Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) is a 100-plus-year-old foundation that’s surprisingly modern. Built on empowerment and letting girls be themselves, the program — which focuses on eight themes — is specially designed to inspire confidence while addressing the unique challenges girls of today face. If you’re looking for an afterschool activity that has it all, read on for the valuable life skills — all taught at an age-appropriate level — girls will learn when they join. Earning badges is rewarding, but the skills they learn in Girl Guides will help them throughout their lives.
It’s important to start at the beginning. The focus of this theme is on welcoming new members into the sisterhood and looking back on how Girl Guides started and the important milestones along the way. Really about meeting new friends while building knowledge of Girl Guide Associations around the world, badges are earned through fun activities and games like trivia, crafts and campfire singalongs.
It’s never too early to harness practical life skills and the Build Skills badges are a great segue into real-world experiences. Girls earning them will explore leadership styles, career paths, time management, independence and hands-on skills like cooking and baking, toolkit building, tinkering and how to care for a bike or a car.
Girls rule the world and the great outdoors. Girl Guides exploring this theme are invited to take a closer look at the nature all around them from birds and squirrels outside their windows to wildlife in national parks and how to protect them. An exciting camping trip will build core memories and teach outdoor survival skills and hiking trail safety. Girls will plant seedlings, learn knot ties, build a birdhouse and workshop ways to be better inhabitants of the Earth by reducing waste and upcycling.
There’s a lot of beauty in self-discovery and personal identity. The world is filled with peer pressures, toxic beauty standards and negativity, so to combat this, girls are encouraged to use positive affirmations and to take a deep dive into their personal skills and dreams. It’s important to love yourself. It’s also important to love others and this theme uses a series of activities to teach diversity and gender, inclusive language, how to create community and be an ally to friends and neighbours.
Girl Guides continues the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learning that kids get in school with fun activities and experiments. Girls at this level will explore how the world works, challenge expectations and put their own special stamp on everything they do. There are no problems, only solutions and badges are earned through practical experiments and case studies like building instruments, exploring space, creative writing, sketching out solutions and skits.
Teamwork does, in fact, make the dream work, but before you can be of service to others, you need to take care of yourself. And since emotions and coping skills develop at different paces, the Be Well theme puts emphasis on mental health, physical health and relationships. It touches on everything from body changes and feelings — what makes you happy and what makes you sad? — to navigating stress, recognizing when a break is needed, the importance of movement, how to set boundaries and how to be a good friend.
Life’s all about connections. From networking to building community, the Connect and Question theme helps girls hone in on their local communities and pan out to big picture issues by meeting local politicians, learning about human rights and think-tanking what peace means through art. They will also explore the beauty of multiculturalism, and discover why it’s imperative to be empathetic and caring changemakers in the future.
Your voice, your choice, your action! It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in and make change. Girls will be challenged to brainstorm how to help the planet, animals and others, now and in the future. They’ll learn about girls who have spoken up for change, compare and contrast advocacy versus service, and will action those discoveries by volunteering in their community.
Girl Guides gives girls the skills and tools they need to navigate the world. Guides are smart, compassionate, knowledgeable, empathetic and ready to create meaningful change. Don’t miss your spot. Sign up now.
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