Monthly Musing – October 2023 – Our future ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Blogtober 2023 : Day 29

Every now and again, something happens that makes you see things differently.  You might think that I’m talking about the wars and the trouble in the world as that always affects our view, but I’m specifically thinking of something much closer to home.

We’ve been to an International Guiding celebration event this evening.  It was an event where all of the Guides and Rangers in the North West of England who have been abroad on expeditions and adventures this year got together to celebrate what they have seen and learnt.  Not so small daughter was there because of her trip to Japan earlier this year, and she was delighted to meet up with friends who had been to Madagascar, Canada, Korea and Romania – and we were astounded to see how many young women from around the North West who had travelled over the year were in one room.

The celebration involved watching presentations from each of the teams who had travelled, and I was struck by how joyfully each of the groups talked about their trips and the friends that they’d made within the groups, often only meeting each other once or twice before they set off across the world.  You could see the affection they had for each other, and not just through the stories they had to tell and the photos which made memories for us to share, but for them to treasure forever.  Something about their trips will have changed each one of them for the better, and that is something very special.

Most of all, I was proud to see these girls – our future – on the stage, encouraged to travel and discover by an organisation that most people have no idea provides the support that it does to our young women.  Yes, some of these girls may well become politicians, ambassadors, film-makers, women who have an influential voice, but others will choose to stay in the background, maybe within Guiding and maybe not, changed forever by their experiences and through that alone, bringing something different to their lives and the lives of others.

We don’t have to travel abroad to see how Guiding can shape young lives.  Each of the leaders who either went on the trips or were involved in the organisation, the fundraising, the encouragement and the friendship don’t offer that just to girls going abroad – these are volunteers whose desire to empower girls from the youngest Rainbows to the older Rangers takes them out of the house every week to church halls, community centres and meeting spaces to spend time with them, and they are part of a network of women who have been supporting girls in this way for generations.

Thank you.  To every one of you who is or has been part of the Guiding movement and who has been part of shaping an organisation that led to an evening in Bolton, listening to girls who have travelled beyond their wildest dreams.  You do an amazing job.


A stage lit up with blue lights and a screen with the word "Welcome" on it

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6 Responses

  1. Caz says:

    My niece from Stockport was on the Madagascar trip this year. She really enjoyed it. I wonder if she was at this meet up… I will have to find out.
    You are absolutely right about Guiding. And it applies to everything really in life thanks worth doing. Volunteer your time, show others the way, teach and inspire. Make the world a better place and do your bit. So true!
    Thank you for being our Winwick mum and filling the world with hand knitted socks, keeping our feet warm, our yarn shops busy, our woollen mills turning, our sheep productive and all of us busy and creative with skills we can pass on to others (with a cup of tea, a chat and slice of cake of course!)

    • winwickmum says:

      The whole group from the Madagascar trip was there apart from two so she may well have been. They looked like they had a whale of a time, although I’m not so sure I’d have been quite so excited about the bugs! 🙂 And thank you for your lovely words, you have made my heart smile xx

  2. Alison Lambert says:

    Thankyou. Thankyou for seeing what volunteers do and why and not just for seeing it, but for saying thanks and telling others. It’s a privilege to be involved with young people and to help shape their future, giving them opportunities they might not otherwise have had.

    I tend not to see much of the travel (being a Brownie leader) but love seeing their confidence grow over the time they’re with us. I also love hearing about the adventures (little and big) the girls get up to.

    A thank you also to your daughter for volunteering to help with Brownies and giving back to the organisation/next group of girls who can learn so much from listening and talking to her and finding out about her adventures.

    Thank you as a parent for the support you give her, the fundraising, the driving and the listening. Without parents like you supporting the girls and allowing them to take part in guiding, we wouldn’t have an organisation like this to be part of.

    • winwickmum says:

      As I understand it, I think that you could travel through Inspire although it would be as a leader and not with your Brownies if you wanted to do that. Not so small daughter loves the Brownie pack that she helps out with – I think it’s surprised her how much! It’s a wonderful organisation and the ripples of your actions spread further than you could possibly imagine 🙂 xx

  3. Geeha says:

    thank you for this. My older son is a Duke of Edinburgh Award leader and involved in running a canoe club which he joined aged 12 so I can see both sides. We must be grateful for the time and dedication of both parents and leaders as both are needed to support and encourage young people growing up in such difficult times. I also remember the teachers that supported my younger son develop his love and skills in musical performance that endure 30 years later

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