How Young Leaders can build a greener future

Leader Rosalyn tells us how her experience at the Helen Storrow Seminar challenged her to make a difference

The 10th Helen Storrow Seminar took place at Our Chalet, high up in the Swiss Alps

We couldn't have asked for a more inspirational setting to discuss the theme – Young Women Leading for a Greener Future.

I was one of 22 young women from each of the five World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) regions who had the amazing opportunity to travel across the world to come together at Our Chalet, a WAGGGS World Centre.

The Helen Storrow Seminar offers leadership development opportunities whilst tackling some of the most prominent issues in society. Each of us have leadership roles in our own member organisations, and so brought a vast variety of experience and a shared passion for our environment. We were split into small patrols, mine was The Snowy Peaks.

'Great leaders don't set out to lead... they set out to make a difference'

We started by looking at our own skills and explored different styles of leadership. These exercises helped me understand where my natural strengths lie, but also encouraged me to move outside of my comfort zone and play different roles within a team.

I enjoyed working with GLOW i-Lead, the WAGGGS online leadership platform. It is bringing leadership development opportunities to girls and young women in all corners of the world. That, combined with the Me as a World Citizen session and the fun international night, showed me how incredible our global organisation is. Together we really do have the opportunity to change the world.

'She believed she could, so she did'

During the environmental sessions, we had the chance to learn about issues facing different parts of the world, and the actions WAGGGS members are taking to tackle them, from cleaning up rivers in Malaysia to Green Mondays in Hong Kong. It was great to hear everyone's stories - their creativity and determination inspired me.

The outdoor challenge, as well as being exciting and fun, taught us an important lesson – on the way to meeting our goals, we will all face challenges, but learning to face up to them and tackle our fears will stand us in good stead for the future.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others – Jack Welch

For me the key take-home point was that as leaders, it is not only our job to inspire and motivate the teams around us, but to guide and empower other young women on their own leadership journeys. Young women today have an important role to play in tackling global environmental issues, and I am proud to be a part of that.

As well as the learning experience, the Helen Storrow Seminar was an incredible opportunity to meet people from all around the world. We shared guiding stories and experiences, and created international friendships. I’d definitely recommend such an experience – go for it!

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