WELCOME to Guides! You are about to embark on an adventure that thousands of girls and leaders have enjoyed for nearly 100 years right here in Trinidad and Tobago.
If you love children and the company of young people, the Movement needs you. To be a leader in Guiding is one way to help young girls and women grow and to share in their education; it is a way of making a personal contribution to the future of Trinidad and Tobago.
Being a Guide Leader offers a wonderful opportunity for broadening your own horizons as well as helping the girls. A host of lasting friendships can be established with our large worldwide guide family and as you develop your skills greater opportunities for service will be opened to you.
Following is a series of articles which have been adapted for local use from Notes For New Guide Guiders published by Girl Guides UK with the help of Girl Guides of Canada. We trust that you will find them helpful. Should you need further support please direct your queries to the Training Department at the Grace Anderson National Girl Guides Headquarters, 8 Rust Street, St. Clair, Port of Spain.
YOU, THE GUIDER
Being a Guide Leader requires a flexible approach, the confidence to let girls make their own decisions and the ability to help them learn from their mistakes. Guiding encourages self-development – young people doing and discovering for themselves – and you are the one who makes this possible by creating within the unit the right atmosphere and opportunities. This may sound like a tall order but you can do it by using Guiding’s distinctive approach and methods.
Being a Guider isn’t always easy but you don’t have to be Superwoman to run a unit. The most important things about a Guider are that she likes being with young people and has a reasonable amount of time, as well as energy and enthusiasm, to give to motivating a bunch of enthusiastic girls. You need a big heart and an even bigger sense of humour.
In return there is the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing something positive to help young people growing up in today’s world.
WHAT DOES BEING A GUIDER INVOLVE?
All sorts of people become Guiders for all sorts of reasons but like any worthwhile job there are certain qualities that will be expected from you. These are:
Involvement: Take a lively interest in activities, participate, help to make things exciting for the girls. Being a Guider is a demanding and challenging job and you must be able to give the time needed by the unit. You are asked to keep at least one evening free, every week, during the term. In this way the other Guiders will know that that you are to be relied upon. However, involvement does not stop at the unit meeting; preparation, District Meetings, occasional trainings, etc. will all take up some time.
Preparation: To run an effective meeting requires proper long and short term planning. Keeping records of the Guides, meetings, the accounts etc. helps you and the Guides to manage your time. Be prepared to supply the Guides with the equipment they need until they can be relied upon to bring it themselves. All the leaders in the unit should be involved in preparation so that everyone shares leadership and responsibility.
Participation: During the meeting you should be prepared to give the Guides whatever help they need. If they ask to do something outside your scope, look for someone who can meet these needs. Don’t be afraid to bring out new ideas and activities, be adventurous. Think up new ways of doing familiar things. Don’t give up at the first sign of disappointment, hold on to your sense of humour. This will make things much easier for others as well as for you.
Training: Attending regular training is not only a requirement of the Adult Leadership Programme, but will help you keep abreast of changes in the Movement and in the wider world. These are available through your Commissioner or Regional Training Team at District, Division and National Levels, sometime on a one-to-one basis.
Attending District Meetings: Through District meetings Guiders (and through them the unit) find out about Division news, National, Regional and International Events, and training sessions.