As volunteers we tend to wear many hats. For myself personally I proudly wear 2 hats within the Girl Guide world; Brownie Guider and District Commissioner. At times it seems as though those 2 titles alone do not represent the number of hours or the amount of effort I put in but is it worth it? ALWAYS. As I sometimes have to remind those close to me – I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. Because after all – it is as a volunteer! I choose to do this. I want to be involved. By definition the word volunteer means:
“a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking” or “a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.”
I was once asked by a parent of one of the girls “Do you do this for pay? Or this is all volunteer?” I smiled big and happily answered, “It’s all volunteer.” I take it as a compliment that someone thinks I am being compensated for my efforts; it must mean I’m doing a good job or in the very least my effort is being recognized.
In fact, at GGC I am not just a volunteer; I’m a member. I’m invested in what I do and my values and beliefs align with those of GGC. In any type of environment, volunteer or otherwise, isn’t it just better that way? To be invested? Isn’t it the case that the employees in any given workplace who put in the most hours, the most effort and the most TLC into what they do are the ones who really truly care about what they do? They’re the employees you can count on; they are the ones who are invested. I know I am not alone. Many of the women in this province and across the country hold many titles and they do it because they like it (or at least that’s how it should be).
My secret: I AM being compensated, almost every week actually! One of the main reasons I volunteer with GGC is for the hope that I can make some sort of difference in a girl’s life. If by talking about things like bullying and the value of friendship at a meeting results in a girl being confident enough to choose the “right” kind of friends later in life, or prevents her from becoming a bully herself – I’ve done what I came to do. If by talking about International Guiding and the fact that we are a part of something bigger sparks an interest in travel because “I learned that there must be so much more out there.” – I’ve done my job. If through cookie sales you learn how to give a good sales pitch and it brings you out of your shell because you are the shyest kid around (this one was me by the way) – then I’m compensated.
I really can’t feel more proud or satisfied with what I do as a volunteer as when I see smiling, happy girls who are challenging themselves and enjoying it at every turn.
If any of this sounds enticing to you I encourage you to get involved. Does it automatically mean that you will have to put in countless hours planning meetings or events? No, you’re the volunteer remember, you can choose the amount of effort or time you want to give. That’s what’s great about Guiding, if you want to be involved there is room for you wherever you fit in. Whether you are interested in working with girls on a weekly basis (Guider), are good with money matters (treasurer), have some time to commit to spreading the good word about Guiding (PR) or can chaperone an event – there is room for you. Whatever you can bring to the table is of benefit to us.
To let you in on a not-so-great long time Girl Guide secret – we need help! It may look as though we have everything under control and sometimes that leads to the impression that we don’t need help – but we do. Many hands make light work; and the best part? The “work” is fun. I promise that it will be one of the most rewarding things you do in your day to day life.
By Guest Blogger Sara Ogilvie. Sara is a Guider with the 2nd Lachute Brownies and the District Commissioner for Argenteuil District. If you are interested in guest blogging, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.