It has been a while since I blogged here, but Thinking Day seemed like the right time to come back to it. I wrote a post titled Thinking Day Thoughts a couple of years ago and it is still my favourite post ever.
Thinking Day is for thinking about WAGGGS and Guides and Scouts around the world, but it is also about thinking about our involvement in Guiding and everything we do right here in our community. The last Guiding year has been a huge one for me, so it’s nice to take some time to reflect on it.
I moved to Sudbury to go to school last year (in part thanks to the Roberta Bondar Girl Guides of Canada scholarship) and one of the very first things I did was find a unit there. Lucky for me, the 2nd Lockerby Guides were very welcoming and they met just around the corner from my apartment. I went to three different camps with them, slept in a tent in the middle of winter for the first time, and even convinced one of my roommates to join Guiding!
While I was in Sudbury, I continued my involvement with Guides Quebec as deputy program advisor through many emails and conference calls. I’m lucky that Montreal Guiders are so patient and that I have a great Program partner in crime who was able to be there in person. I created a number of instant meetings and a new provincial challenge (Qc Tech & Nature).
I returned to Montreal over the summer and started thinking about the upcoming Guiding year. I knew that I wanted to return to the 33rd Montreal Pathfinders, but I also jumped into something new. Lara and Claire (who I once worked at Girl Guide camp with), Lindsay (who I just met this summer) and I decided to open a new Girl Guide unit. Although we worried at first that we wouldn’t get any members, our unit grew from one to six girls and we have been having a wonderful time!
Other fun Guiding things I’ve been a part of this year include:
- The Guiding Girl Greatness National Conference in Toronto
- Evaluating Girl and Guider International Trip Applications
- A working group for the renewal of Memberzone and a Guiding App
- Reviewing parts of Girls First — and I’m about to get a lot more involved in that!
- Travelling to Sangam in India
- Provincial Guide Camp
- The Brownie Thinking Day Connect Carnaval
- Grad school research into Guider willingness and ability to deliver STEM programming to girls in their units — and making it into the Canadian Guider
- Got chosen as an alternate for the Western Hemisphere Conference in Curaçao
It isn’t something I’ve particularly been part of, but it’s too big not to mention: Girl Guides of Canada released guidelines about accepting transgender girls and women in units this year. It was one of the most wonderful documents I have ever read and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this incredible organization.
So to all of those telling me that I can’t let Guiding affect other parts of my life or be an obstacle in my path to happiness, I say: Guiding is my life and it is a path to happiness.
Of course, I have many, many people to thank:
- Thank you Tanya, Jane, Carol, Annette and the the 2nd Lockerby Guides for being so welcoming.
- Thank Carly for joining in the Sudbury Guiding fun!
- Thank you Valerie for being the best mentor a girl could ask for and for being so patient and flexible with me in Sudbury.
- Thank you Charyl for being an incredible partner in Program. We make a great team!
- Thank you Marie-Eve, Julie and Kaitlin for everything you do with the 33rd Montreal Pathfinders and for welcoming me back into the unit.
- Thank you Lara, Claire and Lindsay for jumping whole-heartedly into our new unit and making it great!
- Thank you to all the girls who make Guiding possible and all the parents who sign their girls up for Guides.
- Thank you to all the Monklands Guiders who make our district wonderful.
- Thank you to all the Guiders throughout the province and country on committees, councils and in units (I’m sorry I can’t name you all, but you know who you are) who work so hard to plan amazing activities and events. I learn so much from all of you!
- Thank you Rachel for being a friend and Guider from afar.
- Thank you to Kelly, Ali, Sue and Rebecca for everything you do at the office to make Guiding as easy as possible.
- Thank you to all the non-Guiding people who have supported us and bought cookies. You have no idea how much your actions matter and what kind of difference cookie money can make to a unit and girls.
- Thank you Mom for all the brainstorming and chatting about Guides we do at home. I love Guiding with you!
- Thank you Dad for putting up with all the Guide talk at the dinner table and every other time and for not complaining too much when Guide supplies take over every part of the house.