#BEDM - 20th: 'We Are Your Leaders'

On Facebook there are many groups for leaders within Guiding, there's the official Girlguiding page, but also unofficial groups for leaders to chat and share ideas, resources, anecdotes and stories as well as ask for advice.

Parents are a topic that comes up frequently.  Whilst the vast majority of parents are encouraging, supportive, return forms and money on time etc etc there are occasionally a few who infuriate leaders and don't seem to realise all Girlguiding volunteers are just that, volunteers.  Several years ago, I was looking for some inspirational quote or anecdote with which to start a meeting, and I found this online.  I have no idea about the original source, so apologies for that.  Please do let me know if anyone knows from where it originally came!

We Are Your Leaders

We are not experts. We are your neighbours. We’re not perfect.

We don’t have any more spare time or energy than you do.  We all work full time and juggle our families and our schedules and try to keep it all together as best we can.

The only difference between us is that we believe in what Girl Guiding has to offer. So much so, that we contribute our time, our miles, and our talents to help our girls and your girls grow in Guiding.

We complete authorisation forms, budgets and registrations and fill our homes with boxes of paperwork, books and craft supplies that you will never see.

We give up time with our families to undertake many hours of training as well as attend various meetings so that we can meet our greatest challenge – providing a variety of programmes that meet the needs, and interests, of very individual girls.

We try to involve parents who want us to understand that they don’t have the time to drive on outings or help at meetings.  We rejoice at the generosity of others.

Life happens!  Sometimes we find ourselves going in too many directions. We run out of steam. We have memory lapses.  Communication lines break down. Time slips by,  but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care.

So many evenings we spend on the phone, seeking advice and support from other leaders when disappointments or problems occur. “How do I keep my girls’ attention?”, “What are your ideas for the coming term?”,  “How do you work with girls in different age groups?”

Our dining tables are covered with bits of rope, menus, trip permits, craft supplies, paperwork and badges for each and every girl in the unit. A couple of them won’t show up and don’t think to call and let us know. Sometimes we feel unappreciated.

Yet, these girls can fill us with pride at their determination and accomplishments. Their smiles light up a room and when they say  “Thank You”  it makes it all worth it.

We help these girls build relationships. Some struggle more than others. Consideration, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness … is encouraged by the Girl Guide Promise and Law. And sometimes we too must learn these lessons over and over again with the girls. But we are willing to keep learning.

Please be patient if we appear distracted or frustrated or overwhelmed at times. Forgive us if we are not the kind of leader you would be if you had the time. Instead, provide us with encouragement or offer your help. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

We are, after all, only mentors…role models…leaders. Volunteers who have taken an oath to give these girls, your girls, the most precious gift we have to offer  –  the gift of time.


  1. "Yet, these girls can fill us with pride at their determination and accomplishments. Their smiles light up a room and when they say “Thank You” it makes it all worth it."

    Just got an email from a parent thanking us for the weekend away and how her daughter hasn't stopped talking about it. It's moments like that.

    1. Definitely! I don't expect a thank you, so it is really special when we all get one! Last term several Brownies left, there were lots of thank yous and even more teas as they had had such a good time with us - that's special!


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