Do you know any girls who give you grief about wearing their uniform, or having to sit beside so-and-so at a meeting? Is this maybe you, a leader, some weeks when you’re tired and stressed and unprepared? The next time this situation comes up, take a deep breath and consider yourself lucky! You’re one of the lucky girls or women in Canada who get to meet with a bunch of enthusiastic others, and collaborate, play together, and enjoy the many benefits of meeting as a group.
What about the girls who cannot attend local meetings?
Girls may only have one meeting night to choose from, live too far for regular meetings, or have other barriers keeping them from attending local meetings. Girl Guides of Canada has thankfully thought about these young ladies, so they do not have to miss out on many of the benefits that Girl Guides provides. This program is called Lones, and allows girls to complete the program with their family or on their own, with a schedule that fits their life.
Speaking for the 1st Ontario Lone Sparks and the 1st Ontario Lone Brownies, the girls still learn new skills, make memories, express themselves creatively, and have just as much fun as one might have at a Unit meeting! With a little bit of leader creativity and flexibility, Sparks and Brownies are able to accomplish a wide array of Keepers, Keys, Badges, and Challenges. The program goes at a pace that works for each family, and the topics can be specific to each girls’ interests.
One of my Lone girls let me know that her family was going to an Observatory. I whipped up a version of the Special Interest Key to STEM Badge, consulting the website of a local observatory, and doing a bit of research.. and voila! The program gets done.
One of my Brownies has a very active family, and has kept me filled in with all the exciting things she does and learns. She earns badges left, right, and centre from just being a part of the family she’s in! For example, she’s earned badges for making a pencil box with her Grandpa, for regularly helping in her community in various ways, for taking care of a horse and performing at a show, and for “greening” her home with composting, gardening, and recycling. Yes, girls in local Units could likely be credited for similar activities in their lives, but the great thing about Lones is that their parents tend to be very involved!
The Lone program across Canada may be a bit different from what you recognize Girl Guides to be, but the core beliefs are still there! And hey, one benefit of Lones is that they get a whole lot more fun mail in their mailbox!
By guest blogger and Guider Bri Arnold. Bri is the 1st Ontario Lone Sparks and Brownie Guider, a Guider with the 111th London Brownies, and a Community Guider. She is back at College for ECE, and is still involved with summer camps! Read more on GirlGuidesCANBlog from Bri: Lending a Hand to Camp.
Looking to learn more about the Lones program? Here’s a video created by Alberta Lones Chyanne for her badge work: