Girl Guides of Canada - Link
General Information

Last updated: December 7, 1997

Compiled by Jennifer Walker, Edmonton AB


Questions and Answers
Tips for Link Members
Tips on Starting Link
Poem by Link Members
Newspaper Article about Link
Why Should Link Exist?


Questions and Answers about Link

(answers by J. Walker - questions I have actually been asked!)

Q. If I'm a registered Guider can I also register in Link? There seems to be some confusion in my Area.. the Link Coordinator is happy to have me on her mailing list for Link activities but I'm not sure if I can actually register as well.. I would be paid for in my Division as a Guider since I'm lucky enough to have them pay my registration.. Just wondered...

A. YES YES YES you are allowed to register as a Link member and as a Guider. The POR states "Link members can hold other positions in Guiding" - just as a Guider could also be a Trainer, or a Commissioner, or an Adviser, etc.

There is no doubt that the definition in POR is meant to be interpreted that Link members can also be Guiders, as this was a change brought in by the work of the National Young Women's Caucus - and I have checked with 2 former members now on National Council as to the motivation and intent behind that change - and they confirmed that yes, allowing "dual membership" (ie. as Link and as a Guider) was the intent.


Tips for Link Members

Link has been a great experience for me. I think that the best tip that I can give to any other Link members is to get in contact with other Guiding members in the community. Let them know how much or how little you want to do as a Link member, and ask them to keep you informed when special events such as camps and rallies are coming up so that even if you don't have time to be a regular leader, you can lend your leadership skills and other talents to other younger members of Guiding. Guiding always needs volunteers, no matter how much time they have to give! -- Mandy Wilson


Tips on How to Start Link

It's been a struggle here, and a lot of work on my part - everyone wants to do all sorts of neat things and has great ideas, but when it comes down to the crunch, most are too busy with school, etc. to help with planning, phoning, etc. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have e-mail to correspond with most of the Edmonton members - I'd never get around to phoning all the time.

Is there a newsletter going out to Link members on a provincial basis? We have one three times a year, and I've encouraged (ie. begged, harassed, cajoled, etc.) Link members to contribute blurbs about what they've been up to, so that everyone feels they are a part of the group (even if they can't make it to any activities, or live too far away).

It really takes someone who's willing to put in the initial effort to get Link members together and organize the first few meetings until things are going well, then stay around for support and encouragement as the Link members organize their own stuff. It doesn't have to be a Link member who does this (though I am - I was frustrated because nothing was happening!) - in Calgary the Link contact/coordinator is the mom of one of the Link members, and this happens to be the age group she wants to work with (rather than Sparks, or Guides, etc). It looks as though someone will take over Edmonton for me, so then I'll be able to encourage Link in the rest of Alberta to try some activities.

I guess, if a Provincial Council is interested in having an active Link group, they could advertise for someone to volunteer to get it started. Or, if there is a Provincial Link Adviser already who just isn't doing much, let me know her name and address and I'll send her some stuff from Alberta. -- Jennifer Walker, Alberta Provincial Link Adviser


Poem By Two Link Members - UNITED IN A DREAM

In faith we walk through this dark world facing many troubles and fears. Held together by the strength of a friend, sharing joys and sharing years.

Each of us has a destination dreams to catch and rainbows to chase. We all have a purpose and we all have a place.

United by an organization which teaches, love, respect and peace. We learn skills essential for survival creating bonds that can never be broken. We understand what can never be spoken.

We can smile through despair and we can face life's challenges in strength that comes from our experience.

Women to women, we hold the hope that we will be everything we can be. Setting new standards in society and redefing the morals of a lost world.

We learn to love each other, despite our failures or differences. Linking arms in friendships, that last forever.

We are the Girl Guides of Canada. We are individuals, we are the young generation. Thunder, Thunder, THUNDERATION!!!

