Celebration: 75 Years of Challenge and Change


115 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-919959-05-9




Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



As a portrait of a Canadian organization with a membership of 300,000 girls (six to seventeen years of age) and 30,000 women, this work documents an important segment of our social history. As well, the book is a keepsake for those who are (or were) involved in “Guiding,” and it should have value as a recruiting tool for the organization.

The text includes a history of the Girl Guides’ 75 years in Canada, information on the group’s nature, objectives, practices, programs, awards and activities, plus testimonials by former Guides who are now prominent Canadians. These spokes-people comment on the impact Guiding has had on their lives.

The author is the editor of a magazine for the Girl Guides, and her insider’s knowledge of the organization shows in the wealth of detail and the comprehensiveness of the material. To a great extent she draws on Guide groups in small towns and attempts to give a cross-Canada perspective.

The text is professionally written, concise yet enlivened with colorful details. However, it is the photographs which dominate the book. The collection has much of the appeal of a private photo album: it is informal in its organization and each snapshot is laden with personal memories.

Nearly one-third of the 180 photos are in full color. Some are clearly amateur efforts; others show a professional’s eye for composition. All are lively and convey the message that Guides have a tremendously good time.

In addition to its obvious appeal to people involved in the Girl Guides, the work will interest anyone wanting a closer look at the forces that shape the lives of Canadian women. Guiding is part of the Canadian experience; probably over half of all Canadian families have contained a Guide at some time since the organization came to Canada 75 years ago.


Robinson, Marita, “Celebration: 75 Years of Challenge and Change,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37634.