The National Youth Council provides input and insights to Girl Guides of Canada's Board of Directions on the issues impacting girls' lives. Through consultation with other girls and youth, the council dives into what matters to girls and ensures that girls' voices and perspectives are front and centre in decisions shaping the future of Guiding.  

The National Youth consists of 9-12 Rangers from across Canada. Each spring, the Youth Council recruits for new members to join the Council. Want to find out more or connect with us? Email: youthcouncil@girlguides.ca

Click on a Youth Council Member's name below to see their profile.

Anya Morgan

Anya
Why are you in Guiding?

Hi! My name is Anya, I live in Canmore, AB, and I'm a first-year Ranger. I'm in Guiding because I think it's an awesome way for girls to have a positive impact on their communities, and because I love being part of a Movement that accepts and supports everyone.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I applied for the Youth Council because I care about the issues facing youth today and want to challenge our society's views on them.

What are your goals for the year?

This year, I hope to broaden my horizons by meeting and collaborating with other members of the Youth Council,  take action on the issues that youth experience and to make the world a more inclusive and supportive place for everyone.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I am a proud, self-proclaimed nerd, para-alpine ski racer, and 70s/80s music enthusiast.

Caitriona Federico

Caitriona
Why are you in Guiding?

I am 15 years old and have been a part of Guiding for over 10 years. I am a part of Guiding because it is an inclusive, safe space for me to share my thoughts and ideas, while gaining new experiences and perspectives that help shape my views. Guiding allows me to grow and learn by providing a variety of different opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise. I meet new people from many different walks of life and create amazing connections and new friendships.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the Youth Council to learn about the organization's goals and to help GGC continue moving in the right direction by providing my insight and ideas. I am also interested in learning from others about different perspectives and ideas for positive change.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for this year are to actively share my ideas and opinions and be attentive to the ideas of others. I would like to make a difference in younger girls' lives by making them feel more included, empowered and heard. I want to give everyone a platform to share their perspectives and raise new and important points.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

In my free time, I am very interested in genealogy and have been researching my family history. Learning about the stories of family members is such an interesting way to learn about where you came from.

Claire Hooey

Claire
Why are you in Guiding?

My name is Claire, I was born in Ontario and moved to Nunavut when I was 7 years old.
I love being in Guiding because I have opportunities to meet new people, travel, and become more involved in my community. I like that Guiding is inclusive to everyone and has always welcomed me. I joined Sparks in Ontario and moved through Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and am now a first-year year Lone Ranger in Iqaluit. I have attended Guide camps in Ontario and IGGNITE in Ireland, as well as participating in annual camping trips in Iqaluit. I also have spent several years in the Air Cadet program.  

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I was drawn to the National Youth Council because I would like to learn from the other members about the Guiding program in their communities. I like that the youth council is a way for the voices and interests of the girl members to be heard.

What are your goals for the year?

This year I would like to raise the profile of Guiding in Nunavut, encourage more girls to join and find ways to support leaders and develop more awareness of Guiding in the different communities.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I like baking and drawing.

Ellie Ahmed

Ellie
Why are you in Guiding?

I joined Guiding because my friends were Girl Guides but I continued with it because it was an outlet to express myself and make new friends. My Guiding unit is a place for me to learn and gain life experiences while having fun and I know I can always turn to my unit leaders and other Guiders for support and help.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join Youth Council because I believe that there is always room for improvement and I want to be able to make changes to Guiding for the better. I also want to make sure that other girls in Canada get the most out of Girl Guides.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for the year are to improve the Guiding program as much as possible and to make sure that Guiding is preparing girls for the world.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

A fun fact about myself is that the number of countries I have visited is the same number as my age – 15.

Erica Bennett

Erica
Why are you in Guiding?

