Guiding and Me

After many years away from Guiding I found myself volunteering last year as a leader with my daughter’s Brownie group.  Now my daughter is off to Guides and I am still a Brownie leader.

My original plan was to volunteer the one year that my daughter had left of Brownies and then redirect my energies to my profession and my family.  Halfway through the year I realized that that just wasn’t going to cut it, so I told myself that I would see my first-year girls through to Guides – so two years and then I would be done.

Well, now I know differently – Guiding truly gets into in your blood.  I was a Brownie, Guide, Pathfinder, Junior Leader – I attended camp every spring and every summer, I went to ‘Aggie’ from the time I was 15 until I was too old.  I was a Brownie Leader and worked with my mom’s Guide Unit.  I earned my All Round Cord and my Canada Cord.  I was a Guide when Guiding in Canada turned 70, 75, 80, and 85…  I went to the 75th celebrations at Maple Leaf Gardens!

I took a job in a non-traditional field (forest fire-fighting) and knew how to handle myself in the bush because of Guiding.  I also watched the label of ‘non-traditional field’ disappear.   So why would I need Guiding anymore?  My daughter’s teacher suggested Brownies to help with her self-confidence.  So I learned that I needed Guiding.

And then when I re-joined to help out my daughter’s Unit, I heard a lot about ‘Sisterhood’ – and I thought yada yada yada – whatever!

But I am beginning to understand it.

My daughter, notorious for losing things, went to Guide camp this past summer and of course lost a number of things.  Over the last couple of months, I have slowly recovered these items – because Guiders go the extra step, and have contacted me when they came across the lost items.

And, who but a group of Guiders will play a wide game at a training and throw themselves down on the ground when the group leader yells CODE RED; or will madly call out like barn animals – regardless of who is around?

But truly the reward is the girls.  I taught one how to sweep, I taught another a new song.  One child, I helped be away from her parents overnight, and another I helped through a meeting.   I watched the girls with pride at a Remembrance Day Service, and when helping at a local food bank.  And I realized that this truly is a sisterhood – a sisterhood concerned about the greater good.

And I am very proud to be a part of that, and I plan to stay a part of that for a long time to come!!

Jeannette Thompson
Forest Owl (contact Guider)
2nd Ennsimore Brownies

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2 Responses to Guiding and Me

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful Jeannette! Girl Guides is not about what age you are and whether you start at the beginning, its about being open to new members and returning members anytime! Glad you found your way back Jeannette, those Brownies are lucky to have you!

  2. Shirley Eagle says:

    I was a Brownie back when Canada flew the Union Jack. I remember drawing that Union Jack for a Brownie badge and having my Brown Owl over so I could serve her tea and earn my housekeeper and hostess badge. Then I went to Guides and hated learning the sewing, knitting and other traditional womens things. I quit after 1 year. Then my daughter wanted to be a Brownie. I was not so sure as she had problems in school but I wanted her to have a place where she could shine. I sent her to her first meeting and when I asked her what she did she could not tell me. So the next meeting I told her that I would stay and watch from the back of the room. Her and I are still here. We Guide together in a Brownie unit and she wears a 20 year pin….What can be better than that. I tell people who ask why I am still here, that I only do this for my daughter, but really we do this for all the daughters we have in our unit. They are all our girls and we both love them all.

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