I have lived in three countries – the U.K., the United States, and now Canada – and there is one thing I have learned and that is to get my priorities straight. To me Guiding/Scouting is up there with finding a house! I used to be in Guides but left like many girls do when you grow up and go to college. But after a while, I returned to Guides as a leader in the U.K. It made me feel part of something and part of the community.
I have celebrated three different Guide and Scout centenaries. Crazy, really makes me sound like I am 300 not 30! I celebrated with the U.K. Scout Association in 2007 and then I celebrated as a Girl Guiding U.K. leader 2010. The best part was we all renewed our Promise together across the country at 20:10 on October 20, 2010.
Guiding was so much fun but then I moved to the United States. I felt like I was missing something, that thing that made it feel like home. I reasoned we are all sisters of the same organization so why not contact Girl Scouts and continue. The girls were great and the cookie season was crazy but fun, plus I celebrated my third centenary!
So, when in February I moved again – this time to Canada – the first thing I did to make it feel like home was to contact Girl Guides of Canada and get involved. I was in contact with a unit before we even had our plane tickets booked! When I went to my first Spark session as a leader, I hadn’t even been in the country for 24 hours and had just done a trans-Atlantic flight! My French on that day didn’t go beyond bonjour, but the unit felt like home.
I have discovered what is important to me – being a Girl Guide leader is like saying “this is my home, I am here to stay.” I enjoy helping the girls and sharing my experiences with them. I have learned so much had so much fun and done so much. Why stop Guiding? When you move, we are all sisters.
By guest blogger Jo Povall, a Guider with the 1st Northern Lights Sparks on Montreal’s North Shore. She’s proud to note that she’s slowly learning French.