This past March, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Helen Storrow Seminar (HSS) at Our Chalet in Switzerland. HSS is a WAGGGS leadership development event that focuses on the environment. It’s all about young women leading for a greener future. I met 22 passionate and inspiring individuals from different Member Organizations around the world who reminded me why I love Guiding.
As a Link member attending university, I sometimes feel disconnected from the Guiding community. Attending HSS and seeing how young women who share a passion for the environment and Guiding can come together and develop close bonds by learning from, teaching and challenging each other, made me proud to call myself a Girl Guide.
Whether learning about environmental issues facing each other’s countries and how climate change affects us all, sharing games we play in Guiding back home, or singing a campfire song in six different languages during Earth Hour, they reminded me just how powerful and meaningful Guiding is. One day as part of the seminar we went to the adventure park and were zip-lining and abseiling (rappelling) in the Swiss mountains. It was terrifying but I never once hesitated because I had my fellow Guides cheering me on. Attending the seminar and learning about leadership and advocacy made me challenge myself and realize that I shouldn’t hold myself back, that each small action collectively has a big impact, and that I am capable of so much more because of the support I have in this incredible global sisterhood.
So whether it’s applying for a GGC trip or scholarship, or taking action on an issue in your community, my advice to you is simple – go for it! I am coming home from HSS with new skills, excitement, and a plan to take on an environmental project of my own: tackling water pollution and addressing how important the environment is to our health. If you want to make a difference, pick a cause you are passionate about and then connect with others to motivate and empower them. Together we can take action for a better world and make a difference in our communities.
Guest post by Caitlin Aldridge, a Link member studying biology and psychology at McMaster University. From Newmarket, Ontario, she has grown up in Guiding, from a Spark all the way to a Sparks Unit Guider. Caitlin is passionate about health and the environment and can’t wait to share that passion with other members!