St. Marys Journal Argus
Danielle Lagace picks up her Girl Guides of Canada program booklet, and turns to the page containing the organization’s “Promise, Laws and Motto.” Going against the suggestion from her mom, Emily, that a newspaper reporter might not want to hear all those finer details, she insists. Danielle feels it’s important information.
Emily, until now a Girl Guide leader in London but looking ahead to starting a new St. Marys troupe for girls ages 9-11 in September of this year, smiles at her daughter.
“Because of their age, we want to try and develop their leadership skills. And that’s something that is easy to do with the way Girl Guides works,” says the new-to-St. Marys mom, affectionately known in the London Guiding community as “Guider Em.”
The Lagace family moved to St. Marys last year but the female half of the family continued to attend Girl Guides events in London until the conclusion of the 2013-14 schedule a few weeks ago. Seated at their dining room table last week, 10 year-old Danielle proudly shows off her four-year participation pin (a year of Sparks, two of Brownies, and one of Girl Guides), as well as the 17 badges — for accomplishments ranging from sports to cooking to gardening and nature activities — that she earned during 2013-14.
“There are some people who have more than me. They have them right around the top of their sash and onto their back,” she enthuses.
“Whatever interest the girls have, chances are there’s going to be a badge for it,” adds Emily. Other activities include field trips, fundraising efforts (including selling the iconic Girl Guides Cookies), and participating in community service.
Having tired of the weekly drive to London, Emily has been making the rounds of area schools, with the intention of re-starting a Girl Guide troupe in St. Marys. Interest among girls, she reports, is high. Registration opens on June 2, online at http://register.girlguides.ca. For information, contact Emily at StMarysGuiderEm@gmail.com or 519-913-2305.
She has already booked the St. James Anglican Church hall for Tuesday evening (6-8 p.m.) meetings beginning in September, 2014 and stretching to May, 2015. But, for the program to be a success, she stresses more adult volunteers are needed.
“It’s an all-girls association, so only women can be leaders,” Emily explains. “I’m hoping to get as many volunteers as possible to ensure there is a spot for all girls who want to attend.”
The minimum requirement is two leaders at any given meeting, and there must be one leader for every 15 Guides.
“I would encourage women to volunteer even if they are only available some of the time — it’s not an ‘all or nothing’ opportunity,” she explains. “Whatever they’re willing to commit. It would be great if we could get one other full-time leader, and then as many part-time helpers as we can.”
For now, only the Girl Guides (ages 9-11) troupe is planned. But, depending on volunteer involvement, it’s possible that Girl Guides-affiliated St. Marys troupes could be organized in subsequent years for both older and younger participants.