Friday, July 9, 2010

Girl Guiding

Way back in my past, when I was at boarding school, I joined a Brownie Unit. I remember vaguely plaiting hair and walking on stilts, mind boarding school was so boring that I also learnt to knit and crochet ( no not at Brownies)- and yes, we didn't have TV back then, leastways only the seniors did.

When my eldest daughter turned eight, I was approached by the local leader and invited to check out Guiding. My eldest just loved it and the following year, my second daughter also joined.

Before long I agreed to help out, then I became a leader myself. I think the old maxim is true, "Once a Girl Guide, Always a Girl Guide".

In the year 2000, Australian Guiding went through a revolution, deciding to make the break from the traditional English program and create one of it's own. Like most things, this came with a mixture of good, bad and flaws that showed up later. Good was a program designed more for our conditions, lots of outdoors stuff and more contemporary badges. Bad was the dropping of 'girl' out of the name to be just "Guides" - Yes, it has been returned. Flaws that are showing up are things like the lack of progression, which I hope will be tackled in their latest review.

Despite all this however, my girls have gained a great deal from this wonderful organization. Both have continued on to becoming Queen's Guides. Over the years, the Guiding movement has developed a great deal of their character, teaching them many skills both practical and the more intangible such as leadership, goal-setting and teamwork. They both have developed friendships which have gone much deeper than most of those formed elsewhere and I have no doubt these special Guiding Friendships will last them throughout life.

My girls haven't been the only ones to benefit from Guiding. I have had the opportunity as a Leader to participate in many activities that I wouldn't have dreamed of doing before, rock-climbing, abseiling, high ropes, and bush-walking - opening a whole new world for me. Not to mention the fact that I have been honoured to be a very special part of a number of girls lives - girls who one day may 'vaguely remember doing something at Guides'!

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