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VIDEO: Girl Guides learn love of flight in airfield tour

Pilots show the girls that Canadian women enjoy flying and have contributed to our history

Non-descript buildings sprinkle a quiet Glenora setting where a group of girls watch with wide eyes as bright sunlight glints off of gleaming metal and the rumble of engines brings them closer to a sky-high adventure.

Members of the Cowichan Girl Guides visited the Duncan Flying Club on Sunday, Oct. 22 for a day of learning about aeronautics and aviation as they work towards their scientific badges.

First they got to see two of the club’s planes take off, including one pilot-built silver and blue beauty.

The whole idea is to open their eyes to new activities, even possible careers and with a tour aimed at showing the girls many fascinating aspects of flying, the Guides also learned that women have played a significant part in the aviation history of their country.

Sandra High, the program leader of the group, was one of the girls’ adult supervisors on the tour.

She said she likes the idea of helping the Guides see outside the box when it comes to their futures.

“The science badges are some of the hardest to learn and in all my 12 years of doing Cowichan Guides, I haven’t done an aeronautics badge with them before, so I thought it would be super interesting.

“It took a little back and forth with John [Howroyd, her contact at the club to achieve it] but it’s great just giving the girls an outlet and a chance to learn that they can do this stuff, no matter what anyone says. John’s perfect because his daughter and his granddaughter are both pilots, so he’s really big on wanting to bring in more ladies.

“But flying is an interest that you need to start young and work your way up. And, just showing them that there are other things than your everyday stuff is important. We want to teach the girls that there is so much more that they can do, and John’s been absolutely amazing at helping to put this together with us. It’s his love of teaching and flying mixed with my love of teaching girls new things that makes this so perfect,” High said.

The girls were excited, seeing the planes take off and then getting a chance to view close up some of the projects, equipment, and behind-the-scenes work of the Flying Club.

One of the projects offered on the Sunday tour was learning to rivet pieces of metal together, and the girls also learned this was something women did extremely well during the Second World War, when many planes were built in Canada before being flown, again sometimes by women, to Europe to take part in battles.

As three of the young Guides showed off their riveting projects, they said they were enjoying learning about flying.

“I love the one out the front here,” said Quinlin, referring to an ultralight plane the girls had just walked past. “It’s got a really funny looking front on it, though.”

Kiera said they have been working their way through the science badges, learning about subjects like chemistry, but seeing something like the Flying Club was new.

However, Danika joined the other two in saying she’d really like to try flying.