Girls in Guiding do amazing things every day. They leap into action, overcome obstacles, come up with brilliant ideas, and pretty much add a little bit of awesomeness to the world around them.
Girl Guides of Canada's Girl Greatness Awards are all about applauding girl members who accomplish great things in their lives and in their communities. The awards recognize one girl per branch who has excelled in one of the following award categories:
I am nominating my fellow Sparks friend Charlotte because Charlotte tries really hard at doing her very best and helps out others. She helped me out with a craft one time by telling me what to do so that I was able to complete the craft. So, instead of doing it for me, she was confident enough to help guide me.
I'm nominating Amy for the Confidence Girl Greatness Award. I've known Amy since I've moved here and rejoined Brownies. She also lives on my street and we play together after school. Amy is a grade below me.
Amy has earned almost all of the Brownie badges that you can earn. I think she has the confidence to earn them all before the end of the year. She also does all the Challenges that the Brownies do and will make up for the ones she had to miss. Amy had the confidence to do the Canoe and Boat Safety badges, that was scary to tip a canoe! Amy is very friendly and doesn't seem scared to try new things. I invited her to my birthday party. She doesn't go to my school so she didn't know the other girls who came, but Amy was friendly and wasn't scared to talk to my other friends.
I feel that Amy has the confidence to succeed at everything she tries. I like how Amy is not scared to try her best and that she wants to and will achieve her goal of getting all the Brownie badges. I like how she has confidence to make new friends.
My name is Samantha and I am 11 years old. I have always been a shy and timid girl. When I am in a new situation I feel extremely nervous. I find it scary when I have to talk to someone I don't know very well. I am also very hard on myself when I don't do something as well as I think I should. This stops me from doing things I like to do because I'm afraid to fail at it. With my mom's help I have been working hard at talking to people other than just my family and have been trying out for things that I think I might not be very good at. This year I set a goal for myself to sell 40 cases of Girl Guide cookies. This means I have to talk to a lot of strangers. When I go door-to-door my mom stays at the sidewalk and I go to the house by myself. After a while I get used to it and it's not so scary anymore. I have sold 25 cases so far this year. At school I tried out for the soccer and basketball team and was surprised that I made them both. Even my Girl Guide leader has noticed a change in me. She says I smile a lot more. I've been in Girl Guides for three years and going to camp has helped me make a lot of friends and be less afraid to talk to new people and try new things.
I am nominating my sister, Norah, for the confidence award for a few reasons. She has so much confidence in herself, and uses it to build herself and others up, making everyone around her feel better. Norah has a very strong sense of self and believes in building herself and others up. She is a first year Pathfinder, and the only first year in our unit. Due to this, she often has to do things by herself, but she doesn't let this get to her. Norah takes on leadership roles whenever she can, and never lets her age stop her. She is the strongest person I know, and truly wants to help those around her.
I am nominating myself for the Confidence Award because I feel that I have come a long way in the past years, all thanks to Guiding. Confidence is not just getting up in front of people and speaking, it is taking charge of your life and advocating for what you want. Since the Ignite. Inspire. Innovate. Conference, I have pushed my social boundaries. I was terrified to spend the weekend in a place where I didn't know anyone, but I overcame my fears and discovered that people can be welcoming and inspiring. I also successfully applied for Manitoba Provincial Youth Council. Both of these events gave me the confidence to apply for the National Youth Council, not at all expecting to be chosen, but regardless, I thought I would give it my best shot. I was accepted into this amazing group of girls and I have gained confidence to speak up in meetings, give my opinion, and even travel by myself to orientation. I am also running a session at our provincial GGC Leaders of Tomorrow Conference about my journey in Guiding and how all the opportunities I have been given can benefit others. Thinking back to where I was one year ago, I cannot believe the change. Back then I would hardly go out of my way to talk in class, but now I feel comfortable addressing an entire room of adults and kids on various community and school councils that I sit on. I put myself out there, not worried about what people might think of me. I even auditioned and received a main role in our school musical. Walking down the school hallway, I no longer keep my head down. I say hello to new people and continually challenge myself. Girl Guides has truly changed my life.
Makiya is the most courageous person I know. Makiya is a big sister to a heart warrior, Karter. Karter is 5 years old with a congenital heart defect. Makiya has shown courage by remaining positive through Karter's many hospital visits and health scares. Makiya always helps keep her family smiling by giving lots of hugs and smiles. At school Makiya helps her friends when they are sad by putting a smile on their face. Makiya makes everyone laugh and be happy. At the end of the day, she is the most positive and courageous person I know.
My name is Hannah and I am 11 years old. I was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2016. That summer I was not feeling well, so my parents took me to the doctor many times. Every visit to the doctor we were told everything was fine. My final visit resulted in blood work and the results were devastating to me and my family. The very next day I was admitted to hospital. Tests confirmed the type of leukemia I had and treatments started the following day. I have gone through so much – surgeries, spinal punctures, needles, finger pokes, treatments, daily medications, hospital admissions and the worst part, I was bald for six months. It took time to accept, but this is my journey and it took courage to wake up every day and put a smile on my face. Girl Guides has helped me through this journey and I also met another amazing girl in my unit that had childhood leukemia as well.
