Five Things I Learned as Chief Commissioner

This weekend, Sharron Callahan’s term as Girl Guides of Canada–Guides du Canada’s  19th Chief Commissioner concludes at our Annual General Meeting, as Pamela Rice of Quebec succeeds her in the role. Here, Sharron shares some personal  insights on her term. 

  1. Never travel without wearing your appointment pin on your uniform shirt. You may not know this, but there is only one Chief Commissioner’s appointment pin. When I finish my term, I will pass on this pin to the incoming Chief, Pamela Rice. When I travelled to Our Cabana in 2013, I put my pins into my suitcase to avoid delays in airport security.  My luggage was lost for nearly seven days and I was frantic I might have lost the Chief’s pin. I did not worry about losing my uniforms, my jewelry, my personal items or anything else. I was so worried the Chief’s pin had been lost forever between my home and Mexico. All turned out well in the end and I learned a very valuable lesson.
  2. June4_Sharron_CallahanOur girl members are wise, courageous, and inspiring. Adults need to step aside and give girls a greater voice. I have never ceased to be amazed at the insights and opinions of our girl members. They have a local, national, and global perspective on all issues that is truly intelligent, astute, and sensible. I have met many girls and young women who have inspired me during my journey as Chief. I leave this position knowing that their leadership into the future will serve GGC very well.
  3. New foods shared with new Guiding friends are awesome. Saskatchewan girls showed me how to make ‘armpit fudge’ and in Quebec I first enjoyed real poutine. The fun of the food was fabulous, but more importantly sharing with friends was an amazing experience.
  4. Guiding women have inspiring courage and know how to manage any difficult situation. When B.C.’s camp SOAR 2014 was struck by horrendous thunder and lightning storms and rivers of water flowed through the campsite, it took the emergency response team of camp women less than 30 minutes to complete the evacuation of the entire 2,700 member camp. And, they did it without fear, panic, or injury and turned the experience into a great learning event for all.
  5. The colours of Guiding are outstanding and spectacular. Whenever I looked out over the sea of signature colours for events like a Spark enrollment, SOAR, Ontario Rally Day, or our recent National Conference, I felt a pride and joy that I am a member of the best organization for girls and women worldwide.

These are just a few of the ‘a ha!’ moments that will be forever my memories of my term as Chief Commissioner.

Guest blog post by Sharron Callahan. Sharron Callahan has been GGC’s Chief Commissioner from 2012-2015, is International Commissioner, a member of the Fireside Friends Trefoil Guild and a Guider with the 84th Guiding Unit. A proud Newfoundland and Labradorian, Sharron has an extensive background in social work and youth social justice.

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