photo of two girls and NYC logo

2021-2022 National Youth Council (NYC)

The National Youth Council provides input and insights to Girl Guides of Canada's Board of Directors on the issues impacting girls' lives. Through consultation with other girls and youth, the council dives into what matters to girls and ensures that girls' voices and perspectives are front and centre in decisions shaping the future of Guiding. The National Youth Council consists of 9-12 Rangers from across Canada.

Find out more about Youth Leadership at GGC!

Instagram: @ggcnationalyouthcouncil

2022-2023 Members of the National Youth Council

Desirae

Desirae

Profile:

Hello my name is Desirae and I’m from Alberta. I have been a part of Girl Guides for ten years and love to camp and travel. I’m excited to be a member of the Youth Council and want contribute to expanding Girl Guides. I love growing my knowledge and take as many opportunities as possible to do that. That is why I am super excited to be able to create opportunities for everyone to enjoy!

Meghan

Meghan
Why are you in Guiding?

My name is Meghan, and I am from Alberta. I am 16 years old, and in my second year of Rangers. Having been a part of Girl Guides for the last 12 years has helped shape who I am today. Through Guiding I have been able to take part in activities, international travel and interprovincial camps. I have also learned new skills, and even been able to meet and connect with many amazing people, leaving me with long lasting friendships. It is because of this and so much more that I am in Guiding, as Girl Guides has become a part of my identity and will always be part of who I am.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the National Youth Council this year, because after serving for the last year on the ANY Youth Forum I was able to experience firsthand the important role that the Youth Forum plays in helping to be the voice for the girls of Girl Guides. I felt that it was important for me to use my experience with the ANY Youth Forum to make a difference in Guiding, and I look forward to making even more of a difference and having an even larger, positive effect on Guiding. I wanted to join the National Council to achieve my goal and to be an advocate and a voice for all of the members of GGC

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for this year are to gain a deeper understanding of the role that the Board of Directors has on all members of Girl Guides, and to further my knowledge and understanding of GGC’s core beliefs and values. I hope to be able to be part of the decision-making process and to give a youth’s point of view to enhance the experiences of all members of GGC

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I have been in Spanish immersion since kindergarten. Being able to speak and understand 2 languages has opened many doors for me and has allowed me to meet and connect with some amazing people and create friendships that will last a lifetime.

Catarina

Catarina

Hi! My name is Catarina and I am a second-year Ranger from BC

Why are you in Guiding?

I joined Guiding about eleven years ago and my passion and love for Guiding has only grown since then. Within Guiding, I love working with others to collectively help my community, meet new people, and mentor younger individuals in an inclusive space. As a second-year Ranger, I have grown my passion for involvement within GGC and contributing to the amazing world we live in!

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the National Youth Council as a way to get more involved with GGC and work on larger-scale projects that will provide valuable insight toGGC’s Board of Directors. As someone who is eager to help others, I also joined the National Youth Council as an opportunity to develop leadership and team-collaboration skills, while connecting with others across Canada to work on important initiatives. I am passionate about learning more about the organization's goals and being a youth ambassador and advocating for girls and women across Canada on issues that matter most to them!

What are your goals for the year?

As this is my second year on the National Youth Council, my main goal for the year is to take on a strong leadership role, while working on group recommendations to the Board; as well as advocating and speaking on behalf of girls and women across Canada on problems that they are facing and important issues that matter most to them. I am excited to meet new people, learn more about what Guiding members want to see from GGC and increase girls’ confidence in the future of GGC overall!

Share a fun fact about yourself.

Back in 2020, I had a goal to sell 1000 boxes of Girl Guide cookies during the 2019-2020 cookie campaign. When traditional cookie sales got sidetracked due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I created an online platform to sell all 1000 boxes of cookies and with the power of technology in a rapidly-advancing society, I was able to complete my goal!

Aryana

Profile:

Bio coming soon

Evelyn

Evelyn
Why are you in Guiding?

I am in Guiding because the sense of community and life skills I get from Girl Guides is second to none. The lifelong friendships I have made in guiding is one factor that keeps me coming back to the organisation year after year

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the Youth Council because it gives great opportunities for girls like me to make a positive change in Guiding. If my experience and insight as a girl can make change, I want to use it for the better.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for the year are to work with other members in Guiding as well as my fellow Youth Council members to create positive change within the organisation.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

A fun fact about myself is that I play 4+ instruments!

Lindsay

Lindsay
Why are you in Guiding?

