If you have a goal, take a chance and go for it

Jessica Walker, Leader of the 72nd Edinburgh Guide Unit, blogs about working behind the scenes at Girlguiding Scotland’s leadership event The Future is Yours 2015.

This weekend a Leader told me: “It’s great when you go into a session thinking, ‘I’ll never be able to do that’ and come out having learnt so much!” For me, that’s what the event we were at, The Future is Yours 2015, was all about.

This Girlguiding Scotland event was the second of its kind, bringing together volunteers aged 18-35 to show them all the amazing opportunities available to them through guiding. We also hoped to inspire them to take up a new role outside their Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Senior Section group. There were sessions on everything from international opportunities to becoming a Trainer and how to use social media to boost your leadership skills. Guiding Leaders came from across Scotland, the UK and even Ireland to spend the weekend networking, learning and having fun together!

As a committee member planning the event, I saw the hard work and thought that went into preparing the event and it was great to see it come to fruition. It was my first time on the team for an event of this size and it was a great experience. I loved working with, and learning from, the event team. As ‘downtime coordinator’ I was responsible for organising the fun side of things! It was a great sense of achievement to see people let their hair down hula hooping, making jewellery and trying their hand at mixing cocktails after a busy day.

I was also personally inspired by the amazing women I met throughout the weekend – from Nicola Grinstead, Chair of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, to all the ordinary Leaders who are determined to provide the best experience they can for the girls they look after. With such committed volunteers, it’s clear why guiding is such a fantastic organisation!

Following on from the weekend – after I’ve caught up with some sleep! – I’m hoping to become a Trainer so I can help other volunteers to learn the skills they need to deliver great guiding. I hope others too came away from the weekend with renewed confidence and aspirations for where they are heading next.

It may be a bit of a cliché to say ‘You get out what you put in’, but with guiding I think it’s true. You never know what might come of taking a chance on an adventure – for me, this weekend helped me meet some wonderful people and refreshed my passion for guiding. So if you have something you’d like to do, take a chance and go for it!