Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT) was begun in 1915 in war-time Western Canada when young people were anxious to be of service to the war effort. Boys’ work had already been organized in the form of Trail Ranger and Tuxis groups, and girls wanted their own program.
The idea of CGIT was put forward by a group of Christian leaders - Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian, and by the YM/YWCA. These representatives wanted to create a Christian educational program that would meet the needs of girls 12-17 across Canada. The organization was copyrighted in 1919 and produced its own uniform and pin. The CGIT magazine - “The Torch” - was begun in 1924. The annual Christmas Vesper Service, which provides much of the funding for CGIT nationally was begun in 1940. In 1943 NGIT participated in this service for the first time.
In Newfoundland, the group was called Newfoundland Girls in Training, with the first group being formed in 1923. In 1949 the NGIT members became known as CGIT members.
Since 1947, CGIT had been one of the committees of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), Department of Christian Education. This brought about two benefits - the national CGIT Committee contributed and shared in the output and high quality of youth work resources, and CGIT received from the CCC the reminder of broader horizons. The CCC is a member of the World Council of Churches and this adds a further dimension to the scope of the program.
In 1973, streamlining of the national CGIT Committee took place - the 20 members now met biannually to discuss and shape CGIT policy. This Committee is composed of two representatives and one youth from each participating denomination - Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, and United Church, in addition to each province or region sending a committee member. National executive members and national Executive Secretary sit on the Committee.
All provincial CGIT Committees, including Newfoundland, are answerable to the national committee and direct policies, that are national in scope, to the groups within their jurisdiction. They serve as a link between the national committee and groups within each province. This provincial committee also passes on suggestions and needs from the local groups to the national body. In some places where there is a large number of groups there may be a CGIT committee to oversee the work of these regional groups within the provinces; these regional committees are answerable to the provincial committee.
At all levels, there may be subcommittees of the regional, provincial, and national committees to deal with such topics as camp, leadership training, promotion, missionary education, and finance.