Monthly Archives: March 2011

Lone Guiding: Bringing Girl Guiding to everyone.

When asked what I do as an adult member of Girl Guides Australia, I always respond with the same thing “Primarily, I’m a Leader, but I do a tonne of other stuff too.”  This usually follows with the question, “Which troop?”  My response usually is followed by an awkward pause, then a look of misunderstanding by the person asking.  Why?  Because I’m a Lone Leader.

Lone Guiding is not normal Gudiing by any means.  It is by far, more challenging, and a lot of the time, more rewarding when your girls achieve great things?  And I hear many of you ask why.  So let me tell you….

The beginning of Lone Guiding

Lone Guiding, is in essence, as old as the active movement itself.  Beginning in 1912, and established by Agnes Baden-Powell, members of the troop were from all corners of the UK, and kept in contact via postsal service.  Some history taught in my old Brownie Unit denotes that one of their pre-promise challenges was to skin a rabbit, and to send some of the skin (or rabbit? I really should check this with my old Leaders!), to their troop leader, who subsequently had lovely roses.

Purpose of Lone Guiding

Guiding is not an elitist or an exclusive movement, and therefore, must be available to all girls, to the best of the State and National organisations (not to mention on a world stage), abilities.  In Australia, attending meetings weekly can be difficult for various reasons.  These can include, but aren’t limited to: distance to meeting halls, illness, religious and cultural issues, parental reasons, time clashes with other activities and many others.   For me, at 15, I was the only person in my district my age, who wanted to participate as a Girl Guide, and so I joined a (back then) Lone Ranger Guide Unit.  It was through this uni that I completed my Queen’s Guide Award.  Meetings can be held in any format girls want, as long as within the Leaders capabilities, and these include, through monthly magazines, on the internet, and over radio.

My Work with Lone Guiding

At the moment, because of Uni and work, I’ve had to back off on a fair bit of my work with my Unit.  I work with another Leader, who on a monthly basis rolls out a magazine with a particular theme, to a group of 10-14 yr olds.  This magazine includes acitivities, challenges, and information, not too mention anything sent in by the girls, including updates on what they’ve been doing.  I assist by writing a letter for the magazine, and trying to put together some pages on the month’s theme, when time allows.  Hopefuly one day we can go back to rotating the responsibility of the magazine.

As you can probably already tell, Guiding via this method can be quite challenging not only for the Leaders, but for the girls.  Without regular meetings to see each other face to face, it can make knowing each other, and peer assessing each other, excruciatingly difficult.  It can also mean that on those few chances a year they get to meet at region events, it’s a little bit more special to them.

Overall, despite the challenges I’ve faced being a Lone Guide and Leader over the past ten years, it is very rewarding.  The girls who are involved really want to be there, and are always challenging themselves to higher and more intense standards.  Meanwhile, as Leaders, we are always trying to help our girls achieve their goals, and while we don’t see them every week, and watch them grow up, we can “hear” them grow up through their letters and challenges every month.

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Categories: Girl Guiding, History and Information | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Switzerland: My afternoon of adventure, before the real adventure began!

Upon my arrival to Our Chalet, I was greeted by one of the Winter Volunteers (affectionately known as Vollies), Lesley.   A lovely woman, her duties for the day were guest services.  She introduced me to Maegan, and let me know which room I would be staying in.  It just so happened that the first night I spent at the Chalet, I spent in the Bonderspitz room, the exact mountain I had decided would be my peak, only days earlier.  (A peak means that you reach the very top of the mountain, Bonderspitz being just over 2500m high.)

After settling into my temporary overnight abode, having a shower, and getting changed, I decided it would be a good chance to adventure into the valley town that is known as Adelboden.  This in itself was very much so a challenge, as being on one side of the valley, meant that you had to climb down the valley, and back up the other side to get into town, and the other way round on the way back.

However, it was a nice walk into the valley (despite getting slightly “lost” on the way), and obtaining some postcards and stamps, I was all set.  I decided to head back to the Chalet, to *shock horror* go on the net and let people back home know I was safe.  It was here, in the T-Bar (where everyone at the Chalet could chill, have a hot chocolate and browse the net) I met Sally, an Australian Autumn Vollie, who had only arrived a few days earlier.  At this time, the summer vollies were finishing their time at the Chalet, and the Autumn vollies were taking over, and there were FAR more vollies than guests the entire week I was at the Chalet.  Sally then took me around and introduced me to the rest of the Autumn vollies that were currently living at the Chalet, Mackenzie, Mette, Aisling, and of course Maegan. 

During this afternoon I saw some wonderful views, met some people (locals and visitors alike) during my solitary adventure, and learnt my way a little around Adelboden, a magnificent little area, that would be my home for just over a week.

Hiking back up to Our Chalet

Categories: Girl Guiding, Swiss Adventure | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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