Salvation Army Guiding in Canada

Life-Saving Guards & Sunbeams

Life-Saving Guard Badge, c.1915-1937

Through the work of Founder, William Booth, in discussion with Lord Baden-Powell, the Salvation Army created a Salvationist Scouting program in the early years of the 20th century. The Life-Saving Scouts program for boys was introduced in England in 1913, followed by the Life-Saving Guards for girls in 1915. The original Aim of the Life-Saving Guard program was “to spread Christ’s Kingdom among girls and women of all classes, as well as to those attached to our Corps and to train them” (The Officer, December 1915). These programs made their way to Canada in 1915, and groups sprang up across the country. Branches for younger members soon appeared, and were called Chums and Sunbeams, respectively.

Establishment of the Fernie, BC Life-Saving Guards
(The War Cry, February 26, 1927)

Like their Guiding counterparts, Life-Saving Guards and Sunbeams went camping, earned badges, put on concerts and displays, helped their communities, and practised new skills. Their program included “physical drill, observation tests, healthy games, methods of First Aid, … life-saving … cookery, needlework, home nursing and housewifery” (The War Cry, February 26, 1927). Guards passed through Second Class and First Class tests before striving for the General’s Tassel. This highest award for Guards or Scouts had very high standards, including “hold first class rank, have passed tests for saving life in fire or accident, have a good knowledge of how to tend the sick, possess a number of proficiency badges and in many other ways prove himself or herself to be a tip-top Guard or Scout.” (The War Cry, March 9, 1929)

Affiliation with Girl Guides of Canada

Salvation Army Guide, c.1950s
ID Badge, 1937 to 1954

On April 16, 1937, The Salvation Army signed an Memorandum of Agreement with the Canadian Council of the Girl Guides Association. Under the Agreement, the Life-Saving Guards and Sunbeams would retain their own identity and leadership, but adopt Guiding tests, training, and awards. The organization would also be represented on the National Council. By October, Life-Saving Guards had traded their grey and red uniform for Guide blue with a grey and scarlet tie, and Sunbeams had traded their grey and yellow uniform for Brownie brown with a yellow tie. The change in name took somewhat longer to accomplish, with terms such as “Guard Guiding” and “Sunbeam Brownies” being used until about 1944.

Download a list of Salvation Army Territorial Guide Directors

ID Badge, 1954 to 1984

1950 – An Ontario Salvation Army Scouter/Guider Conference is established, bringing together leaders from both organizations at Jackson’s Point, Ontario. The Conference is held annually for many years, including the 30th Anniversary event in 1980 at Robin Lake Camp.

1954 – In August, a group of 22 Guides and 6 adults attend the 1st International Salvation Army Guide Camp held near Oslo, Norway.
A new Salvation Army Identification Badge, featuring the Maple Leaf and Guide Trefoil, is designed.

1957 – The first General’s Guide Award in Canada is presented to Dale Hunt, Company Leader of the 4th St Thomas (S.A.) Company.

1961 – Membership reaches 3,824 Brownies, 2,810 Guides, and 8 Rangers. This marks a growth of nearly 1,000 members over a 5-year period.

Getting acquainted in a circle of friendship at Storybook Gardens in London, Ontario, are members of a Salvation Army Guide Company and their guests from Bermuda.
(The Canadian Guider, June 1963)

1962 – A Salvation Army Sea Ranger Crew from Bermuda visits Toronto and London, Ontario, in July. They meet with Canadian Guiding members, including spending a few days at the Toronto Girl Guide Camp.

1963 – For the first time, Divisional Guide Camps are held in all Provinces during the summer.
A group of 16 Guides and their leaders from London, Ontario, pay a return visit to the Sea Ranger Crew from Bermuda during the Easter holidays.
Territorial Guide Director Major Mary Murkin is presented with the Medal of Merit.

1964 – Divisional Guide Captain Oney Flowers is presented with the Beaver Award.

1965 – Salvation Army Guiding celebrates 50 years since it’s beginnings as the Life-Saving Guard Movement in 1915. A Centenary Camp for Scouts and Guides is held in August at the Connaught Ranges near Ottawa, with 442 participants from all parts of the country.

1967 – Two National Camps are held to mark Canada’s Centennial, one at Sandy Hook in Manitoba for Scouts and Guides, the other at Lac L’Achigan in Quebec for Guides.
Salvation Army Director Mrs. Harold Coulding of Grand Falls, Newfoundland, is presented with the Certificate of Merit.

1970 – Territorial Guide Director Brigadier Mary Murkin is presented with the Beaver Award.

1972 – The first Salvation Army Ranger/Venturer Camp is held at Camp Madawaska in Ontario.

ID Badge, 1984 to 1998

1983 – There are 324 registered Units, with approximately 6,000 Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, Rangers and Cadets.

1984 – A new Trefoil is introduced and the Salvation Army Identification Badge is redesigned.

1987 – 50 Years of association between The Salvation Army and Girl Guides of Canada is celebrated.

