BC Girl Guides is a provincial council
within the National organization of Girl Guides of Canada - Guides
British Columbia (BC) Guiding Memories
1909 – Nesta Ashworth, an original English Guide, crashed the Crystal Palace Boy Scout rally held in England.
Nesta brought her Guiding to Canada, eventually working as a Guider in Vancouver. In 1920 she was awarded the Silver Fish, recognizing her outstanding achievements. She sadly passed away in 1982.
1910 – BC’s first registered Guide Units were opened in Sardis and Vancouver.
The Sardis Guide Unit used the local trillium flower as their Unit emblem. When they camped, they traveled by buggy (a one-horse rig) or rode horses out to historic Sumas Lake, once located beyond the Vedder River. At camp the girls hiked, cooked and swam.
The Vancouver Guide Unit met at St. James Church. A highlight of this Unit’s activities was a camp out held on Bowen Island.
1919 – BC Guiding hosted its first provincial rally in Victoria.
Timeline of BC’s decades in Guiding
History of Guiding in Canada
Our beginning – In 1909, uninvited British girls crashed the Scouting rally organized by Lord Baden-Powell at the Crystal Palace in London, Great Britain, to let him know of their interest. By 1910 the girls enthusiasm had spread to Canada.
During the summer of 1910, Lord Baden-Powell’s (BP) plans included attending the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto and visiting new Boy Scout troops across Canada. With the encouragement of his sister Agnes Baden-Powell, he also met with Canadian Girl Guide Units.
In her book, Like Measles, It’s Catching, author Anne Gloin recalls: “The Girl Guides did not crash the (CNE) party, but according to newspaper accounts, BP did meet with the Girl Guides when he toured the Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Vancouver areas. It seems whenever a girl gets her hands on a copy of Scouting for Boys, she organizes a patrol and the game starts. Immigrating girls, who were Girl Guides in England, are quick to organize Units as soon as they are settled into their homes. They’re even in Dawson City!”
1909 – Agnes Baden-Powell writes two pamphlets to show interested girls how to organize Guide Units
1910 – Guiding in Canada officially begins when St. Catharines Unit is registered in London, England on January 11. Units open in Toronto, Winnipeg, Moose Jaw and Sardis the same year
1911 – The Dominion Council is formed to oversee Canadian registrations
1912 – Agnes Baden-Powell appoints Lady Pellatt* as the first Chief Commissioner for Canada
1979 – Pathfinders Units open for girls ages 12 to 15
1988 – Spark Units open for girls ages 5 to 6
2010 – Guiding celebrates in100th birthday in Canada
For more information about the history of Guiding, visit Girl Guides of Canada.
* Lady Pellatt’s home, Casa Loma (a historical site today), was host to many Guiding events.