-by Aime Hutton and friend


AM I THE ONLY ONE??? - newspaper article by a Link member

Wow!! Finding out that you are accepted to university is a really interesting experience. With the excitement of being in first year, there are worries and questions that you are always asking yourself. The biggest one for me was, "Are there any other people like me in university?" You see, I was looking for someone who has been in the same organization as me, the largest all-female organization in Canada and the world. An organization where everyone is treated equal and we are all "sisters". It helps young girls and women become confident and build up their self-esteem, develop excellent communication and leadership skills, and make and keep amazing friends. The organization that I am talking about is the Girl Guides of Canada!!

When Igot to university residence, my house president walked into my room, said hello and glanced down on my bed at some Guide paraphernalia as asked, "Are you in Guiding?" "Yes, are you?" I said back. She said that she was in Guiding and she is now a Link Member. At that mement I was so happy that I jumped up and gave her a big hug; she had been in Guiding for as long as I had - 15 years.

I aslo met met a Ranger Leader and a former member of Guiding within the first month of University. I was applying to the Lakehead University Emergency First Response Team and the two women who were interviewing me were also involved in Guiding. Once I found that out, I felt a little more relaxed during the interview because we had something in common with each other.

Meeting these women within the first month of university here in Thunder Bay made my worries go away. I know that wherever I go there will always be someone involved in Guiding.

Links are a part of the Guiding tree. For the most part they are women in university or college, and due to time commitment and location cannot commit to regular meetings every week. Our Link Unit meets once a month at different locations.

Guiding gives girls and women the self-confidence that if you put our mind to a task, it can be achieved, no matter how hard the obstacles are. During Orientation Week way back in September there was one night with a bonfire and a sing-song. Chris Straka (Lakehead University Student Union President) was leading the singsong, and he asked if there was anyone who wanted to lead a song. I said that I would and I was very neervous but after I got into the song my worries went away. You see, Guiding has boosted my self-confidence and makes speaking in front of people easier.

In the community I assist with the Regional Family Centre. Using my leadership skills I am able to work alongside other volunteers to help children have a safe and fun afternoon doing different activities. The children listen to the other volunteers and me because we are able to comminicate effectivly and use our leadership skills in a positive way. Guiding has given ne important life skills like communication and leadership so that I can react in any situation.

Another reason why I have stayed in Guiding is because of the many friendships I have made. I have a pen friend who lives in London England; we have been writing for eight years but we have never met. Someday, I would love to meet her. I met my pen friend through Guiding.

As I said before, I am proud to be in the Guiding movement! It has given me life skills and enriched my life forever, I have also met amazing friends who I know will keep in tough for a long time.

I love Guiding, I would never give it up for anything. I have many fond memories and I want more girls to experience the friendship and great memories that I have received from Guiding. Please support the Girl Guides by buying cookies and calendars. Alyays remember Girl Guides...where all girls and women are welcome!!

For more information about Guiding visit us at www.girlguides.ca.

-Aime Hutton


Why Should Link Exist? - Barb Wright

For any Guider over 30 who may feel left out because Link is organizing events for Guiders under 30:
1. We all share so much -- but some things we need to do with people of like experience. (same reason we're an all female organization.) Sometimes, just sometimes, we need to be with those going through what we are at this stage of our lives.

Sometimes I just want to have a good 40-something bitch session about being married a long time (not about being just married), raising teenagers (not about trying to/trying not to get pregnant), trying to stop working so hard (not about finding a job), menopause (see babies above), male mid-life (not how he's different than when we first got together), how we look like our mothers (not how our mothers won't let go). The same as a lot of my Guiding friends in their 60s don't want to listen to the above 40s stuff -- nor me their 60s stuff.

2. If Link sounds so much fun for under 30s, join Trefoil Guild for fun for over 30s. And if they are not of the same age and interests as you, start your own!

3. INCLUDE!!!! BE happy someone is still in Guiding!!!! Share in the sisterhood!!!!


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