This #VolunteersWeekScot young members across Scotland are keen to #PassTheThanks to their volunteers, especially for keeping guiding going during lockdown. First up, let’s hear from Charley who only joined her unit, 4th Methodist Brownies, in early 2021…
‘My name is Charley, I’m 8 years old and I joined Brownies in Inverness in January of this year while we were in lockdown. My leader’s names are Sam, Sarah, Penny and Caitlin and they’ve been so supportive of me while I got used to being in Brownies and meeting online. The leaders make our online meetings exciting by coming up with fun games, like when they ask us to find items around our homes, like clothes and books, to spell out our names.
Besides completing lots of badges already, my favourite Brownie memory so far was our leaders bringing us together on Shrove Tuesday to teach us how to make pancakes! It was so much fun seeing everyone baking and having a great time together on the Zoom call, especially when we weren’t able to do much at all or see our friends. They’ve really tried hard for all of us.
We’ve just started meeting outdoors again and my leaders have made the whole experience so enjoyable. And I finally got to meet all my new friends face to face for the first time!
Another way my volunteers are supportive is that they’re very helpful. If I get stuck or I’m unsure about anything my mum knows she can just reach out and ask questions whenever, and I know it’s the same for all the other girls – we feel very taken care of.
I would just like to thank my leaders for making me feel so welcome during such a scary time. They are the best leaders my unit could ask for.’
Up next, 183rd Edinburgh Guide Julianne wants to pass the thanks…
‘My Guide leaders are amazing – there’s twin sisters Mags and Liz, plus Mary and Alison. During lockdown my leaders set up activities for us each week on Zoom which really helped to keep me going during such a strange time. Each Friday, they’d drop off a little (sometimes big) back of goodies of things that we needed for the call at our homes, and they’d throw in some sweet treats too!
For example, if we were going to be cooking or baking something they’d stop by with ingredients we would need. They made such an effort to make sure we had everything so everyone could join in which meant a lot. Taking part in virtual meetings during lockdown was helpful because I had no other activities to look forward to, apart from School, so Guides was something I could look forward at the end of the week.
My favourite guiding memory was my very first outdoor trip with my unit when we went tubing at our nearest Ski Centre. I loved it, it was a great experience. My Guide leaders always ask what activities we want to do and then they make it happen. They are very kind and thoughtful – my favourite thing about them is their generosity and kindness and I’m looking forward to more adventures together.’
Find out what member of the Scottish Independent Rangers Emily’s volunteers do that makes her “smile so much”…
‘I’ve only recently moved up to become a Ranger after having such a great experience as part of the 3rd Strathaven Guides. I have a condition called coeliac disease which means I can’t have anything with gluten in it (i.e. normal bread, cakes, crackers, biscuits and some crisps) but my Guide leaders were always amazing at making sure that I never missed out and had something special to eat if we were having food. They were very nice and understanding and I’ll never forget how accommodating they were and I’m so glad they were my leaders.
As a result of this thoughtfulness, and along with my love for camps, earning badges and making new friends, I decided to stay in guiding and join the Scottish Independent Rangers. We’re a small unit and already I’m having a great time with my new, hugely supportive leaders – especially when we’re having lovely conversations about books and fun activities we’re going to do.
My favourite thing about guiding is when I get to open one of the packs my leaders send out to me – they always make me smile so much. I always find a friendly newsletter to read inside as well as small gifts like sunflower seeds or stickers, sometimes we even get books. I can’t wait to see what we get up to next!’
Last but not least, Speak Out champion and Ranger Catriona expresses her thanks…
‘My leader, Nicola, has always been able to make Guides/Rangers a space where we can all just be ourselves – I’ve never been in a group where I felt more comfortable than my unit. When Nicola first took over guides, I’d only been there for a few months and had always been painfully quiet, but it wasn’t long before my confidence grew and I felt at home in the group.
Our leaders really are what makes Girlguiding Scotland so special – I’m incredibly grateful for mine and can’t imagine I’d be the person I am today without her and the confidence she’s given me over the years. Thank you so much Nicola!’
Who will you #PassTheThanks to?
Who will you #PassTheThanks to this Volunteers’ Week 2021? Help us spread the love by tagging a volunteer or volunteer team on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram who has inspired you with their dedication! If you can’t tag a volunteer try tagging their unit or county, or just shout about how great they are!