Last year’s Pathfinders unit. This photo was part of their “Camera Crazy” badge.
AMHERST - Amherst Girl Guides units are starting up again this September and they want girls and women to join.
This year Amherst is offering four of the five youth branches of Girl Guides: Sparks (ages five to six), Brownies (ages seven to eight), Guides (ages nine to 11) and Pathfinders (ages 12 to 14).
The units will start meeting the week of Sept. 11. Sparks, Guides and Pathfinders meet Mondays at 6:30 p.m. and Brownies meet Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
All branches meet upstairs in Heartz Hall at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church. Parents can bring their girls to the first meeting even if they have not been registered yet.
Parents today have so many extracurricular activities to consider for their girls that Girl Guides often gets brushed aside, but Ena Harris, Girl Guides community contact, wants them to know that they will learn invaluable lessons.
“It’s about working together, using your skills, and discovering what skills you have that may be in any other program you wouldn’t have noticed you had,” she said.
Girls participate in a wide variety of activities, including camping, community service, recreation and leadership activities. They earn badges and awards for their work.
The Amherst guiding community is in need of volunteers and would benefit greatly from anyone who joins, no matter if they have experience or not. Those interested can contact Harris with questions, to be followed by an interview and screening process.
“I’m convinced that there’s probably women out there that would look for something to do once a week and be able to give back to some little girls that need their guidance,” said Harris. “These women, they value what they do, they put their heart and soul into it.”
As for cookies, the units will be hosting a fall cookie blitz on Oct. 14 (possible rain date of Oct 21). Girls will be going door-to-door around town selling chocolate-mint cookies and money collected greatly supports their units. The classic chocolate and vanilla cookies will be sold in the springtime.
Girls who stick with guiding until their teen years can get the chance to participate in domestic and international experiences and apply for scholarships. One local Girl Guide, Clara Langille-Schumann, is going to Europe this summer with her Ranger unit based out of Colchester.
Girl Guides of Canada is part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, the largest organization in the world for girls and women.
“The dynamics are changing for women and I think Girl Guides has kept up with that,” said Harris. “I think that we’re a progressive organization overall.”
Anyone looking for information can contact Ena Harris at 902-667-4413 or at email@example.com.
Registration can be made online at girlguides.ca, with a fee of $100. Girl Guides of Canada is one of the programs that qualify for Jumpstart funding.