Many people have said Canada's Boy Scouts and Girl Guides movement, imported into Canada and United States from England in the last century, are responsible for the development of some of our finest citizens. If that's the case, Elliot Lake may be on the cusp of turning out a whole new generation of great Canadians.
After 12 years away, the Girl Guides have returned to Elliot Lake.
In April of this year Tiffany McEwan and her family moved here from Sault Ste. Marie.
She's been involved in Girl Guiding most of her life and decided even before she arrived in town she wanted to start a Girl Guide group in Elliot Lake.
Even when she was in final stages of pregnancy last spring, media exposure for the idea indicated strong local support. In fact once word got out, 143 girls registered for the program before it had even been set up. Their first meeting took place Monday (Sept. 10) at George Vanier school and attracted 17 girls interested in getting involved. The Guides meet each Monday night at the school during the school year (excluding PD Days and holiday Mondays).
Girls as young as five can register for Sparks (5- and 6-year-olds) Brownies fill the 7- and 8-year-old age group. Girl Guides range from 9- to 11-years-old. Beyond that are Pathfinders (12- to 14-year-olds) and Rangers (15- to 17-year-olds). McEwan says girls need to register online at the Girl Guides of Canada website.
All in, it costs $179 to get registered for the program. In addition, Girl Guide uniforms are also necessary for the initiates. They too can be purchased online at the Girl Guides of Canada website.
On average shirts are $20 to $25. Pants sell for for $36 dollars. Each Girl Guide also needs the outfitted with her tie ($11) and sash ($10).
McEwan says Girl Guides continue to attract strong support in this country. That despite the fact that the Boy Scouts, like their American counterparts, are accepting girls as in their organization. There is no Boy Scout troupe in Elliot Lake, a fact which McEwan attributes, at least in part, for the Guides' strong acceptance in this community. For more information on becoming a Girl Guide, or other questions, you can call Tiffany McEwan at 705-971-3080.
The Guides tout themselves as "a place where girls lead the way, seek new challenges, find their voice, discover how they make a difference in their world, make friends - and have a ton of fun. All in a safe, supportive, inclusive space."