There’s an old joke that all actors are six degrees of separation from having worked with Kevin Bacon (us ‘80’s kids will remember him as an actor of the era). I’ve discovered that a lesser-known, but very positive, chain exists in Canada – six degrees of separation from Guiding.
A marketing manager by profession, I am acutely aware of how ‘word-on-the-street’ awareness of a brand or organization can heavily influence public perception. So, as an enthusiastic believer in the benefits of Girl Guides, I mention Guiding every chance I get. Over time, I’ve noticed a fascinating trend – Guiding can turn a line of strangers at Walmart into a group of friends.
Try it yourself! Next time you are buying Unit supplies (markers, camp groceries, etc.), find an excuse to mention why you are buying them to the cashier. Or to the person behind you. Then, see how many of these mentions it takes before a person’s face to light up as they say “Oh, I was a Girl Guide!!!”
Take the conversation with that person a step further – share a bit more about what you do in Guiding – and engage them in their memories. The next person in line will usually chime in with something similar – “I remember camping as a Brownie, it was great! My mom was a Guider.” Then the person in front will say “I can remember the girls coming to my door to sell cookies – do they still do that?”
I have had so many wonderful conversations with people from all walks of life who have been positively affected by ‘six degrees of separation’ from Guiding. Gas stations, grocery stores, convenience stores, child’s school, museum, at a party, waiting for the bus… no location is too odd to discover someone who has been touched by Guiding.
I challenge everyone to start up a conversation about Guiding and see how amazingly ‘related’ we are to the strangers around us through this great organization.
By guest blogger Christine McGavern. Christine is a District Commissioner, Brownie Guider and Guide Guider from Calgary, AB.
What is the oddest place where you’ve shared a guiding conversation?
I believe in Guiding and the movement. I do talk about Guiding everywhere I go and I sometimes carry GG book marks and hand them out. I have personally recruited many many people that way. When we do cookie sales we always have lots of Guiding brochures stickers book marks to help promote Guiding. I have lots of guiding paraphernalia as well and people see that I am a Guider! They will come up to me and ask about Guiding. My daughter once applied for a sales job, her first job at 15 years old and they asked her if she had ever sold anything….she thought for only a few seconds and said oh yes I sold girl guide cookies, lots of them…and I was good at it! Needless to say she got the job.
That’s fantastic to hear! Especially the idea of sharing brochures and bookmarks. We can all have 1 or 2 in our bags to pull out at the exact right moment! Plus, we love the fact that you’re daughter was resourceful in obtaining the job 😉
While waiting for a train at the Zurich airport train station, in uniform, an American couple asked me if I was a Girl Scout, forget what connection they had, but I always remember the young person sitting on the bench behind me chiming in, we were both on our way to Our Chalet in December 2001 to vollunteer for the Winter session. She was on her way from Germany, I had just arrived from Canada. Some people are impressed that I was willing to go so far from home at such a young age on my own knowing no one, to which I reply I did know people, we were Guides!