Download a list of Salvation Army Guiding Units (incomplete list)

Promise, Purpose, and Pledge

Salvation Army Guides, Rangers, and Adults make the same Promise as other Guiding members, with an additional pledge, outlined in Orders and Regulations for The Salvation Army Girl Guide Organization: “I promise to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquor, and tobacco and from gambling, and all other injurious habits.” (1956), later updated to be “I promise to abstain from the use of intoxicating drink, drugs, tobacco, gambling and other injurious habits.” (1983).

At first, Brownies are expected to accept The Salvation Army Purpose: “DO RIGHT, Pray morning and evening, Abstain from the use of strong drink and tobacco, Be truthful and never steal.” (1956), but by 1971 they make the same pledge as the older branches.

Spiritual Standards

The purpose of Salvation Army Guiding and Scouting is to promote the spiritual, physical and mental development of youth people and train them for service to others.”
– Major Pamela Woods, Territorial Guide Director, 1986

In addition to running Guide programming, Salvation Army Guiders were expected to “constantly and zealously … be leading members … to know Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour and Friend,”; ensure that members attend some form of religious service on Sundays, such as a Salvation Army Company Meeting, Sunday School Class, or Bible Class; work to recruit girls from non-church families in order to further The Salvation Army’s spiritual aims; lead opening and closing Prayers at every meeting; and host a quarterly “Guides Own” spiritual meeting. (Orders and Regulations, 1956, 1971, and 1983)

When the Religion in Life Emblem is introduced in 1950, The Salvation Army is among the first denominations to contribute their requirements for earning this award. Unlike other denominations, Salvation Army Guides and Rangers must repass the test requirements annually in order to continue to wear the badge!

Religion in Life Emblem, c.1950
  1. Serve in the Company Meeting (Sunday School) or other branch of The Salvation Army in some capacity requiring regular service and attendance.
  2. Pass an examination on a Scripture study course as set forth by the Y.P. Department at Territorial Headquarters.
  3. Promise to practice daily devotions (prayer and Bible reading).
  4. Recruit one or more girls not already connected with any Church or Sunday School.
  5. Make some regular contribution from your own funds for the furtherance of the Lord’s work.
  6. Have some knowledge of the story and growth of The Salvation Army.
  7. Know the foundation beliefs (doctrines) of The Salvation Army.

The Religion in Life Award is revised in 1971 to include 5 Stages: 1. Yellow (ages 7-9), 2. Green (ages 10-12), 3. Blue (ages 13-15), 4. Red (ages 15+), and 5. Purple (adults). In each Stage, participants complete age-appropriate activities related to Word, Worship, and Witness. Adults must also demonstrate specific actions and attributes of Christian Commitment and Christian Leadership.

Religion in Life Emblems, 1971

Download the 1994 Religion in Life Requirements

General’s Guide Award

General’s Guide Award, c.1964

Successor to the General’s Tassel earned by Life-Saving Guards, Salvation Army Guides could earn the General’s Guide Award. The award is described as “an attractive one-inch medal mounted with yellow, red and blue ribbon.” (Orders and Regulations, 1956, 1971, and 1983) The medal is worn on the right breast, above the pocket, on ceremonial occasions. A one-inch long ribbon bar may be worn on the uniform at all times.

1956 Requirements

  1. Hold the First-Class Guide Badge.
  2. Hold the Religion in Life Emblem, obtained or repassed within the previous 12 months.

1971 Requirements

  1. Hold the All Round Cord.
  2. Hold the Religion in Life Emblem.

1983 and 1994 Requirements

  1. Be at least 13 years of age.
  2. Be a Pathfinder or Ranger.
  3. Hold the Religion in Life Emblem (Stage 3 or 4), obtained or repassed within the previous 12 months.
  4. Hold the Gold level in four out of five Emblems in the Pathfinder programme or the equivalent in the Ranger programme.
  5. Must know the doctrines of The Salvation Army and be able to explain their meaning.
  6. Name the Generals of The Salvation Army and give a brief character sketch of the Founder.
  7. Write an essay of not less than 500 words on one of the following:
    • One of the parables showing the truth Jesus Christ was emphasizing.
    • One of the miracles of Jesus Christ.
    • An incident from the life of Jesus Christ.
  8. Describe briefly (by scrapbook or essay form), the work of The Salvation Army in her locality.

The End of an Era

Concerns about the diverging paths of The Salvation Army and Girl Guides of Canada appear in 1994, following the change in the Guide Promise to include the option of “my faith” or “my God” according to each individual’s personal conviction. A statement is issued in November by the Territorial Youth Secretary stating that “In all Salvation Army units the words “my God” are used and we have informed Girl Guides of Canada accordingly.” (The War Cry, November 5, 1994) Girl Guides of Canada agrees to this decision for Salvation Army Units.

