My favourite part of volunteering with Guiding is that light bulb moment – when you see a girl’s face light up with understanding, pride, or a feeling of accomplishment. One such moment happened early this Guiding year with a Brownie named Callie. It was just one of those moments that made me stop, smile to myself, and think, “This is why I do this.”
As the Guiding year was getting started, we asked the girls to choose their own circle leaders. The parameters we gave them were simple: their circle leader needed to be a second-year girl; they could use any method to choose their leader; any second-year girl not chosen as a circle leader would be a circle second; and most importantly, they all had to come to an agreement.
One group did rock paper scissors, and one group just instantly came to an agreement. But one group had a lot of trouble choosing and they just could not agree. Finally, the two second-year girls agreed to let the two first-year girls choose their leader. After a very serious conversation, the girls announced they had chosen Callie. And Callie’s face immediately lit up in a huge smile. “Really!?” she said. “That’s so nice! Thank you! I never get chosen as leader for anything!”
“Callie was so excited to be circle leader and the whole walk home all she talked about was how she got chosen and how the other girls picked her,” Callie’s mother Janice told me later. “I think being chosen circle leader by her fellow Brownies will definitely help boost her confidence and drive to do better.”
I love watching each girl come into her own, finding empowerment in her own way. It might be a girl who’s struggling with a certain skill, but finally getting it. Sometimes it’s the look on a girl’s face when she does an experiment and proves her hypothesis right, or the look of pride when a girl overcomes her homesickness to stay the night at camp. Sometimes it’s a shy girl coming out of her shell and making new Guiding friends.
I also love watching the girls learn to work together to accomplish a team task. You can almost feel the confidence growing, and the message soaking in that girls can do great things when they work together.
I’ll keep volunteering to keep giving girls those moments of awesomeness, knowing that I’m doing my part to empower these amazing girls to be anything they want to be.
Guest post by Jennifer Pierce, Brownie Guider and Deputy District Commissioner in Eastern Passage, NS.