Girlguiding has been running in the UK for a very long time, over a hundred years now. I’m proud to be a part of it and what it stands for. I’m not a feminist, I don’t believe that women are any better than men, but I do believe we are different to them and I think the Girlguiding ethos seems to agree with me. I’ve been a part of the girlguiding movement for most of my life. I went through Rainbows, Brownies and Guides as a child and for the last 8 years I’ve been a volunteer Guide Leader.
When I first started I was a very reluctant volunteer. A friend of mine was starting the Unit and needed another adult to help her. I agreed to go along every other Thursday until she found somebody else. Over eight years later and I am still there and now go every week. In that time I’ve also gained my leadership qualification, set up a Rainbows unit and helped out in Brownies when needed as well. I think Girlguiding has tried to take over my life slowly but surely!
Since then I have grown to really love my time doing Guides. I love seeing the girls grow and develop, they usually join us whilst they are still in primary school and we get to watch and be part of the transition into confident teenagers, hopefully equipped with the skills that they need to survive in the big wide world. It’s pretty hilarious listening into some of their conversations, especially when they are trying to act like they are more mature than they are and it is pretty obvious they don’t know what they are talking about! Guiding also keeps me young. It means I know what the latest fashions are. I’m usually aware of what songs are in the charts at the moment, and what TV programmes are must watch ones.
Another perk of volunteering is some of the amazing experiences it has let me have. I’ve been to concerts, in fact I got to see Ed Sheeran live when he was just starting out. I hadn’t even heard of him then but he was brilliant. It was the day I became a fan! I’ve also been to museums, been camping more than a few times, got to go canoeing, and learnt loads of new skills. I’m now able to sew, crochet, pitch a tent and even make my own beauty products thanks to my time as a Guide leader.
It makes me sad that my time is coming to an end. My daughter will be old enough to move up to guides this year and I won’t be a leader whilst she is there. I don’t think she will get the experience I want her to have if her mum is hanging around cramping her style. Other commitments mean that we can only do a Thursday and I can’t be in two places at once so can’t take her and volunteer elsewhere. Daddy only has a motorbike so he can’t act as taxi for her either! So from September I think I will be a retired leader instead.