The Canadian Guider, May-June 1998

Citing a shift in organizational values “minimizing God as sovereign, while exalting self”, a changing in the governance structure removing The Salvation Army as a voting partner on the National Council, and a steady decline in membership, The Salvation Army discontinues its relationship with Girl Guides of Canada as of June 30, 1998. (The War Cry, February 14, 1998) A final gathering of over 100 Guiders at Jackson’s Point, ON provides closure for long-term members, including the presentation of three Salvation Army Guider Awards and a 50-year Long Service pin.


Scarves and Ties – Oh My!

Throughout our history, Guiding members of all ages have worn scarves and ties.

The shape of the Guide Tie can be traced back to the beginnings of Guiding and Scouting, when a triangular scarf was worn. The scarf was carefully sized so that it could be used as a triangular bandage. It was also used to protect the neck from sunburn when outdoors, for signalling messages to others too far away to hear a shout, to filter debris from water, and many other things!

This handy guide will help you identify the scarves and ties in your collection – and how to wear them!

Scarves and Ties

Alert & Prepared

This story of Guide skills and observation put to use happened at a Girl Guide Camp in New Brunswick during World War II. Adapted from the article “They Were Prepared” by Mrs. N.H. Davis in The Canadian Guider, March 1968.

WWII, Canadian War Savings Stamps, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, BlotterAlthough we in Canada fared well, during the Second World War, our entire mode of living changed. Some foods were rationed, materials for civilian manufacture were scarce; families were uprooted, with fathers, brothers, and even sisters joining the armed services. Every restaurant and place of public gathering carried placards like “These Walls Have Ears,” “Zipper Your Lips,” and “Silence is Golden.”

Guides then did not plan what they might do on a Saturday morning; they had a choice of rolling bandages and running errands in a hospital for hours at a time, or covering districts of the city collecting rendered fats and salvage for use in the munitions factories. Because they made an excellent patriotic display, they marched in frequent parades in support of bond drives, service club projects, and so on.

Camp DrawingDuring the summer of 1942, the 5th Moncton Guide Company, under the leadership of Captain Adrienne Brown, held a 10-day camp at “Camp Y’s Acres”. The campsite was a 3-acre site on Cocagne Bay operated by Moncton’s YWCA. Directly across from the site, was Cocagne Island and the Northumberland Strait.

A highlight of the camp was a “motorboat hike” to Cocagne Island, where the Guides would explore, collect specimens, and cookout. On this particular hike, Captain’s eye was caught by a venturesome group sneaking off to the high, rocky ledges that formed a bulwark against the crashing breakers of the Atlantic, where on the highest point stood a deserted two-storey house. The culprits, slightly annoyed at having their adventure nipped in the bud, had the last word by telling the Captain of the fresh footprints they had been following. This was dismissed as over-active imagination.

Later that evening, these same Guides … sneaked quietly out of the back of their tent … sheltered by a grove of birch and spruce … The ground was soft and springy and they stretched out very comfortably to whisper, giggle, and talk about the little island they could see outlined as a dark shape in the mouth of the huge bay. Suddenly one Guide exclaimed, “Look, a light on the island! But it’s uninhabited – There it is again flashing on and off – Girls! It’s a Morse Code signal.”

450px-International_Morse_Code.svg“Oh you must be crazy,” another offered. Nevertheless, they decided to take the signals down, though they made no sense. “It’s a code,” they whispered excitedly.  … They felt they had no choice but to tell, for the security of their country was at stake.

The next afternoon a small monoplane made a quick visit to the island. On the strength of this and negative answers to discreet enquiries … the Guiders staked themselves out that evening in the copse after lights out. Sure enough, the signals began – in Morse but undecipherable – followed by a plane visit the next afternoon. Our alert Captain took down the plane’s markings.

The next day the Commanding Officer of a nearby base came to camp to visit his daughter, and the Guiders took this opportunity to discuss the mystery with him. Although he said little, he showed marked surprise when the plane’s markings were given to him. He asked for the code, and for the ladies to leave matters with him. Within days, it was noted that the signals had ceased.

Just before breaking camp, we had another visit from the Commanding Officer, this time accompanied by the Service Police to thank the Guiders and Guides concerned for their alertness and to assure all that the information had been very helpful. More than that they would not say! Imagine the excitement of all the girls involved when it was later learned that this area had been a very popular one for enemy submarines. We also heard that two enemy agents had landed on the far side of the island by dark of night. One had set himself up with radio transmitter and flash beacon in the deserted house. The other had made his way in rough civilian dress to make contact in Moncton.

Our story is just one of hundreds that tell of the anxious years of the Forties. Was the alertness of our Guides of any help? We like to think so.

The Guide All Round Cord

The All Round Cord was a Guide Award from 1910 until 1993. From 1910 to 1979, it was an intermediate award, earned after First Class, but ranking lower than the Silver Fish, Gold Cord and Canada Cord. Between 1979 and 1993, the All Round Cord was the highest award a Guide could earn. The All Round Cord was discontinued in 1993.

AllAroundCordFirstGirl33580RTXW_fThe first Guiding Publication, The Scheme for Girl Guides, also known as “Pamphlets A and B”, was published in November 1909 by Robert and Agnes Baden-Powell. This was our first introduction to the All Round Cord:

“All Round” shoulder cord for passing any seven of above.

