The Girl Guides are so much more than their signature boxes of cookies and campfire sing-alongs (though those are great as well). In addition to empowering females of the future in every way, the long-established organization can also help the resume cause of job-seeking millennials.
In case you weren’t aware, it’s currently National Volunteer Week (April 23-29). To mark the occasion, the Girl Guides of Canada (GGC) is highlighting their opportunities for millennial women volunteers to advance the empowerment of young girls and to help their own professional opportunities at the same time.
While we may not hear as much about them as we did a generation or so back, the Girl Guides remain as important of an organization as ever in the empowerment of young females. In fact, it’s currently one of the largest networks of female volunteers in the country, at over 19,000 volunteers strong.
Not only does volunteering for the Girl Guides offer a sense of meaning at a time when females collectively need all the meaning we can get, it builds resumes when it comes to ever-essential volunteer experience.
Twenty-year-old Madeleine Deschenes has been Guiding for 15 years and is the youngest member of the Girl Guides of Canada Board of Directors. She is now the Chair of the newly launched national youth council, where she will provide a voice to girl members and play a major role in shaping the direction of the organization. At a time when navigating the career landscape seems increasingly competitive and daunting for millennials, Deschenes took the initiative to create this opportunity for herself within the Guiding world.
These days, it’s next to impossible to be hired without real and relevant work experience, and the expectation is that educated young millennials arrive at entry-level job interviews armed with practical experience and clocked volunteer hours. The problem is that well-educated, young millennials like Madeleine are faced with the dilemma of how to gain such experience and how to do so in a meaningful way.
That’s why the Girl Guides can help bridge this gap, allowing future females of the workforce the chance to make a difference in the impressionable lives of younger females.
“My involvement with Girl Guides has provided me with incredible learning experiences that have built my leadership capabilities, teamwork and conflict management skills, and professionalism,” says Madeleine. “Now, I’m sitting on the Board where I can share my ideas and generate real, positive change for girls. There’s nothing more rewarding than witnessing first-hand how your involvement has a profound, positive impact on the lives of young girls, the community, the country and the world.”
GGC volunteers lead innovative, engaging and educational programming and also act as role models. The volunteer opportunities are varied, ranging from unit leaders who guide girls through programs on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), financial literacy and self-esteem, to advising on programming and business decisions, administrating provincial councils. It could even include representing the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) at global events like the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Of course, all of these things are just as beneficial to the volunteers as the volunteers are to the girls they serve, offering a toolbox of transferrable skills – in everything from teamwork and management, to financial planning and conflict resolution – to catch the eye of prospective employers.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our organization,” says Jill Zelmanovits, CEO, Girl Guides of Canada. “At GGC, we’re committed to supporting our girls and volunteers through all stages of their involvement with the organization. Our volunteer program empowers young women to leverage their expertise and provides them with a platform to put their ideas into action, drive change and grow into successful members of the community with real experience they can add to their resume.”
It sounds like a win/win to us.
Find out more on their website.