Girl Guides in the area have been able to hold in-person meetings and activities again, and local members couldn’t be happier.
“It feels really good to be back,” said Keri Tache, the Administrative Community Leader for the North Bay area.
Girl Guide meetings were recently permitted to resume in-person after having to do virtual programming since the beginning of the pandemic.
Tache says that her group in Callander was able to help out the community, coordinating programming through email.
“We asked them to help at home and let us know what they’ve done to help at home or in the community; of course safely and socially distanced. I had a couple of girls clean up their neighbourhood and posted pictures to me and that got them another badge,” she explained.
Girl Guides Canada unveiled its in-person returning strategy earlier in the week, which is taking a regional approach depending on the province and the local health unit’s safety protocols. In Ontario, meetings and activities must take place outside with a maximum of 25 people.
Tache says that the protocols haven’t hindered the excitement from everyone involved in Girl Guides.
“Not only the girls, it’s the guiders too – the volunteers. I was so happy to see these girls faces, even though they were behind a mask, you could still tell that they’re smiling and happy and excited,” she recalled.
Tache says that the new protocols don’t drastically change the activities that girls can take part in.
“The only new thing is mostly being outside,” she noted. “We’ve always done outdoor activities and learning about our environment and our community.” She adds that some units have had girls participate in scavenger hunts and species identification as part of the outdoor programming.”
Although it will be operating slightly differently (with physical distancing and face masks) Tache says that Girl Guides’ role in young girls’ lives remains important.
“Girls can always benefit from a consistent, inclusive space where they feel that they can belong. They can explore, connect with friends and role models and Girl Guides is committed to offering the space,” she finished.