‘Above’ referred to the list of 22 Efficiency Badges that Guides could earn: Ambulance, Naturalist, Hospital Nurse, Cook, Cyclist, Matron, Nurse, Musician, Farmer, Gymnast, Electrician, Needle Woman, Clerk, Florist, Artist, Laundress, Telegraphist, Swimmer, Interpreter, Pioneer, Signaller, and Sailor.

The first handbook How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire, published in 1912, expanded the requirements slightly to:

“All-Round-Shoulder-Cords” can be worn by a “First-class Guide” for passing any seven of the above tests, and show a “Union Jack” made by herself.

Efficiency Badges had become Proficiency Badges, and the list now included 26 Badges: Artist, Boatswain, Clerk, Cook, Cyclist, Child Nurse, Dairymaid, Electrician, Florist, Fire Brigade, Flyer, Gymnast, Horsemanship, Interpreter, Laundress, Matron, Musician, Needlewoman, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Rifle Shot, Sick Nurse, Signaller, Swimmer, and Telegraphist.

1924calendarAt this time, the All Round Cord was a stepping stone to the Order of the Silver Fish, but not a pre-requisite.

According to Rules, Policy & Organization for 1921 and 1927, the requirements had only changed slightly:

[All Round Cords] Can be worn by any Guide having passed the First Class and any other seven tests, in addition to those included in First Class.

There are now many more Proficiency Badges to choose from, 53 in 1921, rising to 60 in 1927. But Ambulance or Sick Nurse, Child Nurse, Cook and Needlewoman could not be counted as they were required for the First Class Badge. In 1927 a note has been added that holders of the Green First Class Badge do not qualify for the All Round Cord. The Green First Class was considered a lower grade of First Class Badge, earned by those who could not learn to swim due to lack of facilities.

Although still not a pre-requisite, the All Round Cord would be earned by Guides as they worked towards the Gold Cord.

The first major change in requirements for the All Round Cord occurs in 1931 (Rules, Policy & Organization), when it became necessary for holders to earn an outdoor-based 1920's Tavistock Girl Guide Patrol Leader PostcardProficiency Badge:

[All Round Cords] Can be worn by any Guide having passed her First Class and any other seven tests (to include one of the following: Astronomer, Bird Lover, Boatswain, Swimmer, Gardener, Geologist, Hiker, Land Worker, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Sportswoman, Surveyor, Campcraft, Bee-farmer, or an equivalent senior test), in addition to those included in the First Class.

This is slightly modified by 1934 (Rules, Policy & Organization) to:

All Round Cords can be worn by any Guide having passed her First Class and any other seven tests (one of which must be an outdoor badge), in addition to those included in the First Class.

The total Proficiency Badges had risen to 64 in 1931, dropping to 62 in 1934 and 1935. Ambulance or Sick Nurse, Child Nurse, Cook and Needlewoman still could not be counted as they were required for the First Class Badge, nor do holders of the Green First Class Badge qualify for the All Round Cord.

Another change occurs in 1939 (Policy, Organization and Rules), adding a second required badge in response to changes to the First Class Badge:

All Round Cords can be worn by any Guide having passed her First Class and any other seven tests (one of which must be the Ambulance, Sick Nurse or Emergency Helper badge, and one an outdoor badge), in addition to those included in the First Class.

There were 70 Proficiency Badges to choose from. The First Class Badge now required only the Child Nurse, Cook and Needlewoman Badges, but the Green First Class Badge still does not qualify a Guide for the All Round Cord.

By 1943 (Policy, Organization and Rules), the requirements had been significantly changed, and the All Round Cord was now a pre-requisite for the Gold Cord.

The candidate must be a First Class Guide and hold:

  • Ambulance or Sick Nurse or Emergency Helper
  • Swimmer or Signaller
  • Two other badges, chosen by herself, or which one at least must be one of the following outdoor badges: Birdlover, Boatswain, Farmworker, Flower Lover, Gardener, Hiker, Horsewoman, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Star Lover, Woodman.

The All Round Cord is discontinued c.1947 and does not appear in Policy, Organization and Rules for 1948, 1950, 1953, or 1956. The All Round Cord All-Round Cordsis reintroduced in 1957 (The Canadian Guider, September 1957), with a new set of requirements:

The candidate must be a First Class Guide and hold the Little House Emblem.

She must hold the following badges:

  1. First Aid, or Home Nurse, or Emergency Helper.
  2. Swimmer or Signaller, or Pioneer, or Fire Brigade.
  3. One of the following outdoor badges: Astronomer, Boatswain, Bird-watcher, Gardener, Hiker, Horsewoman, Land-girl, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer (unless already used in #2).
  4. One of the following handicrafts badges: Basket-weaver, Carpenter, Dairymaid, Hadywoman, Knitter, Laceworker, Leatherworker, Photographer, Poultry-farmer, Rabbit-keeper, Spinner, Stitchery, Weaver.
  5. One other badge of her own choice.

