a generation of strong, independent and confident women. I’m fully dedicated to that.

So, even though I’m starting down this road blindfolded (albeit with a friend with a map along for the ride), I’m excited.

If you have a daughter in Ottawa and are looking for a great activity for her this year and are interested in the after-school Brownie Unit, contact me and I’ll send you all the details!

Guest Blogger and Guider Karen

By guest blogger and Guider Karen. Read more from Karen on her personal blog Virtually There.


Comments about this post? Please do share! We’re interested in your comments and ideas, so today we’ve launched our first Blog Poll! We hope you can help us find out the answer to our question: What type of blog posts interest you the most? Add your response as a comment to this post or email us: GGCBlog (@)

Blog Poll #1: What type of blog posts interest you the most?
a) about Guiding issues (for example, Why Girls REALLY need Guides)
b) about Guiders and their experiences in Guiding (for example, Confessions of Urban Guider)
c) advocacy issues around girls in general (for example, makeup for children)
d) book club and education or safety posts
e) all of the above
f) other/I’d love to read posts about: _____________

A heartfelt thank you for your time!

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5 Responses to Girl Greatness Starts Here: Thoughts from a New Guider

  1. Cathy says:

    I always went to Brownies after school! It’s hard these days, with so many parents who work and girls who get bused to school, to offer after school activities as a viable option. I’m glad you can make it work.

    Blog Poll: B, followed by A

  2. Blog Poll:A,B and C

    I am actually starting an after-school multi-level unit consisting of Sparks and Brownies in January. I’m going to start it out of a community school and gear it to lower-income families. I’m kind of scared too. I’ve been a Guider of Guides for now two years, but when this opportunity came up I jumped at the chance. Just looking at the demographics of this school I feel that Guiding is needed. A lot of these girls don’t have positive female role models in their life outside of school and I’m hoping to give them a chance of feeling like they are accepted and belong to something bigger. It’s great to see another woman excited (but scared too) about taking on the role of being the contact Guider. I know that we will succeed….and who knows, maybe the girls will teach us a little about ourselves too. Way to go! Look forward to reading about your adventures in your new endeavour! Welcome to the world of Guiding. I hope it is as rewarding for you as it is for me.

  3. Best of luck with your new unit. I’m sure you will get quite a response. Now that I’m not working, running after school meetings has crossed my mind, but I’m going to see what the needs of the parents/girls are before committing.
    I’d like to see an updated post in a few months, to let us know how you are liking Guiding! Welcome!!

    Blog Poll: A & B

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great Blog Karen!! I know you will have a fantastic year with your Brownies. Just remember you aren’t alone on the journey, you should never feel that way, there are always ‘sisters’ in Guiding with tons of ideas and experiences who would love to share. I am back to Brownies after 20 years away from this age group… this time is with my Daughter and I know it will be a whole new experience. I’m not sure I knew much about forms, ratios and Guiding Policies the first time around although we never put any adults or kids at risk. I remember that we did lots of ‘family outings’, hikes and visits to local places to keep the parents involved, I had 27 girls and we were 2 teenage leaders…. its pretty obvious to me that things have changed, program updated, well published policies and procedures etc. I’m looking forward to a great year with a great group of girls… I can’t wait to find out what they want to do too!

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