Last month, I was invited to represent Girlguiding Scotland at The Academy, an event run by The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) to provide high quality training and networking opportunities. This year the academy was hosted in Wiesbaden, Germany and 8 members of Girlguiding from the UK were attending, including 2 from Scotland, myself and Kate, a Trustee.
I had met the rest of the team from the UK by zoom but I was very excited to meet them all in person when I arrived in Germany as well as the Guides and Scouts from across the rest of Europe and even the rest of the world!
Throughout the week we attended a variety of facilitated training sessions run by WAGGGS and WOSM facilitators. My role in Girlguiding Scotland is Lead Volunteer for Learning and Development so I had selected a variety of sessions to reflect my work to support volunteers including succession planning, the volunteer lifecycle and the WAGGGS leadership model. All of the sessions had a strong emphasis on discussion with others to learn from what one another were already doing and identify areas we could work on. I filled my notebook with ideas and resources to look at when I got back!
As well as more traditional training sessions there were a number of marketplace sessions and the team from Girlguiding ran a stall about our programme and the new Young Leader Qualification and it was really interesting for me to see how structured our programme for young members is compared to many other countries in Europe.
But it wasn’t all learning, there was time for fun as well. We spent an evening gaining our Garman Scout license by putting up a tent, lighting a fire, making a woggle and many more key tasks. We had a treasure hunt around the local town of Wiesbaden and a particular highlight of the week was international evening where each country had a stall set up with foods from their country to try and information about their events and activities along with the chance to earn a badge or two!
The week went by so quickly and I couldn’t believe it was already time to come home! I can’t wait to feed back to our teams about what I learnt and I have lots of ideas to take forward to support our volunteers over the coming years!