The All Round Cord was now an independent award that was not a pre-requisite for the Gold Cord, nor would it necessarily be earned by a Guide working towards that award.

Slight changes occurred over the next few years:

  • By 1962, Camper had been added to the list of badges in Clause 3.
  • In 1962, Laceworker had been eliminated and Toymaker added to the list of badges in Clause 4.
  • No changes were made in 1964 or 1965

The requirements were revised in 1966 (Policy, Organization and Rules):

The candidate must be a First Class Guide and hold the following badges:

  1. Either Little House Emblem or Woodlore Emblem, and one badge from the other emblem.
  2. First Aid, and one of the following: Emergency Helper, Fire Brigade, Rescuer or Home Nurse.
  3. Pioneer.
  4. One badge from the Craft Emblem.
  5. Either Citizen or World Trefoil badge.
  6. One badge of her own choice.

allaroundcordcanadaNo changes are made to the requirements until 1971 (Policy, Organization and Rules), when the First and Second Class Badges were replaced by the Challenge Emblem and Badge:

To qualify:

  1. Hold the Challenge Emblem.
  2. Hold the Little House Emblem and one badge from the Woodlore Emblem OR Hold the Woodlore Emblem and one badge from the Little House Emblem.
  3. Hold one of the following badges:  Backyard Camper, Junior Camper or Outdoor Adventure and four other badges.
  4. Learn about three organizations or agencies which help others.

At this time, the All Round Cord became a requirement for the Canada Cord. No further changes were made until 1979, when Pathfinders were introduced, and the All Round Cord became the highest award for Guides.

The new requirements were set out in The Bridge, a transitional booklet used during the implementing of the new age groupings between 1979 and 1981.

All Round Cord:

  1. Hold the Adventure and Voyageur Challenges.
  2. Hold the History or World Trefoil Badge.
  3. Hold one of the following badges: Explorer, Hiker, Neighbourhood, Outdoor Adventure.
  4. Hold one of the following badges: Homemaker, Cook, Seamstress, Handywoman.
  5. Hold one of the following badges: Junior Camper, Camp Skills.
  6. Hold one of the following badges: Fire Safety, First Aid – Stage II, Home Nurse, Rescuer.
  7. Hold the Citizen Badge.
  8. Hold the Health or Keep-Fit Badge.
  9. Hold three other badges of your choice.
  10. Learn about three organizations or agencies which help others. Tell how you could work with, or contribute to, the work of one of these organizations.
  11. Choose and carry out a project rendering service to others. This project should be a challenge to you and must be approved and evaluated by your Company and the person(s) for whom the service is done.
  12. Investigate Pathfinders. If possible, participate in a joint activity.
  13. Undertake a project to show what the Promise and Law mean to you. Present this to your Company, or any small group of Guides. (This could take the form of artwork, poem, story, song, speech, drama, photography, or any other form you may choose.)

Minor changes would be made to the All Round Cord over the next few years:

  • In 1982 (The Guide Program), Backyard Camper is added to the options for Clause 5; Clause 6 is revised to be Fire Safety, First Aid or Rescuer
  • No changes were made in 1983 or 1985 (The Guide Program).

All Round Cords c1993By 1990 (The Guide Program), the requirements were still similar, but had been revised down to 10 Clauses:

  1. I hold the complete Adventure Challenge and Voyageur Challenge.
  2. I hold one of the following badges: History, World Trefoil, or World Neighbour Badge.
  3. I hold the Camp Badge and four of the following: Astronomer,  Bird Watcher, Conservationist, Ecologist, Forestry, Explorer, Hiker, Naturalist, Outdoor Adventure, Stalker, Tracker, Wildflower.
  4. I hold one of the following badges: Cook, Handywoman, Homemaker, Seamstress.
  5. I hold one of the following badges: Fire Safety, First Aid, Rescuer.
  6. I hold the Citizen and Law Awareness Badges.
  7. I hold one of the following badges: Athlete, Health, or Keep-Fit.
  8. I have learned about three organizations or agencies which help others. I have told how I could work with or contribute to the work of one of these.
  9. I have chosen and carried out a project in which I gave service to others. This project was a challenge to me and was approved and evaluated by my Company and the person(s) to whom I gave the service.
  10. I have done a project which shows what the Promise and Law mean to me. I have presented this to my Company or a small group of Guides. The form of the presentation was: artwork, song, photography, poem, speech, story, drama, other.

The All Round Cord was discontinued with the introduction of the new Guide Program: For Fun & Challenge in September 1992. The 1992-1993 Guiding Year was one of transition, and the final group of Guides to earn the All Round Cord did so in June 1993.


