“Girl Guides really gets it! They care about our voices and they’re ready to listen.” That’s what I was thinking last year when applications opened for Girl Guides of Canada’s first National Youth Council.
Now, five months into my term, I can honestly tell you that GGC’s promise to hear us was completely authentic and true. Not only are we being taken seriously, our ideas and experiences are truly being valued and taken into account when decisions are made about Guiding.
These are all fancy words that are nice to say, but how is this relevant to you? Why should you be supportive of the Youth Council and ultimately apply to join? Because this is not just for show – Girl Guides is putting girls front and centre, where they should be.
I originally applied to the council on a whim. It looked like fun and I like to be involved. And then I submitted my application and I was accepted. I was actually on the National Youth Council and I was going to have to speak up for girls across Canada.
Hooray!? This is what I wanted, no? That’s when my internal Debbie Downer started playing in my head. It’ll be lame. They won’t listen. They won’t like you.
So you can imagine I came into our first meeting a bit unsure. We awkwardly said “hello” over Google Hangouts and told each other what kind of weather we would like to be in an icebreaker. Then Madeleine, our amazing chair, started telling us the goals of our term and the tangible actions we would take. As she revealed the council’s future, my confidence was boosted. This was going to be great! We are going to be doing important stuff and this was not all just for show.
When the council first met for a face-to-face orientation meeting, it was magical. As we bonded over playing spoons on the floor of the airport, you could really feel that something great was coming together. After meetings and team-building activities the group dynamic was strong.
So far throughout my term, we’ve participated in conference calls to discuss what matters to girls in Guiding and had the chance to give our opinions on lots of new projects Guiding has on the go. They are searching for OUR youthful opinions on things that will affect Girl Guides as a whole! We were truly representing girls – that definitely makes you feel like you’re actually making an impact.
So, what are you waiting for – get started on your National Youth Council application. If you become a member, know that your open-minded, inclusive, inspired co-members will encourage you to your full potential and help inspire ideas you have never even considered before.
Guest post by Sophie McCafferty, a member of GGC’s National Youth Council. Sophie is a 17-year-old from town Saint-Lazarex, Quebec, who’s passionate about the environment and its link with happiness and creativity. She proudly defines herself as ‘different,’ an activist and beekeeper.