Last night was the first meeting for our new Guide unit. Nine girls aged 10 & 11 arrived at the hall. Four I knew from Brownies, I knew the others by sight or through their parents as we live in a small village with a small village school. Our other leader is new to the area and so knows none of the girls. Our agreed description of the new Guides = LOUD.
The girls unpacked the crate of things bought for them as a starter pack by the Brownies, screeching with excitement over tennis balls, a parachute, notebooks, pens, and even the washing up bowls, sponges & wipes. We rushed outside to use the parachute, playing cat & mouse, sharks, and any other parachute game the girls could think of in quick succession.
Back inside they embarked on decoupage & scrabble picture frames to inspire them and help them to think about their Promise. We enjoyed hot chocolate and giant marshmallows, and talked about what they would like to do this term. “Go to Hawaii” one shouted eagerly… We’re already booked on the STRATEGY weekend run by Gloucestershire Scouts & Guides, we talked about the Big Gig, and agreed that an overnight trip to Bristol to visit the Aquarium, @Bristol and the Zoo might be more achievable than Hawaii.
They’ve chosen their patrols & patrol names, chosen which Go For It project they will work on, chosen what they will do for the next few weeks (ice-cream hikes, cooking, pet evening, camp preparation) and how they would like to celebrate their Promise. They’ve all contributed to unit Guidelines which we’ll sign next week.
At the end of the evening it was hard to get them quiet to learn Taps. They were bubbling with excitement as they returned to their parents. One parent stopped me this morning to say how much her shy daughter had enjoyed herself – I had seen no sign of shyness from a girl who had organised the others into a game. I heard some of the girls talking to a friend at the school gate about all the things they are planning with Guides, the friend replied that she was doing the same thing. “No you’re not, you’re not a Guide” came the fierce response. I’m not sure about the “them & us” attitude, but am truly amazed and rewarded by the pride they already feel in their Guide unit.
I am a Guide leader. And the new Guides have reminded me why.