Girl Guide Famous

On Friday night, my phone started buzzing. All of my friends were texting me, tweeting me and messaging me on Facebook. As the notifications started to climb, I realized what had happened: Girl Guides had just launched their newest advertising campaign.

Let me take you back two months…

I’m 23. I know a lot of really cool women around my age that are Guiders – but sometimes when people think of Guiders, they forget about my demographic.

They shouldn’t.  After Rangers, the young women who have grown up in this organization, who have become confident, resourceful and courageous, go off to university, some with their awesome Girl Guide scholarships. They spend the summers travelling the world volunteering at World Centres and sit on committees as young Guiders – and are amazing advocates for Girl Guides.

And yet we don’t often see these young women in Girl Guide ads. They are not always the image that comes to mind when Guiding is talked about. That’s why I was so eager to be a part of this photo shoot.

So instead of going out on a Friday night with my friends, I walked into national office and did test shots with the marketing team.  I instantly felt at home. Talking to the marketing team about what they wanted to get out of the shoot and what I wanted to bring, it felt like an instant match.

I guess the team saw something in me, and they brought me back two weeks later to be in the campaign. It was a long evening – we’d take a few photos and then wait for the next set up. Everyone was featured in different photos with different themes. I was photographed with really cute Sparks, energetic Brownies, intelligent Guides, inspiring Pathfinders and some truly amazing Rangers and a group of young Guiders who are truly inspiring. Everyone involved made me proud to be included in the shoot.

At the end of the evening, we asked where the photos and videos would be shown – we were told the video the Guiders had contributed to would go in front of movies at Cineplex starting mid-May. We looked at each other, laughing wouldn’t it be cool if it was in front of Pitch Perfect 2?

That was exactly where it would run.

We had a collective freak out. One Guider was bringing her Pathfinders as a group to see the movie. I knew that not only would my Pathfinders check out the movie, all of my friends would be seeing it, too.


So of course on Friday evening my phone started blowing up.

‘PAULA – I JUST SAW YOU ON THE BIG SCREEN AT THE MOVIES!!!!!!!!! You were in the Girl Guides commercial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE FAMOUS!!!!!! I’m proud to know such a super star!’

 ‘So I’m at the movies and you were in a commercial! I actually shouted “I know her”! Congrats!’

‘You were in a Girl Guides commercial before pitch perfect 2 and I died’,

 ‘I saw it start and I’m like woah I wonder if Paula will be in it since you are the only thing I know about the Girl Guides, and there you were.’

‘You’re a famous movie star! Saw you in the theater with your Pax Lodge pin! Love it!’

 ‘Thought my eyes were deceiving me at first. Great job!’ 

My Guiding friends love this – they think it’s great that Guiding is getting a bigger public profile and they think it’s hilarious that I’m in the video. But what they really love is that 20-somethings are getting featured.

But it’s my non-Guiding friends that are talking about the commercial even more. For the first time ever they’re actually asking me what I do in Guiding, not just asking me when they can get cookies.  A few have even asked how they can register.

I could not be prouder to be involved in this campaign and I can’t wait to meet all the new Guiders we attract.

By guest blogger Paula Sanderson. Paula is a Guider with the 70th Toronto Pathfinder unit.


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3 Responses to Girl Guide Famous

  1. So nice to see the young women in this organization getting some recognition! Way to go ladies, you keep Guiding alive!

  2. Kathryn says:

    This is such an amazing video!! I have shared with my National Organisation – it wouldn’t take much to get some enthusiastic Young Leaders to do something similar here in little old New Zealand. I’m a Leader for all the reasons you have all mentioned – and damned proud of it too!!

  3. Beth says:

    So cool! Congrats, Paula!

    I think the conversation about “what happens after Rangers” is another conversation we really need to have. Since sparks was developed 20-something years ago, we now have girls leaving Rangers who’ve been in the program from the age of 5. They can’t remember not being involved in guiding.

    The only time I wasn’t involved in Guiding was when I went to university. Sure, there was Link, but it wasn’t really appealing to me. Maybe it just wasn’t marketed to me enough, but I felt like Link was a way to be connected but not a way to be involved. So many times I thought about being a spark leader in my new university town, but I wasn’t sure where to pursue it and I never took those steps.

    Guider is the logical next step after Ranger. When girls finish Guides we direct them to Pathfinders when they finish Pathfinders we direct them to Rangers. We should have a program in place to match Rangers to units where they can be Guiders, taking into account the fact that many of them are relocating for university after they graduate.

    I believe there’s a huge pool of women in their early 20s who want to be involved but don’t get back into Guiding until they have children of their own. These recent-rangers know guiding better than most new Adult members. They’re full of songs, games, activities and guiding traditions and memories. It’s a fount of experience that needs to be exploited.

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