Today is Thinking Day! A day celebrated worldwide by all Guiding and Scouting members. Brief history is that it is the shared birthday of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell our founders who met on a cruise ship, were married by the end after finding out they shared the same birthdate and many other things in common.
Girl Guides and Scouting is now over 100 years old! An amazing milestone for an organization geared towards girls and boys. This year the theme for Thinking day on the Girl Guides side is Empowering Women.
Myself I have only been a member of Girl Guides. I have belonged since I was 7 years old and ever year since for the last 23 years. Girl Guides has helped empower me to feel I can do anything, that the only limits in my path are the ones I set for myself. Girl Guides gave me a place to belong during a time in my life when I felt I didn’t belong anywhere. I was the classic nerd growing up, coke bottle glasses and everything. I had a few friends but no real companions that understood me. Girl Guides gave me that, a mixture of girls who loved the outdoors and doing things together. Hiking, camping, making crafts and learning new things. At our meetings I was an equal, I belonged! The girls thought I was funny and smart, now at school some of those same girls acted different but at the time it was ok. I understood the difference between the school yard and Girl Guides. It would have been nice not to have those school boundaries but at least at the same time I knew at Girl Guides we could be friends for those 2 hours every week, we laughed, planned events and worked towards badges together.
Thankfully as I grew up being in Girl Guides wasn’t such a geeky thing, in highschool surprisingly it did not matter as much, I had more friends there. Also most of my friends in highschool where in my unit as well. Some probably thought it was silly I still belonged, but I wasn’t giving up on my sisters in Guiding, so I tried to laugh every time I heard the “and this one time at Guide Camp!” joke all thanks to the movie American Pie.
I have loved being a member of Girl Guides. I can hardly wait for my daughter to join in the fall. She has already been on many events and attended meetings with me already. I’m not sure what she is more excited about wearing a pink uniform or getting to play with a group of girls every week.
Girl Guides has brought many kindred spirits to me and a lifetime of memories already. It is a large passion in my life, after my family. You can ask my friends, before I knew of my twins I was still determined to camp, even the national camp I was signed up for that was going to be in July for 10 days during my 7th month of pregnancy. Even now while I’m busy at home taking care of my crew I still miss being an active member, the meetings, the girls and of course the camping. I look forward to when I can return to a unit.
More to the point though now that I have gotten all this love out of my system, is that Girl Guides really is a wonderful organization as well as Scouting. I want to encourage my friends to look into having their own children and possibly even themselves to join. Leaders get to play just as much as the girls. Guides and Scouts is one of the least expensive activities out there and extremely fulfilling. In a few months early registration will start, think about it. Think about the lifetime of memories your own kids could create and the friendships to be made. Think about giving some of your own time back and remember what it is like to be a young girl and have fun, let your hair down and be a role model to young girls.
Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. A circle is round it has no end, that’s how long I want to be your friend.
Yours in Guiding!