Clearwater Girl Guides members achieve milestones

The Clearwater Girl Guides held their advancement ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Dutch Lake, where many of the girls and leaders received badges, pins and awards. Pictured are: Back row (l-r), Joline McLarty, Rozlyn Masse, Caitlyn Masse, Michelle Masse and Cassie Sills; Middle row (l-r) Bree Bonnamour, Allison Masse, Cadence Cisna and Daylia Leary; Front row (l-r) Airadessa Aviugana, Reese Poisson, Layla Baskin, Atiya Aviugana and Olivia Bonnamour. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)The Clearwater Girl Guides held their advancement ceremony Tuesday afternoon at Dutch Lake, where many of the girls and leaders received badges, pins and awards. Pictured are: Back row (l-r), Joline McLarty, Rozlyn Masse, Caitlyn Masse, Michelle Masse and Cassie Sills; Middle row (l-r) Bree Bonnamour, Allison Masse, Cadence Cisna and Daylia Leary; Front row (l-r) Airadessa Aviugana, Reese Poisson, Layla Baskin, Atiya Aviugana and Olivia Bonnamour. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Guider Cassie Sills (r) was emotional after finding out she had been awarded the Commissioner’s Award. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)Guider Cassie Sills (r) was emotional after finding out she had been awarded the Commissioner’s Award. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
Layla Baskin, a member of the Clearwater Brownie troupe, was all smiles after receiving her badges. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)Layla Baskin, a member of the Clearwater Brownie troupe, was all smiles after receiving her badges. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
It was the Guides’ turn to drop their gems into the chest during the Clearwater Girl Guides advancement ceremonies held Tuesday, June 7. The gems signified experiences and skills the girls treasured. In the story, Guides treasure challenges, teamwork, thoughtfulness and being prepared. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)It was the Guides’ turn to drop their gems into the chest during the Clearwater Girl Guides advancement ceremonies held Tuesday, June 7. The gems signified experiences and skills the girls treasured. In the story, Guides treasure challenges, teamwork, thoughtfulness and being prepared. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)

The Clearwater Girl Guides wrapped up their season with an award and advancement ceremony at Dutch Lake on Tuesday, June 7.

To start, the Guiders performed a treasure chest ceremony, placing a small box on a blanket in the middle of the girls. Each level — Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Guiders — was given coloured gems. As each branch level was read aloud, the girls would walk up to the chest, placing their coloured gems in the box, a symbol of treasured memories and new skills learned at each stage.

“Girl Guides are a bit like treasure boxes,” read District Guider Michelle Masse. “A girls progress up through the branches of Guiding they collect treasured memories and new skills that they will value their whole life through.”

After the treasure chest, each of the 13 girls present received badges, given out to celebrate the achievements made that season. Up to 32 badges can be earned at each level (Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers), not including additional badges and awards earned at higher branch levels.

But, before the badges were handed out, Masse had a surprise for fellow District Guider Cassie Sills — the Commissioner’s Award.

“This first award goes to a person who has led by example, actively welcomes new members, as well as retaining current members, is a fabulous mentor to our Guiders, upholds the values of Girl Guides of Canada, and has gained the respect of members, girls and parents,” said Masse. “Without her standing devotion to guiding, I truly believe Girl Guides would not be in Clearwater.”

A visibly emotional Sills thanked the group as she attached the pin to the tab on her shirt.

A couple of awards were given to Guider Joline McLarty, who is new to the Clearwater unit. Masse awarded her with a Girl Guide enrollment pin, a pin to mark her first year and a final Guider appreciation pin for helping out the unit.

Sills noted that without McLarty, the Girl Guides wouldn’t have been able to hold their end-of-year camping trip.

The last award was given to Audrey Sills, who received the Lady Baden-Powell award, the highest award that a Guide can earn, in addition to her badges. The award involves completing the Guide program, as well as taking an extra initiative in areas such as community service and volunteering.

Other achievements included Olivia Bonnamour’s badge for her first camping trip, Rozlyn Masse completing three challenge badges and new Guide Daylia Leary working hard to catch up to the other girls.

At the end of the ceremony, Spark Atiya Aviugana, Brownies Reese Poisson and Allison Masse, and Guide Audrey Sills received certificates that they had completed their program and were graduating to the next branch level.

The Girl Guides program is finished for the season, but will start up again Sept. 20 and 21.

For parents or girls interested in the Girl Guides program, Sparks and Brownies meet from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. on Tuesdays, and Guides and Pathfinders will be meeting Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Registration for the 2022-23 season is now open at register.girlguides.ca. The cost is $125 but low-income families can apply for a subsidy, which can take care of some or all of the fee, and is completely confidential. Masse said it’s best for families to register early as it gives the Guiders more time to plan activities, events and exercises.

Those seeking more information can reach out to caribooyellowheaddc@gmail.com.

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