I want to see every member out on or in the water at least once

Sue needed a new challenge following a major health scare. She realised she had time and experience going spare, and that Girlguiding could be the perfect solution.

Where my journey began

It all started when I was a 12-year-old Guide - our County used to run a boating camp with the Scouts. That's where I learned to sail and kayak. I moved onto a Sea Ranger unit when I turned 14 and qualified as a lifeguard when I was in the sixth form. I'm now a volunteer and trustee at a Water Activities Centre on the Herts/Essex border.

After I had a major health scare, I realised I needed a new challenge. I had taken an exit package from work, and I had time and experience to offer. Then I came across the National Water Specialist role at Girlguiding.

I see water activities play a major impact on aspects the girls' lives, like building their confidence.

Why I love the role

I love my role in Girlguiding - it offeres me the chance to get involved with a huge range of water activities. I cover all things 'water' except paddlesports (they're Kerri's babies) - of the 23 odd water activities, I cover 17!

My colleague, Kerri, and I travel around the country introducing people to new water-based modules and building new closer working with National Governing Bodies (NGBs).

I see water activities have major impact on aspects the girls' lives, like building their confidence. One of the shyest girls I taught (she was terrified of the water), blossomed by taking part in a sailing taster session. She then worked through the sailing qualifications as well. Now, she's even working on instructor courses in multiple water activities!

The future of water activities in Girlguiding

I am working towards a position where water activities are as common as other core parts of guiding - everyone does the camping and walking qualifications but mention water and they go quiet.

We need Leaders to be aware of what's out there and encourage their units to take part in unit/district/regional/national events 

We want to promote the water activities and qualifications so that adults and younger members are more enthusiasti. We want them to realise that anyone can take part in water activities whatever their age or ability. Water activities are something different to try - we've set ourselves the challenge to get every single member out on or in the water at least once!

We can show the Leaders and volunteers that running or taking part in water activities isn't hard, that they don't necessarily have to take external/NGB qualifications to run these activities as there are plenty of providers out there. We need Leaders to be aware of what's out there and encourage their units to take part in unit/district/regional/national events.

Come join the Outdoor team

Join this fantastic group of volunteers and staff so they can give even more girls exciting outdoor adventures. There are three roles currently available - Walking Specialist, Sport and Horizon-scanning Specialst and Residential Specialist. Find them all on our Event and opportunity finder. 

Event and opportunity finder