To all my Brownies, Guides & Rangers past & present…

It’s safe to say that there are days as a volunteer leader I want to quit. Days where I wonder why I bother because no one is listening or feeling unappreciated or overwhelmed or just plain exhausted.

The downside of the last 48 hours is seeing so many of you upset at not being heard by Girlguiding UK, feeling despondent that you want to be part of a group but aren’t for one reason or another…or soon won’t be because you’ll be over 18. The upside has been that some of you who have ‘graduated’ from units I’ve worked with have been back in touch, and I’ve seen how much you care not just for yourselves but the generations of Guides and Rangers coming up behind you.

I often see leaders complaining about how unappreciated they feel. I’m sure there are days when I’ve got grumpy when you’ve forgotten your stuff again, or been late, or not told me that you weren’t going to show up…. but I also know that so many other days when you when you’ve put in the extra effort to make a cake for one of your guiding sisters or flung yourselves into an activity or come along even when you’ve been feeling rubbish. There are times when you’ve taken the time to encourage me as a leader and told me you’ve appreciated the support I’ve attempted to give you over the years and told me Thank You.

And so I’ll repeat what I said to one of you yesterday when you said you weren’t sure if you’d ever thanked me.

You are more than welcome. You all make it so worth it, and it’s because of how lovely you all are, and how much you’ve all put into it that makes me keep going!

Wherever you go in life, I hope you’ll take good memories with you, remember the values you’ve developed and carry on standing up for them. And as I’m probably always saying #onceaguidealwaysaguide. We will light candles tonight to mark our friendship as part of the world guiding family, but even after they are blown out you’ll all take that Guiding light out into this crazy world we live in for many years to come.

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