I love being in Guiding because, of course, making new friends who love Guiding just as much as me. While being in Guiding I have been lucky enough to attend numerous new adventures such as a national camp, finding new ways to help out in my community, tenting in the winter and being able to travel within Canada to learn new skills to bring home to my unit. Camping has become a huge part of my life overall. With being in Girl Guides I am able to attend provincial camp every summer, as well as my unit's fall, winter and spring camps. Being in Guiding has been a way of learning new skills and developing my own skills with camping, working with people, problem solving and always being prepared for anything that might happen. But one of the most rewarding, and my favourite part about Guiding, is being able to volunteer with the younger units. This is my opportunity to learn and grow through the Guiding program with them as they grow, too.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the Youth Council because I believe that every girl should have their voice heard on the program that they are completing. As a member of the Youth Council we are advocates for the girls who want to be heard.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for the year are to help girls get more outdoor experience and to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. I also want to make sure every girl can get as much out of the Guiding program as possible.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

A fun fact about myself would be that Girl Guides is such a big part of my life that I've finished the whole program with  still one more year of Rangers to go.

Kaitlin Strugnell

Kaitlin
Why are you in Guiding?

Hi, my name is Kaitlin, I'm from British Columbia, and I have been in Guiding for 13 years. I'm in Guiding because it provides an inclusive and empowering space for me and other girls, while allowing us to learn valuable skills, make friends, and embrace our uniqueness. I have loved the many experiences I have had throughout my years in Guiding and can't wait for more!

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I believe that the Youth Council is an amazing concept that shows GGC's eagerness to have youth representation. I wanted to join the youth council because I am passionate about issues affecting youth today and I wanted to be part of this team that can help raise awareness for some of these matters and have a platform to voice my own ideas and opinions.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for the year are to participate in discussions, bring awareness to important issues, as well as give my attention to everyone's ideas. I want to focus on issues that matter for girls across Canada and use my place on the council to strive for positive change and provide youth with the representation they need so every girl can feel heard and included in Guiding.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

A fun fact about me would be that I'm a third-generation Guide, as both my mom and my grandma were in Guiding!

Keona Simmons

Keona
Why are you in Guiding?

Girl Guides provides a platform and opportunities for youth to better learn important life skills, which is one of the main reasons I joined Girl Guides. I wanted to become more active in my community and help encourage positive change.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join Youth Council for the same reason I joined Girl Guides –  I wanted to bring the perspective of the youth in my surrounding communities while also bringing positive representation to my community.

What are your goals for the year?

The goals I have for this year on Youth Council involve looking into new ways to support girls in Guiding:

  1.  I would like to look into mental health in Guiding, and possibly look into making mental health first aid training available to Guiders who are interested.
  2. Another goal I have for this year on Youth Council is to create more resources about  and for LGBTQ+ youth in Guiding. I want to strengthen the safe space already in place in Guiding to create a environment that has even more understanding.
Share a fun fact about yourself.

I'd like to think of myself as an artistic person. I have an affinity for the arts in general, whether that be written art, photography, film, or theater – I love it all!

Sophie Bezanson

Sophie
Why are you in Guiding?

Hello! My name is Sophie. I am 15 years old, and I live in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. This year marks my eleventh as a Canadian Girl Guide. As a Spark, I joined Guiding determined to become an avid cookie seller and an adventurous camper, not to mention being able to socialize with my friends. However, I soon discovered that there was much more meaning to Guiding than pitching tents and roasting marshmallows. Now, I chooseto represent this organization that empowers countless girls and women in Canada, and around the world. It is a safe environment where girls are encouraged to be confident, resourceful and, most importantly, they are encouraged to be themselves. Guiding's diverse atmosphere and vast range of identities has established a welcoming space for all. I am proud to say that I am one of the millions of girls globally who embody this organization that provides countless opportunities, experiences and resources to help girls achieve their dreams.

Why did you want to join the Youth council?

