Blog Note: Have you noticed a few hiccups in our schedule lately? We were preoccupied online and apologize for the disruptions. We look forward to getting back into the swing of things. Maybe this break has offered you time to think up a pitch for our blog? As always, we’d love to hear it and work with you on getting your Guiding-related story in front of our audience!
Girl Guide Membership Expiry? Never!
Between weekly meetings, endless emails, new uniforms, programs and oh yeah – is there a Safe Guide form to fill out to take my Unit deep-sea kayaking in Yemen? – there is something happening to many of us. We don’t know it’s happening; we miss it as we sit at a registration table, cull through craft boxes stored in our spare bedrooms. We miss it as we ask our significant other: “Would you mind if I spent my vacation this year volunteering at Girl Guide camp? Again.”
We miss the moment when we become “LIFERS.”
I can trace when I became a lifer way back to the 80’s. My mom was never a Girl Guide or a leader, so I was mid-way through grade one when IT happened. One day her bouncing (re: loud) favorite (re: most demanding for time) daughter came home learning that the girl only houses away got to go to Brownies….well folks, as my mom might tell it, there was a “light bulb and angels singing” moment in our kitchen. Here was the opportunity for my mom to get a break from me, and vice versa. I can’t say for certain, but I don’t think the car ever came to a full stop when she dropped me off at Brownies. Nor can I say that I didn’t LEAP at the chance to run into my Unit meeting. I do remember that Brownies offered me the opportunity to learn something new, sing, become a responsible “Sixer”, go on field trips AND earn badges. I coveted earning badges from day one, until the last Ranger badge was sewn on my sash.
I credit Girl Guides of Canada with helping me find the person that I want to be today. Part two of my becoming a lifer happened in Pathfinders. In the same year I got to learn about elections, and campaigned to be the “President” of our Unit. Later, I went to an international camp in Guelph where my Pathfinder leader encouraged me to write for the camp newspaper. I was hooked. I researched that whole summer what courses it would take, but knew I would end up working in the Communications field. In 2010, I returned to Guelph for another international camp, but on the Communications team (with that degree in my back pocket!)
But we should never think that a “lifer” is someone who has more years on a [membership] pin than someone else.
I have met women who left the organization in Brownies/Guides only to come back as an adult to volunteer and be amazing leaders in the organization.
Every time I put on the uniform, or try to hold back tears as we sing “On My Honour” together in a crowd, I know for sure, that I’ll be back the next year and the year after that doing the same. I hope that along the way – knowing that part of my “lifer” branding is because of the leaders I had – that I am inspiring a girl to want to be a “lifer” too.
By guest blogger Guider Sarah of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Check out her own blog ‘Sarah Smells the Roses‘, as well as her blog posts for Girl Guides of Canada:
- From Frazzled to Dartmouth Shore Area Special Events Team Member
- Princess Industrial Complex
- Bustin’ a Century Year Old Girl Guide Myth
- There Were No Sexy Nurses at the First Halloween
- Review for GGC of the Coleman Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner App
- Why Every Brownie Should Have a Camp Blanket
- I Camp Therefore I Have My Camp Blanket