Girl Greatness 2014
Nominations are now closed for the 2014 Girl Greatness Awards. Thank you to all who participated! The award recipients will be announced in May 2014.
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. Now it’s time to be recognized!
Girl Guides of Canada’s Girl Greatness Awards is 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:
- Making a Difference
2013 Girl Greatness Award Recipients
My little sister Taylor is full of confidence. She is only six and is a Spark but that does not stop her. On our camping trip two years ago to Doe Lake she was the smallest one at camp but managed to climb to the top of the rock wall and then fell asleep at campfire. Many Sparks are afraid to go to camp but not my sister she is the first one there. She has been to Doe Lake Ma Kee Wa Wyoka TRHAC. She was the only Spark at these camps but that’s no problem for her. She finds a buddy, usually a Brownie, and goes with the flow. She is also not afraid to ask for what she wants. At cookie selling time this is a great thing because I bring her with me. Someone may have said no to me but no one can say no to her when she asks them to buy cookies. My little sister is great she has no fear and all the confidence in the work and that I love about her.
I am eight years old and this is my first year of Brownies. I used to be very shy and nervous and I wouldn't even talk to teachers or friends. I always wanted to be near my family and I cried at Christmas concerts and stuff like that. Now that I'm in Brownies I've become a lot more confident. I love earning badges and presenting them. I earn about two badges a week and I have earned 23 so far. I sang a campfire song all by myself. I played a song I wrote on my recorder. I gave a two-minute speech for my Tell It badge. I wrote and acted out my own puppet play. I made a St. Patrick marionette and his sock puppet son I named Sock Patrick. I made my leaders laugh. I went on my first ever sleepover with Brownies. It was the first time I was away from my family overnight. I wasn't even scared. Now I really want to go to a weekend camp too. I sold my Girl Guide cookies by going around my neighbourhood. I kept telling myself to be confident and I was. I even helped my little sister in Sparks sell hers. I sold 3 cases in one afternoon by talking to total strangers. My Brownie leaders say I have improved in confidence so much and they are thrilled with it. They told me that I have blown them all away. The only bad thing is that Brownies ends soon. In Guides I want to present and earn just as many badges.
Jordyn has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy and is confined to an electric wheelchair. However, there isn't a thing that she can't do when she puts her mind to it. She is always willing to try new things. This year she wrote a speech about her condition and won at her school and then came in second in our area. Whatever activity we have going in our unit she always works very hard at accomplishing it. Jordyn is always smiling and welcomes new members and makes them feel at home. She loves to camp with us and go on outings. In her quiet way she teaches all of us about dignity facing challenges and what real courage is. Jordyn is so friendly, outgoing and fun that everyone forgets that she is different in any way. Jordyn organizes and participates in fundraising events for different organizations that have helped her in the past. To face the challenges she does head on every day with a smile and never a complaint is the true definition of confidence.
My sister Robyn is my role model in Guiding. She is very confident and always willing to lend a hand and help others. She is always willing to help or be involved. It doesn't matter what the activity is. She will pick up garbage and clean up around the local creek with her unit; she will collect and sort food for the food bank; she will help at a Spark or Brownie unit teaching songs or helping with games or crafts; she has helped with preparing meals at our camps; reads us stories at bedtime at camp; and helped my friend who was homesick feel better. A few weeks ago she was asked to welcome all members of Guiding to a Disney on Ice event. There were thousands of people and she wrote a speech on her own and welcomed everyone on behalf of Girl Guides of Ontario. She told the audience all the reasons she likes being a member of Guiding. One thing she said was that she especially love the cookies which was funny and everyone laughed. I know I would not have been able to do that. I was too shy to even stand beside her but I was very proud of her. I want to be as confident as she is when I become a Pathfinder.