I have always loved Guiding as it has provided me with so many opportunities to become a better leader. As a third-year Ranger who has been involved with GGC since I was a Spark, I have grown so much as a person and continue to explore and exercise my leadership qualities.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the National Youth Council because I have always been fascinated by change. I believe that the power to change your world will come from within you and you have to be the one to make it happen, or it never will. Being on the Council has allowed me to reach my fullest potential and work towards achieving this change.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for this year are to meet as many new people in Guiding as I can and inspire change in several of those individuals!

Share a fun fact about yourself.

When I completed my Canada Cord (in Pathfinders) my Guiders presented me with not only the pin, but the discontinued physical cord as well. That recognition made me reflect on the hard work that I put into achieving the Canada Cord. It was some of the most enjoyable and growth-oriented work I had ever completed in Guiding!

Pearl

Pearl
Why are you in Guiding?

I can’t remember why I started Guiding except that my Mom was a Guide and she wanted me to experience Guiding. However, I can tell you why I stayed in Guiding: because I wanted to express myself in a secure environment where everyone is accepted and welcomed. I think that part of the reason I felt safe to be myself at Guides is that I believe GGC constantly strives to make Guiding more inclusive. One of the many things I like about Guiding is the chance to meet new people. What makes them different? What do we have in common? What are their aspirations? I am very accepting of people’s differences. I feel that through my continued involvement in Guiding I can help to make the world a better place for everyone including people who are different. I feel that I can help to empower everyone by being part of a safe and welcoming place where everyone is free to be themselves.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I love music. I particularly love the music we Guides share together at campfires. No matter what languages the campers speak we can all still sing by the campfire. Even if the music is just stomping your feet or clapping everyone can pick it up - whether visually or by ear. Music is really wonderful like that: it brings everyone together regardless of who they are. I play the violin and enjoy sharing my love of music with others. I am in my last year of high school at the Etobicoke School of the Arts where I major in music. I especially like to play fiddle and folk music. It is a lot of work to be a music major as you have to consistently work hard and practice to stay in the school. I learned that I have the tenacity to stick to my commitments. I practice my violin and go to Girl Guides because I love it. I know that with consistent effort I can make a difference to the future of Guiding.

Sera

Sera
Why are you in Guiding?

I am in Guiding because I believe deeply in the mission to create a better world, by girls. Guiding has made an immeasurable impact on the trajectory of my life by showing me that I could be anything and do anything I wanted. I learned what I loved and what I hated to do, what accommodations I needed and how I could accommodate others, and have made life-long friendships I never would have otherwise. I think there is a genuine need for organizations like GGC in our modern, unequal world so we can be the change that makes it better.

Why did you want to join the Youth Council?

I wanted to join the Council because I have a passion and a love for improvement and change. I want to see how GGC plans and executes what it does on a daily basis and how I can help it run smoother. I'm always full of ideas and I can't wait to pitch them to the other members!

What are your goals for the year?

This year I really want to focus on improving membership and retaining girls all throughout the program. I want to ensure that as many girls as possible can have the same amazing experience I did growing and learning as a Girl Guide! I also want to help GGC reach a wider audience and suggest ways to improve long-standing traditions such as cookie sales and camps!

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I'm in possession of a life-long love for anything creative. From theatre and music to graphic design and watercolours, I've done and loved it all! My favourite activity, though, will always be embroidery :)

Nadia

Nadia
Why are you in Guiding?

I have been Guiding for more than 10 years and I love it! I am a part of it because it has provided me with several unique opportunities to foster my passions. Guiding has allowed me to begin traveling the world and be a leader within my community and for that I am forever grateful.

Why did you want to join the Youth council?

I wanted to join the Youth Council because last year I was a member of the Provincial Youth Council and I wanted to create even more change within the Guiding community nationally. I also thought it was an amazing opportunity to voice my opinions and reform Girl Guides in a way that reflects our values and current times.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals this year are to grow the international travel opportunities within Girl Guides. I believe it's important to show girls the opportunities outside of typical unit or camp activities, especially because we lost travel during the pandemic.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I enjoy collecting records of my favourite music albums.

Charlotte

Charlotte

Profile:

Hello! My name is Charlotte and I am from Quebec. I am in my last year of Rangers, and this will be my second year on the National Youth Council. From 2019 to 2021, I was on the Ontario and Nunavut Provincial Youth Forum and really enjoyed my time using my voice and being an ambassador for Girl Guides. Outside of Guiding, I do competitive trampoline and have started Cégep (which is a pre-university school) in Sciences. Camping is a huge passion of mine. In 2019, I spent one month camping at Doe Lake Camp Girl Guide camp in Ontario. Within Guiding, I have earned the Lady Baden Powell, the Canada Cord and the Silver Trailblazer. I will be completing the Gold Trailblazer and the Commonwealth Award this year. I am interested in many different things, which led me to complete my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award last year and hope to earn the silver award over the next year. I am also a huge science nerd and hope to become an astrophysicist. I also love to watch and analyze Star Wars. I’m extremely passionate about helping others, and over the past few years, I have completed over 350 volunteer hours. I’m very excited to be a part of the National Youth Council and be able to learn new skills!

