Girl Guides bring together friendship, fun and service

Since September, LOCAL Girl Guides have completed quite a few service projects

On Jan. 17, more than 80 girls aged five to 15 gathered at the Sooke Community Hall for a wintery afternoon of friendship, fun, dancing and service.

Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers from Harbours District Girl Guides, wearing their frilliest princess dresses, partook in winter-themed crafts, games, and a “Frozen” photo booth.

The older girls had another element to their afternoon – service.

After collecting purses from around the community, each girl filled a purse with hygiene supplies and gloves, making a “Handbag for Hope” for women in need in the communities around us.

They wound up with 70 full purses, some of which went to the Sooke Transition House, with the others going to Soap for Hope for distribution around women’s shelters on Vancouver Island. They also collected a large donation of food for the Sooke Food Bank.

“Community service is an important part of the Girl Guide program and it is great to be able to complete such a useful project at such a fun event,” said Maryna Ell of the Harbours District Girl Guides.

“It is hoped these purses will be helpful during the coming months and they look forward to completing more service projects in the future.”

Since September, Girl Guides completed quite a few service projects: the district helped decorate bags for the Sooke Food Bank Christmas hampers (and then the Pathfinders helped pack them), the Rangers baked 30 dozen cookies for Vital Vittles, the Sparks put together some “Birthdays-in-a-box” for CASA, and over the last couple months the whole district collected 600 books for the 1st Sooke Guides’ book drive. All the books will be donated to local literacy programs.

Harbours District Girl Guides welcomes all girls, no matter their age (although the youngest ones do need to be in kindergarten) and they are recruiting adult volunteers. Registration opens online on June 1 for the 2016-2017 year.

Cookies will be available from Girl Guides starting March 28 and sold April 2 and 3 at Shoppers Drug Mart.

The girls are also doing a door-to-door blitz this year, so watch for them in the neighbourhoods of Whiffen Spit, Church Road and Broomhill Park.