13 Years as a Girl Guide
2015 was a very busy year for Angela at Girl Guides. As a youth member for 13 consecutive years, she is quite familiar with setting and achieving personal goals, but last year resulted in multiple accomplishments.
Angela originally joined Guiding as a shy 5 year old when her mother, Lisa, recognised the benefits of developing social skills and life skills in her daughter in the world’s largest all-female organisation. Angela’s earliest Guiding memories are of earning badges for her uniform and playing games with her friends. Her favourite activities after progressing to the 1st Sebastopol Guide unit at age 10 are the various camping opportunities, including sleepovers, unit camps, region patrol camping competitions and 2 International Jamborees. She has also enjoyed outdoor cooking, swimming, abseiling, horseriding, canoeing, rafting and bike hikes.
She says “the things we do at Guides are so diverse that they can suit anyone”.
Angela recently completed the Baden-Powell Award, one of the peak achievements in the Australian Guide Program. It requires accomplishment in the areas of leadership, community service and personal development. Specifically, Angela participated in Australia Day Citizenship and Australia Day Award ceremonies for the City of Ballarat, created resources for the unit as teaching aides, participated in Thinking Day services, ran a campfire program, interviewed a former Guide Leader and prepared a report on her experiences and contributions, performed community service work for Uniting Care, assisted with a fundraising project for breast cancer research, attended a Lion’s Club working-bee and researched their organisation to find out about community work, attended the Guide and Scout Sailing Centre, hosted Japanese Girl Guides and helped organise a region outdoor observation game.
Angela was presented with her badge and certificate by Unit Leader Dawn Fischer at a special ceremony attended by her Guiding peers and Leaders, District Leader, family and friends.
From Youth Member to volunteer Adult Leader
When Angela returns to Guiding this year, it will be as an adult Leader. During a recent Guide meeting, the girls sang to her for her 18th birthday and presented her with an adult uniform, clearly indicating that they wanted her to continue in Guiding. Guiding is well-known for developing self-confidence and leadership skills, so she will be well-prepared to undertake training for formal leadership qualifications. She has already proven to be a good role model as Junior Leader for the younger aged Guide unit, as well as helping younger girls and friends in her own unit. In regards to friendship, she says
“Guides is a place where you will always find friends. I met a lot of friends through Guides, in my own unit but also at international camps. I’m always amazed that, through the commonality of Guides, you can quickly make friends with someone who is a perfect stranger”.
Angela encourages all girls and young women to consider Guiding as an after-school activity.