I am a Ranger in the last year of the Guiding program. I’m active in my school community and province from peer mentoring, student council, grad committee, humanitarian club, art club and more. I serve as provincial Ranger president and hold numerous seats on school and community organizations, such as being actively involved in the programs at the local women's centre, community theatre, winter carnival and public speaking. I am a humanitarian who actively works for change on a global level. I was a participant in the international Students on Ice 2012 expedition to the Arctic. I empower myself and other youth to become community leaders. I’m creative and intelligent. I’m a leader, a mentor, and a role model and try to make a difference to my school community and province. I’ll always lend a hand and can be counted on to jump in and become involved. I have a very positive attitude and am a very can-do person. I’m an excellent student in terms of academics and also an involved community activist. I’m a young person with a great deal of potential. My years in Guiding have taught me valuable lessons regarding friendship and fellowship. I hope one day to give back to young girls by volunteering to be a leader in the Guiding Movement. As well, I plan on joining Link as I enter post-secondary school. I’ve grown into a responsible, reliable and resourceful young lady thanks to the skills and learning opportunities I have been fortunate to be a part of. I can organize fund raisers and other activities within my school and community. I can identify a need and rally the necessary individuals to surpass any expectations.
Courage: I Charlotte M age 6 nominate myself for Courage. At birth I was diagnosed with a rare but treatable metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU for short). This means that I will need to follow a special diet for life drink special milk and get lots and lots of needles. I am brave with my needles and I have been able to sit on my own when I get them since I was 3. But my little sister Katie who also has PKU gets very nervous for her blood work especially when our mom or dad aren't with us. One day when grandma brought us to CHEO for our blood work we found she could not sit with Katie because she had hurt her arm and could not hold onto Katie. So I told Katie I would sit with her while she was getting her needle. I held Katie's hand and told her that it was going to be okay gave her a kiss and told her it would be over soon. I could tell that she was grateful for me being there for her and giving her my courage through love. Some things are unpleasant and courage helps us get through them. But having courage has also taught me about empathy. Not everyone can be brave for the same things. Understanding how hard it is for some people to be brave means that sometimes sharing your courage is a great way to show you care. Mom wanted me to share this as she has been told by the staff in the lab at CHEO how impressed they were with how I looked after my little sister that day and that they share the story with other families.
I have a disorder called Selective Mutism. Because of this I have not been able to speak around anyone except my family for years. I couldn't even call for help when I was in danger. I used to think I would grow up never speaking. In November my mom took me to Pennsylvania to a special doctor. I was scared to go but I tried to be brave. I learned that SM is not who I am but something I have to fight. I learned to wave at people and take new steps every day that were very scary for me. When I came back home I set new goals each day like using sounds with my teacher. I had to fight really hard against my worries. Finally I decided to talk to a friend. It was as scary as if I was standing on a cloud and looking down at the Earth and had to jump all the way down into a little pond with rocks at the bottom. I decided to jump. Every day I still fight to be brave. I can now use my words with my grandparents, friends, strangers, my whole class and even my Brownie unit. I have so many friends now. I even read better. I'm in choir now and when my choir teacher asked who would like a speaking part in our concert I spoke to her for the first time and said that I would. It was so scary but I felt good afterward. I am now helping another little girl at my school who has Selective Mutism. I want to help her see that she really can get better and that when we learn how to do hard and scary things life is so much more fun.
Shayla is my best friend and she is blind. I am nominating her for the Courage Award because she never lets that stop her. Even though she is blind she is courageous enough to ride a bike and even help me gain confidence when I was learning. There isn't an activity that she won't try, even playing freeze tag. I spend a lot of time with her and help her any way I can. I stay nearby in case she needs help but she never hesitates to tell me when she can do it herself. She is so great that she tries to help other people all the time. She is never upset that she can't see; instead she is proud and can't wait to see what the future will bring. She is actually teaching me how to read and write braille. She is my best friend and an amazing person.
My sister is autistic but hasn’t let that stop her. She couldn’t speak until she was four years old and has difficulty with school and making friends. But when she’s at Guiding she does so well and has a lot of fun. By doing well on her badges she developed the courage to do well at school. She has learned how to make friends from Guiding (which is hard with autism) and has learned how to camp for five days in a tent and help lead in younger units.