  • Baden-Powell, Robert. Girl Guiding (Girl Guides Association, September 1921 – 6th Edition)
  • Baden-Powell, Robert & Agnes. How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire (Girl Guides Association, 1912)
  • Baden-Powell, Robert & Agnes. The Scheme for Girl Guides (Girl Guides Association, November 1909)
  • Guiding For You (Girl Guides of Canada, 1974, 1975, 1977)
  • Policy, Organization and Rules (Canadian Girl Guides Association/Girl Guides of Canada, 1943, 1948, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973)
  • Policy, Organization & Rules (Girl Guides Association, 1935, 1939)
  • Rules, Policy & Organization (Girl Guides Association, 1921, 1927, 1931, 1934)
  • The Bridge (Girl Guides of Canada, July 1979)
  • The Guide Program (Girl Guides of Canada, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1990)
  • The Canadian Guider, 1956-1957


Christmas Cards

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of my Guiding friends! Take a break from the craziness of the holiday season with a look at some of Guiding Christmas Cards from over the years.


USA, 1927


UK, c.1930s


USA, 1932


USA, 1932


UK, c.1930s


UK, 1935


Canada, c.1930s


USA, 1930s


Lord & Lady Baden-Powell, 1936


UK, 1937


UK, 1942


Canada, 1948


UK, 1948


USA, 1950s


France (FFE), c.1950s


UK, 1955


Denmark (DDS), 1957


Denmark (DDS), 1958


UK, 1961


Canada, 1970s


Canada, 1970s


Canada, 1986


Lebanon (GdL), 2008 (E-Card)

dds-christmas-card-2012Denmark (DDS), 2012 (E-Card)

Hong Kong, 2014 (E-Card)


Canada, 2015 (E-Card)

Canadian Girl Guides & the War Effort

In honour of Remembrance Day, here’s a look at what members of Guiding in Canada did during the World Wars. Girl Guides took on important roles wesarmlet-redduring both World Wars, taking on jobs that freed adults for other important war work. Whether it was collecting salvage materials, knitting socks, rolling bandages, or learning first aid, emergency cooking, and how to care for children during an air raid, Canadian Guiding members rose to the challenge. The attached package shares some of the activities of Guiding members during the World Wars. Activities in blue boxes are similar to activities Guides would have taken part in – and each ties in to a current badge.

Canadian Girl Guides & the War Effort

Cookies in Canada

The information contained in this post has been derived from the Cookie history found on the National and Provincial websites, Ontario Council Minutes and Hamilton/Escarpment Area Minutes. Some dates are uncertain and the facts may be different for other Provinces. As always, local results may have varied!

Ontario, 1955-1959

Girl Guide Cookies have been a Canadian Tradition since 1927, when the first cookie sales were held in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The first Cookie sales in Ontario were held in Toronto in 1929. From 1929 to 1948, Cookie sales were arranged independently by Districts and Divisions.

Beginning in 1949, contracts for Ontario’s Cookies were organized at the provincial level, although Toronto would continue to have different cookies and/or suppliers into the 1950s. box-1960-ontarioDivisions and Areas remained responsible for arranging their orders directly with the supplier. Eventually, Cookies became a National program with standardized cookies, packaging and pricing across the Country. From the information I have found, this seems to date to between 1960 and 1972 – if you know the answer, please let me know!

Ontario, 1962

Toronto, 1962

Newfoundland, 1962

Cookie Timeline

  • 1927 – Christina Riepsamen and the 4th Regina Guide Compa


    ny bake cookies to raise funds for camping. Cookies are sold for $0.10 per dozen.

  • 1929 – Toronto Guides sell cookies to raise funds to replace the roof on the barn at Bonita Glen.
  • 1930s – Cookies are made with fruits, nuts and spices. The recipe is lost when production ceases in 1941 due to the War.
  • 1946 – Vanilla creme, maple cream, and shortbread


    cookies are offered.

  • 1949 – Ontario begins province-wide sales. The cookies are made by Barker-Bredin and are a trefoil-shaped Scotch-crunch cookie.
  • 1953 – Chocolate & Vanilla sandwich cookies make their first appearance.
  • 1955 – Ontario signs a new contract with George Weston.

  • 1960 – A new contract is signed with Christie Brown & Co. for a sugar-topped cookie.
  • 1966 – Chocolate & Vanilla sandwich cookies return.
  • 1967 – A special box is produced to celebrate Canada’s Centennial
  • 1970 – A special box is produced to celebrate Guiding’s 60th Anniversary
  • 1985 – A special box is produced to celebrate Guiding’s 75th Anniversary
  • 1988 – Peanut Butter cookies are offered for one year only.
  • 1993 – Chocolately Mint Cookies are introduced in Ontario.
  • 1995 – All provinces begin selling Chocolatey Mint Cookies.
  • 2000 – A special box is produced to celebrate Guiding’s 90th Anniversary
  • 2003 – A new contract for all cookies is signed with Dare Foods.

