I joined Guiding after witnessing a silly skit by Guiders at a mother/daughter banquet when my daughter was a Brownie. The skit was remarkable to me because these women were seemingly unconcerned about how they were behaving in public. Shocking, yet still compelling for some reason, and the pitch? They wanted us to join their ranks.
Last week I spent two solid hours in laughter at another banquet. Dedicated Guiders leaving their positions (for another no doubt) were celebrated with part roast (clean version), part boast (awards) and a whole lot of memories of shared fun. Hard work and incredible contributions were exuberantly remembered, but it soon became clear that the bond that makes it all worthwhile is the playful connections with our Guiding sister-friends. As I reflected on this I thought about how we women play together in Guiding; how it keeps us engaged; how it has changed to include social networking and whether we will continue to spontaneously and joyfully play with each other as the means of our connecting, changes.
At the end of our playing at the National AGM in Calgary, our outgoing Chief Commissioner Chris Burton (truly genuine, brilliant and playful), spoke to my musings. She shared her secret for success by saying that we must do what we enjoy in Guiding, and only contribute in the ways and the places where we have fun. I note that Chris is a person whose giftedness includes selflessly making anything fun no matter where she is, who she is with or what she is doing, thus she is the foremost Guiding expert on the topic. Clearly there is a big payout to what she does, and BP’s words take on real meaning when they come from someone who genuinely lives them.
Sometimes in life and in volunteering, the tasks we have taken on, or individuals who don’t to value or respect us, cause us to consider turning away from our commitments. But in Guiding there are always others who will let us know that we are needed and cared for, and there is always another opportunity to ‘make a difference.’ So, next time that kind of situation happens to me – as it inevitably will – I’m channeling Chris.
By guest blogger Bobbi Hoadley, Vancouver.
Tell us! What made you join Guiding?