“It only takes one night”.
Did someone tell you that when you were first roped into Guiding? Maybe you’ve said it yourself to a potential Guider, and maybe you’ve felt a twinge of guilt when you did. Or maybe you felt like you were getting away with something, “One night a week. Ha!” cue the diabolical laughter. One night a week…
The concept of one night a week is a running joke at this point. There’s even a song making fun of it. We all know the truth. Guiding takes much more than one night a week!
It takes hours of planning, meetings, and running to the store for craft supplies. It takes hours of calling parents, filing safe guide forms, and organizing events. There is safety training, bridging events, district meetings, and camp. Guiding is a significant time commitment.
And it’s worth it!
There are so many positives to Guiding, that we don’t need to lie. There’s watching everyone enjoy themselves at an event you put together. There’s hearing excited squeals when you announce the next event. There’s the joy that comes from teaching someone a new skill. There is the very real difference you’re making in the world when you teach inclusion and a love for nature. Then there’s the entertainment factor from girls who play the most ridiculous games, and giggle when performing skits that only barely make any sense. Most importantly, there’s the warm feeling you get when a shy girl joins in, or a quiet girl starts singing at the top of her lungs.
So let’s stop the lie.
All “one night a week” does is solicit women who might not really have the time. It can cause resentment and recruitment of Guiders who will leave at the end of the year.
Instead of using the “one night a week” trick, let’s tell it like it is. It’s a labor of love.
Guest blogger and Guider Ashley
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I can’t even count the number of hours I’ve spent reading, researching, doing paperwork, having meetings etc. just to set things up for Sparks in the fall (and I’m not yet done!)… but I can say that IT’S ALL WORTH IT!! I wouldn’t change it for anything!! After 15 years as a member, 12 of them as a girl, I’m happily getting back into “the groove” of things and my daughter Alexa will be attending Sparks here this September! Best of all is my Brownie leader and my Guide leader are doing Sparks in the next town over so we’ll be able to do activities together! We’ve not had much Guiding around here since I was a kid so I’m really excited to help bring it back so we have 2 groups in the area again!!