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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Cookie sales help Girl Guides take trip of a lifetime 

Lucy Hopkins
Special to The Lake Report/NiagaraNow.com

The sale of hundreds of $6 boxes of Girl Guides cookies is helping send a group of Niagara-on-the-Lake teenagers on a whirlwind trip to Europe.

Mid-July 2024 is a time the NOTL Girl Guides look forward to, as they will embark on a 12-day trip overseas.

Leader Amanda Fretz describes it as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the guides.

“We will spend 12 days travelling across Europe, learning valuable life and leadership skills, exploring sites of historical and cultural significance, and meeting members of guiding from around the world,” Fretz told The Lake Report.

“This is an amazing opportunity that will provide them with experiences and knowledge that will stay with them for life.”

Fifteen-year-old Sophie Cadeau is a student at Governor Simcoe Secondary School and has been a part of Guides for nine years.

Cadeau is one of many guides going on the trip and is excited to have experiences she has never had before.

“We’re going to four different countries. I’ve never been to Europe, so I’m excited to go to a different continent and have fun,” Cadeau said.

“We’re going to a war museum, we’re visiting the Louvre, so I’m excited for that. We’re going to big Girl Guides world centres in both London and Switzerland.”

Girl Guides world centres give the opportunity for guides from all around the world to meet up with and learn about each other.

“It’s a big thing,” Cadeau said.

“I don’t think I’ll go on another Girl Guides trip that huge, and it’ll be fun to learn.”

But this $6,000 trip is only affordable with the hard work of fundraising.

“We’re trying to sell as much as we can, I think It’s like 25 per cent of our fundraising has to be cookies, along with other ways we can fundraise,” Cadeau said.

“They try to make it accessible for us, it’s cookies so it’s like really easy, which is something we’ve always done.”

“Everybody loves the cookies, so it’s really easy to sell. I even sell at school,” Cadeau said.

Fretz said without support from the local community, Girl Guides would not have a thriving program, or even have as much fundraising for this upcoming trip.

The NOTL Kinsmen, St. Davids Lions Club, Grace United Church, Town of NOTL, Phil’s Independent Grocer and other local businesses support the unit through help in cookie sales, space to hold meetings, providing guest speakers, and donating money toward large events such as their trip to Europe.

“Being a non-profit group, a lot of our local businesses help us out,” Fretz said.

Because of this big community support, Girl Guides makes sure to give back to NOTL.

Fretz said youth members volunteer at other non-profit organizations and participate in local events, ceremonies and markets.

From park cleanups to Niagara Period Project initiatives, “all of the NOTL guiding units plan and participate in activities in our community,” Fretz said.

Fretz believes that these causes and activities are a part of what has made Girl Guides grow and find their voices in the community.

“Girl Guides programming offers opportunities for youth to become more active in their communities and make a difference in the lives of others,” she said.

“It teaches them that they are important, powerful, and fully capable of making a difference.”

To support or volunteer for the Girl Guides NOTL unit, contact 1notlpathfinders@gmail.com. To help with cookie sales, email guideramanda1@gmail.com.

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