I have been in guiding for 11 years. I went through bullying for many years because I was in Guiding and because I was so into it but Guiding to me was my home; it was where I was the happiest. Having a dislocated my knee six times and having surgery, Guiding was what motivated me to get better to be able to be with the other girls and to be able to go to camp. Guiding is my life and I don't know what I would do without it. Most of the lessons I have learned in life are because of Guiding. The obstacles I have faced in life I have successfully overcome them through the guidance of my leaders. As I grow and become a woman in society I am able to apply the lessons such as being a friend being independent and also how work together different people in a group. It has also taught me the basics of how to cook, clean and be responsible. Guiding is my second home where I strive for success where I learn the best.
I used to be a follower because I would follow whatever my friends told me to do. If anybody said don't play with that kid or said she/he's not allowed to play I would follow that. I was so afraid to disagree with anyone who told me what to do. Also I thought that they wouldn't like me and I would lose my friends. I became resourceful by talking to my family, my teachers and friends and I listened to my heart. My heart guided me and helped me to know what to say to the bullies and other friends who were making bad choices. It took a lot of courage but I spoke from my heart and tried to be strong and not weak in my words to say what you just did was not okay and next time you do that I will speak up and tell you what I feel inside my heart. I've taught my friends what I learned and that was to work together play together and listen to their own hearts. Now I have a great relationship with my friends and with myself.
I am nominating myself for the Resourcefulness Award because when I'm confronted by a problem I try to resolve it from many angels. I try my best to make things fair and listen to all sides of the story. I'm a third year Guide from 1st Brokenhead GOTgo unit. I completed all four program areas, all three camping levels, all three service levels and earned my Lady Baden-Powell Challenge plus numerous interest badges and extra challenges (too many to list!). With my resourcefulness I have achieved these great goals and learned valuable lessons like how to build outdoor shelters, make fire and how to do first aid. Our unit does 'patrol cooking' and being experienced in the kitchen I help lead and teach the other girls in the unit. I am homeschooled and often cook my own meals so I can adapt easily in the kitchen. I also have my babysitting license so I watch my little sister. One time we had a disagreement over which game we should play together but I thought of a compromise – we blended our two games together! When we work in groups I use my resourcefulness to make sure everyone's ideas are heard.
Being resourceful means being able to act effectively or imaginatively in difficult situations. I think that when a situation arises I definitely act on the spot. I babysit regularly and when children have a problem you have to be able to act on your feet. Another example of me being resourceful is when I was two years old my father passed away from a brain tumor. He left behind just me and my mom. Ever since we had to be able to do certain things on our own that we wouldn't normally have had to do if there was a man around. That is definitely Girl Greatness! For example just a couple of months ago my mom and I fixed our washing machine. We took everything apart replaced the part and put everything back together. Together we have repaired many different things and we have definitely learned many new lessons along the way. Although losing a parent is the most difficult thing I've had to go through I am happy that I have been able to learn many new lessons. When I get older I will be able to do many things myself without spending money for someone else to come and repair it. And I think that is the most resourceful you can get! Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity.
I belong to a the Orillia Youth Orchestra and play the trumpet. The orchestra is dependent on donations to survive. In order to raise funds we play at coffee houses, street fairs such as Beatlemania in downtown Orillia, and special events. The money we raise allows us to perform and mentor at local elementary schools, play at retirement homes and at St. Paul's United church services during Lent. We have also played for the city council to help raise awareness for music in education. I have learned the value of sharing of one's talents through my many years with Girl Guides of Canada where our goal was to volunteer for local causes including making pillow cases for kids at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Finding resourceful ways to raise money is challenging but always a win-win!
MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD
Presley and I have been friends since pre-school and in September of last year we joined the same Sparks unit. I am nominating Presley for the Making a Difference Award because she is kind and shares with others in a big way! For the past two years she has had birthday parties which are a little different from the ordinary. Instead of accepting presents for herself they are donated to a charity that she chooses. For example last year at her fifth birthday party her friends were asked to bring items for the animals at the SPCA which they really needed. My Mom took me shopping for food, toys, treats and leashes. This was a lot of fun since I don't have any pets of my own! Presley brought all of the presents to the SPCA and her Mom arranged a field trip for her classmates. We really enjoyed playing and learning about all of the animals that needed new homes. This year at Presley's sixth birthday party we were asked to bring toys for the children's ward at our local hospital. My Mom said these toys would make a lot of children feel better when they were scared from getting needles or being away from their parents. Presley received lots of cool toys for the hospital which she delivered with her little brother. This made her very proud! My Mom says that Presley is "making a difference" in our community and knows what it means to be a good Spark. This makes me happy to be her friend and maybe someday I can also make a difference.
