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Empowering girls through Girl Guides

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Girl Guides of Manitoba offers all kinds of opportunities and experiences to local children.

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Girl Guides of Manitoba offers all kinds of opportunities and experiences to local children. Photo Store

Being a parent is a thankless job, as many know and can relate. But quite often it is the small things that shine through and let you know you are doing right things for your child.


So last week I was pleasantly surprised when my 10-year-old daughter Katrice ran up to me, wrapped her arms around me tight and spontaneously declared, "Thank you! Thank you so much Mom for signing me up for Girl Guides!"


I would never have thought such a simple act would bring about so much positive excitement.
When I went to www.girlguides.ca to find a local chapter last fall, I found the closest one to Island Lakes was Unit 232 located in Windsor Park.


Currently this chapter has three Girl Guide Leaders — Stacy, Julia and Marla —  and it can accommodate up to 20 girls., There’s still room, as right now about 12 girls attend every week. It’s amazing how interesting and varied these ladies can make each meeting as the girls are excited about going every week, anticipating their next adventure.


I never realized how much joy and happiness a two-hour weekly activity would give our little girl. It’s her chance to try new things with other girls her age and to participate in life-long lessons.


Our first experience with Girl Guides was selling cookies the initial week.


Oh, those famous little delicious morsels — they practically sell themselves, as everyone who greeted the girls was more than helpful in wanting to buy some boxes.


It was nice to see that some people suffering from diabetes — who would not be able to eat the cookies — insisted on giving the troupe a donation. The cookies for sale last fall were chocolate mint. This spring, the Girl Guides will sell the infamous Cookies n’ Cream.


Other activities the girls have been involved with so far have been overnight indoor-camping at Oak Hammock Marsh, a tour of the army base, making their own first aid kits and so much more.


These different activities provide the girls a chance to work toward badges for their sashes (cookie sales also let the girls work toward a badge). Girl Guides keeps true to its roots and provides a variety of opportunities to develop skills and interests that they may not have had the chance to try before.


Will our daughter keep with it?


Hard to say but I hope she does. I know that, for now, it has made a difference in her life by challenging her and showing her the different experiences and lessons that will keep her engaged and wanting to keep learning more about the world around her.

Jasmine van Gerwen is a community correspondent for Island Lakes. She can be reached at jasvangerwen@shaw.ca

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