I always wanted to be a Brownie when I was little. Not sure why my mom didn't put us in. I don't even recall if I ever told her I wanted to be in Brownies! All I know is that I never did it. Fast forward almost 40 years. I asked Aves if she wanted to be in Brownies and she expressed mostly apathetic interest. I needed to live vicariously through her, so I signed her up!
She had one stipulation, though. She wouldn't do any overnight camps unless I went too. Ha. I'm told this is the best part of Guiding!
I decided that I would sign up as a Girl Guide leader so that I could attend the camps and Aves wouldn't miss out. I thought it would be a fun way to volunteer as well! Not only am I volunteering for sleepovers, but I also help out in the weekly unit meetings.
One thing I have learned about myself: I am NOT cut out to be a leader. And I'm definitely not cut out to be a leader of children! I don't have creative ways to deal with the never-ending list of excuses and interruptions that kids can come up with! Most importantly, I don't have the patience. I don't lose my patience with kids, but I find that I'm not alot of 'fun' to learn from. Not engaging. At. All.
This past weekend, we went on our first 2-night Brownie camp (by 'we', I mean me and Aves). Aves loved it! She had a blast. Her highlights were roasting wieners and making s'mores at the campfire and singing campfire songs at night. Her most difficult times were sleeping at night (but I think we've figured it out for next time!). At the end of the weekend, I asked her if she wanted to go to District camp this summer and she said yes. I asked her if I didn't go whether she would still want to go and she said yes (as long as we address the sleeping issue)!
I'm thrilled! I wanted Aves to be a Brownie to help her develop confidence in her skills and to give her a sense of adventure. It seems to be working! I've registered her for the camp this summer, so fingers crossed that she will go when the time comes!
As for me, I'm learning that as much as I wanted to be a Brownie when I was little, I don't really see myself as a Brownie Leader. Camp was mostly fun this weekend. But I had alot of anxiety about the one activity that I had to lead. And then after the activity was done, I worried about how the activity went over with the kids.
The kids were great, though! It was interesting to see all the different personalities and how they interacted with each other. And the lifetime Girl Guiders who were the 'main' leaders amazed me! I can learn alot from them in how to navigate groups of children (none of them were actually parents!).
In the end, I had one big highlight: helping to make pancakes for breakfast for ~35 people! Apparently, I enjoy helping, not leading. