Girl Guides of Canada gets a new look

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You don’t need pleasant weather to pack Mosaic Stadium, but as it turns out, you don’t need the Roughriders either.

Hundreds of girl guides from across the province have descended on Regina to mark a new chapter in the organization’s history.

After more than 100 years, the group is launching a new program that puts young ladies in charge of programming.

“Girls will have the opportunity to tell us what they want to do and not just blindly follow direction,” National Guiding Ambassador Krysta Coyle said. “It’s exciting that they have voice and choice and the ability to take action in their community.”

For older members and some second-generation girl guides, it’s an empowering step forward.

“They don’t really realize how influential their voice can be,” National Youth Council Member Emily Lints added. “I think it’s really good to get their opinions heard and allow them to develop their own thoughts and opinions on what their programming is.”

The ‘Girls First program hopes to be more flexible with online content, and is aimed at changing needs and interests.

While badges, camping, and cookies aren’t going anywhere, other program areas will focus on things like modern money sense and healthy relationships.

“I think it’s really important,” Girl Guides Ranger Calixa McLeod said. “I feel really empowered and it’s cool that I can get opinions from my friends in girl guides and bring it forward. It’s really cool be able to express like ‘this is how we can change and make the program better for everybody.’”

The 15-year-old has been able to travel across Canada through the program, and now serves as a youth and sport leader.

Roughly 800 girl guides from around Saskatchewan gathered at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium Saturday to officially launch the program and share the skills they’ve picked up.

“I’ve learned a bit of medical, some science, some physics, and sometimes math,” 9-year-old Josey Hovdestad noted.

As for programming she’d like to see, Hovdestad hopes to do more camping and perhaps and international trip.

With 70,000 young women registered across the country and nearly three thousand in Saskatchewan, Girl Guides Canada hopes a modern approach will keep numbers trending up.

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