In September 1997 I made the first tentative steps at becoming a Brownie Guide leader. In that time I have learnt new skills, made new friends, opened up new units and discovered a life that is active and fun, sometimes irritating and other times quite maddening. But would I have swapped those experiences, absolutely not.
I have watched shy, wouldn't say 'boo to a goose' girls grow into to argumentative teenagers and then into young women full of confidence, some with families of their own.
As a Brownie and Guide Guider, I have been hugged, thanked, sworn and yelled at (more by parents than kids), mopped up tears and vomit. I have listened, talked, counselled and sat with many who have found growing up tough. I have put plasters on cut knees, checked wounded feelings and acted like the UN between individuals. I am no saint, some girls have tried my patience till I thought it would break. I have shouted and have counted to 100, after all I am human too.
My first brownie meeting started with about 12 Brownies, which by the following year had grown to 29. We developed a fantastic team who came in to help out every week with craft activities, fundraising (both for unit and others) as well as supported trips and visits as well as exploration activities.
My first ever trip with the Brownies was a walk to the fire station, the other side of town, giving my first ever Tawney Owl kittens (she was considerably older than most of us and was use to the confines of the hall). The girls loved it, especially it being dark so they could take torches on the walk and then get to climb over the fire engines. Not sure whether it was the sliding down the pole at the fire station or getting an ice cream at McDonalds after was the most exciting thing for them, but they loved it all.
Brownie Pack Holidays were another firm favourite and consisted of much excitement, camp fires, hot chocolate and Angel Delight. Our Brownies still do go on Pack Holiday and learn so much from Baking to helping others out as well as working closely in teams. Some children do get home sick but usually by the time the parents come to pick up they don't want to go.
I Promise that I will do my best