I would like to nominate myself for the courage award because I know what it's like to not always have courage and as a young girl I didn't always have it. I was shy and scared to do things. I was afraid to go to school, I let people push me around and I stopped myself from doing things I love. But, as I got older I joined Girl Guides and it all changed. I stopped letting people be rude and I stood up for myself and others, I began to love school and myself. Being in Girl Guides I finally felt like I belong somewhere and I had group of sisters right beside me! Courage takes a lot to build up. You may not always exceed at everything but I think as long as you put in the effort you will and you may not have courage for everything. I certainly don't, but don't let having anxiety or being scared get in my way. If I want to be the Prime Minister someday or a lawyer, doctor or teacher, I'm going to build up the courage and I'm going to try my best to exceed at it. A lot of things in life are difficult but that does not mean I or anyone should let something or someone get in our way of doing what we want. Girl Guides helped me join band and do a solo, helped me fight my way through life, tough social situations, hard science fairs, leaving home for the first time, severe anxiety, and depression. I can't wait to explore more of the world, learn new things and have more fun!
I am a third-year Ranger but have one year of high school to finish. Back in grade three my mother had school repeat me. This was one of the first times my parents explained to me that I am autistic and that it causes me to act and respond differently than others. I could have cried and whined since I had to switch school. As I look back now I realize this was my first major act of courage. During my years in Guides and Pathfinders I accepted challenges, completed my Lady Baden-Powell and Canada Cord as well as helped in our spark and brownie units. I feel this tool courage. Then in 2014 I saw people talking about Guiding Mosaic camp and wanted to go but my unit was not going. I applied to my province and was placed with a unit four hours away. This would be hard for many but with my issues around making friends and personal space (a part of autism), this would be terrifying. But, I was courageous enough to attend and loved every moment. For this reason I applied to attend the Ignite. Inspire. Innovate. Conference in Toronto and was accepted, and I had a great time. These events then gave me the courage to come out of my shell at High School. I have joined several clubs and am a member of the provincial championship rugby team. Guiding challenged me in ways that would not have existed elsewhere. These challenges taught me so much, showed me I could and enhanced my faith in myself. It gave me the courage to try new things and as I tried, my self -worth enhanced and made me even more courageous - so much so that I applied and was accepted for a B.C. adventure trip.
My name is Isabel and I nominate myself for the Resourcefulness Award. I am learning how to do things on my own. I've had a vegetable garden at my Pop's cabin since I was a 3-year-old and I help my mom at her school with her garden project. I know how to grow pumpkins and many other vegetables. During the summer, I am in charge of taking care of them and watching them get big! My job is to grow the seeds and once they start to peek out, I plant them in the vegetable bed with fertilizer. All summer long and in the fall, I have to water and weed out the garden. One summer, some vegetables did not grow so I had to think of new ways to help them. I now know not to plant pumpkins next to the strawberries! When my crop is fully grown, I take them out! It is fun to wash them in the kitchen sink and I get to share the food with my family and my mom's students. I know that having three different vegetable colors on my dinner plate is healthy and drinking lots of water will help me grow. When I grow up, I want to be a gym teacher.
I am nominating myself for the resourcefulness award. I work hard at finding a solution to a problem. Once I try and don't succeed, I try to do it again in a different way until I have figured out the best way to complete the project or task. Once I feel that I have found the best way to deal with a difficult task, I am eager to help others.
I am nominating myself for the Resourcefulness Award because I am proud of the way that I was able to handle a situation. In October I was putting away a shopping cart at a local supercenter while my dad was buckling up my younger sister. I was approached by a man and he asked me if I wanted to come with him to pull a prank on his friend. I looked at him and told him. "No thank you. My dad is waiting for me and I have to go." I then went quickly to my dad and was able to tell him what happened and what the man looked like. He was so proud of me. I knew what to do because of what I learned from Girl Guides and my family. I was taught to be firm and polite and to never go with anyone I don't know. Just this year my unit did Street Smart and it really helped me. I am proud of me.
Claudia is something special – as well as being a Guide she is also a Scout. She is super outdoorsy, and energetic and maybe a bit silly. Once I went over to her house and we didn't know what to do, so we decided to build a swing using only rope, a plank of wood, and our mad knot skills. Another time we were trying to make shelters, we had a time limit but they had to be well made to stand up to snow. Her team's shelter was the only one that worked, because she brought duct tape.
Yet another time we had hiked into the woods to cook our lunch on buddy burners, we didn't want to carry all the extra hotdogs back. She used the best resource of all to get rid of them – her stomach.
