It would seem that I am returning to the folds of Guiding. Yes, Guiding with a capital G, as in Girl Guides.
I was involved in Guiding for many years. As a girl I started as a Brownie and went right through to Rangers. And then in my early twenties, I was a leader for a Pathfinder Unit. Those are girls from 13-15. Can you say giant walking bags of hormones? But it was great to work with these girls and see what their potential was. I was even fortunate enough to bring them to London and Switzerland to visit two of the four World Centres.
My friend Karen asked if I would help out with a Brownie Unit she wanted to start. And I said yes – I was looking for some volunteering stuff and going back into Guiding was an easy decision. It’s something comfortable, familiar. Though I do feel a little weird that I am doing a girl thing, when I don’t have a girl myself. There is a little bit of guilt there to be completely honest. But I am telling myself that there will be lots of things that can I do for my son for the duration of his life. And this is for me.
Things have changed a little since I was last in Guiding (almost 15 years ago!). The program has evolved and I will have to get up to speed on current trends, but that’s not the biggest change. I attended an info session which was about the procedures for taking the girls out, away from the regular meeting area. When I was a Guider, well, you would let the parents know if you were doing something different from the regular meeting, like going
skating. And for overnight things, permission slips had to be filled out, and a form sent into your provincial council. There was a little bit of paperwork, but nothing to really bog you down. Now, if we decide we want to take the girls to a sleepover at a museum (I really want to do this!), this is the paper work that needs to be done:
First, fill out page 2 of form SG.3. Then SG 7, if third-party supplier will be used. SG 1 and SG4 follow, and then WA1 only if it is a water activity which falls under the yellow classification. On to SG2 and finally page one of SG 3.
Seven forms to fill out to bring 10 girls to a sleepover. Not to mention the kit list. Yes, even for a sleepover, you need to spell out everything that the girls need, and do NOT need to bring. That is something I learned a long time ago.
So while there is a lot I need to learn, and more I need to remember, I am looking forward to having fun. I really believe in the organization and their belief in mentoring girls to become active and engaged global citizens. Guiding has given me tremendous opportunities from traveling around the world (literally, I’ve been to all four World Centres) to self-confidence and life skills. I hope I can be a part of an incredible journey for some these young girls I’ll be working with.
By Guest blogger Julie: After a short hiatus (13 years!) Julie has returned to the folds of Guiding. Working mom, museum advocate, amateur photographer wanna-be, and blogger, Julie hopes to help guide the young girls she will be working with and instill in them the self-confidence and pride that she gained from her many years involved with Girl Guides of Canada.
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i know what you mean about the paperwork. Don’t forget about paperwork if girls are involved in something that could possibly harm them…wonderful incident reports!