Making A Difference: 4 Girls Guides Take on the World
Girls Guides of Canada is actively engaged in providing positive opportunities to transform girls into strong women. This summer, four incredible young women, Krista Gomez, Kylee Semenoff, Ailish McDonald and Elizabeth King have been selected to travel on service trips that will allow them to engage in leadership training and service abroad. These girls were selected to travel based on their commitment to volunteerism to Girl Guides, volunteering in the community, engagement in program and being strong community leaders.
Krista, Kylee and Elizabeth are all departing Fort McMurray July 2nd for Ecuador. The trip is a Alberta Council, also covers Northwest Territories and Yukon, sponsored trip. While there, these ladies will explore the country, interact with locals in cultural activities, work with youth and participate in a service project. Ailish has two different adventures scheduled for 2018. On July 8th, she will depart for Tanzania, Africa with Me to We and Girl Guides Red Wing TREX. As part of this trip, the Girl Guides will bead with Maasai women, complete a water project, work with youth in the Me to We village, participate in cultural and leadership workshops and go on a Safari trek. Then, in September Ailish will represent Canada as part of the nationally selected contingent going to the Sydney Jamboree in Australia. Australia is an outdoor camping adventure with opportunities for service work and enhancing outdoor adventure skills in the blue Mountains. All four girls selected volunteer with Girl Guide units at the Spark and Brownie levels, as well as committing to their Ranger (15-18) and Pathfinder (12-14) units. So who are these girl guides?
Ailish McDonald is a first year Ranger with 13th Rangers and Grade 9 student at Holy Trinity Catholic High School. Ailish is actively engaged in community volunteerism through Girl Guides and on her own. This year, she's continued to help with Sparks and assisted with Pathfinders as opportunities arose. She has attended many camps like Music is Fun, Waterworld and Guiding Mosaic. Through Guiding, she has volunteered with Food Bank drives, and chose book blessings for her Service Project. Outside of guiding, she volunteered for a Festival of Trees, the sock drive for Center of Hope, the Alberta Winter Games, the Community a Food Bank Drives and Fort City Church in the nursery. In February, Ailish traveled with Kings Kids Productions to Los Cabos Mexico where she volunteered for a week in soup kitchen and helped with children's programming. This spring, she has participated in the Timeraiser Fusesocial event to raise volunteer hours through art. Through school, she has participated in Me to We initiatives like the cake auction, food bank drives, water walk and toy drives for Santa's Anonymous. In her spare time, she swims for the Fort McMurray Manta Swim Club. Selected as Global Citizen of the Year for Holy Trinity in Grade 7 and 8, she has also achieved leadership awards and District Honour Roll. She holds the Canada Cord and is working towards her Trailblazer Leadership Award, and Commonwealth Awards. Next up, she was recently selected to go to India-Nepal 2020 to learn more about leadership, and ecological conservation working at an Elephant Sanctuary.
Krista Gomez is a third year Pathfinder and a grade 9 student at Ecole McTavish. This trip to Ecuador is her second global trip as she was nationally selected to represent Canada in Ireland 2017. She has volunteered with Sparks and participated in community service projects such as food bank drives, Festival of Trees, Community Clean- Up, sock kits for the Center of Hope and more. She has just completed the work for her Canada Cord, which will be awarded in June. She is an active athlete playing basketball, volleyball, track and badminton, where she competed in the Alberta Winter Games. Krista can also be found singing as part of the McTavish School Show Choir and Glee Club. She's been going to Girl Guide camp opportunities like the National Guiding Mosaic Camp and provincial camps for years. She's also a Honors with a Distinction student and was awarded the Sportsmanship award at her school last year. Once back from Ecuador, look for her fundraising for her next adventure to India-Nepal 2020.
Kylee Semenoff is a 2nd year Ranger and a grade 11 student at Fort Murray Composite High School. She volunteers with a Brownie unit and helps around the Guiding community in Fort McMurray when she can. She has gone to many Alberta Council camps over the years including Arts Camp, Friendship camp, Music is Fun camp and Guiding Mosaic 2016. She is a terrific shot with a bow and arrow, as she won top awards at Archery Camp. She is a LGBT youth member in her community and loves to volunteer with community events such as PRIDE, Festival of Trees and school events. She is often found doing art, playing video games and singing with her friends and family. Currently, she is working on a song book for the Northern Lights District. She earned her Canada Cord in Pathfinders and is working towards her Chief Commissioner's Gold award after completing Silver and Bronze previously.
Elizabeth King is a grade 9 student at Holy Trinity Catholic High School and a third year Pathfinder. She always claims to have grown up in girl guides. She is an avid outdoor enthusiastic, participating in camps like Archery Camp and Guiding Mosaic. Elizabeth assists with a local Sparks unit and has achieved her a Canada Cord, the highest award in Pathfinders. She has attended camps in Alberta and assisted with local camping adventures. An active member of the Holy Trinity Catholic High School concert band, she has been awarded leadership accolades. A strong competitor, she was invited to attend the Kevin Martin Curling Camp. She also attends other curling camps, bonspiels, and takes advantage of leadership training when possible.
These four exceptional community leaders have fundraised and found ways to make a difference in the community. On their travels, they will bring back knowledge and an appreciation for other cultures. They will be encouraged to share stories of their journeys with Fort McMurray youth. Girl Guides of Canada is truly encouraging these young women to be everything they want to be.