It’s tough to believe, but two years ago today was our first meeting of our Senior Section unit. I worried that only two people might turn up, or that perhaps they’d think it was so rubbish after the first night they would never come back. Six girls came to that first meeting, and together we began to put some plans in place for our first term as we painted our nails with Jenny’s extensive nail varnish collection!
Five girls remained for the whole of that first term, and we were joined by a sixth member from my Guide unit after she finished her Baden Powell Award in the January.
I have great memories of the last two years – I hope our girls do too! It’s funny to think a week before the Scottish Independence referendum that it was one of our first ‘big’ discussions as we were looking at the Guide Promise. It all stemmed from looking at what it meant to keep the promise and we got to the line about serving our ‘Queen and country’. All of the girls (mostly under 16 at that point) suddenly realised they’d be eligible to vote in the referendum and were quite panicked about the prospect. There was a lot of chat about their opinions on whether they should be allowed to vote when they wouldn’t be 18, how to find information to make an informed choice on voting and so on.
The girls still admire their Promise Tree fondly. They decided to make their Promise on the ferris wheel at the Edinburgh Christmas Market (it was a rickety open air affair that involved a lot of screaming). Several of the girls were not happy with the wording of the promise and to be honest, I wasn’t either. I allowed them to change the line about loving God to something that kept the priniciple but that wouldn’t be a lie for them. I know at the time that may have been frowned upon, but honesty is a personal value of mine that I couldn’t forgo (and as I’ve said before – the first line of the Guide Law is that ‘A Guide is honest and can be trusted’). We were convinced GHQ had been bugging our meetings when we came back after Christmas to be told there was to be a Promise Consultation. We all participated, made sure our Guides all had their say too and I posted their surveys to London.
We have rock climbed, hula hooped, painted glass jars, toasted marshmallows on campfires, raged against the moments it seems like Senior Section gets glossed over or forgotten about and at times been hurt and angered by people in the media slating Girlguiding.
We have started our traditions – cake and candles for every birthday we celebrate, and of course our meetings are accompanied by popcorn. We even went on the new less rickety Christmas Market ferris wheel to remake our Promise – this time with the new wording.
We are waiting for our girls to get mentors for their leadership qualifications, and one of our group has finished her Chief Guide Challenge already (we’re still waiting for the badge though – as no one seemed to know the process to get it).
We have ten girls that came to our first meeting this year, and word is spreading around the Division. Many Guides who would have just dropped out because they felt too old are now investigating staying on to join our Senior Section. It’s wonderful, and we have such an amazing group of girls that have done great things and I’m sure are going to do so much more to make this world a better place.
Happy 2nd birthday to us (may there be many more to come!!)