Guiding’s given me skills for life

Poppy shares how guiding has given her confidence and skills for life - and why she's now passing them down to the next generation

Guiding has quite simply changed my life.

I can proudly say it is the single most influential organisation I have been involved in.

Joining Rainbows at five I can remember my purple tabard, the floral curtains and the teeny tiny red chairs in the meeting room. Brownies brought more fond memories including taking my Promise whilst skipping. When I became a Guide though was when I really appreciated how much guiding had, and was, going to change my life.

After many camps and adventures - including some pretty special ones like camping on the lawns of Alton Towers for the centenary of guiding- I was finally sixteen and became a young leader. Running activities and creating a bond with my Guide unit was fantastic. Hence why at 23 years old I am now an assistant leader, unit treasurer and trainer among other things.

It's given me confidence to speak up

Guiding has taught me many skills, not only the traditional camping, knots and cooking skills but organisation and social skills too.

As a 10-year-old Guide if you’d of asked me to stand up and do a speech in front of even two people I’d have panicked and hid in the corner. Yet 13 years on I now travel all over Anglia standing in front of groups of adult leaders who I’ve never met before training them. Something I thought I’d never ever do!

It's given me confidence to go it alone (and make friends wherever I go)

Completing my Queen's Guide Award is without a doubt my proudest guiding achievement. Not only did I have to pull on all of my organisation skills to make it happen, but I stayed in an area I’d never visited before with four others that I’d never met before. Guiding has encouraged me to attend events and camps where I don’t know anyone and also given me the best friends I could ever wish for.

Attending events on your own can seem scary, until you get there and are greeted with the warmest smiles and friendliest attitudes from your unknown guiding family.

Now I share my skills with the next generation

Now I'm a volunteer myself, I encourage my Guides to take every opportunity they are offered and try new things - guiding offers a safe and friendly environment to do this in! I'm often encouraging them that when they get old enough they can go and be staff at jamborees, which is where I've met some of my best friends. I'd also like to pass down my favourite campfire songs. 

Working a full time job, completing awards and trying to run a unit can take its toll. Lets face it we all like a bit of time to ourselves. But the excitement of the Guides when they turn up to meetings each week eager to see what’s going on, learn new skills and welcome in new members is why I do what I do.

Watching girls develop, make friendships and grow in confidence is so rewarding and makes every single minute of preparation worthwhile.
Poppy

Poppy Assistant Leader, 1st Freethorpe Guides

'I love Guiding for the opportunities, trips and confidence it’s given me and you can love it too!'

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