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Curator’s Corner

The Girl Guide Association was officially established in the UK in 1910

Girl Guides began in the United Kingdom in 1909, following the appearance of a group of girls at a Boy Scout rally. The founder of Boy Scouts, Lord Robert Baden-Powell decided then that the girls should have their own movement. The Girl Guide Association was officially established in the UK in 1910 by Robert’s sister, Agnes. By 1912, there were units across the world, including every Canadian province, and the Canadian Girl Guides Association was formed. 
In 1919, an International Council was held, later being renamed the International Conference. At the fourth International Conference in 1926, World Thinking Day was launched. This day, celebrated on February 22nd to commemorate the birthdays of Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Olave, celebrates the worldwide Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement. Two years later, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) was formed at the fifth International Conference. Canada was among the 26 founding members. In 1931, WAGGGS reached one million members. 
During the World Wars, Girl Guides took on domestic roles to aid soldiers on the front lines, including making ration bags, knitting wool socks, and raising monetary, food, and clothing donations. Girl Guides also cared for the sick and young at home, worked in soup kitchens and worked in day nurseries. Following the Second World War, adult guides travelled to Europe to assist relief efforts.
There are numerous Girl Guides of Canada who have gone on to garner fame. Some notable names include singers Céline Dion and Sarah McLachlan, author Margaret Atwood, two former Governor Generals, and Canada’s first female astronaut, Roberta Bondar.
Today, Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) continues to inspire and empower young women to create, achieve, and succeed. They provide a safe environment for girls to challenge themselves, make new friends, have fun, and make a difference. GGC aims to ensure all girls and women from any background can participate and feel that they belong.

Carlee Pearn is the newest student curator at the Virden Pioneer Home Museum. She was raised in the Virden area and now attends Carleton University in Ottawa. Carlee will enter her second year of the Health Sciences program in the fall and aspires to one day become a pediatric or orthopedic surgeon.