The Senior Section learn about car maintenance

Julia Hall, Leader of the 14th Macclesfield (St John’s) Senior Section, tells us how she got her unit learning all about car maintenance when RAC came to visit

Julia Hall
10 Dec 2015

I love driving my car and have a vivid memory of a friend of my Mum teaching me basic car care when I first got it

How to change a tyre, check the tyre pressure, check the oil, add washer fluid - all those sorts of things. However, as far as I can tell they don't teach you these things in driving lessons, which seems a bit of an omission to me. So it seemed like a great activity to do as part of the ‘Independent Living’ octant with The Senior Section unit I lead.

While we thought that together us Senior Section group Leaders would be perfectly capable of teaching our girls how to do these things, it's always nice to have a visitor to meetings. As it turns out, the man who came to see us had some nifty gadgets to check tyre tread and a gauge to measure tyre pressure amongst other things, which are things we wouldn't have been able to do ourselves.

It was an unusual meeting but I found it extremely interesting. I learned vital skills that I will need to know in the coming years as I get a car and need to know how to maintain it. It was a fantastic experience - Emily Glynn, member of The Senior Section 

I managed to get in touch with someone enthusiastic in the PR department and I think it all tied up very well with the RAC Patrol of the Year - Ben Wilson - who is based in the Manchester area (not too far from us here in Macclesfield).  He is doing lots of promotional things for the RAC this year and so I think I called at just the right time.

The girls were a little sceptical about the idea of an evening checking the oil in a car to be honest - but they are always willing to give different things a try, so they all came to the meeting, despite the weather being damp and horrible (in mid-October) and gave Ben their full attention.

I found the evening really funny and enjoyable. Now I will feel more confident to check the oil, tyres etc. when I get my own car - Katie Davies, member of The Senior Section 

Ben was excellent, he explained things really clearly, answered all their questions, demonstrated things and then let them have a go themselves.  He covered all sorts of topics in addition to the basic car care, such as good cars for young or new drivers, things to look out for when buying a car, how to drive economically, what to do and think about before you set out on a journey.

We all learned something - even those of us who've been driving for 20 years! He was friendly, professional, patient and knowledgeable (it's not surprising he was awarded the Patrol of the Year Award!).

Invite a visitor to your unit

Tap into the skills of your friends, girls’ parents, local businesses and even big businesses like Julia did! Has your unit had a great visitor? Tell us about them on Twitter @Girlguiding.