I’ve been meaning to write about Thinking Day for a little while now (yes, I’m a tad behind with my blogging). I thought about writing one of those “all the ways Guiding has positively impacted my life” posts because, of course, it has. But, as I was brainstorming I realized that Guiding hasn’t changed my life, it is my life.
I can’t remember the last day I didn’t write a Guiding email, plan a Guiding meeting, attend a Guiding event or tell a Guiding story. My non-Guiding friends look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about my 26 girls and although they aren’t actually my kids, my life seems to revolve around them. These crazy looks are usually followed by questions about how old the kids are. Now that’s a complicated question. My typical weekly meeting is with Guides, but I am planning a trip to Switzerland with our district’s pathfinder unit this summer and I also recently became a ranger leader for our three amazing junior leaders.
Now I want to be clear that I am by no means complaining or saying that I am the only one. On the contrary, what I’m trying to get across is that Guiding isn’t an extra-curricular activity or a hobby. You can’t just take a week off Guiding, or make time for Guiding. You are Guiding: It is a way of life. When you become a Guider and you are suddenly a planner, a writer, an emergency-solver, a fundraiser, a traveler, a babysitter, a mom, a sister, a paperwork filler-outer, a secretary, a researcher, an artist, an adventurer, an accountant, a shopper, a hugger, a friend, And that is a wonderful thing!
I joined Guiding when I was nine years old and there hasn’t been a day when I have regretted it. I got my first job at our provincial camp (Wa-Thik-Ane) and when I moved to a different province to go to university, many of the first (and best) friends I made there were through Guiding. I have travelled to Guelph, Toronto, Ottawa, Tadoussac and Quebec City and met the most amazing women along the way. Now that I am back home in Montreal, I have become contact Guider for the unit that first welcomed me 15 years ago.
We had a Guide sleepover last weekend and while enjoying an afternoon snack, we discovered that some of our girls didn’t know that we were volunteers – actually they told us that they wouldn’t share their popcorn with us because we carry hundred dollar bills around in our pockets. Once we managed to control our laughter, we explained to them that the dues and membership fees that their parents pay don’t go to us but back to them and other girls. They were quite surprised that we give up our time to be with them – and I’m sure that they have no clue about much of the other time we put in when they aren’t around. But, I will openly admit that I wouldn’t give it up for a million dollars!