Future Voter Challenge: My favourite Girl Guides badge activity

Future Voter Challenge: My favourite Girl Guides badge activity

It was an exciting election year in Canada, but no one was more excited than my Brownies group! I started volunteering with Girl Guides of Canada a year ago, bringing my involvement with GG to 5 years as I too was a Brownie and Girl Guide! I chose to volunteer with GG because:

They promote inclusivity!

They promote young girls having a voice!

They promote young girls as leaders!

They promote giving back to the community!

They promote a love of nature and the environment!

Some days I feel that the girls teach me more than I teach them, but for the Future Voter Challenge, I wanted to teach them about fair elections, being a majority and participating in their democracy. 

Their first task was to vote for their group mascot. They decided on Bea the Butterfly because she represents caring and creativity. I hade the girls a very special ballot box to cast their vote, and we held it on election day. I structured their election the same way as our federal election. I also shared my story about how I had voted earlier that day!

The girls each presented a rule that they would like our unit to follow for the remainder of our Brownies year. We voted on the rules, and if the majority stood behind it, then the rule was voted into LAW! We also shared what issues we care about and why we care about. Doing this allowed the girls to see the world from each others perspective. They were thoughtful and inquisitive and truly cared about each other's opinions. 

I asked each girl to present a question that they would like to ask a politician. I was honestly surprised at how many questions the Brownies had! When I thought about a politician to submit the questions to I instantly thought of Cherie Wong. She is an incredibly inspiring young woman of colour who is the Green Party rep in Ottawa Centre. I first met Cheri at a climate change protest that I was photographing. She cares deeply about human rights and the environment.

Cheri was kind enough to answer the girls questions. The first thing one of the girls asked me was "Did your friend that you wrote to write you back?" The girls were so excited. It sparked a conversation about what parts of being a politician would be hard- and what parts would be fun! I created handouts to take home so Cheri's words would always be on hand to inspire them to be leaders.

I also taught them that volunteering is a great way to participate in democracy because we only vote once every 1 to 4 years. But we can volunteer every day, to create the world that we want to live in. Just like I do with the Girl Guides of Canada!

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