Despite the many programs in schools, colleges, and unions that seek to get more women to join the trades, the rates of women in trades have not changed since 2000. Guide Leader and Kootenay Area Public Relations adviser Anne Simonen was aware of these statistics, and reflecting on her own lack of exposure to such careers, organized a trades exploration camp for Pathfinders and Rangers.
The camp was held at Camp Rory — a perfect location for its size and facilities– and was attended by Pathfinders from Kelowna, Castlegar, and Nelson, and a Trex unit from Jaffray. On the camp’s first night, Dr. Marcia Braundy, one of the first women in BC’s Carpentry union, gave a talk about the challenges she faced pursuing a carpentry career, but who also gave valuable advice about being resilient and finding allies. After hearing her talk, Amelia Vernham from the Castlegar unit said she was inspired, saying: “Just because [people] don’t think we are capable doesn’t mean we can’t prove [them] wrong.”
Saturday, the Pathfinders completed hands-on projects relating to electrical, carpentry and metalsmithing trades, which were lead by mostly women tradespeople. Through the day they learned how to use the tools of each trade safely and about different career and training options. The camp had two metalsmiths,including one who is also a welder, who showed the attendees how to make a hook, an electrician who was also an engineer-in-training, who lead the attendees through a simple residential wiring exercise, a journeyman cabinetmaker, a civil engineering technologist, and a construction carpenter.
Not every attendee will pursue a trades career, but now they have met women role models in trades and technology, been empowered to look into non-traditional careers, and get practice working with common construction tools — a valuable skill regardless of any future career. Changing the story of women in trades will take more than a single Girl Guide camp, but for attendees, it might be the first step in changing their own stories.
Granby District Girl Guides are always busy coming up with creative ways to keep the girls engaged with the program.
So far this year, the Grand Forks Girl Guides started out working on hat swaps, their promise and the law as they prepared for enrolment. Cookie sales were a success, including the one at Sears. On top of their regular work, the girls have been able to do some individual badge work at the hall as well as discussing personal safety in different situations. In October, they decorated pumpkins for the Grand Forks Downtown Business Halloween Fest. One of the funnest activities was a science experiment that included a tongue sensitivity test. They frequently do bridging activities with the Pathfinders.
The Grand Forks Pathfinders have made handmade cutlery holders for camp kits, made a list of community service they want to do this year, baked for the Guide’s enrolment ceremony, supervised the pumpkin decorating and participated in the enrolment bridging with the Grand Forks Guides and Midway Pathfinders.
In the West Boundary, the Rock Creek Guiding Unit and the Boundary Guiding Unit were the Honour Guard for the Kettle Valley Remembrance Day service.
The Boundary Guiding Unit’s Pathfinders are planning a sleepover for the Guides and Pathfinders from Grand Forks on Nov. 17 to 18.
Grand Forks Sparks and Brownies started out the year with a fall camp at Camp Rory, which had mild weather given the time of the year and — as always — was a blast. Christina Lake girls joined them at the camp and they worked on the Tidy Camper Crest. The first few meetings were used to get started with the Sparks books and preparing for camp. After camp, they prepared for enrolment, where they chose a butterfly themed enrolment and made decorations and brought treats. Halloween followed with a “bring a friend” event of the Halloween party.
For Remembrance Day, the girls made paper lanterns with poppies on them, created Christmas cards for soldiers and talked about how the Girl Guides participated in war efforts using the book “How the Girl Guides Won the War” by Janie Hampton for some trivia.
All units participated in the Remembrance Day ceremonies in the Boundary.
The Beaver Valley Brownies went on an amazing sleepover at the Vancouver Aquarium last spring! Check out some photos below:
Would you like to participate in an Amazing Race competition while you explore the multicultural diversity of Southwestern BC? The race will have several legs. Your team will receive clues for your destination and challenges that you will need to complete as you make your way to the Pit stops. We will not be eliminating teams and our prizes won’t be worth thousands of dollars but the game will include destinations, road blocks, fast forwards, U-turns and other obstacles just like the real race. Your team will be traveling by boat, train, car, bus or on foot as your travel throughout Southwestern B.C. This race will have an International flavour so that you may even feel like you are no longer in Canada! Each team will be accompanied by a Guider who will be your “camera crew”. You may be staying in hotels, hostels, tents or even Girl Guide camps. Be prepared for an amazing experience!
Fact Sheet – Amazing Race 2016
Grand Forks Guides camped at Camp Rory.
In June Granby District held their district camp at Camp Rory.