It genuinely upsets me when people turn down volunteering opportunities because they won’t get paid for them (I know there are other reasons as well, but I’m not talking about those as the majority of them are incredibly genuine). Although it’s sometimes really difficult to see, there is indeed more to life than money. To me, my time spent in Girl Guiding acted not only as a social outlet but also as an incredible learning experience.
For this I wish to thank everybody involved, and not just the girls who put up with me on a weekly basis. I’m also grateful to their parents, to all the other leaders, and to every girl who was a part of my 17 year Guiding journey no matter how insignificant a part you played. To my Guiding friends from all over Scotland, and not just locally. To the ones that have stuck it out, and the ones who have moved on to other things. Even to the girls whom I was never particularly fond of.
I wish I was lying when I say that my recent departure has made me cry, but I quite literally have just sat and cried for hours. My girls were family to me. They were a pleasant constant in my life, I always knew that I was guaranteed at least 2 hours of shennanigans a week. They cheered me up when I was feeling down, and they brought me back down to earth if I dared to be in an exceptionally good mood. Yes, they regularly stressed me out, they occasionally reduced me to tears and they made me shout a lot but that’s just family. They looked out for me if I was feeling poorly. They inspired me. They listened to me, and they taught me. Yes, sometimes they could be a pain in the neck but that’s just human nature. I can’t even describe how much I’m going to miss Rangers, our cake and gossip Tuesdays. “It’s not gossip, it’s ‘peer-counselling’.”, haha!
As far as I’m concerned, Guides taught me more than school ever did. Yes, school taught me about literacy and numeracy, but Guides taught me much more useful skills for living. I don’t need algebra in real life, but it’s incredibly handy knowing how to light a match. School taught me that I didn’t like people and made me feel like I wanted to be alone all of the time, Guides taught me how to cope with large groups of people, and even how to put up with people that you don’t like in a confined space for a prolonged length of time (A.K.A. camp). I’ve been known to put up a 4-man lightweight tent in under 10 minutes all by myself and take it down even faster. No, it was not a pop-up. Laugh if you will, I really hope it rains next time you try to pitch camp then we’ll see who’s laughing.
22 years of searching, and Senior Section was the first, and only, time I’ve ever felt like I really belonged to something. Helping at Guides I actually felt useful for a change. I always had great difficulty fitting to the expectations of other people, but at Guides I felt like I fitted perfectly.
‘A Guide is a friend and a sister to all other Guides.’
I always have been, and always shall be, grateful for all of my sisters.