Girl Guides looks to start unit in Saint Andrews

Submitted photo Guides and Pathfinders in St. George enjoying the outdoor experiences offered through Girl Guides. With interest in the program from Saint Andrews girls, the organization is looking for adults to volunteer to offer Girl Guides in the area.

SAINT ANDREWS – Interest is growing in bringing a Girl Guides unit to Saint Andrews.

St. Stephen, St. George, and Blacks Harbour currently offer programming for Sparks, Brownies and Guides, while St. George also offers the Pathfinders program. But no units are up and running in the town of Saint Andrews.

Girl Guides unit guider Vicki Sabean has received growing interest from girls in the Saint Andrews area in regards to establishing a unit in the town.

“Currently, we have had six to 10 potential girl members that have shown interest in joining if a unit were to open in Saint Andrews,” said Sabean in an email to The Courier.

Two or three adult volunteers would be required to operate a multi-branch unit for ages 5 to 11, which covers Sparks, Brownies and Guides.

“We have lots of interest for girls to join but are having a hard time to get volunteers to run the unit,” said Sabean.

Units meet for one or two hours each week with the occasional special event or camp supplementing the programming.

Volunteers are offered free training, awards and recognition, and scholarship opportunities. To become a volunteer, a screening process consisting of a criminal record check, phone interview and submission of two references is required before in-person placement.

Additionally, volunteers complete virtual training and an orientation before placement begins.

As a volunteer herself, Sabean is hopeful members of the Saint Andrews community will consider volunteering their time.

“It feels rewarding to have such a positive impact on girls in our community,” she said.

The Girl Guides of Canada describes their programs as “a place for girls to just be.” The intention of their programming is to provide girls with the confidence to continuously challenge themselves, guiding them on enriching friendship-building experiences.

“I have seen girls develop confidence and personal strengths, girls that have challenged their fears and succeeded … girls that have faced bullying (in school and other activities) have come and built friendships in our program,” said Sabean.

Guides provides an opportunity for friendship among adult volunteers, providing opportunities to socialize and share experiences, and forming a sisterhood.

“I feel like I have found my purpose in Girl Guides and a place of belonging,” Sabean said.

For more information on volunteering or to register as a volunteer, visit https://www.girlguides.ca/web/GGC/.

heatherknight@stcroixcourier.ca