Kylar Tennart poses with Diamond Isinger’s card at Rally on the Shores Nanaimo (Submitted photo)

Girl, 12, gets B.C. government to give Girl Guides same school credits as boys’ groups

Ladysmith Pathfinder Kylar Tennart advocated for changes to the B.C. external credit program

Right on time for the new school year, the B.C. Ministry of Education has made a change — prompted by B.C. Girl Guide advocacy — that will benefit teen girls enrolled in Girl Guides across the province.

Effective September 1, Girl Guides will receive four credits for achieving the Canada Cord, and the Trailblazer Leadership Gold Award, for a total of 8 possible graduation credits, which is equivalent to two high school classes. This change will bring the Girl Guides credit in line with similar groups.

Under the B.C. government’s external credits program, B.C. teens can receive high school graduation credit for approved programs, like Cadets, Scouts, Girl Guides, etc. To qualify, programs must be governed by a provincial, national, or international body; have certified instructors, be non-discriminatory, and offer credentials to a number of students throughout B.C.

Kylar Tennart, a 12-year-old Ladysmith Pathfinder, (the 12-14 bracket of Girl Guides) noticed that Girl Guides received only two credits for achieving the Canada Cord, a prestigious award given to guides who put their leadership skills into action. The same was true for the Trailblazer Leadership Gold Award for girls aged 15-17.

Under the previous system, Girl Guides who achieved both awards would receive only four graduation credits. Given the difficulty of achieving these awards, Tennart believed Guides deserved more credit. At the “Rally on the Shores” Girl Guides event in Nanaimo, Tennart approached Girl Guides provincial commissioner Diamond Isinger with her “big idea”.

“Kylar came up with the idea and said, ‘I want this change to be made’… I gave her my business card, and I said ‘send me an email with more details’. She emailed immediately after the event that evening. So, I knew she meant business, and she really cared about making this change for other girls,” Isinger said.

Following Tennart’s feedback, Insinger did research on the topic, and found Girl Guides were receiving significantly less credits than organizations that catered to traditionally male audiences, such as Cadets, 4-H, and Scouts — even though their awards require similar learning outcomes, time and effort.

The B.C. Girl Guides then reached out the B.C. Ministry of Education. The ministry was open-minded and collaborated with the Girl Guides on implementing the change. Isinger said that the B.C. Girl Guides have been developing programs that align closely with the new provincial curriculum.

“There’s a lot of focus on personal growth, and having a growth mindset where you’re constantly trying to improve yourself, to discover new things, and challenge yourself. That’s what we’re all about,” Isinger said. “I think it’s terrific. We’re always looking for more attention for the amazing contributions our girls make through the program.”

For Tennart, this development has come as a big surprise. She said she didn’t expect the government to listen to her idea at all.

“I thought that they wouldn’t approve of it,” she said. “I have a lot of emotions right now. It feels good because I know that I’m changing something.”

The change could potentially impact thousands of girls in B.C. as the Girl Guides are seeing increased enrolment across the province.

Currently, the Girl Guides are looking for adult women to volunteer as Guide leaders. Some B.C. communities have large wait lists to join Girl Guides because demand is high, and there is not enough volunteer capacity to meet demand. No experience is required. The Girl Guides will provide training, and have flexible volunteer hours.

“We’re doing a lot of exciting things as an organization,” Isinger said. “There are a lot of communities that are growing in B.C. very quickly. Lots of new families are moving to those communities, and lots of children are being born in those communities… We’re always trying to find those inspiring, amazing women to be those champions.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP supporters make noise during rally outside city hall

‘Keep the RCMP in Surrey’ leader Ivan Scott says municipal force ‘not a done deal’

International South Asian expo pitched for Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

Mayor Doug McCallum says the idea ‘shows a lot of promise’

White Rock council declares disapproval of ride-hailing rules

City to submit resolution to UBCM, send letter to B.C. Passenger Transportation Board

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Developer offers free Tesla 3 with purchase of South Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Most Read

l -->