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Girl Guides of Canada renames Brownies branch ‘Embers’

By Hana Mae Nassar and The Canadian Press

The Girl Guides of Canada has renamed its Brownies branch the “Embers.”

The organization says the new name was chosen by current and former members in an online vote over “Comets.”

“Embers are full of potential and when they work together, they can ignite a powerful flame!” the Girl Guides of Canada said in a tweet Wednesday.

“With this new name, we’re showing girls that what they say matters, and that Girl Guides is a place for everyone to belong.”

CEO Jill Zelmanovits says the new name applies immediately to the Girl Guide branch for seven and eight-year-olds but that it will take several months to update various websites, marketing materials, and resources.

Zelmanovits says the name will be fully adopted by Sept. 1.

The organization has said the previous name dissuaded some girls and women from joining the outdoor adventure and activity group, and that the new name is meant to be more inclusive and welcoming.

“We are sorry,” the Girl Guides of Canada said in a video posted online in November.

“We said that you’d be accepted, respected, and included. But we know that’s not always felt true. It’s clear that it’s time to make a change. We cannot use a name that causes harm.”


Related article: ‘We cannot use a name that causes harm’: Girl Guides of Canada renaming ‘Brownies’


When it announced the name-change plan late last year, the Girl Guides of Canada said it wants girls to “feel welcome and proud to belong” to the organization, adding it hopes the name change will encourage more children to see the guides as “a space where they can just be themselves.”

Embers is a branch of the Girl Guides for girls aged seven to eight. Typically meeting about once a week, girls are taught various skills through activities.

Other branches include Sparks for those aged five and six; Guides, who are nine to 11; Pathfinders who are 12 to 14; and Rangers who are 15 to 17.

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