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Insights Lessons of a guide camp cook

Alex Roe | Senior Consultant

04 September 2018 
this is a image of Alex at a campsite
I wanted to share how I chose to use my volunteering days this year and to share with your my experiences of Girl Guiding in the UK.

Over the summer I went away on our annual Girl Guiding camp, for some girls this is the first time they have been away from their homes, so its important to see if from their perspective and be supportive. 

Guides are aged 10 to 14 and is open to girls of all abilities. It is aimed at encouraging girls to think for themselves, as well as lead and help younger members of the group. Each term a timetable of activities is planned by the leaders (including sensible feedback from the girls). During weekly meetings we encourage them to work under a limited amount of instructions from us. The girls are given the chance to work on their own, in small groups as well as a whole group. Girls can get involved in a whole range of activities including discussions on world issues, problem solving, craft activities, adventure sports, performing arts, zumba classes, trampolining, working with the local community.

I’d like to say I’m a seasoned camper (this was my second camp of the year, after a rather chilly camp in February!). I decided to take on the role of camp cook! For a bit of fun I’ve drawn out some of my key lessons:
  • Always order double what you need!!
  • Start the fire earlier...
  • You need a steady supply of biscuits 
  • Hot chocolate has to be made with milk
  • Washing up isnt obvious to everyone 
  • Two gas hobs will only get you so far, so always have a fire at a ready

Ultimately, being part of Girl Guides has really helped me gain a different perspective on life and to provide the girls with the opportunity to be their best. For me I’m proud to see each girl grow in confidence. If I reflected on the skills and behaviours I needed to demonstrate during camp and also during weekly girl guiding meetings some of these are:
  • Always putting on a smile (even it is a raining, you are sleep deprived, or your tent has a small leak)
  • Bundles of enthusiasm;
  • Thinking on my feet;
  • Treating every girl as their own person;
  • Flexing my leadership style;
  • Many different communication styles.

On a fun note there are a range of great memories and friends that I continue to gather – sitting around a camp fire toasting marshmallows, camping in the British winter and finding out who 1 Direction are!