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

Just Posted

Abbotsford Police Department’s public service counter reopens

Some modified protocols in place for the public due to COVID-19

VIDEO: Abbotsford Time Lapse 2020

YouTube user posts video showing time lapse of several Abbotsford locations

Abbotsford resident receives award from B.C. Historical Federation

Bill Glasgow honoured for work on British Columbia History magazine

VIDEO: #FreeThemAll group protests for prisoner rights in Abbotsford

About 20 participate in car demonstration outside of Matsqui Institution on Sunday

Abbotsford Christian’s Meinen named 2A all-star

Zach Meinen named to provincial all-star squad for 2019-20

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Andrew Weaver says he was ready to defeat John Horgan government

Independent MLA blasts B.C. Greens over LNG opposition

20 dead in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

There were two new cases detected, according to the Lodge’s update

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

UPDATE: One person dead, two in critical condition after Highway 1 collision in Langley

A man and woman were taken to hospital in critical condition

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

Most Read