CGIT Looking to 100

Canadian Girls in Training, or CGIT, will mark its 100th anniversary in 2015. In preparation for the event, the organization is seeking personal stories from past participants and leaders which will be made into a commemorative book.

“Over the 100 years, thousands and thousands of girls have gone through the CGIT program,” said Gail Dolson, executive secretary of the Ontario CGIT Association.

“Many of the women leading in churches and businesses today got their start in the structured CGIT program.”

CGIT is an organization that began as a place for girls to take part in the war effort during WWI. Leaders plan programs based on the CGIT purpose, teaching girls to “cherish health, seek truth, know God and serve others.”

“It is this purpose that many women across Canada have used to guide their entire lives,” said Dolson. “We often hear from alumnae who say this and it is a theme coming up over and over in the memories women are sending.”

Today, while leaders remain committed, finding girls to join the group has become a difficult task.

“Many of the churches in which CGIT has been strongest—United, Presbyterian and Baptist—have small and elderly congregations, so the demographic of families with girls ages 12 to 17 is missing,” said Dolson. “In a world crammed with activities for young people, church-based groups don’t often seem too interesting; church is not a part of many girls’ family lives.

“The girls who do join end up very enthusiastic about the organization and very often come back to help lead. But, there are few groups across the country today.”

CGIT is looking for stories from all women who have been connected to the organization throughout its history and across the country. Memories of friendships made, beloved leaders, summer camp fun, and meaningful worship are just some of the topics that can be addressed.

Send your brief stories, along with your name (and maiden name), and where and when you attended CGIT
as a girl and/or leader to: Ontario CGIT Association, PO Box 371 Norwich, ON, N0J 1P0 or email to


About Amy MacLachlan

Amy MacLachlan is the Presbyterian Record's managing editor.