Guiding began in Pasadena in 1963, and was started by Elsie Bennett. Ms. Bennett grew up in Pasadena, and after spending some time in St. John’s, her family returned to the community. Her daughter was a member of a Sparks unit on the east coast, and Ms. Bennett was hoping that she could continue with the program in Pasadena. There were units in Corner Brook, but Ms. Bennett decided that she wanted to start a unit in Pasadena. There was a meeting held in January of 1963 at the Anglican Church school, where a group of people gathered to discuss the possibility of a Guiding movement in the community. The idea was a success, and the group registered was registered on May 17, 1963. In June of that year, eleven Guides and twenty Brownies were enrolled. The meetings were held in different schools in the community. In 1970, a Ranger group was formed. In 1964, the Guide colors were dedicated, and the ceremony was held at the Anglican Church. In September of 1965, Pasadena became a registered district in the Humber Division, which is when Ms. Bennett was appointed the first commissioner. Some other original members of the organization were: Floss LeDrew, Margaret Whelan, Yvonne Wells, Ann-Marie Wagg (Smith), Delia Hinks, Elizabeth Fisher, Mary-Lou Chaulk, Judith Atkinson and Julia Neville. Besides Ms. Bennett, some other early district commissioners were: Elizabeth Fisher, Ida Gulliver, Beth Hall, Rosemary Musgrove, and Sharon Dirdle.
Today, Guiding in Pasadena continues to flourish. In 2013, there were many festivities held to celebrate fifty years in the community, including a tea party. Every year Pasadena has a Spark, Brownie, Guide, Pathfinder and Ranger unit, with great leaders to offer support. Each branch is required to do some sort of service project every year, so the groups often donate their time to the SPCA, food bank, woman’s shelter and the senior’s and Lion’s Club dinners. This past year the Pathfinders made handmade teddy bears to donate to the local dentist office, to help comfort children who are afraid during dental checkups and procedures. Each year the branches go on outdoor camps, and learn many different skills, including how to cook their own meals outside. Some members of the organization in the community have been lucky enough to attend provincial and international camps and trips.
Recently, the Pasadena district and the Deer Lake district have joined together to form the Humber Valley District. This, among other changes and hurdles over the years has allowed the organization to grow and strengthen. The organization is proud to offer a safe, fun and adventurous environment for the young girls in the community to take advantage of. Guiding is an organization that is accepting of everyone, and a place where girls can relax, be themselves, and try new things!