The rewards of volunteering are real

August_GoTEamSparks_BethIn my role as District Commissioner, I often take advantage of the incredible opportunity to visit units. So when I walked into a unit meeting with the 2nd Dartmouth Guides, several of the girls yelled, “Hi, Giggles!” I smiled as I saw so many familiar faces. So many of my former Sparks had become Guides. The more I looked around, the more faces I recognized.

When I asked how many of them had been my Sparks, 16 hands went up. Sixteen of the 18 girls there had been my Sparks. One of them said, “Do you remember that time at camp when you unrolled the paper towel and put it on your back and ran around yelling, ‘Super Giggles!’? I laughed and said I did. I told them I did that because I saw that one of them was about to cry due to homesickness and I wanted to distract her.

“That was me,” one of the Guides said. “I was the one who was about to cry. I think I would have gone home if you hadn’t done that.”

I smiled at her and another Guide said, “That was the camp when we saw all those forget-me-nots by the building and you made us a craft with a picture of them and a piece of paper towel with ‘Super Giggles’ on it.”

“I remember that,” I said.

“I still have that craft!” one of girls yelled. Her voice was followed by a chorus of, “Me, too!” and “So do I!” and “It’s on my hat!” (It’s on my hat, too).

I have been a Guide Guider, a Brownie Guider, and for the last several years, a Spark Guider. I love all the branches for completely different reasons. People tell me Sparks is “easiest” – and  I think any branch can be “easiest” if it suits you. We can all find a place to belong in Guiding.

To know that those 16 girls continued in Guiding makes my heart smile. Before I left I told them that even though they were no longer my Sparks, they would always be my girls. One of them said, “Oh, we know, Giggles. We’ll always keep you in our hearts, too.”

I turned away with tears in my eyes. Every one of my girls remains in my heart. It’s amazing to know that they have a spot for me in theirs, as well.

Guest post by Beth (a.k.a. Giggles), the District Commissioner for Banook in Nova Scotia, a Guider with the 4th Dartmouth Sparks and also for 1st Highfield Sparks/Brownies, and a Trainer with Dartmouth Shore Area. 

 

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One Response to The rewards of volunteering are real

  1. I’ve been a Girl Guide leader for 23 years now, my own daughters grown up and one 3 year old granddaughter who is in love with badges and practices wearing Nana’s camp hat and sash so she too can be a Girl Guide on day. People are often surprised when they realise I’ve no daughters in the program. You are are so right, every girl I have in my unit is one of my girls. I live in a small village outside Ottawa and am blessed to be able to see a lot of the girls grow up through Guiding and school events. I take great pride in their accomplishments as I watch the years unfold and love it when I’m asked to provide first job references. I feel very fortunate to have the time and energy to play this great game of guiding every week with my girls.

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