There are so many reasons to volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada. As Sparks marks its 30th anniversary, I thought I’d share a list of what I’ve learned from a group of five- and six-year olds:
Lesson 1: Little Girls Walk the Walk
Don’t underestimate younger girls. Our Sparks start every meeting by reciting the Promise: “I promise to share and be a friend.” This year I learned that our young Sparks understand that the Promise is more than a fancy phrase, but a way to live. Over the past year our Sparks demonstrated their understanding of their Promise by filling a Birthday Box for a young girl in Canada’s North, spreading cheer with Valentines for Veterans, and learning to take care of their friends with their very own first aid kits.
Lesson 2: Engineers are not just for trains!
We celebrated National Engineering Month with a visit from two engineers from Engspire. At first the girls were slightly disappointed that they were not engineers from trains, but they soon learned that these engineers could teach them some really fantastic things like building flashlights and catapults on their own.
Lesson 3: There Is No Such Thing As Too Much Glitter
If you turn your back on a Spark with a jar of glitter, your Spark will be much more sparkly.
Also glitter is hard to clean up.
Also Girl Guide cookies make great gifts for school caretakers who help clean up said glitter.
Lesson 4: Glue
See Comments re: Glitter
Lesson 5: Cookies Have Magic Powers
It is undeniable that Girl Guide cookies are delicious. This year I also discovered that Girl Guide cookies are more than delicious snacks – they have the magic power to turn quiet little girls into a supercharged group crushing cookies sales. I brought a group of girls to sell cookies at our local subway station. At the beginning of the day they were shy and quiet – but by the end they were confidently selling their cookies, coming up with creative marketing ideas and having a blast.
Lesson 6: Things don’t always go according to plan – and that’s totally OK
Sometimes carefully planned meetings don’t go quite according to plan. Sometimes the girls want to play and giggle (and play with glitter). Lesson learned – sometimes you just have to go with the flow!
Okay, I couldn’t stop at just six things – here’s one more thing I learned this year:
In my past two years as a Guider I’ve slept in a science centre, been to camp, discovered the recipe for a campfire treat called a ‘hairy beast,’ learned to Hug a Tree, made new friends and figured out just how long glitter stays stuck to a Guider’s uniform. Life experiences learned from six year olds!
Guest post by Angela Comella, a Guider with the 314th Spark/Brownie/Guide/Pathfinder Guiding Unit. In her non-Guiding life, she spends her days amongst books and briefs as a lawyer.
Be part of the Sparks 30th anniversary celebration with a classic Sparks T-shirt and join in our promise to ‘share and be a friend.’