Katie

Katie
Why are you in Guiding?

Hi! I’m Katie from Nunavut. I’m a second year Ranger and in my tenth year of Guiding. Guiding has allowed me to form many lasting friendships, take on leadership roles, and give back to my community. Guiding has provided a safe space for me to express myself, and it has always encouraged me to try new things and learn skills that I wouldn’t be able to get from anywhere else.

Why did you want to join the Youth council?

I wanted to join the Youth Council to work with others to make positive change within Guiding and hear what is important to current youth members. I want to help make Guiding a more inclusive and safe space for everyone, and advocate for the issues youth care about.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for the year are to connect with youth members from all regions of Canada and gather feedback from them. I want to hear from others about what changes they want to see in Guiding and share my own ideas and opinions. I also want to increase awareness about all the amazing opportunities and leadership roles that are available within Guiding!

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I’m in our school choir and I play the flute in our school band! I also love listening to music and I’m a huge Swiftie

2022-2025 Director-Chair, National Youth Council

Andrea Chakma

Andrea Chakma
Why are you in Guiding?

I was introduced to Guiding when I was six years old. My mom was a Girl Guide in Bangladesh and she wanted her daughters to have the same memorable experiences she had. As I got older, I decided to stay in Guiding because of the opportunities and confidence it gave me. Not only did I learn about a wide variety of topics, but I was encouraged to authentically be myself and I was shown the impact I could have as an individual in my community and this world.

Why did you want to join the Youth council?

I wanted to join the Youth Council because I thought it would be a great opportunity to have my voice heard in the organization and make an impact on the thousands of girls across Canada.

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for this year are to encourage more connections between the Youth Forums and the National Youth Council and to continue to drive the girl voice in decisions that are made in the organization.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I am a polyglot and can speak 5 different languages and am currently attempting to learn two more!

Youth Council Alumni

2021-2022

  • Giselle Alfred
  • Desirae (returning member)
  • Samantha Chan
  • Catarina (returning member)
  • Zoe Gagne
  • Aryana (returning member)
  • Alyssa Molsan
  • Evelyn (returning member)
  • Lindsay (returning member)
  • Pearl (returning member)
  • Charlotte (returning member)
  • Michelle Quaye (Chair)

2020-2021

  • Anya Morgan
  • Caitriona Federico
  • Cassandra Gillen
  • Claire Hooey
  • Ella Hsu
  • Ellie Ahmed
  • Emily Spurrell
  • Giselle Alfred
  • Katherine Tonner
  • Sophie Bezanson
  • Michelle Quaye(Chair)

2019-2020

  • Anya Morgan
  • Caitriona Federico
  • Cassandra Gillen
  • Claire Hooey
  • Ella Hsu
  • Ellie Ahmed
  • Emily Spurrell
  • Giselle Alfred
  • Katherine Tonner
  • Sophie Bezanson
  • Michelle Quaye(Chair)

2018-2019

  • Anya Morgan
  • Caitriona Federico
  • Claire Hooey
  • Carena Binder
  • Carolyn Huang
  • Ellie Ahmed
  • Emily Lints
  • Emily Vandermeer
  • Erica Bennett
  • Sophie Bezanson
  • Madeleine Deschenes (Chair)
  • Kaitlin Strugnell
  • Keona Simmons

2017-2018

  • Kianna Benson
  • Carerna Binder
  • Andrea Chakma
  • Madeleine Deschenes (Chair)
  • Shelan Emre
  • Elissa Hermolin (staff)
  • Lauren Hill
  • Carolyn Huang
  • Harshavardini Ilangomaran
  • Nerissa Kassis
  • Emily Lints
  • Nayah Mang
  • Sophie McCafferty
  • Emily Vandermeer

2016-2017

  • Andrea Chakma
  • Bailey Walton
  • Harshavardini (Hari) Ilangomaran
  • Kianna Benson
  • Mackenzie Furey
  • Madeleine Deschenes (Chair)
  • Nayah Mang
  • Nerissa Kassis
  • Shelan Emre
  • Sophie McCafferty

Past Projects

Each year, the National Youth Council develops initiatives around ideas girls have identified as important and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. Among the topics they've explored: marketing of Girl Guides, girls' survey, Indigenous issues and engagement, socioeconomic bridging, new merchandise, bridging-year programming, addressing the member drop-off (after Guides) and International connections. The Youth Council has also provided content and been highlighted in several GGC publications, blog posts and social media channels.

Stories of Youth Leadership