Volunteer Week 2022

Thank you from all of us on the County Executive Team for all the time, effort and commitment you have given and continue to give to Girlguiding. You are allowing our young members to learn new skills, develop their confidence and provide memorable experiences that they will treasure forever.

This year, in celebration of volunteer week, we created a Middlesex North West Bingo Card and asked our volunteers whether they had done or could relate to the nine Girlguiding experiences. Lynn Birch from 2nd Ruislip Manor Brownies, wrote a lovely account of her time in Girlguiding to accompany her Bingo Card.

I joined Brownies in September 1963 and have never left. I passed my final pre Promise test the evening the news broke that President Kennedy had been assassinated and it was many years before I realised why my parents thought that was more important than me making my Promise the following week! I am now approaching 50 years as an adult Leader, all with the Unit I was a Brownie in. I can honestly say I have done all 9 of the listed Girlguiding experiences, and several of them more times than I can count. 

I feel very strongly that Girlguiding is not about ‘I’ but ‘we’ and not ‘my’ but ‘our’  -whether that is fellow adults or the girls.  As an only child I have always felt I was part of a sisterhood, initially learning from the older girls and then as one of the older girls passing on my skills and passion for Guiding.  You are certainly never alone and even when I went to Our Chalet on the spur of the moment during a holiday it was instantly ‘we’ as I was welcomed and given the ‘grand tour’.  

Of the many times I have made or renewed my Promise the most emotional was standing in Trafalgar Square at 20:10 on the 20th October 2010 as we celebrated 100 years of Girlguiding.  I had also been at Crystal Palace in April 1985 to celebrate the 75th anniversary as one of two supporters to the County Standard.   

Our Unit’s first residential was way back in 1981 and I have many great memories from the Brownie Holidays I’ve been part of since then.  There was the time, before mobile phones, when the coach coming to collect us broke down and the Leaders had to occupy and feed the Brownies for a few hours and get messages to the parents who were expecting us back at the Church Hall.  Another year it snowed so we had a snowball fight, but it hadn’t snowed in Ruislip and several parents thought the girls were exaggerating until I got my photos printed and on display.  

Our Unit was at Willow Tree when Princess Margaret came to open the site and I was able to find our group in the photos shared on Facebook as part of the 21st Anniversary. 

As we prepare to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee I can reflect on Girlguiding celebrating her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees with events in our Units, Districts, Division and County. 

I became a ‘new girl’ again last September when I joined the Willow Tree Trefoil Guild – now a new chapter in my Guiding life alongside helping in our Unit.  

I have always said that one day I will write about my years in Guiding and how it has been such an important part of my life and now my personal life is more settled maybe that should be my next Girlguiding challenge. 

Like to join in with the Bingo fun?

Download the Bingo Card template below and head over to our Facebook page to take part. Don’t forget to tag us @girlguidingmiddxnw