Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 5, 2002
Squirettes on the rebound
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Columbian Squirettes of Mary, a Knights of Columbus-sponsored organization for girls 10 to 18, is on the rebound.
Currently there are 47 Squirettes in Alberta in two circles in Edmonton and Calgary, a lot more than four years ago when there were none. By September, two more new circles are expected in Calgary.
Cheryl Johnson, chair of the Squirettes program in Alberta, said the program used to have 19 circles in Alberta during the 1980s but suddenly it collapsed. "From 1990 to 2000 there was nothing," she noted. "Now we are in the process of rebuilding the (Squirettes) program and are experiencing steady growth."
Johnson, a member of Calgary's St. Thomas More Parish, reported on the Squirettes program at the Knights of Columbus convention at Ramada Inn Hotel April 26.
The 12-member Edmonton Squirettes circle is sponsored by the Nazareno Council of the Knights, a Filipino council without a parish that meets regularly at Misericordia Hospital. The Calgary circle is made up of members of Holy Trinity Parish and St. Thomas More Parish.
A Squirettes circle can be organized in a parish under the sponsorship of a Knights of Columbus council. Members elect their own officers, plan their own activities and raise their own funds.
The goal of a Squirettes circle is to teach responsibility and leadership skills to its members, Johnson explained. Circle members participate in a variety of well-balanced activities, including spiritual activities, service projects, arts and crafts and social and athletic projects.
Members who reach 18 can continue in the Squirettes program as counsellors, assisting and guiding circles as necessary, Johnson said.
Being a circle member has many other benefits, said Chief Squirette Katelyn Geraldi, a 12-year-old from St. Thomas More Parish in Calgary. She spoke about those benefits.
"You meet a lot of people and you get to learn a lot of skills," she said. "You learn everything from organizing a meeting to putting on a convention."
And in the process, members also learn social and public speaking skills that will be useful for life. "It's fun because you get to plan what you want to do," Geraldi said.
On Good Friday, the Calgary Squirettes organized a Living Way of the Cross and Geraldi enjoyed the experience. "I found it fun because we got to do it together as a group," she said. "I enjoyed being with my friends."