Guiding in Canada is celebrating its 100th year, yet here on the Coast it is rapidly shrinking, due to lack of adult volunteers.
It is easy to find girls who are enthusiastic to join this fun, active and all female group however, finding adults to volunteer their time and expertise to become leaders has become increasingly difficult.
According to local leader and publicity person Lisa Baker, Elphinstone district (Gibsons/Roberts Creek) this year had no leaders for Guides, but there are leaders for Sparks, Brownies, Pathfinders and Rangers. Next year there are confirmed leaders only for Roberts Creek Sparks (Kindergarten, Grade 1), Gibsons Pathfinders and Rangers (the oldest girls, Grades 7 to 12).
Leaders for Sparks, Brownies and Guides are needed, or there will not be any Guiding for the younger girls, added Baker.
"I became a Guider because there was no leader for Guides and both of my daughters wanted to join," said Baker. "I leapt in with both feet and do not regret it at all. I have received training and have met numerous wonderful girls, and hope I have been a good influence and example for them. Guides have given my daughters opportunities to travel, to meet people from around Canada and the world and to be positive, caring, active members of our community."
Baker said being a leader has given her the same opportunities and introduced her to a network of great women.
"Becoming a Guider has been a positive experience, and has assisted me in many ways," she said. "It gave me incentive to walk to Skookumchuk, it ensured I have a current first aid ticket, and chances to camp, to plan events, to work in a team, to cook on a buddy burner and to make many crafts."
Becoming a leader may sound like a daunting task but it's not according to Baker.
"The current leaders all work full time at demanding jobs, yet find time and spirit to volunteer," she said. "Sometimes it's hard to be enthused as you head to a meeting, but the girls have a way of invigorating you. I usually leave a meeting with more energy than when I arrived."
Anyone interested about volunteering or finding out more about Guiding on the Sunshine Coast is encouraged to call Angela at 604-886-6511.