#ThisIsImpact

Today is Thinking Day. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s the birthday that the two founders of Guiding and Scouting, Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, share and also the day when our 10 million members in 149 countries celebrate Guiding and Scouting around the world. This is my fourth year posting a Thinking Day Blog and I’ve run out of punny names, having written Thinking Day Thoughts, Thinking about Thinking Day and A Thoughtful Day. Instead this year, I’m stealing the theme chosen by WAGGGS (the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts): Impact.

Although always changing, anyone who knows me knows that Guiding has a huge impact on my life.

One of the Thinking Day traditions is for members to wear our uniform on February 22 every day. I’m told I need some variety in my life, so I take a couple weekly breaks from Guiding to attend Irish Dance classes. I didn’t think I’d be very comfortable dancing in my uniform, but I did wear a Guiding shirt and carried my GGC water bottle.

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I’ve continued to be a leader two Guiding groups this year and love being able to tell my NDG Guides that they’re in the same unit I stared my Guiding adventure in. My Milton Park Guide and Pathfinder unit is extra special because Lindsay, Lara, Claire and I started it with one single girl two-and-a-half years ago and we’re now up to 13 girls. I find it inspiring seeing them grow, gain confidence and laugh together. It’s incredible to watch them welcome new girls and share their love of Guiding too! I leave each meeting exclaiming about what wonderful people they are. There’s no doubt my weekly Guiding meetings are the best part of my week. To anyone who asks where we find the time, I ask how you don’t. There’s nothing more invigorating and stress-relieving than spending time playing, singing, chatting, laughing, sharing and listening to the future leaders of the world talking about what’s important to them. #ThisIsImpact.

Lindsay and I recently took two of the older girls to Quebec City for a provincial adventure and one of the girls said something that made me so happy. She told us that she really enjoyed having us as Guiders because we aren’t bossy and restrictive like teachers but we’re old enough to take them cool places and let them decide what they’d like to do. Now more than ever, Guiding is moving into being girl-led, girl-driven and empowering. In fact, our new vision and mission were revealed just today:

A better world, by girls.

To be a catalyst for girls empowering girls.

I can’t wait to see how the next year will play out for GGC and I’m proud to be a part of its new path! Our new program, Girls First, is on its way too!

I’m approaching my two-year mark working at the Quebec provincial office and things are changing there too, but this is the point in my blog where I thank my incredible coworker, Kelly, for the impact that working with her has had on my life and Guiding experience. I consider her my mentor and can confidently say that we teach each other new things every day. There are the funny things like our jokes about The Google being able to answer any questions, her mocking my youth when I opened a pack of Welch Gummies one day at lunch or when she taught me what a mail-merge is, the chocolate I leave on her desk because everyone needs chocolate every day or the mini grammar obsessiveness I not-so-sneakily impart. But there are also the bigger things: the philosophical discussions, the life advice, the work ethic, the exclamations we shout from one room to the next, and the frustrating fact that she can always tell when I’m trying not to cry (I’m just that kind of emotional person). We make a great team and I can’t express how much I love working together!

Thank you also to Lindsay, Lara, Emily, Pam, Kathryn, Beverly, Sharon, RoseAnna, Carol, Rachel, Rochelle, Christine and her family, all of Quebec Council, advisers and district commissioners, all the Guiders and staff across the province and country, and of course the girls. You all inspire me, make me a better Guider, and I hope, a better person!

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