In February, I had the chance to travel to Sangam for two incredible sessions. During my first week I represented Canada at this year’s Juliette Low Seminar (JLS) and then I took part in a two week World Thinking Day program.
The JLS was a unique experience where I was able to meet 48 girls from 45 countries all over the world. It was so much fun to be surrounded by such a diverse group of young women! All the activities I took part in during this session revolved around the theme of Dream, Dare & Do. My existing leadership skills were first tested during a scavenger hunt around Pune, the city in which Sangam is located. I then dared myself to repel down the water tower, which ended up being so much fun! Finally, I used everything I had learned in the week when I went to visit a private English school with some other girls and taught the kids some fun Canadian Girl guiding songs!
The World Thinking Day program was much more community based. We visited two organizations which support women in need and children of the streets. We were able to see the crafts that the women had learned to make, and visit the rooms in which they lived. There was an amazing fun day held at Sangam for children of Tara Mobile Creche, an organization which educates children living on construction sites where their parents work. This fun day allowed the kids to learn new songs and games, do some crafts and play in Sangam’s playground.
I also visited the Bharat Scouts & Guides (India’s branch of WAGGGS) for a Thinking Day celebration with many of the local scout and guide troops. Along with the standard ceremonial speeches and songs, we had time to share some songs and games with the kids and they showed us different kinds of Indian dancing! Finally I had the amazing opportunity of planning the Thinking Day ceremony at Sangam on the 22nd, where we focused on partnerships and sharing our Guiding light.
Overall, my three weeks at Sangam were absolutely unbelievable, and I was so sad to have to leave. India was much more spectacular than I ever imagined, and my memories could definitely not be recreated anywhere else in the world!
To anyone considering visiting Sangam, I highly encourage you to go! You will not regret it!
By Alison Van Der Wee. Alison is a 23 year old Pathfinder Guider in Lakeshore District, who has been a member of GGC for 14 years. It has been a 7 year dream of hers to visit Sangam.
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