Guiding interruptus

Guides started back this week (Senior Section having started back last week). And I was going to write about it. Only I got home from Guides at about 10 p.m., and 10 hours later I was standing on a station platform as I do every morning after Guides waiting for the train to Glasgow.

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The reason for the non-writing, non-finishing and non-publishing of blog posts I have in mind is because at the moment when I have a day off work that isn’t filled with Guiding I have a bed or a table in a café that looks like something like this (imagine a bag full of books or pile of books on the floor next to me).

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My experience working with a Guide unit in Leith when I was 16 got me a job as a Youth Advice worker when I was 19 and still had plans to become a Geography teacher. Instead, I discovered that there was another job that suited me much better called a ‘Community Education Worker’ (now more commonly known as a Community Learning or Community Development Worker). After spending  6 years working in counselling and health education, last year I finally got the resources I needed (inspiration, finances and a course timetable that was doable while continuing in employment and girlguiding) to start doing my postgraduate qualification in Community Learning and Development.

In a few weeks I head out to Germany where I’m going to be part of a lifelong learning winter school intensive programme with students from other universities around Europe. Exciting stuff!

It’s not been easy juggling everything, but so far I’ve done better than I thought. And I’m now considering the possibility of upgrading my Diploma to a Masters of Education. The reason being is that I’m realising that uniformed youth organisations like Girlguiding and the Scouts often get a bad rap from outsiders. At one of the biggest international community education conferences in the world, Girlguiding is not participating – likely because the organisers don’t consider the work we do to be community development.

But the more I’m learning, the more I’m realising that Girlguiding fits right into the principles of community learning and development.

And so some thoughts are percolating into how I can use my degree to help me be a better Girlguiding leader, but also to show how Girlguiding can be a great tool and forum for community development and lifelong learning models.

For now though, I’ve got to finish some research and a paper due in for Monday. And some work due in for Tuesday. Because I spent today being a godmother to try and make up for my lack of godmothering in the midst of this crazy season of my life juggling work, church life, girlguiding and university.

Don’t worry though. I’m pretty sure that procrastination from university work will lead to plenty of posts here over the next couple of months. I mean this post gives excellent evidence to that possibility. 😉

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