On the weekend of June 24th, we had the pleasure of joining over 20 Guiders and Rangers from all over Canada at the 1st LINK Conference in Toronto. The goal of the conference was to begin designing a new LINK program for the young women in Canadian Guiding between the ages of 18 and 35.
We began the weekend as part of a Guiding focus group, which provided us an opportunity to discuss our feelings towards Guiding and our participation within the organization over the years. We were only about 8 people in the room at this point, so it was a nice chance to hear about diverse experiences throughout Guiding in different places within Canada.
On Saturday, we were lucky enough to participate in the Annual General meeting. We were actually able to sit with many of the ladies afterwards in a LINK engagement session where we had an exciting opportunity to be able to meet and speak with many of the PCs as well as those who work in the National Office. We asked their opinion on a variety of questions, mainly about how they see the involvement of young women within Guiding. There was a great comfort in knowing that these women continue to be on our side and that they look forward to young women having increasing opportunities within Guiding as much as we do.
Through games, discussion, brainstorming and more, we were able to take our time designing a program that would suit the needs of young women within Guiding. It was so interesting to hear about similar experiences in regards to the challenges everyone was having with LINK groups. How do we make it accessible for all? How do we make a program to fit different experiences and lifestyles? They are difficult questions to answer, but when you put 20 young, intelligent, and motivated Guiding women in a room for a weekend, amazing things will happen. We were given a chance to voice our concerns and give our opinions over many aspects of a possible program. It was such a pleasure meeting all of the wonderful women on this special weekend. We truly left feeling confident that we were able to put the foundations in place for a new program within Canadian Guiding. We look forward to see what it will bring, striving to make the young women in Guiding realize that they are not only the Guiders of tomorrow, but Guiders today.
Sarah and Nikki Di Milo
Quebec LINK Specialists