The Girl Guides of Canada get a makeover

Lia Grainger
Shine On

Where have all the Girl Guides gone?

Back in the mid-1990s, a quarter million Guides in uniform touted cookies and earned badges across Canada. Today, those numbers have dwindled to about 90,000, and now the organization has unveiled new uniforms, a new cookie box, a new chief commissioner, and a range of new programs in the hopes of drawing young Canadian women back into the Guiding fold, reports the Globe and Mail.

Guiding has been around since 1910, promoting values of resourcefulness, respect and community service to Canadian girls and young women for more than a century. But like many youth groups — Scouting has also witnessed a decline — Girl Guides of Canada has had trouble staying relevant. So, according to a press release titled "New chief, new uniform, new green initiative, new Day of the Girl", the Guides are making some changes.

First, the uniform. No more tunics! Apparently the modern girl is looking for something comfortable and versatile, so the Guides have gone with a T-shirt that comes in a range of colours reflecting each girl's Guiding level. According to the Guides, the new T-shirt uniform "reflects the dynamic and cohesive organization that Girl Guides is today.

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The Guides also have a new chief commissioner, East Coaster Sharron Callahan. "We want to be contemporary and in line with where girls see themselves and where they see the world as it is today," Callahan told the Globe. "We believe that we are changing and we can continue to change."

Part of that change is a new program called Operation Earth Action, a series of community-oriented activities that focus on environmental protection, sustainability, and awareness.

And because keeping up with the kids these days means having some sort of Internet presence, the Guides have created a bunch of new material for their YouTube channel, including a new ad campaign and a "Girl Greatness Playlist" to celebrate the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child this coming October 11.

And then there's that cookie box, perhaps the change the general public will feel the most acutely, but you'll have to wait to see what they've come up with — the box will not be revealed until mid-October.

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