Girls First
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Girls First is GGC's new program. It will be launched and accessible to the entire field for the 2018/2019 Guiding year.

Girls First will be:

  • Girl-driven –  we're putting girls' interests front and centre and inviting every girl to be actively involved in her Guiding experience
  • Supportive – we're ready to support Guiders with the resources they need to be effective facilitators as they help girls navigate their Guiding experience
  • Flexible and responsive – we're making sure Guiding remains relevant and ready to respond to Girls' changing needs and interests

To start off the year, we've tackled some frequently asked questions about Girls First from 2017. Check out our FAQ section below to learn more about the Girls First program.  We'll continue to add to this list throughout the year.  Moving forward, you'll find FAQs in a new tab above

Girls First FAQs

Improving our program isn't a new concept for Guiding. Our program has always evolved to meet the needs of girls. Girls First is Girl Guides of Canada's comprehensive review and revision of our program content and delivery. We know that girls and their needs are changing – and we're transforming our program to meet those needs today and into the future. Our new programming will allow girls to actively shape their own Guiding experience as they build the skills and confidence to take on any challenge. Girls First will empower her to be everything she wants to be. We know that, as members, you've got questions about Girls First and how it will all work. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q: Is the Girls First program fully developed yet?

Answer: The development of the new program is still underway. We are actively listening to the feedback we've heard from girls, Guiders and the Girls First Testing Units and applying it as we build the program. 

More information:

Q: Will a girl in her second year of Guides have to stop her current program work to start the new program in September 2018?

Answer: Not to worry, her work won't be lost! Girls and units can continue to complete the program they are working on. Girls and units can start the new program during the 2018-19 transition year. This decision is left up to the girls and their units.

More information:
  • There will be a full year for program transition in 2018-19. If they choose, girls can continue to work on current badges (program badges, interest badges and challenge crests) during the 2018-19 transition year. An equivalency plan will be shared with girls and Guiders to ensure that they don't lose any of the work they've done. There is no need to push a girl towards finishing any programming or an award early.

Q: Will interest badges still be available with the new program?

Answer: Within the new program girls will have opportunities to explore their interests through topics, themes and areas of programs. Girls can earn badges at the Area of Program and Theme level. Girls can continue to work on current GGC interest badges during the 2018-19 transition year.    

More information:
  • We've heard from some members in the field that interest badges are like "homework" and are not easily accessible to all girls due to economic constraints. One of the goals of the new program is to be responsive to girls' evolving interests. We will use the transition year to learn and understand how the program addresses the interest of girls, and how we can strengthen and improve their experiences.

Q: Will girls be glued to screens during the unit meetings?

Answer: Units will run as they currently do, with dynamic personal engagement and hands-on activities. The program content is the only thing that is intended to be online. There is no expectation of internet access at your meeting space, and no screen time is required for unit meetings.

More information:
  • The activities themselves are not computer or screen based.
  • We know from our research that Guiders sometimes spend hours preparing for unit meetings, searching out amazing activities often through online resources (social media, websites, etc.).  The new digital platform will provide one-stop digital access to hundreds of activities that support program planning, helping girls and Guiders save time. Activities can be saved or printed as necessary. Having an online program also makes it easier for the content to be updated in order to stay relevant to what girls are experiencing in their everyday lives.
  • We are assessing the number of units that might need assistance in accessing our new digital program.

Q: Are Girls First Champions replacing Trainers?

Answer: No. Girls First Champions will be available across Canada to introduce Girls First and provide ongoing support to Guiders as they begin implementing the new program. Their work will complement the amazing support Trainers are already providing Guiders across the country.

More information:
  • Girls First Champions will serve as ambassadors for the Girls First program during the 2018/19 Guiding year. This limited-time role is focused on introducing the new Girls First program model and delivery approach and will not encompass any other areas of training. Our national team of Trainers will continue to offer all their TEAM and enrichment training modules with some program-related modifications to account for the Girls First model. The national program delivery team will be collaborating with Training Advisors to ensure Trainers have all the information they need.

Tell us how you're girl driven!

Girl-driven means listening to girls' voices and offering them choices as they design and create their own Guiding experience at all branch levels. We know this is already happening in unit meetings all over Canada and we want to hear about it! Whether you're a girl or a Guider, we want to know: how have you used this girl-driven approach in your unit? Share your memorable girl-driven moments with us at girlsfirst@girlguides.ca . Thanks!

Season by Season

Fall 2017

  • Visits to every region to consult with Girls, Guiders and senior volunteers
  • Recruiting test units as well as Girls First Champions to help support Guider education and delivery
  • Refining our program requirements and building content with the help of units across the country

Winter 2018

  • Deep into technology development to build a web platform that works for all
  • Hundreds of test units pressure testing program model, technology, content and other items
  • Preparing Guider education support materials

Spring 2018

  • Executing on Guider education and delivery both in person and online
  • Technology testing in the field with a large variety of users
  • Finalizing and delivering transition plan for Guiders on items such as equivalencies
  • Trainers provided with program information to support TEAM and adult enrichment trainings

Summer 2018

  • Finalizing technology and testing
  • Preparing and launching necessary Guider education resources (in-person and online)
  • Launching technology, training and program content to Guiders and Girls for September 2018!

Share your favourites!

The Girls First team is hard at work developing fresh program content for all branches, and we want to know – what's your favourite activity? Is there something your unit has done that you think other units would love too? It can be anything – a game, a project, an experiment or a craft. It can be an indoor activity, an outdoor activity, or a camping activity. And it can be on any topic!

Submit your favourite activities here and we'll add them to the growing list of creative content that is shaping the new program.

Questions about Girls First?

Contact us at girlsfirst@girlguides.ca

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