Sarah Biggs started in Guiding as a Spark. Since then she’s transitioned through all the branches to achieve her Canada Cord, received a national scholarship, joined Link and has recently spent the summer working for Girl Guides of Canada as a Social Media Assistant. As someone so entrenched in Guiding, she was perfect for the job! Before Sarah heads back to university, we had the chance to ask her about her experience.
What has kept you involved in Guiding?
I stayed in Guiding because it was worth it. I was having fun, hanging out with friends that I didn’t meet in school and gaining experiences that I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to otherwise, like going tree-top trekking and doing a Ranger exchange with another unit from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. I was also so busy earning my Canada Cord, Chief Commissioner’s awards – along with many others – I never had time to consider quitting. I was always learning something new or improving the skills I already had. (For example, I’m now a master packer!) After being a part of something for so long it didn’t make sense for me to quit. I love that next year I will be able to say I have been a member for 15 years!
How did it feel to receive a national scholarship?
I will always remember the moment I found out. I read the email and I think I went into a little bit of shock. I didn’t believe it! I was just a girl who loved Guiding and for me to receive a scholarship meant that I was worthwhile to the organization. I was good enough to invest in and I was doing something right. I will forever be thankful to Girl Guides of Canada and The Humber Glenn Trefoil Guild, who sponsored the scholarship.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned working on GGC’s social media platforms this summer?
Before working here I never really considered what goes on at the national and provincial level. But now I know. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see how hard everyone works to make Girl Guides great. How we couldn’t be what we are without all the amazing volunteers. But, we also wouldn’t be the same without all the wonderful people who work hard at the national office. National really isn’t this big mysterious thing. But one thing’s for certain; I will always wear my uniform from now on! One of the many reasons they want everyone to wear their uniform is because it helps promote Guiding and that in turn makes the organization stronger.
You’ve already accomplished so much in Guiding, so what are your next steps with the organization?
One of my long-time goals has always been to visit all the World Centres. I’ve already visited Pax Lodge, so that’s one down and three to go. Yay! I plan on continuing to volunteer as a Guider so hopefully I can inspire other girls to stay in Guiding and work hard to earn as many awards as they can! As well as, I’d like to see how high my membership pin can get – after next year I’ll be looking forward to my 20 year pin.
What has been your most favourite moment in Guiding?
I would definitely have to say the night of my “graduation” from Rangers. My dad came with the camera; my mum was unfortunately in Spain for her birthday, but I was surrounded by my friends. My Guider, Amy, gave me all my awards I worked hard to earn. The Sparks Unit I was a Girl Assistant with was there, and I helped advance the second years. After that, to my utter surprise Lesley Skelly, a dedicated Guider in the community and a family friend, called me up to present me with a Gold Thanks pin. I thought those pins were for Guiders only! At the end of the ceremony a lot of people told me they were surprised/ impressed by how much I had accomplished and done during my 12 years. That night I felt really proud of myself and special.
What would you say to a parent thinking of enrolling their daughter in Guiding?
Do it. No hesitation. As a Girl Guide, you learn and grow so much it’s ridiculous! I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for Girl Guides. If your daughter is shy, she’ll make friends. I joined with one of my friends from school then a few more of my school friends joined then everyone dropped out but me. I think I liked it better after they all left because it kept school and Guiding separate. There’s no competition in Guiding so if something’s not great at school there’s no relevance to it when you go to your meeting. Just remember that meetings are run by volunteers; they can have good days and bad days. If you don’t like the unit your daughter is in, try a different one or become a volunteer yourself.
Thank you Sarah for your continued membership and fantastic social media skills this summer! We’ll chat on Twitter!
I didn’t know you were still in Guiding, Sarah! I’m glad to see it’s meant so much to you. Have a great year at school!
Thank you Sarah, for your work and the lovely attestation to the contributions of all member volunteers and national staff. It was a pleasure to have you on our staff team. Best wishes in all your future endeavors
Deborah Del Duca
Chief Executive Officer, Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada