Kylar Tennart poses with Diamond Isinger’s card at Rally on the Shores Nanaimo (Submitted photo)

Girl, 12, gets B.C. government to give Girl Guides same school credits as boys’ groups

Ladysmith Pathfinder Kylar Tennart advocated for changes to the B.C. external credit program

Right on time for the new school year, the B.C. Ministry of Education has made a change — prompted by B.C. Girl Guide advocacy — that will benefit teen girls enrolled in Girl Guides across the province.

Effective September 1, Girl Guides will receive four credits for achieving the Canada Cord, and the Trailblazer Leadership Gold Award, for a total of 8 possible graduation credits, which is equivalent to two high school classes. This change will bring the Girl Guides credit in line with similar groups.

Under the B.C. government’s external credits program, B.C. teens can receive high school graduation credit for approved programs, like Cadets, Scouts, Girl Guides, etc. To qualify, programs must be governed by a provincial, national, or international body; have certified instructors, be non-discriminatory, and offer credentials to a number of students throughout B.C.

Kylar Tennart, a 12-year-old Ladysmith Pathfinder, (the 12-14 bracket of Girl Guides) noticed that Girl Guides received only two credits for achieving the Canada Cord, a prestigious award given to guides who put their leadership skills into action. The same was true for the Trailblazer Leadership Gold Award for girls aged 15-17.

Under the previous system, Girl Guides who achieved both awards would receive only four graduation credits. Given the difficulty of achieving these awards, Tennart believed Guides deserved more credit. At the “Rally on the Shores” Girl Guides event in Nanaimo, Tennart approached Girl Guides provincial commissioner Diamond Isinger with her “big idea”.

“Kylar came up with the idea and said, ‘I want this change to be made’… I gave her my business card, and I said ‘send me an email with more details’. She emailed immediately after the event that evening. So, I knew she meant business, and she really cared about making this change for other girls,” Isinger said.

Following Tennart’s feedback, Insinger did research on the topic, and found Girl Guides were receiving significantly less credits than organizations that catered to traditionally male audiences, such as Cadets, 4-H, and Scouts — even though their awards require similar learning outcomes, time and effort.

The B.C. Girl Guides then reached out the B.C. Ministry of Education. The ministry was open-minded and collaborated with the Girl Guides on implementing the change. Isinger said that the B.C. Girl Guides have been developing programs that align closely with the new provincial curriculum.

“There’s a lot of focus on personal growth, and having a growth mindset where you’re constantly trying to improve yourself, to discover new things, and challenge yourself. That’s what we’re all about,” Isinger said. “I think it’s terrific. We’re always looking for more attention for the amazing contributions our girls make through the program.”

For Tennart, this development has come as a big surprise. She said she didn’t expect the government to listen to her idea at all.

“I thought that they wouldn’t approve of it,” she said. “I have a lot of emotions right now. It feels good because I know that I’m changing something.”

The change could potentially impact thousands of girls in B.C. as the Girl Guides are seeing increased enrolment across the province.

Currently, the Girl Guides are looking for adult women to volunteer as Guide leaders. Some B.C. communities have large wait lists to join Girl Guides because demand is high, and there is not enough volunteer capacity to meet demand. No experience is required. The Girl Guides will provide training, and have flexible volunteer hours.

“We’re doing a lot of exciting things as an organization,” Isinger said. “There are a lot of communities that are growing in B.C. very quickly. Lots of new families are moving to those communities, and lots of children are being born in those communities… We’re always trying to find those inspiring, amazing women to be those champions.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Lake Country mine makes way for industrial project

Council holds a special meeting to rezone property

Water floods Vernon skate park, playground

Polson Park remains closed following Tuesday storms

Lumby man gives back for Canada Day

Food packages given away to those living on the streets in Vernon

New cherry packing facility to open near Ellison Lake this weekend

Despite a lacklustre cherry crop this year, Jealous Fruits is opening its new state-of-the-art packing facility

Fond farewell to retiring Vernon teachers

Special socially-distant ceremony thanks St. James teachers

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Dog rescued from rocky ledge in Summerland

Penticton Search and Rescue members perform high angle rescue

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

In photos and video: Colourful Canada Day parade rolls through Sicamous

Patriotic procession allows community to celebrate together while maintaining distance

Northbound lane of Coquihalla closed after vehicle incident near Hope

A northbound lane is closed just north of the Great Bear Snowshed, according to DriveBC

Two rescued from tipped sailboat in Okanagan Lake near Kelowna

The two men were quickly brought to shore by a marine rescue crew

Most Read