Comment: Being a guiding light for youngsters makes volunteering fun

Our volunteers bring the fun and adventure of guiding to life for almost 50,000 girls and young women. Picture: Contributed

Our volunteers bring the fun and adventure of guiding to life for almost 50,000 girls and young women. Picture: Contributed

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GIRLGUIDING Scotland offers a huge variety of roles, all of them equally rewarding

Every day, all over Scotland, our volunteers bring the fun and adventure of guiding to life for almost 50,000 girls and young women.

Over the year, Girlguiding Scotland’s 11,500 volunteers contribute more than one million hours – but what does more than a million hours of volunteering mean?

This Volunteer’s Week Girlguiding Scotland is celebrating the work our volunteers do and finding out what an hour in guiding means to them.

LAURA STEWART is a Leader with the 137th City of Edinburgh Rainbows, for ages five to seven.

Laura says: “An hour at Rainbows could mean making fruit smoothies or crafting mosaics and tambourines. One thing you can count on is whatever you do – it will be great fun for you and the girls.

“It’s great to see the girls grow in confidence and watch the older Rainbows helping newer ones.”

MAIRI GORDON is a Leader with the 259th City of Glasgow Brownies for girls ages seven to ten.

She says: “An hour with our Brownies can involve anything from trying out science experiments to cooking up a feast.

“Being a Brownie Leader has taught me to think on my feet, get creative and say yes to new experiences. Most of all, it’s just a great way to have fun.”

ANNE MACKINTOSH, a Leader with the 23rd City of Edinburgh Guides for girls ages ten to 14, says volunteering keeps her feeling young. She says: “An hour with my Guides can involve all sorts of activities. In the last few weeks we’ve had a fencing lesson, learned semaphore and gone camping.

“Guiding has helped me to develop my organisational and management skills and, as a mother of boys, my Guides feel like the daughters I never had. Plus it keeps me feeling young and there’s always something new to try. Next week we’re going for surfing lessons in Dunbar!”

KIMBERLEY CADGER is a member of the Senior Section, for girls age 14-25, a Brownie and Guide Leader and a peer educator in Angus.

She says: “Being part of the Senior Section opens up all sorts of opportunities and adventures – from international travel to campaigning on issues that matter. One of the opportunities it’s given me is the chance to help younger girls tackle challenging topics as a peer educator – like body image and mental health.

“An hour as Peer Education can involve energiser activities to get everyone relaxed and integrated, team work, individual reflection, and much more. Helping girls and young women tackle big issues makes me feel like I’m making a real difference.”

As well as volunteering as a Senior Section Leader, for girls age 14-25, Evelyn Smith is a trainer for Girlguiding Scotland.

Evelyn says: “Some of my best moments with Girlguiding Scotland have come from the hours I spend helping other volunteers learn the skills they need to deliver great guiding. Before becoming a trainer the only teaching experience I had was leading my Brownies but since starting this role I’ve learnt a lot, especially from all the volunteers I’ve met.”

• These are just a few examples of how you could make your hours matter by volunteering with Girlguiding Scotland. To find out more about volunteering with Girlguiding Scotland visit http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved

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