Today, Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC) received an incredible historic honour – we were presented with a Heritage Plaque from the Government of Canada recognizing our impact on girls and women over the past century. To celebrate this momentous occasion we hosted an unveiling ceremony with Parks Canada at the GGC national office in Toronto. In attendance were current girl members and Unit Guiders; our Chief Commissioner Pamela Rice and CEO Jill Zelmanovits; past GGC Chief Commissioners; and the first Canadian female astronaut and lifetime GGC member Dr. Roberta Bondar.
For more than 100 years, Guiding has been the place where girls and young women can challenge themselves, put their ideas into action, and gain the skills that allow them to fulfill their potential. Over seven million Canadian girls and women have been involved in Guiding – and they have gone on to do extraordinary things. They are our mothers, our neighbours, our doctors, engineers, police officers, entrepreneurs and artists. They are our mentors, volunteers and leaders, active in every aspect of our communities and society. They are our trailblazers and change makers and mark many firsts for females in Canada.
Trailblazers like Dr. Bondar, who addressed the guests at our national office and on Facebook Live. She mentioned that the very first wings she ever earned were her Brownie wings, and that they are still an inspiration to this day – in fact they travelled with her on the Discovery mission.
“I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences in Guiding,” said Andrea Chakma, a Ranger and Girl Assistant with the 285th Guides in Mississauga, who also spoke during the ceremony. “It has empowered me to be the best that I can be and continue to learn and explore different avenues of life. I’ve had the chance to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. I truly believe that without Guiding I would not be the person I am today. It’s taught me – and thousands of other girls – that I can do anything I set my mind to.”
Empowering, challenging and inspiring – that’s what Guiding is about.
“Know that you have one thing in common,” Dr. Bondar concluded. “You believe in
yourselves. And you believe in opening up the world to others through the eyes of a confident, beautiful human being. That’s what Guides has given me, and I know that’s what Guides is giving you.”
Today we truly celebrated the power of girls, and the fact that Guiding will continue to make a mark on Canada – and the world – one girl at a time.