Girl Guiding in Cayman is set to expand with the formation of a new unit in George Town.
With only three Guide units for girls aged 10 to 14 years old in Cayman until now, the new unit is being created to provide sufficient capacity for girls aged 7 to 10 to move up from the 11 local Brownies units once they are eligible.
According to Island Commissioner Allison Taylor, the first weekly meeting of the 6th George Town Guides will take place on Monday, April 11, at the St. Ignatius School library, between 5:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The new unit is looking to attract around 18 girls and will be run by Guide leaders Louisa Gibson, Loren Cooper and Jenny Stroud.
“Guiding gives girls and young women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities,” said Ms. Taylor.
Guiding in Cayman started in the 1930s. The Guide program is divided into five areas: discovery of new experiences and challenges; healthy lifestyles; global awareness; skills and relationships; and celebrating diversity.
For parents and children new to Guiding, Ms. Taylor noted that the global movement is credited for building girls’ confidence and raising their aspirations.
“We give them the chance to discover their full potential and encourage them to be a powerful force for good. Guides take part in a wide range of exciting activities at their regular meetings, and at special events or holidays,” she said.
“Girls do everything from adventure sports to playing fun games, and from taking part in community action projects to the performing arts.”
As with all units across the globe, Girl Guides work together in small groups or “patrols” and, with the support of adult leaders, choose and run some of the activities themselves using resource packs.
The islands’ Guides’ most recent high-profile event occurred during the visit of the Earl and Countess of Wessex to Cayman.
As president of Girlguiding U.K., the Countess was presented with a bouquet by local Guide Carrie McCoy.
“Having been a Brownie and a Guide as a kid in the Cayman Islands, I am so excited to become a leader and share the opportunity with girls who are coming up from Brownies and girls who are new to the experience,” said Ms. Gibson, one of the three leaders of the new unit.
She also remarked that being a Guide not only promotes leadership skills and community involvement, but allows Guides to simply be themselves and use their initiative.
“Some of my best childhood memories are times when we had our meetings or camps, from stargazing and learning about the constellations to roasting marshmallows around a campfire in North Side,” said Ms. Gibson. “Some of my adult skills are also all thanks to being a Guide. I can pitch a tent, tie knots, make crêpes, knit and I know all of my planets.”
Enthusiastic about the new unit, Ms. Gibson has a lot of ideas already brewing. “We are going to have so much fun. We are going to reach some of our goals – maybe learn to sew, volunteer, and have movie nights and camping trips. The possibilities are endless,” she said.
Parents and guardians of girls between 10 and 14 years old who are interested in becoming guides are invited to visit the Girlguiding Cayman Islands Facebook page.
To register and learn about fees, which will cover a Guide T-shirt, patrol emblem and promise badge, a Girl Guide sash, Guide scarf, and various other items for the rest of the school year, contact Allison Taylor at [email protected]
Local Girl Guide units
The 5th George Town Guides meets at St. Ignatius School Library Thursdays, 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 1st Clifton Hunter Guides meets Tuesdays, 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and 1st Cayman Brac Guides meets at Creek Infant School Thursdays, 6-7 p.m.