Rambling through Guiding…

I’ve not posted for a while. Been a little busy with my Art & Design Course (which is a lot of fun and I will talk about it another time), I’m putting together a few different e-books and of course, there’s always the webzine, Welcome to Wherever – that pops up every month and causes a little stress and not a little fun…

One of the things I’ve done recently is to do with my Guiding Adult Leader’s Qualification. Now I haven’t talked about this a great deal on here, mostly because I need to keep it separate, very much like my Teaching Career.  However, it does affect me personally, so I figured it would be a good idea to at least bring you (all four of my fans) up to date on my ALQ a little bit.

I’ve been training (on the job you might say) to become a Guiding Leader for the last year. What that actually means is that I’ve been a “Leader in Training” at a local Brownie group for that time. I go to the weekly meetings, do various weekend training courses and try my absolute best to help out with the planning and the running of the group and district.

Why do I do it? 

Well it’s a volunteer position, so it’s certainly not for money (we get out of pocket expenses only) and it takes a certain level of time and commitment out of my life, so it takes me away from my interests and my family.  You might say that those things are reasons for me not to get involved with the Guiding Movement.

But…

There is so much more to Guiding than just what we do for the girls. And that’s what I’ve been thinking about today.

If you don’t know anything about Guiding, then there is a website that can tell you more official stuff than I can called Guiding UK and if you’re not in the UK, then there is always WAGGGS  – The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts – which also has it’s own website.

But back to what I was thinking about. There’s a saying in Guiding “Once you’re in, you’ll never get out.” and it’s true. Everyone I know in Guiding was once a Brownie or Guide. There are some Leaders & Trefoil Guild members who have been involved with Guiding since they were seven years old!

Me, I got into Guides in Suffolk. I was a member of  Melton Guides and I enjoyed my time there. When the time came for me to move on, the local Rangers group was over subscribed so I left, but I never quite forgot the experiences.

Joining  Rhoose Brownies has been an experience and a half more than actually being a Guide. My main skills (from teaching) are with children aged 11 – 18 and working with the Brownies  which are 7-11 years old is a real challenge to my abilities. Add to that, the girls are fun to be with and I always enjoy the weekly meetings, activities and days out that we get up to because of them.

There are other benefits to Guiding, other than the girls though. The Leaders put a lot more work into the meetings than the girls see – we are always plotting and planning new and different things for them. Sometimes they are activities for badges and sometimes they are for a seasonal holiday, but they are always intended to be fun! The main thing though is that the activities are decided on by the Girls themselves as a part of a Pow-Wow, so we never do something that they don’t want to do.

Bronieron House, Wales

Another benefit for the Leaders and Unit Helpers is that we get to meet people from all over the place on training ventures. I went on one in September and if someone was listening in, they would have thought we were on holiday rather than training!

Amidst the fun though, there was a serious message about the poverty and state of the rest of the world and what we could do as Guiders to help. I feel that if everyone (men & women) could understand what we understood by the end of the weekend, then the world would be a better place. *sighs*

Guiding is more than a club for girls, more than a movement for the empowerment of girls and much more than a charity. Guiding is a family, a sisterhood brought together with a common purpose. If you are a Guider, you are not alone in the world – as WAGGGS shows, Guiding is everywhere in the world – you cannot escape us!

*grins and rubs hands together*

I’d be interested to know how many people amongst my readers are actually connected to Guiding – it’s such a massive organisation and well over half of all women in the UK have either been a Guiding Leader / Volunteer or been a Rainbow / Brownie / Guide  – that I’m sure a few of you have been touched…

Personally, I’ve become more confident in myself and my abilities, made new colleagues and hopefully a few new friends! I have a purpose that is there, even when I am not working and I love the interaction with the girls I have. I learn new skills deliberately to be able to pass them onto the girls through their activities and I even enjoy the planning!

 

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