Local Girl Guides, Scouts programs seeking volunteers
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout’s Girl Guides and Scouts programs are excited to roll out another year of programming for local youth. The two groups shared that they’re seeking volunteer help from the community to help run and expand the programs.
“We are in desperate need for guide leaders. It’s down to about four or five of us, and we need a lot more to run these units. We’re actually looking at temporarily merging our sparks and brownies branch just because of the lack of leaders that we have. We really want to keep it going. It’s a great program to have for the kids. It gives them opportunities to earn some independence, some leadership, and getting along with each other,” said Liz Ward, Guide Leader.
“We are currently looking for parent volunteer leaders to be able to enroll more kids. We’d like to expand the program… All of the adults that are helping with the program are on a volunteer basis. The community is really amazing at stepping in and lending their skills and knowledge to our scouts whenever we need that from them,” said Lindsay Young, Group Commissioner for the 1st Sioux Lookout Scout Group.
The 1st Sioux Lookout Scout Group programming runs from the end of Sept. to the middle of June. The programs are gender neutral, and they’re accessible for kids aged five to ten.
“We have two programs running this year. We have a beavers program, which kids that are age five to seven can access. We also have a cubs program, which kids that are age eight to ten can access,” said Young.
“Part of the beavers programming is working on teamwork, social interactions, learning about their community, learning about the outdoors, and building self-confidence and self-esteem. The cubs program is about taking those lessons that they’ve learned from beavers and applying them to teamwork at an older age. They’re working on a more skill-based program in which they’re working towards certificates such as their knife certificate, their fire building certificate, they’re looking at what camping looks like outdoors both in winter and fall, and they are building their leadership skills. They’re also working in the community as well. We like to work within our community and do some volunteer work,” she explained.
The Sioux Lookout Girl Guides starts the third week of Sept. and finishes with an end of year camp in June. The sparks and brownies branch run every Monday night, with the location to be decided, and the guides branch runs every Thursday evening at Sacred Heart School. The programs are accessible for girls age’s five to 12.
“The Girl Guides program actually runs from a variety of age levels, so it starts at sparks for ages five to six, then they go up to brownies for ages seven to eight, to guides for ages nine to 11, and then pathfinders is for ages 11 to 12. Those are the units we have right now. There are other units that kids can go in to, if we have leaders for them,” said Ward.
“Last year Girl Guides did roll out a new program of badges that now syncs through all the levels. They have categories like be well, building skills, into the outdoors, and they learn about the history of Girl Guides and how it started… There are lots of new badges for the kids to earn. With the lower programs, they only had a few badges but now they’ve opened up that door for them. Same goes for the older kids as well; there are so many more opportunities for them too. I think leadership is one of the big things we really strive for in guides and they really get opportunities to be those leaders, to do planning, and to do the fun things they like to do… They’ll tell us their interests, their hobbies, maybe places they’d like to explore in town, and then we go off of that to plan our evenings from there. We do a lot of games, hands-on activities, crafting, cooking, and outdoor things,” she continued.
The registration for both the Sioux Lookout Girl Guides and the 1st Sioux Lookout Scout Group can all be done online.
“They can go to myscouts.ca and they can register as a volunteer and register their child for the program,” said Young.
“Everything is done online now, so you have to go to girlguides.ca and they’ll have to create what’s called a family account but it walks you through everything. The payment is all online, registration is all online, and it will let you know all the information on when we start, where we’re going to be, and it should give our contact information as well,” said Ward.
For those interested in Sioux Lookout Girl Guides, Liz Ward can be contacted at 738-3312. For those interested in the 1st Sioux Lookout Scout Group, the group encourages people to contact the registrar Nancy McCord at [email protected] or Lindsay Young at [email protected]