The adventures of a Branch Association Adviser
After five years as Branch Association Adviser, Anne is on the search for her successor – read about her experiences to decide whether it could be you
The captain switched off the lights
I was stood on the deck of a ship in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The night sky shimmered with stars. By this point I’d already seen dolphins, a whale shark and flying fish on my five day trip to St Helena – where I was visiting one of Girlguiding’s Branch Associations. I felt so privileged to be involved in guiding, to be the Branch Association Adviser, and to get opportunities like this.
Being the Branch Association Adviser is incredibly rewarding and varied. I’ve travelled the world and met so many enthusiastic Leaders who want to give girls their best. I’ve met Premiers, Governors and Government Ministers, participated in radio and television interviews, and been interviewed for local newspapers.
Now, as I say goodbye to the eight Branch Associations and my role supporting them, we’re looking for a new Branch Association Adviser! Here are five of my highlights – if you think this looks exciting you should definitely apply.
1. I travelled the world
I spent the first two-and-a-half years visiting each Country, trained and supporting the Leaders there. That means I went to all eight countries in the British Overseas Territories where the Branch Associations are, including the Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
2. I met new people
I’ve made so many friends through this experience – they will last a lifetime.
I really enjoyed working with different cultures, meeting Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, members of The Senior Section and Leaders. I loved joining in with their Fun Days and going to their meetings.
After visiting all the countries in the first two-and-a-half years, I realised I could not possibly undertake my part of their eight strategic plans without extra help, so I built a very small team of three based in the UK and I have been very appreciative of their help especially.
3. I had adventures
I learned to fully appreciate what a ‘windy day’ meant while camping on the Falkand Islands!
Helping out at a Brownie residential event in the Cayman Islands was a great experience too, as I got to give local Leaders the support and confidence they needed to take the girls away.
4. I got to see the Branch Associations grow
Being the Branch Association Adviser is all about supporting and improving guiding in each country. The amount of progress we’ve made has been a real highlight for me.
Visiting the countries enabled me to get a better understanding from the Island Commissioners and Leaders, of their visions and aspirations for the next five to ten years.
So over the last five years while I’ve been the Adviser we have:
- appointed new presidents
- created a Branch Association badge – so that people recognise them
- built the Branch Association website and eight country websites
- encouraged more people to become Trainers on the islands and got UK Trainers delivering online training for them
- set up three Trefoil Guilds in the Branch Associations.
5. I went to the Branches Gathering
As the countries are so widely dispersed around the world, this is an important event. The Branches Gathering is attended by Commissioners from each country and takes place every three years. In 2011 I held my first Branches Gathering in London, where we started to develop individual country strategic plans. Then the next in 2014 was in Bermuda!
It’s been a fantastic five years. If you’re interested in seeing guiding grow around the world, supporting development and training, and having some fantastic experiences in the process this is the position for you.
What's your next step?
If you're ready to take on a new volunteering position, read more about the roles available in Girlguiding.
Do something unforgettable
There's always a way that you can get more involved with Girlguiding. We have events and opportunities for all ages across the UK and around the world.