Saturday, February 22, 2014

Once a Guide, Always a Guide

I have many happy memories of my days as a Girl Guide in secondary school.  Of afternoons (we used to meet every Saturday afternoon, from 2pm to 5pm) spent in all manner of activities - of starting a fire in one corner of the school field (it was a sandy rather than grassy field), of learning First Aid, of playing Kim's Game (an observation and memory game), even of etiquette lessons.  Guiding aims to train us up to be all-rounders.  I remember singing around the campfire, of going camping during the school holidays, and going orienteering in the Macritchie reservoir area (we got lost for some time and had to walk until we hit the main road).  

Guiding Badges - The Trefoil, World GG Association Badge,
Patrol Badges, and accomplishment badges
I am not sure what is left of my Guiding skills.  Certainly, the First Aid knowledge has largely dissipated over time and I'm not too sure if I can remember all the orienteering instruction either.  But Guiding was far more than just doing activities.  In a way, it was really about inculcating values in young girls, which would put them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

What are these values?  It starts with our Guide Motto: "Be Prepared".  Guiding teaches the skills for Guides to use in various situations.  But the instincts - of looking ahead, thinking, planning for contingencies and preparing for success - is embedded in this simple motto.

Guides are also exhorted to "do a good deed every day".  It teaches us to be proactive in looking out for and helping others, to be unselfish and to think of others besides ourselves.

Every Guide must know the Guide promise - the threefold promise - in order to get to wear the Trefoil (the three leafed badge).  The promise goes:

"I promise to do my best,
to do my duty to God.
To serve my country, and help other people,
And to keep the Guide Law".

Indeed a challenge for each of us to live up to, every day.

Today is World Thinking Day.  In my day, it was just "Thinking Day", but the word "World" was added in front to reflect the international movement of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.  Indeed a time for us to think about the international sisterhood and brotherhood we all share, Guides or not, and maybe also to think about whether we are living up to the values that Guiding sought to inspire in us.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...