After we'd finished the hotdogs and our buddy burners were full of soot, she had the smart idea of covering the bottom in tape so our packs wouldn't be ruined.
In short, Claudia is super smart. I could give countless examples of that. She is also funny and entertaining. Claudia makes everything better
Grace is not afraid to be the leader. If a situation is going wrong she will swoop in and make it better. Whenever we're planning our meetings, she is the one that keeps us on task and starts naming challenges. Whenever we have a cooking fail for a challenge, she always knows an alternative way of doing things. Grace knows first aid and is the first person to check if someone is okay. One year we were doing an activity that we were not prepared for and she started finding all the information we needed. She always knows what to do in any situation.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD
My Name is Tegan. This summer I held a donation party because I wanted to raise money and food for the local food bank. I came up with the idea because I knew we needed a lot of food and people would come to a party. My mom put the event up on Facebook and our friends and family loved the idea. On the day of the party, people in my community donated a truck to hold the donations, cupcakes and a bouncy castle. So many people showed up! I was able to bring 476 food items and $66 to the food bank! I felt so happy that people wanted to help and the shelves at the food bank were filled up. I am going to have another donation party this summer again for the food bank and pick someone else who needs help, and have a party for them, too! Helping makes me happy.
Part of the reason I like Brownies so much is because I want to help people and help the planet. Our unit was planning a visit to the local SPCA and we were asked to bring a donation. I reached out to people in my community with the SPCA's wish list and brought them a car full of donations instead! I hope that I helped make a difference to the animals.
I am nominating my friend Kenzie for the Girl Greatness Award for Making a Difference in the World. In January 2018 Kenzie went to Mazatlán, Mexico and volunteered to help children at the Salvation Army Children's Orphanage for one month. Five days a week she volunteered with the orphanage and also helped with other projects. She helped paint playground equipment and picnic tables, and also made and served lunches to the kids. She spent time with the kids each week so that the kids could get to know her and have fun because many of the kids don't have a family. While she was in Mexico she stayed with her aunt and uncle and took Spanish lessons so that she could talk to the kids better. She also did her regular school work on the internet.
Before Kenzie left on her trip she asked our school if she could have a new socks and underwear fundraiser so that she could bring these things to the kids at the orphanage. The fundraiser collected about 70 packages of underwear and over 100 pairs of sock.
When Kenzie came back home she talked about her trip at our guide meeting and all the things that she did. She talked about how happy the kids were to get the socks and underwear because they don't have very much. I thought that was a really nice thing for her to do and at her age I think she has made a HUGE difference to the kids in Mexico and to us for sharing her story.
Caitriona is definitely making a difference in our community. When she was younger her parents divorced. Later on (now at Pathfinder age) she chose to use her experiences to help others our age going through similar troubles via a website she created called Keep Swimming, which encourages people to anonymously share their stories. She aims to show others it's NOT their fault and teach them about their potential new step parents or siblings. I know she has helped to lead discussions on this both in our unit meetings and out (for example, at school). She also frequently encourages talking about mental health at Pathfinders and always approaches these topics with open ears and an open mind for anyone with something to say. She always gives her best advice in a very mature (yet easy for us to understand) way to anyone who needs it whether they are in our unit, the Guide unit that meets near us or somewhere else. While talking about health at a unit meeting Caitriona was the one who brought up the fact that it's not only your physical health that makes up your health but also your mental health. This really shows how she aims to make she everyone knows it's ok to talk about mental health and that it's just as important as eating healthy/exercise. Caitriona really makes a difference in my life and I know she positively impacts all those around her. I believe she is very deserving of a Girl Greatness Award because she really is great!
I am nominating myself because over the past 11 years in Girl Guides I have found my passion for changing the world and I hope to inspire other girls to do the same. I've always been keen on volunteering in my community through washing dishes at the local church, picking up garbage, or participating in a reading buddy program at my library. Recently I have started to make a difference on a more global scale through Plan International Canada and Me to We. I am apart of Plan Canada's Speaker's Bureau. Here I discuss gender inequalities with other youth and take action. I've gotten the chance to speak to other youth about gender equality and I recently travelled to Ottawa to attend the Y7 Summit! Through Me to We I was able to attend Take Action Camp and take part in a program called Arts and Activism. Here I took my passion for writing and the arts and brought awareness to issues such as mental health, education, and gender equality through poetry. When I left camp I created a plan to make a difference. I am now the founder and creator of a website called storiesforchange.ca. This is a platform for youth to share their voice on issues they're passionate about and find the power of their individual voice. I also create projects to tackle issues in my life. Recently I did a project called Know Your Worth to promote self-love and I just started another project called Wonderful Women which is a project I developed so others can recognize women who have made a difference in their lives. This summer I am even traveling to Ecuador with Me To We to connect with and learn from Indigenous communities there. This is how I believe I make a difference in my life and those around me. I hope that every girl believes in their power to make a difference and most important I hope every girl realizes just how powerful their voice is.