When I was 10 I started a new school. I moved from a tiny little school, with a maximum of 24 kids, where every student was like my family, to our local public school. The public school had around 1000 kids and I didn’t know what hit me. Everyone looked the same in uniform, I could never find the same person twice and they had all know each other since kindy. I was completely lost, but then I joined Girl Guides.
This post is in collaboration with Girl Guides Australia
Before joining Guides, all I knew about them was that they sold good biscuits but joining our local Girl Guides connected me with girls in my grade at school and helped me build relationships and friendships outside the school gate. I’d never spent much time in organised activities before (I never lasted more than a term in any activity) but I absolutely thrived in Girl Guides. I loved earning the badges, going on the camps and selling the cookies. It was so fun pairing up and working our way around the local streets selling biscuits door to door.
Our Guides unit was really diverse (for the Northern Beaches anyway!) and I loved that our unit was so accepting of everyone. We had a girl who lived with a physical and mental disability and Guides was just the highlight of her week. She loved taking part in the activities and that she was able to sell the biscuits door to door with the rest of us.
A year later she sadly passed away but our whole unit put on our uniforms and went to her funeral together. It meant so much to her parents.
When I was in year six we went to a week-long camp, and it was one of the best camps I went on as a kid! It really cemented my friendship with the girls at school and it was a giant camp with units from all around. We learnt how to cook in a fire, sleep under the stars, hike and be self-sufficient. I even met a girl there from a neighbouring unit that I’m still friends with 30 years on!
Fast forward 20 years and it was time for my daughter to enrol in Guides, and she loved it as much as I did. It was so great for her self-confidence and she still proudly displays her small axe permit on her wardrobe door and she’s 18! Her memories of her years in Guides are just as positive as mine and I can’t wait ’til it’s time to enrol Tully. I think it will be so good for her, she needs to build her confidence and her resilience, and I know that Girl Guides is just the place for her.
Girl Guides Australia’s much-loved annual Biscuit Drive takes place in May 2019, when thousands of girls will set up biscuit stalls to fundraise for their Guiding activities. The Biscuit Drive is a celebration of the diversity, confidence, empowerment and friendship of Girl Guides, and is a chance to recognise the important role the broader community plays in supporting Girl Guides and their activities. Girl Guides Biscuits can be purchased through local Girl Guides Units and from State offices while stocks last. For more information, visit https://www.girlguidebiscuits.com.au/shop-now/