Learning how to drive a nail and use power tools are empowering skills that can make girls feel strong and fearless. Meet some Girl Guides who mastered how to swing a hammer while learning about female entrepreneurship along the way.
In the 12th Toronto Girl Guide Unit this year, we’ve really dived into exploring different career paths and trying our hand at new skills. We’ve done everything from taking a self-defence class with a female boxer and making urban planning maps with our city councillor to learning about some pretty awesome careers at our career night meeting. By far one of our top highlights this year was getting busy with power tools – and the girls totally knocked it out of the park.
We invited the experts at Fix-It Females, a local all-women renovation company, to come in and teach the girls about proper tool use and what it takes to run your own business. After a tour of their tool truck and a few parking lot cheers of “GIRL POWER!” the girls got hands-on lessons on hammering a flush nail, how to use a drill, and how to safely saw wood planks. Energy levels were high as the instructors doled out high-fives and the girls cheered for their friends focused on efficiently hammering a nail.
The girls’ confidence grew as they realized they too could use their strength to complete tasks put in front of them, and be rewarded with cheers from their fellow Guides. As one girl exclaimed as she looked up triumphantly from her wood plank, “Look, I literally nailed it!” (I’m not sure what she was more pleased with, the pun or the nail in the wood.)
While learning how to use power tools like a boss is an important life skill, what was truly rewarding was watching the admiration in the girls’ faces while the Fix-It Females did their demos and talked about the challenges and rewards of their careers. In a world that often tells girls to be quiet and take up as little space as possible, the Fix-It team showed us that women can successfully run a business centered on strength, technical knowledge and a willingness to get their hands dirty.
When girls have the chance to explore new skills in an all-female environment like this, it’s a great way to make them feel empowered and ignite a spark of just what they’re capable of. And that’s just one way Girl Guides helps girls thrive.
Guest post by Rachel Vickerson. Rachel recently returned as a Guider to her own childhood unit of 12th Toronto Girl Guides and is also a member of the National Programming Committee. She is currently completing a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Toronto.