I’ve made loads of great friends in guiding and have been inspired

Patricia Collins, Guide Leader at 1st Lochinch Guides, blogs about how her guiding family support her in providing great opportunities to the girls as part of our Thinking Day blog series. We’ll be sharing blogs this week to mark the launch of our new video showing what it’s like to be part of Girlguiding Scotland.

When I was asked to help start a local Guide unit, I was a bit worried as I hadn’t been a Guide myself. But with a bit of training and support my fears were soon to put to rest, and I became part of a guiding family with a wealth of knowledge, traditions and ideas to share.

Almost five years on since my Guide group opened, I’ve made loads of great friends in guiding and been inspired by many more. I’ve even done something I never thought I’d do and become a fully-fledged Guide Leader.

With thanks to the team around me, we’ve been able to provide great opportunities to the girls like taking them to Girlguiidng Scotland’s first ever festival-style camp, G in The Park, last summer. And we aren’t done yet – our next adventure is taking the girls on a trip abroad. Eek!

Karen and I run the unit at Lochinch with the help of lots of different volunteers including our Commissioner – the top volunteer in our area – local Leaders, Young Leaders and regular visitors. Our Young Leaders are fantastic girls aged 14-17 who are stepping up to learn new skills, take on more responsibility and see what it’s like to be a volunteer. Although we like to think the Guides love it at Lochinch so much they become Young Leaders because they don’t want to leave!

We regularly get visitors in to show the girls something new like yoga lessons or quilting. So whether you can Zumba, knit, build robots or you just fancy seeing what guiding is about, get in touch with your local unit as they’d love to hear from you. Oh and did I mention it’s great fun?

Without the other members of the team and the guiding friends we’ve met along the way, running a Guide unit just wouldn’t be the same. I’ve realised that volunteering with Girlguiding Scotland is much more than giving my time to help the girls. It’s making new friends, learning new skills, seeking out new opportunities and having the time of my life. I’d thoroughly recommend it.

Want to find out more about Girlguiding Scotland? Watch our video to see what it’s like to be a member with us and get involved.