Toronto/Fraser Valley (CP) – Transgender children wanting to take part in girl guide programs across the country are officially welcome to join in.

Girl Guides of Canada says it’s developed a set of guidelines designed to respect and accommodate all children identifying as female.

Girl Guides of Canada

Girl Guides of Canada members reach for pieces of cardboard and markers at the Girl Empower Challenge activity during the 100th year celebration of Girl Guides of Canada on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 9, 2010. (Pawel Dwulit / The Canadian Press)

Chief Commissioner Pamela Rice says the document will help leaders respect the wishes of anyone identifying as transgender and answer questions from those who don’t.

The policies cover a variety of topics from washroom use to privacy during camping trips, and apply across the entire 5 to 18 age range the organization serves.

Rice says the guidelines also apply to transgender people who choose to lead a guiding troop.

She says the central message that shaped the new guidelines is simple — regardless of how a child was born, a girl is a girl.