A young Girl Guide visits with a senior at Peace Portal Lodge during a Halloween parade in White Rock.

A young Girl Guide visits with a senior at Peace Portal Lodge during a Halloween parade in White Rock.

Spots open with local Girl Guides

It’s not often that space is available for those interested in Girl Guides on the Semiahmoo Peninsula to jump into the program mid-year.

It’s not often that space is available for those interested in Girl Guides on the Semiahmoo Peninsula to jump into the program mid-year.

In fact, there were some Peninsula girls who remained on a waiting list for most of the year in 2010, leader Helen Samson said.

Fortunately, this year is different.

At least two local Girl Guide troupes – including Samson’s – currently have openings for girls aged nine to 12 years old.

Getting involved is a chance for girls to learn new skills, make new friends, get involved in the community and try things they may otherwise not have an opportunity to, Samson said.

“They do stuff that they wouldn’t normally do at home,” she said. “And they get to do it with a bunch of other girls their own age.”

Samson knows firsthand the benefits of Guiding. She was a Guide herself before taking on the role of a leader. Her two daughters, Megan and Jenna, are also involved.

In both daughters, Samson has seen gains in confidence. She has also seen them develop an awareness beyond themselves.

“It makes them much more aware of who they are in the community. Just keeps them aware that they’re just part of a bigger picture,” she said.

Recently, the local groups helped in a planting effort at Blackie Spit; they also paid a Halloween visit to seniors at Peace Portal Lodge and participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Susan Richards de Wit, leader of the 1st Kla How Ya troupe, said the girls also get involved with organizations such as Sources at Christmas.

She described Guiding as a leadership program that puts emphasis on mentorship, stewardship, environmental planning and action, as well as friendship.

It’s “a way of getting out in the community and learning… an opportunity for girls to be rewarded while they’re giving back,” she said.

Support and resources in the way of scholarships and opportunities for international travel are also available.

For more information on Girl Guides or to register, email jpbattie@shaw.ca or visit www.girlguides.ca