I am nominating myself because in September 2012 I started Cookies for Cancer to fundraise for cancer care in Newfoundland and Labrador. The cookies I bake are iced and then decorated with a ribbon you can eat which represents various cancers. I have made 4,400 to date. Cookies sell for 50 cents each or $2.50 for six. I've also started selling bread dough, gluten-free cookies and dog biscuits. I sell cookies all the time to my family, friends, teachers and neighbours. I have also held sales at the CBS Relay for Life, a local ladies' breakfast, College of the North Atlantic, and Confederation Building. So far I have raised $2,450 for my cause.
I discovered a group called ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation). It is an organization that rescues dogs that are homeless. I decided to help. I made bracelets for two dollars and I raised more than $200. Then my mom and I went to some stores and bought items off their wish list (toys, food, treats, etc). Also the money that I needed to make the bracelets came from my piggy bank. When I went into ARF the people that worked there were so excited. It made me feel so happy. They told me I just saved some puppies lives. I think I made a huge difference to the dogs. My Grandma has cancer so I decided to grow my hair for the girls who have cancer and who need wigs. I had to grow my hair 8 inches. It took two years but I did it. So I went to my hairdresser and she cut off my hair. It was so short I felt so weird and I did not like the way it looked but I know I made some girls happy. And now I inspired my cousin Kate to donate her hair for cancer. I think that I made girls happy and I saved a lot of dogs and cats and I think that I made a difference in my life.
Isabelle is very kind and giving in nature. Everything she does is always done in consideration of how it will affect others. She has donated her hair to Locks of Love since she was six. She ran a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research when her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. She organizes groups of students at school to help special needs students and so that the special needs students always have a friend with them. Every Monday she runs the Breakfast Club at her school. She is always the first to ask "How can I help?" wherever she goes. In October her mother became sick and was away from home a lot. Isabelle kept up her volunteer activities at school in the community and at her church plus helped to make sure everything still happened at home that needed to. She helped cook and clean and kept up her school work. Even though she was very worried about her Mom she always had a smile on her face and kind words for others and she was still the first to offer to help anywhere she went. Her teachers always know they can count on her.
Sheliza has been involved with the Junior Achievement by being a local ambassador for two years and being chosen to represent Southern Alberta on the National Ambassador Team. Though she is actively involved with Junior Achievement she is also a co-chair of the Mayor’s Youth Council of Calgary the Youth Advisory Council for the Calgary Public Library and the Youth of Distinction Awards Committee. She is also actively involved in the Alberta Health Care System as she is a part of the Child and Youth Advisory Council for Alberta Health Services and on the Youth Symposium Planning Board for Mental Health. Last year Sheliza was the president of her company iSpark and plans to continue her determination and strive for success throughout her experience with Unwired. In school Sheliza is an active member of a clubs in her school where she takes on the leadership roles of being a section editor for the Student Speak and Clubs section Speech Coach Math Tutor and a Youth In Action Executive Member. She also takes part in her school choir and a University Bollywood Dance Group called STATIC. Sheliza also created a self-run fundraiser called Sight Nigh where she raises used eyeglasses for third world countries. She started her own organization called Children’s Birthday Miracles that provides birthday parties to less fortunate children around Calgary. She has been a Girl Guide since the age of five and has been elected for six years as the President of her Rangers and Pathfinder group. In her mosque Sheliza has been chosen as a leader to mentor younger girls who are volunteering there. She has been volunteering there since she was five. Sheliza hopes that her passion for philanthropy public speaking Bollywood dancing singing and business will guide her to a successful career path.