What does it mean to belong to the Guiding Sisterhood? Well, many members from Québec Est District discovered exactly that at Richmond’s Spring Camp.
Our district covers a very large area, going from Knowlton all the way to Québec City. Our units do many bridging activities within our respective Guiding communities, but it is challenging for us to get together with units of the same branch. This makes us feel quite alone sometimes. One Guider tells her girls that girls all over the country and around the world do the same activities as they do. That made me realize how often I say the same thing to girls in my units. I want them to discover this Guiding Sisterhood that I love so much for themselves.
And they did! As girls arrived at camp, they started introducing themselves to each other, meeting their bunk mates and playing games. Everyone was immediately accepted as they were, which is part of what makes Guiding great! By the time we started our round robin the next morning, everyone had made friends and they were cheering each other on to do their swim test for boating in the freezing water!
While some girls were canoeing around the pond, practising their manoeuvres, others were pooling their strengths to make it out of an escape room. Others yet were honing their senses and another bunch was discovering the fascinating world of forensic science! Between stations, the girls had plenty of time to meet up with the like-minded and attend to activities of their devising. Catching frogs and petting rabbits were very popular with the younger crowd, while drawing, chatting and sports occupied others.
I love that the girls could choose who to play with and made friends across units and across branches!
By the last day, we had requests for more time for activities and for new ones as well. We had requests for another camp together and for pens and paper to write down phone numbers! Over the short period of two days, these girls made good friends and their heartfelt goodbyes were heartwarming.
When it was my turn to head home, I, too, was sad to be leaving such good friends and wonderful ladies (both young and old). I took another moment to reflect on my experience and realised how much this camp meant to me, to other Guiders and to girls: sure, the activities were fun, but the company made it extraordinary! That is the Guiding Sisterhood: the instant acceptance, encouragement and support that helps each of us be the best version of ourselves.
I would like to thank Andrea Blouin for planning this camp and inviting us all to join her unit. She led a fantastic camp for both girls and leaders, even allowing some time for a bit of sharing among adults and for a district meeting. Cheers!
Blog post written by Esther Keller. Esther is a Guider in Lennoxville and District Commissioner for Québec Est District.