Try Now Join Later FAQ for Parents

Register Now for Try Now, Join Later


About the Try Now, Join Later Program and Girl Guides of Canada

Why do so many parents want their girls to be members of Girl Guides of Canada?

We don't mean to brag – but we make a positive difference in the life of every girl who experiences Guiding! Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada (GGC ) is the leading organization for girls and women in Canada, with 95,000 members across the country. Guiding provides a safe environment that invites girls and young women to challenge themselves, find their voice, meet new friends, have fun and make a difference in the world. Guiding offers the widest range of activities of any extracurricular activity for girls and young women, with opportunities to explore the arts, sciences, outdoor challenges, global awareness and so much more through enriching experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. She'll explore everything she wants to be, in an all woman and girl environment that's designed to empower girls. She'll also get an entry pass to access amazing opportunities in Guiding, including scholarships and international travel opportunities

Here's just a brief overview of the world of adventure and opportunity that opens to girls, when they become members of Girl Guides of Canada. We help girls:

  • Explore everything she wants to be
  • Have fun and make new friends through confidence-building group activites
  • Make a difference in the world
  • Develop their own identity
  • Explore, learn, create and shine
  • Gain confidence and experience
  • Participate in service projects that give back to the community and the world
Each Guiding program year, from approximately September to May, our girl members have the opportunity to be part of weekly activities and fun outings with friends in her own age group. Units participate in a wide variety of activities ranging from outdoor scavenger hunts, community service projects like tree planting and shoreline cleanups, sleepovers at science centres, camping and more.

Guiding even offers both National and International travel opportunities! The sisterhood of Guiding is found in 146 different countries, making us the largest organization for girls and women around the world. Pathfinders (ages 12-14) and Rangers (15-17) have the opportunity to go on international service trips around the world, where they will have the opportunity to expand their leadership skills and explore new interests such as engineering and photography.

What is Try Now, Join Later? Why should I consider this program?

Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada is a globally-linked organization for girls and for women. The Try Now, Join Later program invites girls to experience the joys of what it’s like to be a member of Guiding! The program is run during the months of April, May, and June, and girls get to “sample” the Guiding program. Since 2011, more than 6,500 girls across Ontario have participated in this program!

She can have fun, meet new friends, and enjoy our enriching programming – without any obligation.

As her parent, you pay no membership fees – you’re giving your daughter/ward an amazing opportunity to try Guiding. It’s an opportunity that could be one of the most important of her life if she decides to become a full member and enjoy all the many benefits of being part of our wonderful organization.

As an added bonus, by registering your daughter for Try Now, Join Later, she will be given priority renewal for the 2019-2020 Guiding year, before online registration becomes available to the general public.

Is it true that there is no cost to register a girl for Try Now, Join Later?

Yes – it’s really free to register! During the months of April, May, and June, girls registered in the Try Now, Join Later program are invited to be “visitors” at our local unit meetings with girls their own age. As a parent, you pay no membership fee – we really want you to “try” us before you make a decision about membership!

However, it’s important to know that this free trial does not give your daughter/ward all the benefits of full membership. If units are engaging in activities they have fundraised money for throughout the year, or which carry an extra cost paid by our current girl member parents, the Try Now, Join Later girls may have to pay an extra fee to participate in these (or may not be able to participate in that activity or event). As well, girls visiting us through Try Now, Join Later are not eligible to earn Guiding badges, apply for Campership (fee subsidies for camping experiences) or other added benefits of full girl membership.

Why are TNJL participants able to attend meetings without paying membership fees?

This program is our way of inviting your daughter/ward to “try before you buy”. We're so confident that your daughter/ward will love attending unit meetings as a "visitor" so much, that she'll want to join us as a member in the new fall Guiding year that starts in September! And if she doesn't, as a parent, you've had the chance to give your daughter/ward exposure to our wonderful, enriched Girl Guide programming, and make friends with other girls her age in the community – all without paying a membership fee.

You know those 6,500 girls we mentioned above? Over 4,200 of them ended up registering as members for the next Guiding year, after participating in Try Now, Join Later in the spring. We sincerely hope that your daughter/ward will love our program that much, too!

Registration Process

How do I register my daughter/ward for Try Now, Join Later?

We’re so glad you asked! To register your daughter/ward for Try Now, Join Later, you can complete the online application form.

A list of units that are participating in Try Now, Join Later can be found on the application – you’ll have the option to tell us your first, second, and third choice units. Note that spaces are limited and are available on a first come, first serve basis. If we cannot process your daughter/ward’s registration with her first choice unit, we’ll do our best to process in the second and third choice units.

Once the application is submitted, please allow for up to three business days for us to process your daughter’s application. Once she has been successfully placed in a unit, we will send you the details about the meeting day and location, and how to get in touch with the unit leaders for your daughter’s first meeting!

How old do girls need to be to register for this program?

Girls ages 5-17 are invited to register for the Try Now, Join Later program! Depending on your daughter’s age, she may have the option to try a lower branch or the next branch up. Girls are always encouraged to try out the branch they will be eligible for starting in September 2019 so that they get an idea of what comes next!

