Girl Guide leaders Linda Callander

Girl Guide leaders Linda Callander

More than camping and cookies, women learn leadership from volunteering with girl guides

New Girl Guide leaders always welcome

  • May. 15, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Andrea Hodgson wasn’t the first seven-year-old girl to let her disinterest in wearing a brown dress derail her plans to become a brownie.

“I think I would have loved it if I had stayed in it because I’ve had a wonderful experience as a leader,” said Hodgson, reflecting on her 10-years of service as a leader with Girl Guides of Canada.

After giving up brownies after just one meeting, Hodgson rejoined guides as a leader when she was 19. With her co-leader Linda Callander, a 25-year veteran guider, Hodgson continues to meet weekly with the 9- to 11-year-olds of Glanford Guides, in addition to organizing periodic camping trips.

Hodgson, also a district commissioner for Girl Guides of Canada, is always looking for new women interested in becoming volunteer mentors for her 10 groups – from sparks to pathfinders.

Flexibility, a good attitude and open-mindedness top Hodgson’s list of prime leader qualities. Being overly outgoing or enthusiastic isn’t necessary, she said.

“Even a quiet leader who is a little bit shy themselves would make a wonderful leader because those girls who are quiet and shy will be drawn to the same qualities (they posses) within themselves as within their leaders,” she said.

Larissa McCormick, now a ranger in Grade 11, has been with the organization since she was five, including having Hodgson as a “wonderful” pathfinder leader. McCormick hopes to continue with Girl Guides after next year – her last as a ranger.

“It’s taught me a lot about the importance of volunteering, of taking care of our world and the people in it,” McCormick said.

Throughout her volunteer service, Hodgson says one of the biggest rewards is meeting former guides and hearing how the program positively affected their lives and equipped the young women with practical life skills. Hodgson’s own foray into the organization had the same positive impact on her own life.

“I was really quiet and shy, had no clue what I was supposed to do,” she said of her first meeting as a leader. “It actually helped me blossom as a person, to come out of my own shell.”

Susie Mackie, spokesperson for 23,000 volunteer-strong Scouts Canada reflects the same attitude toward the type of leaders their organization is in constant need of, with a willingness to give time far more important than any natural leadership qualities.

“People are so busy in this day and age and they have a lot of commitments,” Mackie said. “So, we are always looking to recruit great adults, willing to make that commitment to the program.”

Hodgson is one of 366 guiders leading 1257 girls locally, in an increase of 150 members overall in the last year. For more information on how to volunteer or how to register a child next fall, call 250-383-1712, 1-800-565-8111 for the national office or email ggcmembership@gmail.com.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Guiding the way

Founded 101 years ago, Girl Guides of Canada is Canada’s largest organization for women with approximately 100,000 girls and 20,000 adult members.

Girl Guides key areas of focus for growth and development: environmental awareness; decision-making skills and judgment; global awareness; leadership; outdoor skills; respect; responsible citizenship; relationships; and the value of a healthy, active lifestyle.

Volunteer roles include guiding and mentoring, administration, promotion and educational capacities.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

According to Statistics Canada, new housing starts and value of building permits in Greater Victoria rose in January 2021 compared to January 2020. (Black Press Media File)
New housing starts, value of building permits up in Greater Victoria

Cost of new housing also rising in region, now in excess of $1.15 million for a new detached home

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read