Say ‘Hello!’ to Krysta Coyle, our new Guiding Ambassador. She collaborates with girls and volunteers to make sure we’re offering innovative, inclusive and empowering programming, while also serving as a Girl Guide spokesperson. Krysta has been a girl member, Guider, District Commissioner and represented Guiding at the United Nations. (Oh, and she just wrapped up her Ph. D in Pathology, with a focus on breast cancer.) Krysta shares why this is the ultimate time to be part of Girl Guides in Canada. (Psst! It’s not just about the cookies – although they are pretty tasty.)
Q: It feels like we’re having this powerful moment – where youth are increasingly exploring ways to take action and amplify their voices on the issues that matter to them. What’s your take on this?
Youth activism isn’t new: whether it’s racism, gender inequality, police violence, First Nations’ issues or the environment, youth have been at the forefront of social change for decades. I don’t know if it’s really that today’s youth are more active, or if adults are just more willing to listen, but this is an essential moment to take note of what youth are saying.
The teens and young adults I know are so intelligent, totally engaged, and looking for opportunities to have an impact in their community. I know young people have a lot to contribute to the world, and the girls and young women I’ve met through Guiding are more prepared for civic engagement than most adults would think. At the same time, we need to be clear that they’re not in it alone: adults have a responsibility to support youth as changemakers. Guiding is a powerful environment where girls are leading with choice, voice, and the scope to take action on issues that are important to them. Girls are ready to change the world and I am so here for it.
Q: Why is this such an exciting time to be part of Girl Guides of Canada?
There is so much momentum around us in terms of recognizing the unique experiences of girls. I’m hearing from girls how important it is to feel valued and supported in contributing to their Guiding experience, which is why I’m so excited for our brand-new girl-driven programming to launch this fall. At GGC, we’ve always been most successful when we listen to girls, and our new Girls First program is being built with input from girls of all ages. Our volunteers are so excited to be working with (and learning from!) girls on topics that are important to them.
Q: We know how much fun girls have in Guiding. But why do you think women come back year after year to volunteer with us?
Personally, I can barely begin to express what it’s meant to me to be a Girl Guide volunteer. I think it all comes down to how powerful it feels to be helping girls be the leaders I know they already are. To be a mentor, to have an impact on a girl in your neighbourhood – those are meaningful things. There’s just something so powerful about hearing, ‘I can’t,’ turn in to, ‘I can. Of course, working on self-acceptance and self-compassion with girls always reminds me to believe in myself, too!
Q: What are you looking forward to most in your new role as Guiding Ambassador?
I can’t wait to see Guiding in action across Canada – from units in rural communities to girls and women meeting in downtown community centres. I want to hear from our members directly about how diverse the lives of girls are and understand how GGC can best meet their needs.
I’m also just really looking forward to having all kinds of fun! Juggling, camping, dancing, experimenting, and being silly with girls and adults alike. 😊
Q: Finally, dive into this tasty Canadian debate – what’s your favourite Girl Guide cookie?
No question here – vanilla cookies, please! I sometimes trade a row of chocolate cookies with a friend who is willing to part with their vanilla. I’ll definitely be picking up a few boxes during Cookie Days in Canada April 7-8.
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