Isabella Lee is living proof “bring a friend night” works to build a program.
A decade after her friend invited her along to a Brownie night, the 16-year-old espouses the excitement and empowerment of the Girl Guides.
“It was one of the best nights ever,” the Oak Bay High student says with a wide smile. “You become sisters. I know it sounds cheesy.”
The Girl Guide community and ethos has helped her develop compassion and character, essentially helping her become a “stronger person.”
“It’s given me a lot of leadership abilities,” said Lee, now a troop leader. “It really just helps you grow as a person.”
Guiding opens opportunities, the teen says, for example Lee has volunteered at the food bank in Victoria and participated in youth parliament. She’s met friends from all over by attending provincial camps.
On Saturday she celebrates a decade of connecting with community during the Chatham District annual Fall Tea and Bake Sale. Lee says the week ahead of the annual event is filled with baking with mom and creating crafts to sell, while earning badges along the way.
“I’ve done the tea for 10 years,” Lee says. “It’s cool to serve members of your community.”
The girls routinely get more than 400 customers perusing the huge bake sale and wide variety of crafts sold by each Girl Guide unit. All funds raised by the bake sale go towards the upkeep of Bowker Girl Guide Hall off Monterey Avenue. Funds from the tea service support Chatham District activities such as camps and training. Funds raised by individual unit craft tables are used by that unit.
“It celebrates the sisterhood of guiding in the community,” said co-organizer Margot Cutcher-Lee. “The girls love this event and it is often one of their fondest memories of the year, serving tea.”
Chatham District Girl Guides fall tea and bake sale is Saturday, Nov. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 1701 Elgin Rd. Tea times are at 2:00, 2:40, 3:20 and 4:00 pm. Admission is free; tea is $5.