‘Sparks’ unit in need of leaders
The Fort Frances Sparks unit of the Girl Guides of Canada is in danger of not opening this year—unless more volunteers step up to help out.
“If we don’t have leaders, we won’t be opening the unit,” stressed leader Monica Armour, noting it is just the Sparks unit (for ages five-six) that is lacking leaders.
“So if somebody has to be away, then they have another person they can count on,” she reasoned.
“And it’s always nice to have more bodies.”
Armour said there has been interest in the Sparks and some children have registered, adding they will be placed on a waiting list until the unit opens—if it does.
She also noted it’s not the first time a local unit has been in danger of closing due to lack of volunteers.
“A few years ago, neither the Sparks nor the Brownies were going to open and then we had some people step forward,” Armour recalled.
“I wasn’t going to do it unless I had more help and they came through.
“Somebody usually steps up but I’ve never known it to be this close to starting and we don’t have anybody,” she warned, noting the units are set to start up next week.
The Sparks meet Mondays from 6:15-7:30 p.m. at J.W. Walker School.
Armour said the requirements for volunteers is pretty simple—they have to be female, over 18 years of age, and able to pass the screening process.
Those interested in volunteering can complete an application form online (www.girlguides.ca) and then go through the screening process, which includes an interview and orientation to guiding, two reference checks, as well as an immediate Police Records Check (PRC) and once every five years thereafter.
“Someone who is interested in working with kids is a must,” Armour stressed, though noting leaders don’t have to have any children themselves.
“And they just have to bring lots of ideas and enthusiasm.”
“Volunteering with Girl Guides of Canada is a rewarding way to help girls and young women develop the best in themselves,” the organization’s website notes.
“The dedication and commitment of our volunteers helps girls develop the qualities and skills that will take them through life. . . .
“When you volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada, not only do you enrich the lives of girls, you gain a personally rewarding experience,” it adds.
Some of the personal and professional development opportunities includes developing skills (such as leadership, event planning, advocacy, communications, and more), participating in mentoring and training programs, international travel, and post-secondary scholarships.
Armour noted for those youth interested in joining Girl Guides, registration is open throughout the year.
“We don’t have registration at the beginning of the year—girls can join at any point in the year,” she explained, though noting the registration fee does not change.
Besides the different units that are available for girls aged five-17, Armour indicated there is a program called “Lones” for those unable to attend regular meetings.
“If girls cannot join a regular [unit] because they have something else scheduled at that time, they can continue in Guiding by working long distance with a Guider,” she explained.
“Through mail and e-mail, they are sent program and badge work to do.
“If we are told about them at our local level, we can contact them and have them join us whenever they can,” Armour added.
“Some girls don’t get to join us until the end of the year because their other activity has ended by then.
“And then they can join us for a couple activities. Or if we are doing something on a different night or a Saturday, then sometimes they can join us then.
“So they can still be involved in Guiding in just a different way,” she reiterated. “But a lot of people don’t know about it.”
For more information, visit www.girlguides.ca