For the last two terms, I’ve been running two Senior Section groups out the same unit. Something I committed to when I thought we had a new leader at our Guide unit….and then she left. It’s been a struggle to keep going, and I’m going to be eternally grateful to other leaders in the area who have stepped in my place at either Guides or the new Senior Section on the nights where I needed to be able to clone myself.
Anyway, our first joint outing was a few weeks ago when the new group decided they would like to go rock climbing. Knowing there were some in the original group who missed out last time or would like to go again, I gave them the opportunity to come along too.
It was great to see the girls in both groups mingling, and a member who hadn’t been for while being able to join us too. Lots of advice shouting and encouragement as we did the beginner walls and when the girls got to try auto belaying.
However, as I was the only leader there, I had my phone on a bench near us just in case – as I’m always the first emergency contact during meetings and activities. I always tell the girls where I’ve put the emergency contact list/consent forms just in case something happens and for some reason I’m incapacitated in the event of an emergency.
Why am I telling you this? Well. Apparently one of the most memorable Guiding moments of the year happened while we were there. One of our founding members had been helping with belaying standing against the wall as I was climbing, as one of the girls from the new group was doing the actual belaying. I began to swing as I came down and I was worried about landing on her head…which almost happened and to avoid it I swung off the wall.
You might ask, was the girl ok?
Why yes she was. Because her reaction was
“Quick! Grab Laurie’s phone and get pictures!!”
This is one of the nicer pictures – she also took selfies basically with a close up of my backside (cheers for that!) as they were ALL laughing, except the girl who was having to concentrate on belaying so I didn’t simply crash to the ground. She did confess as she and another Senior Section member were telling other Guide leaders at a campfire this week that ‘had I not been belaying, I would have been doubled over laughing too‘.
As I turned round to make sure they were all ok (don’t worry, I was laughing too – laughing so much I couldn’t get back onto the wall in fact) there they were snapping away WITH MY PHONE smiling saying ‘it’s for the scrapbook’. A phrase I have said many times as I’ve taken pictures of them blowing out birthday candles, dressed in onesies, trying out hula hooping, covered in coloured cornflour during a 5k and so on.
I did point out that as they were on my phone I could delete them all, but I haven’t. I will print at least one that they can add to the scrapbook if they wish to.
Not my most noble moment as a Guiding leader.
But I’ll admit it was funny even if it was embarrassing.