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Revelstoke Girl Guides heading to Switzerland and Spain in 2025

Troop leader hopes trip will reignite interest in guiding

The Revelstoke Girl Guides are busy fundraising for a trip to Switzerland in the summer of 2025.

It all began with the observance of the flags behind Revelstoke Railway Museum in March, 2021. During a hike behind the museum, some of the girl guides started to ask questions about the flags and what it would be like to travel to those countries.

Revelstoke Girl Guides busy fundraising for their trip to Switzerland and Spain (Michelle Cole)

Questions soon led to planning as their troop leader, Michelle Cole pointed out one special flag with a red background and a white cross. Cole pointed to the flag of Switzerland and explained to the girls that Switzerland is the home of the first of five Girl Guide World Centres.

Cole saw the buzz of excitement in the girls’ eyes and decided to follow their lead, proposing a trip to the world centre. Cole said that during the pandemic, the numbers of girls involved in Girl Guides dropped which is why she was keen to organize a trip that has the potential to revamp interest in Girl Guides.

Besides the pandemic, Cole also cited the vast availability of activities in Revelstoke as a reason why retaining older girls can be difficult.

“Maybe this will be something that will help build the program,” said Cole.

Revelstoke Girl Guides have been busy all year raising money for their upcoming trip (Michelle Cole)

The Swiss site is the first of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) world sites. Located in the Swiss Alps, it was the first WAGGGS site, established in 1932. Cole explained the importance of the historical site as it was integral in reuniting refugees during the Second World War. While the chalet was closed to its regular guests, refugees used the site and the guiding and scouting connections to help them reunite with friends and family.

The Revelstoke Girl Guides will be participating in the explorer program and will be busy using Revelstoke’s mountains as the program will be putting their hiking and map reading skills to the test.

While the trip may be two years away, the girls are already well into their fundraising efforts which has included selling cookies (Girl Guides Canada requires 25 per cent of their fundraising efforts to come from cookies sales), movie nights, selling laundry strips, and washing dishes at various community events.

Revelstoke Girl Guides have been busy helping the community and raising funds for their upcoming trip (Michelle Cole)

Cole noted that their fundraising activities also aim to help the community at large.

“We’re doing things that are giving back to the community,” said Cole.

After they spend a week at the Swiss WAGGGS centre, the girls will head to Northern Spain for a week (independent of WAGGGS).

To support the Girl Guides, you can find them selling cookies at the Revelstoke Farm and Craft Market.

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About the Author: Lauren McNeil

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