A local chiropractor spends her spare time helping girls reach their full potential.
For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we spoke with Dianne McMurray, 32, a local chiropractor and volunteer with the Collingwood chapter of the Girl Guides of Canada.
Q: For how long have you lived in Collingwood?
A: I’ve lived here since 2015.
Q: What brought you to Collingwood?
A: A job. In 2015, I had just graduated from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. I was looking for a job and I chose a position at Mountain Chiropractic in Collingwood. It fit with how I wanted to practise; the style and values, the small-town home kind of vibe.
I don’t like to rush visits. The shortest visits are maybe 15 minutes but sometimes I’ll be with patients for a half an hour. We work together with RMTs and work together as a team. It’s more about doing the best we can for our patients.
I grew up in Mono Mills, which is a small village near Airport Road and Highway 9. Going to school, I was always in the Greater Toronto Area.
I did my undergrad at the University of Toronto. It was a big change living in the city.
I was looking for something a little more homey.
Q: For how long have you been involved in the Girl Guides of Canada?
A: When I was growing up, my parents were always very involved in volunteering in the community. They set that example for us when we were kids.
My mom has been a member of Girl Guides for just over 51 years.
She signed me up when I was five as a Spark.
It’s just always been a part of my life. I went through all the branches of Girl Guides – from Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, junior leader and then into a leader – and then when I was doing my post-secondary education for eight years, I spent my summers at Doe Lake Girl Guide Camp, which is Ontario’s biggest Girl Guide camp. I was in charge of their waterfront programs.
When I moved to Collingwood, I immediately inquired about the units here and how I could get involved.
I started with Guides, which is girls aged nine to 11, and I did that for five years. This year, I am working with Pathfinders, which is girls 12 to 14.
A goal of mine in Collingwood was to grow the numbers of girls involved in guiding. Now, we actually have wait lists for some of the age levels, which is pretty cool to see.
Q: What are some of the benefits of guiding?
A: I like working with youth. I really like the age group of 12 to 15. I also teach advanced aquatics at the Collingwood YMCA. It’s a lot of fun.
The thing I really like about Girl Guides specifically is there isn’t one thing you’re always working on. The programs have so many badges in every aspect of life like arts, sciences, camping skills, leadership or just getting involved in your community.
We get to do all sorts of things. You get to know them quite well over the three or so years they might be in your unit.
Quite frankly, most kids are capable of more than most people think. They continually surprise and impress me.
Q: Do you have any interesting or unique stories about your time volunteering with Girl Guides in Collingwood?
A: At the beginning of COVID-19 in March 2020, we had just got in 100 cases (12 boxes per case) of our cookies.
Then, the whole world shut down. We weren’t able to sell our cookies door-to-door or in front of stores at all. We were stuck with cases of cookies, and that’s our main fundraiser.
We ended up collecting donations from the community. We took the cookies from the donations and donated them to front-line workers.
It was special to see, and the people of Collingwood were incredibly generous. About 80 of the cases were donated.
It was really amazing.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like people in Collingwood to know about you?
A: Not me specifically, but Girl Guides in Collingwood are always looking for more leaders. We have lots of girls who participate and potentially more that want to be part of it, but our limiting factor is adult volunteers, because we need to maintain a certain ratio of girls to leaders.
There’s a lot you can get out of it too. I probably have just as much fun as the girls do at our weekly meetings. It’s helped me grow as a person as well.
If anyone is interested, they can reach out on our website.
For our feature People of Collingwood, we’ll be speaking with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature will run on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email firstname.lastname@example.org.