I joined the National Youth Council eager to broaden my Guiding experience. I am keen on contributing to the evolution of this organisation, by providing a youth perspective for those eager to be heard. I would like to help shape the future of Girl Guides of Canada into a positive "Girls First' environment, based from its core values: Relevance, Empowerment, Diversity & Inclusion, and Agility. I believe that I will find opportunity to learn and grow from this experience, and from my fellow council members. I am excited to inspire girls to reach their full potential!   

What are your goals for the year?

This year, I am eager to tackle peer pressure and its effects through mentorship programs, to ensure that all girls and women can be the best version of themselves. I would like to end the systemic barriers facing girls by action planning on issues that affect their lives, and providing them with opportunities for leadership and community action. I am keen on establishing more resources within Guiding to eliminate possible barriers and bridge it's demographic gap. I am eager to influence Guiding's future direction, and create to a positive impact on girls' lives.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

One day, I hope to visit developing countries, specifically South Africa, to halt the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I would like to participate in HIV prevention efforts by providing peer education, access to resources and advocacy for those in need.

Carena Binder

CarenaBinder

From: Ontario

Who is someone that is a role model to you?

My role model is my elementary school principal because of her passion and interpersonal skills. She could easily be approached and was always on top of her work. In everything she did you could see her passion and love for her career. When I am older I want to pick a career I am passionate about to help create an impactful and positive environment for the people around me.

Share a fun fact about you or a joke

I love skiing and snowboarding. One day I hope to go to Switzerland and ski/snowboard on the alps.

Emily Vandermeer

EmilyVandermeer

From: Alberta

Who is someone that is a role model to you?

My role model is Emily Murphy who fought for women's rights in the 1920s. I consider her a role model because she carved her own path and did what she believed in. Emily Murphy helped give women the rights they deserved such as the right to vote and the right to be elected to Parliament.

Share a fun fact about you or a joke

What did the ocean say to the beach? Nothing he just waved.

Emily Lints

EmilyL

From: Manitoba

Who is someone that is a role model to you?

I would consider J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, to be my role model. Not only is she an outspoken feminist and charitable donor, but she stuck to her passion of writing fiercely and never gave up. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers, yet she persisted and became one of the most influential women of her generation. I believe all girls and women can look up to J.K. Rowling and her impact on society.

Share a fun fact about you or a joke

I have danced competitively for 12 years and yet still revert back to the classic sprinkler move when asked to improv. You can't beat the basics.

Carolyn Huang

CarolynHuang

From: Alberta

Who is someone that is a role model to you?

My biggest role model would be my mom. She is the strongest person I know, and has helped push me to become a better person.

Share a fun fact about you or a joke

A couple of fun facts about me – I am a reading addict that loves classical novels and have attended six different schools so far. (Old Scona Academic will be my seventh) A Girl Guide related fun fact is that I completed all the badges in Pathfinders.

Madeleine Deschenes

Madeleine-Deschenes

Board Director, Chair-National Youth Council

Profile: Starting Guiding as a Spark, Madeleine is now a Spark Guider and a Director of the GGC Board as Chair of the National Youth Council. She's very passionate about girl empowerment and ensuring that all girls are confident enough to pursue their dreams. Madeleine loves pasta and has always dreamed of being a mermaid and living in the ocean.

Youth Council Alumni

  • Lauren Hill
  • Nerissa Kassis
  • Andrea Chakma
  • Shelan Emre
  • Sophie McCafferty
  • Hari Ilangomaran
  • Nayah Mang
  • Kianna Benson

Instagram Handles

Youth Leadership Opportunities and Training

Coming soon ...

Current Projects

Coming soon ...

Past Projects

Each year, the National Youth Council develops initiatives around ideas girls have identified as important and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. Among the topics they've explored: marketing of Girl Guides, girls' survey, Indigenous issues and engagement, socioeconomic bridging, new merchandise, and transition-year programming. The Youth Council has also provided content and been highlighted in several GGC publications, blog posts and social media channels.

Stories of Youth Leadership