Canadian Girls in Training

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CGIT button from 1930s.jpg

Canadian Girls in Training, or CGIT, is a church-based program for girls and young women aged 11–17 throughout Canada.[1] Girls who join the CGIT vow to "Cherish Health, Seek Truth, Know God, Serve Others and thus, with [Jesus'] help, become the girl God would have me be".


The group was founded in 1915, as an alternative to the burgeoning Girl Guides movement, which the founders felt was too British or American and too authoritarian.[2][3] Initial support was provided by the YWCA, along with the Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches.[4] A uniform to be worn by the members, consisting of a white and blue middy blouse, was modelled on a style of shirt that was popular at that time.

By the end of its first decade, 75,000 girls had received CGIT training.[5] By 1933, there were chapters in 1100 communities across the country, with a total membership of 40,000.[6] Later, after the YWCA ran into financial difficulties, the group was taken over by the Canadian Council of Churches' Department of Christian Education, and was an independent organization by 1976. Today, it is supported by the United Church of Canada, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and the Canadian Baptist Ministries, and numbers approximately 2,000 members in 150 groups.


Canadian Girls in Training attending summer camp near Peterborough, Ontario, in 1927.

CGIT leaders organize a variety of creative and athletic activities rooted in or consistent with contemporary Christian (Protestant) values. CGIT members also have the option of attending one of several CGIT camps, including Kalalla (Alcove, Quebec), Ryde Lake (Gravenhurst, Ontario), and Wohelo (near Edmonton, Alberta). The camps provide opportunities for healthy outdoor fun and group activities.[7]


  1. ^ Cynthia Comacchio (8 October 2008). The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada, 1920 to 1950. Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-55458-657-8.
  2. ^ Phillip Alfred Buckner (2008). Canada and the British Empire. Oxford University Press. p. 233. ISBN 978-0-19-927164-1.
  3. ^ Michelle J. Smith; Kristine Moruzi; Clare Bradford (11 April 2018). From Colonial to Modern: Transnational Girlhood in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Literature, 1840-1940. University of Toronto Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-1-4875-0309-3.
  4. ^ Janelle Joseph; Simon Darnell; Yuka Nakamura (2012). Race and Sport in Canada: Intersecting Inequalities. Canadian Scholars' Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-55130-414-4.
  5. ^ Robert McIntosh (17 October 2000). Boys in the Pits: Child Labour in Coal Mines. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7735-6867-9.
  6. ^ Prang, Margaret E. "Canadian Girls in Training," The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada, 2014. Site accessed August 12, 2014.
  7. ^ Claire Elizabeth Campbell (2005). Shaped by the West Wind: Nature and History in Georgian Bay. UBC Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-7748-1099-9.
  • City of Toronto Archives Site accessed February 3, 2008
  • Keller, Rosemary Skinner, Ruether, Rosemary Radford, Carlton, Marie. "The Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America". pp. 365–366. Indiana University Press. 2006.
  • McIntosh, Robert Gordon. "Boys in the Pits: Child Labour in Coal Mines". p. 19. McGill-Queen's University Press. 2000.
  • McLean, Lorna R., O'Rourke, Kate. "Framing Our Past: Canadian Women's History in the Twentieth Century". pp. 155–156. McGill-Queen's University Press. 2001.

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