Title: Administrative Records of the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario
Series: 540/1 Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT)
- 540/1/1 Provincial Board
- 540/1/2 Regional Boards or Councils
- 540/1/3 Program Materials
- 540/1/4 Manitoba CGIT Camps
- 540/1/5 Legal and Financial CGIT Records
- 540/1/6 CGIT Photographs, Slides, & Multimedia
Dates: 1918 -2003
Extent: 7.5 m textual records and other materials
Finding Aid: The Finding Aid includes File Description and Box Lists. The Finding Aid was redeveloped in 2013.
The Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT) program was one manifestation of the strong ecumenical movement that made its influence felt in Canadian churches during the early years of the 20th century. CGIT was planned and set up in 1915 by a national committee of women representing five Canadian Protestant denominations and the YWCA. The official history of the CGIT states that the program was a response to a desire on the part of girls to be of service during WWI. (Sixty Years of CGIT, 1915-1975.) The program was modelled after the Sunday School midweek class meeting and was designed “to help the girl to understand the meaning of Christian relationships in her home, school, church and community.” (Luella Sprung. A History of the CGIT in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, 1955, p.1.) Group activities were project oriented and not simply for ‘a good time’. The program was also meant to be democratic with the girls receiving guidance from a leader but making their own decisions regarding the nature of the program. It was hoped that CGIT would meet the needs of girls 12 to 17 years of age in every part of Canada. The program was copyrighted in 1919 and a CGIT pin and uniform were authorised. The corollary in boy’s work was the Tuxis Movement and some ideas, such as local girl’s cabinets and councils were borrowed from the boy’s program. Camps and councils were an integral part of the program from the beginning with an emphasis on leadership training. Other regular CGIT events include Mother/Daughter banquets, which date from the earliest days of the program, Christmas Vesper Services, storytelling and drama contests, pageants, camps and sports leagues.
Very early on the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) of the Presbyterian Church assumed responsibility for the support of girl’s programs within the Church. At Union, provision was made in the WMS Constitution for CGIT groups to affiliate themselves with the WMS. Any CGIT group that took up regular mission study and contributed to WMS funds was recognised as an Affiliated Group (United Church of Canada Year Book, 1926). After the creation of United Church Women (UCW) in 1962, the UCW was encouraged to offer the same type of leadership support to CGIT as had been offered by the WMS.
Additional CGIT photographs may be found in the Church Organisation Photograph Collection in this repository. Records of the National CGIT, formerly in this Finding Aid, have been deposited in the Central (General Council) Archives of The United Church of Canada.