Cookie Bakers

  • Hamilton Division


    • Barker-Bredin Bakeries, 1943 to 1948
  • Ontario Council
    • Barker-Bredin Bakeries, 1949 to 1954
    • George Weston, 1955 to 1959
    • Christie Brown & Co, 1960 to 1971 *This may include National contracts
  • National Council
    • Christie Brown & Co, 1972 to 2002
    • Dare Foods, 2003 to present (2016)

Cookie Prices (per Box)

  • Hamilton Division


    • 1943 through 1948 – $0.25
  • Ontario Council
    • 1949 through 1956 – $0.35
    • 1957 through 1964 – $0.40
    • 1966 & 1967 – $0.45
    • 1968, 1969 & 1971 – $0.50
  • National Council
    • 1972, 1973 & 1974 – $0.50
    • 1975, 1976 & 1977 – $0.75

    • 1978 & 1979 – $1.00
    • 1980 & 1981 – $1.25
    • 1982 & 1983 – $1.50
    • 1984 & 1985 – $1.75
    • 1986 & 1987 – $2.00
    • 1988, 1989 & 1990 – $2.25
    • 1991 through 1994 – $2.50
    • 1995 through 2001 – $3.00
    • 2002 – $3.50
    • 2003 through 2011 – $4.00
    • 2012 through 2016 – $5.00


1991 (v.2)


1991 (v.1)


1992-1995 (v.1)

1992-1995 (v.2)



National Guide Day

While looking through an old Canadian P. O. & R I came across this little section:

National Guide Day
National Guide Day was established in 1936 to be celebrated each year on the last Saturday in October by Guides across Canada in some form of special community service.

Unfortunately, a decision was made early in 1944 to discontinue National Guide Day and focus efforts on the joint Guide-Scout Week in February of each year.

Perhaps it’s time to revive this special day, allowing each group to choose their own service project, but all being completed on the same day across the country – imagine the public awareness it would bring to Guiding!


The dates appear to have changed a bit in the early years. Enjoy the following extracts from from the Globe & Mail:

Monday, October 19, 1936
Mrs. H.A. Bruce Emphasizes Value of Training in Opening Broadcast
            Appreciation of the value of Guide training as an educational force was expressed by Mrs. Herbert A. Bruce, wife of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, in speaking on Saturday evening to the Girl Guides of Canada on a Dominion-wide broadcast, which inaugurated Canadian Girl Guide Week.
            “We hear much of the restlessness of modern girlhood and the tendency to alter educational programs accordingly,” she said. “Proof, however, that the Guide program is meeting changing conditions is shown by its steady progress and growth.”
            Mrs. Bruce greeted the Guides and their leaders, saying: “My best wishes go out to the girls and women who find joy in playing the game of Guiding and making it a real adventure in every-day life.”
            The formal inauguration of the Guide Week and broadcast program also included greetings from the Hon. Ernest Lapointe, Acting Premier of Canada; Mrs. H.D. Warren, Chief Commissioner of the Guides, and Miss W. Kydd, a member of the executive. The Bishop Strachan School Guide Company sang three choruses.

Saturday, October 9, 1937
            This is our National Girl Guide Day, the day on which Guides throughout Canada hold special gatherings and try to do some special piece of community work.
            A paragraph from the Times, of Victoria, B.C., tells us, for instance, that the Guides of that district will celebrate the occasion in the true Guide spirit by cleaning up the beaches of Beacon Hill Park and on Dallas Road.
            “The keynote of the day,” Mrs. Warren says, “will be thankfulness for the privileges of Canadian citizenship, and a renewal of our pledge of service to God, to our King and to our Country.” Stress will be laid upon thankfulness and service, “with a new determination to serve – at home – at school – each through her own church – and as citizens of a fair land which needs all we can give to help it achieve its highest possibility for good to the Empire and to the world.”

Friday, October 25, 1940
            Tomorrow is National Guide Day, which was inaugurated at the Dominion annual meeting of the organization held in Edmonton in 1936 as a special Canadian Guide day to be observed annually in October in a spirit of national service and co-operation as well as thanksgiving for the benefits of Guiding.
            The Guides of Canada are linked together on the evening of the day through a Dominion-wide broadcast, with speakers representing the Dominion Government and heads of the movement.
            On the Sunday nearest Guide Day many companies hold church parades.
Canadian History
            Service has been carried out provincially or locally in various ways, such as preserving and spreading knowledge of Canadian history, beautifying the community in such ways as planting and caring for wild flower gardens, promoting physical fitness through health demonstrations. This year, the Chief Commissioner has asked that Guides undertake some special piece of local war service for National Guide Day, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26.

1950s Lone Company Letters

While reading the January 1955 issue of The Canadian Guide, I came across some sample pages from Lone Letters written in the 1950s that I found interesting as a current Lone Guider.

     These are pages taken from various Lone Company Letters which take the place of the usual Company Meeting as Lone Guides and Rangers do everything by correspondence. The Letters are circulated among the members of the company once a month, and the Captain and Court of Honour plan them just as the “active” ones plan the weekly meetings.

1. Company, Fall IN! (Camp roll call page)

     Sheet One was made from coloured paper and was awfully pretty. The tents were cut out of yellow and pale blue and pale green and pasted onto a sheet of brown construction paper and the spruce trees were of dark green.