Please reference the chart below to see which branch your daughter/ward is eligible to register for:

Birth Year/Age by Dec 31, 2019 Try Now, Join Later 2019-2020 Guiding year
2014 5 Sparks Sparks
2013 6 Sparks Sparks
2012 7 Sparks or Brownies Brownies
2011 8 Brownies Brownies
2010 9 Brownies or Guides Guides
2009 10 Guides Guides
2008 11 Guides Guides
2007 12 Guides or Pathfinders Pathfinders
2006 13 Pathfinders Pathfinders
2005 14 Pathfinders Pathfinders
2004 15 Pathfinders or Rangers Rangers
2003 16 Rangers Rangers
2002* 17 Rangers Rangers
*If your daughter is turning 18 after Sept 1, 2019, she will have the option to register for Rangers for the 2019-2020 Guiding year or become an adult member as soon as she turns 18.

You can also visit our website if you’d like a little bit more information about each branch.

I cannot see the unit I want listed on the application form. What should I do?

The units that are accepting girls for the Try Now, Join Later program are listed on the online application form. Due to the nature of this program, spaces are limited and are available on a first come, first serve basis. If you are looking for a specific unit that is not listed, it is possible that the unit is now full or has opted not to participate in the program.

Not to worry! We still want your daughter to be able to participate and get the most out of this program. We are happy to work with you to find an alternate unit that is participating and has spots available. Remember – for the upcoming Guiding year, you do not need to register your daughter/ward to the same unit she was attending for Try Now, Join Later.

Does my daughter need to be registered in order to attend Try Now, Join Later? I filled out the form – can I take her to the next unit meeting?

Girls must be registered for the Try Now, Join Later program before they can attend units meetings. This helps us ensure that the Guiders and girls are safely within supervisory ratio.

Once you have submitted your daughter/ward’s application, please allow for up to three business days for us to receive and process your daughter’s application. Once she has been successfully placed in a unit, we will send you details about the meeting day and location, and how to get in touch with the unit leaders for your daughter’s first meeting!

When can girls attend Guiding meetings through Try Now, Join Later?

Try Now, Join Later participants are registered to a specific unit and can attend unit meetings during the months of April to June. Units set their own meeting schedules, therefore the last meeting of the season may vary by unit. Most units meet on a weekly basis, so once your daughter/ward is successfully registered with Try Now, Join Later, she can attend every week the unit has a scheduled meeting.

You can take a peek at which units are participating in your area by visiting the online application form which also includes where the unit is meeting and on which day of the week.

Attending Try Now, Join Later

I registered my daughter for Try Now, Join Later – does she need a uniform to attend?

As part of the Try Now, Join Later program, girls are not required to wear the official uniform. In our experience however, most girls are excited to jump on board so we include a link to the Guide Store in every confirmation so that parents can purchase a uniform if they wish.

If your daughter is moving up to the next branch next year, you may opt to wait to purchase a uniform and discuss with your daughter/ward’s unit leader about what she can wear each week. Girl Guides of Canada will be adopting a new uniform at the start of the 2019 Guiding year (September 2019).

What activities will my daughter/ward experience at unit meetings?

The Girl Guide program empowers every girl in Guiding with the tools to navigate her world through fun, relevant, girl-driven activities and experiences. Our mission is to be a catalyst for girls empowering girls by offering programming that allows every girl to be everything she wants to be.

Our adult volunteers (also called “Leaders” or “Guiders”) are able to tailor the weekly unit meetings to the girls so everyone is bound to have a good time. We can’t tell you exactly what your daughter/ward will be doing when she registers for Try Now, Join Later, but we do know that she’ll have the opportunity to make friends and have fun, enjoying a wide range of activities designed to appeal to and enrich the skills, knowledge, and confidence of girls her age.

Can my daughter/ward sell cookies if she registers for Try Now, Join Later?

As part of the Try Now, Join Later program, girls are not required to participate in cookie sales, but we know that cookies are a big part of the sisterhood of Guiding!

Each individual unit handles cookie sales different based on the interests of the girls and needs of the unit. Units may encourage girls to sell their own individual cases or focus more on hosting group sales depending on the unit’s preferences and fundraising goals. There is no National policy stating girls must sell cookies or a minimum amount of cases they must sell.

You can learn more about the selling opportunities from the unit once your daughter/ward has been registered.

Looking to Next Year

When can TNJL girls register for the 2019-2020 Guiding year?

TNJL girls are eligible for a priority renewal period before online registration opens to the general public. If your daughter is registered for Try Now, Join Later, you will receive an email outlining when you can register your daughter/ward, along with the information you will need for a smooth registration.

For the 2019-2020 Guiding year, TNJL girls will be able to start registering as of Thurs. May 23, 2019!

Girls can be registered for the 2019-2020 Guiding year by visiting https://register.girlguides.ca to begin the registration process online.

For the upcoming Guiding year, do I have to register my daughter/ward in the same unit she was attending for Try Now, Join Later?

Try Now, Join Later is an opportunity for girls to get a sense of what they’ll have to look forward to when they become members of Girl Guides of Canada. Due to the nature of the program, spaces and unit choice can be limited, therefore, we know that you may have a more preferred unit closer to home or a unit with a friend that may be more convenient for the upcoming Guiding year.

Provided there are spaces available at the time of registration, you are welcome to select any unit you wish! It does not need to be the same unit your daughter/ward attended for Try Now, Join Later.
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