Jennifer's Volunteering Story
Guiding volunteer Jennifer tells us about her experience as an Assistant Guide Leader with Girlguding Edinburgh.
Why did you get involved in Guiding?
Following a fall off my mountain bike, I was looking for other ways to keep busy until I recovered. My work colleague Izzy was looking for help at her Guide Unit. “It will only be for a couple of hours a week”, she promised! Five years later, I am still here and I now have my Leadership Qualification. Having been a Brownie and Guide myself, it has been really great to get back into Guiding.
What is your role?
Assistant Guide Leader.
What has been the highlight of your time volunteering with Guiding Edinburgh?
Every night at Guides provides new highlights. We are always doing something different and making new memories. Some notable events include going camping and having the obligatory s'mores around the campfire.
How do people react when you tell them you are involved in Guiding?
With a lot of interest as I am always looking for people to be my guinea pigs when I am testing out an activity or experiment before introducing it to the girls. Challenging the office to step through an A4 piece of paper resulted in much hilarity! When I tell people I am "off to Guides tonight", this can often lead to them reminiscing about their time in Guiding, and I end up picking up ideas of things to do with our unit at the same time.
What skills and opportunities have you developed by volunteering with Girlguiding Edinburgh?
I am a keen walker and since joining Guides my navigational skills have improved greatly! There are loads of opportunities to develop your interests and I have embarked on the Walking Leader Training, which has been great for me on a personal level, but will also benefit the girls as it provides them with more opportunities to get out into the great outdoors. I have also become a lot more tolerant to noise as a roomful of teenagers can get very loud!
Has your volunteer role helped you in other areas of your life?
Being a volunteer has certainly made me a lot more organised when it comes to planning, as it's important to have an interesting and varied programme that will be enjoyed by all the girls and volunteers in the unit. I have also picked up other skills, like sewing, when we made dresses from pillow cases.
What is the weirdest thing you have found yourself doing in the name of Guiding?
Perhaps not weird, but I did have to patch up our designated first aider at camp following a particularly impressive sledging incident! Having to eat the results of our Guides 'Bake Off' also left a weird taste in my mouth, especially as I'm a tad particular about people touching my food!