Chloe Faught

Chloe Faught

Lack of adults threatens Girl Guides in Greater Victoria

Dozen volunteers needed for Brownies, Sparks, Guides and Pathfinders

Girl Guides of Canada is in dire need of adult volunteers in Greater Victoria, so young girls in Brownies, Sparks, Guides and Pathfinders don’t find themselves missing out on opportunities.

Colene Wood, public relations advisor for the southern Vancouver Island area, says there are leader to girl ratios that need to be met to run a Girl Guide unit, and as it is right now there are some 1,250 girls interested in participating and not enough leaders to meet the need.

“If we got 10 or 15 (new leaders) we would be ecstatic, that would allow us to not close units – but 20 to 25 would be ideal,” she said.

While a unit closure usually results in girls being moved to a different unit nearby – like schools, girl guide units have catchment areas – a lack of skilled adults means fewer opportunities like camps and outdoor trips.

Chloe Faught, a leader for the Girl Guides’ outdoor adventure program Trex, points to camping as an example of where skilled leaders with first aid are mandatory for such an excursion to take place.

“We can get innovative – some leaders with certain skills can be on call (to help out another unit), but everything’s thinner. It makes everything a little bit harder,” she said.

Faught says there are great benefits to adults interested in volunteering, from their own personal growth to training for new skills.

“We have financial trainings, we have enrichment trainings on things like anti-bullying and inclusiveness, there’s conflict resolution training, music training, drama training,” she said. “You can also get reimbursements for third-party training like first aid or FoodSafe.”

It’s through these trainings that Faught says she’s gained the most as a volunteer leader.

“For me, I like that I’ve been able to build up my skill set, and then I enjoy the challenge of finding a way to give that skill to youth,” she said. “The reward you get out of kids going, ‘Yes, I can do this,’ makes it all worthwhile.”

Adult women interested in volunteering as a Girl Guide leader are encouraged to visit bc-girlguides.org/join-guiding.

Leaders must undergo a criminal record check.

kslavin@saanichnews.com