We all know that Guiding empowers girls to learn, explore and find their place in the world. And as I discovered, volunteering with Girl Guides as a university student also pays off in a big way – both for the girls and for you. Here’s why:
- The girls will teach you more than a textbook can.As a Psychology student, you can ask me all about children’s language milestones or at what age they begin to feel empathy for others. But what I’ve learned from the girls I volunteer with is on a whole other level. They’ve taught me everything from how to improvise when an activity doesn’t go according to plan to how to empower other girls and women as we work together on a goal (something that should come in pretty handy when I enter the workforce.)
- Guiding is a chance to connect IRL.Making those real life connections is a big part of Guiding. It would be easy to use your four years in university to just go to campus and not really explore the new city you live in. For me, Guiding was a chance to dive into my new community and get to know it beyond the campus quad and the library. It was one evening a week dedicated to a group I feel a part of. And nothing beats the network and support you build in Guiding.
- It’s also a chance to chill out.Whether it’s hustling between classes, studying for midterms, writing essays or the 237 other things on your average student’s to-do list, who couldn’t use a chance to zen out? Volunteering with Girl Guides is the perfect balm for all that busy – whether you’re just laughing with the girls, learning how to master a power drill together or dealing with a glitter explosion during a craft. (Because, let’s face it – there can never be too much glitter in your life.)
- Volunteering in university is an A++ move.Volunteering is an opportunity that I’d recommend students take advantage of while in school. In a few years, I’ll find myself busy with full-time work or traveling – so this was the perfect time for me to get into volunteering while developing some skills that’ll give my resume a boost.
- Guiding is a chance to be the kind of role model you’d want for your 8-year-old self.I volunteer with Brownies (girls 7-8) and it’s a little bit humbling to know that these girls look up to me and the other volunteers – just as I looked up to my own Guider when I was a girl. But this may also be the best part of volunteering. These girls want to know that someone is listening, that someone is paying attention – that someone gets them. With just a few hours a week, you can be that someone – someone that helps them explore activities that’ll leave them feeling a little more confident, a little more resilient, and a whole lot more like the world gets them. And that’s pretty A++ in my books.
Guest post by Paisley Pinard, a recent graduate of Trent University and Brownie volunteer in Peterborough, ON. Interested in volunteering with Girl Guides? Get started on our website.