     Each Lone entered the date she received the letter on the line provided on her tent and added the date that she was mailing the letter on to the next girl on the line that said mailed.

2. Captain talks to her Guides (Letter)

Dear Lone Guides:

     We all want to congratulate the Daffodil Patrol Leader, Amy Duncan, who has won her Needlewoman Badge. Your presentation is in the Campfire part of the C.L. Amy. We are all very proud of you. This is one of the badges for First Class on which Mary and Ruth are working now that they have their Second Class Badge.

     Our Camp Gadget Competition was won by Florence. She sent in by far the best made entry. The lashing was very neat and tidy, and all the sticks well chosen. Her parcel was especially well packed. The Court of Honour is presenting Florence with a book called “Camping for Boys and Girls” which we all hope she will enjoy.

     Joan has had such a nice letter from her pen pal, Margaret, in Australia. Margaret tells all about a Rally she went to and how she won the signalling race. It would be fun if we all had pen pals, so be sure to let me know your choice of country soon.

     Don’t forget there is Court of Honour Meeting next month, so be sure your Patrol Leader has the answers to the questions she asked you in plenty of time for her to give your Patrol’s opinions.

     With a Handshake and Salute,



3. Practicing Morse (Morse Code Game)

Morse Code was a requirement for the Second Class test.

4. An important part of our flag (St George’s Cross)

April 23rd – St George’s Day

5. A Progress Chart

Shows each girl’s progress towards earning the Second Class badge.

6. Tenderfoot Test – Knots

     How a Lone sometimes passes a test – in this case, learning 3 knots and their uses. 

7. We remember others

     The Good Turn mentioned in Sheet 7 refers to British Columbia only.

Every Lone in our Province collects all kinds of used stamps. These are sent in to the captains who will forward them. This is one of our service projects. All stamps are wanted but, of course, the more rare the better. How about a look in old trunks for treasured letters and post stamps? Steam – do not tear – the stamps off. Better still, if you can, leave on paper like these.

8. Lones love singing, too

The Lones themselves could read the music and through this letter learned to sing a lively round, The Girl Guide Grace and Taps. These will be useful to them when they go camping with Active Guides. The songs are: “O how lovely in the evening” (round), “For Health and Strength” (grace), and ? (it isn’t Taps…).

“Sample Pages From Real Lone Company Letters”, The Canadian Guide. Brampton:Canadian Council of the Girl Guides Association, January 1955, pp8-9, 12

Guide Pluck in Canada

Not a cheerful item, but an interesting piece of Guiding history, this is an article found in The Girl Guides’ Gazette, January 1924, page 7:

The story that comes to us from Canada of the presence of mind and discipline of the Guides of the 4th Ottawa Troop (Company) in a recent railway accident is one that should thrill us all.

About two o’clock one afternoon seventeen of the Company set out on a hike, and were on their way home when the accident happened. It was then about six o’clock and growing dark, and they were on the south side of the Rideau river. To avoid having to go round either by Billing Bridge or by Hog’s Back, Mrs. Campbell, who was with the Company, suggested that they should cross the railway bridge and so save a long round. This bridge crosses the river to the south of Ottawa, and is about 150 feet in length.

Followed by the Guides and by Miss Eunice Parker, the Captain, Mrs. Campbell took the lead and started over. She herself with one half of the Company had just reached the north end, while Miss Parker was still in the middle of the bridge with the rest of the Guides, when a light engine appeared from the north, travelling from the CPR roundhouse to the Central Station. Miss Parker with great presence of mind immediately gave the order for ever girl still on the bridge to lie flat along the side of the rails on the outer side.

This was instantly obeyed by every member of the party, several of whom were under twelve. The bridge has no upright sides nor any iron girders overhead; there is a sheer drop of thirty-four feet to the river below.

Apparently Mrs. Campbell became agitated for the safety of the Guides, and she ran back on to the bridge to them. She was well on it, and one of the Guides called to her to lie flat as the engine approached. As it roared past they lost sight of her as she was on the other side of the track, and by the time the engine was past she was no longer to be seen. Some men in a boat heard a splash, and rowing under the bridge, found Mrs. Campbell’s body almost directly below where she must have fallen. Judging from this, it is believed that she was not struck with any great force, as otherwise she would have been thrown forward. The river near this bridge is very shallow, being filled with rocks and boulders.

The crew of the engine do not appear to have noticed any accident, for they did not stop, and the gathering darkness probably hid the line of prostrate figures on the outer edge.

Railway officials state that Miss Parker did the only thing possible in the circumstances. The only chance for foot-passengers on the bridge when a train is passing is to lie flat on the extreme edge. They state it is a most dangerous bridge to cross on foot at any time, and though closed to the public, is used by pedestrians occasionally as a short cut.

It is entirely owing to the splendid discipline of the Guides and Miss Parker’s presence of mind that a worse disaster than that which actually occured was avoided.

Articles about this accident appeared in the October 15, 1923 editions of The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail