By Kirk Starratt
Four local girls combined their Pathfinder enrolment ceremony with program work on what it means to be a Canadian citizen recently.
The 1st Kentville Pathfinders visited the Kings County Museum, a former courthouse, Nov. 29 for the enrolment of new members, the presentation of Pathfinder Citizenship Certificates to third-year Pathfinders and to reaffirm their oath of Canadian citizenship.
Miriam Brathwaite, who was enrolled as a new Pathfinder, said she liked learning about Canadian citizenship. She said she likes that, as Canadians, we have freedom and a say in some things by voting.
“The courthouse was a great place to do it,” she said.
Before it was the Kings County Museum, the building was the county courthouse and people would have taken the oath of Canadian citizenship there.
Third-year pathfinder Theodora Ruddy said she enjoyed getting to reaffirm her citizenship in the former courtroom.
“It’s more official than our usual meeting place,” she said.
Ruddy said it’s important to remember what immigrants to our country have to go through and what they have to study before becoming citizens. It’s a long, involved process.
“We’re allowed a lot more freedom than in other countries,” she said. “We have a democracy and everyone can vote.”
Each year, new girls who join a Girl Guide unit, such as Pathfinders, take part in a special enrolment ceremony. They repeat their Guide promise and receive enrolment pins to wear on their uniforms. The girls are encouraged to come up with their own themes and plans for enrolment. The 1st Kentville Pathfinders decided they wanted to hold the enrolment ceremony at the museum.
Girl Guides Parker District Commissioner Kim Vaughan said it’s great to have the freedom as Canadian women to be part of a membership that’s exclusively female.
“It’s wonderful that we are actually producing girls that will stand up for themselves to become leaders and to be not only self-advocates, but advocates for the environment and other people and inclusiveness,” she said.
Kentville Mayor Dave Corkum officiated at the ceremony. He said words like “freedom” and “rights” are spoken with hushed voices in some countries. The concept of what democracy means is incomprehensible.
“Being Canadian is less about what space we occupy on this planet but more about the differences between the lives we live and those lived by many others,” he said.