It’s never too late. No matter what you want to do, aspire to be, or where you want to go. It’s never too late to try something new.
When my daughter was 10 and in her second year of Guides, I joined Girl Guides of Canada when I saw how much fun she was having. She’s now 16 and in Rangers and I’m still a Guide Guider. But that hasn’t stopped my drive and ambition for learning. Back then as a new Guider, I turned to training as a way to learn the ropes and meet new friends. I still take training sessions today for the same reasons.
Guiding offers a wide variety of training opportunities that provide Guiders not only the tools to make our units awesome, but also amazing ideas and skills. These skills help us teach the girls, and can also help enrich our lives.
In my case, I started out by taking the Enrichment and OAL (Outdoor Adventure Leadership) streams. Having completed the OAL residential and tenting training, I knew that I was onto something I liked and I wanted more. One day, I came across the posting for the Outdoor Adventure Leadership – Adventure Training (OALAT). Canoe camping? Long-journey hiking? Winter camping? The course description of learning how to take girls back-country tripping was very intriguing and yet a little terrifying. As a middle-aged, obese, part-time couch surfer, did I have what it would take to succeed?
Winston Churchill once said “Success in not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” So I found an ounce of courage and signed up, which ended up being the best thing I could have done for myself. OALAT opened many doors for me both personally and in my Guiding career.
During the trips OALAT brought my way, I chronicled my adventures, mishaps, emotions and learning experiences which have re-kindled my love for writing.
So poignant and significant an impact was this training, my life is now enriched with a new love for outdoor adventure (especially canoeing). I have become a Trex Guider, so I may teach and lead girls on similar experiences. Hopefully, they too can discover a love of nature and foster a stewardship for our precious natural resources. I am now working on completing my trainer stream so that I can become a Trainer with Girl Guides of Canada and also find a place on the OALAT training team.
So, to answer my internalized fearful question of “will I succeed?” Yes I can succeed. If there is anything that I have learned through Guiding it is that inclusivity is very much a part of our program; not just for girls, but for us Guiders, too. These empowering training programs provide a caring and supportive environment where you learn to leave your inhibitions behind and open yourself up to a deep well of new resources and invaluable skills while creating a close knit bond of friendship with women that will last long after the training is over.
It’s never too late to try something new. Let training open a door for you too and may it take you on a journey you’ll never forget!
By guest blogger Karla Armstrong. Karla is a Guide Guider and Trex Guider in Ottawa and is currently involved in the 2015/16 OALAT program as a Trainer Candidate. Karla has a strong passion for adventure and loves spending time outdoors teaching the girls.
What’s your Guiding story? Send your blog pitch to ggcblog(at)girlguides.ca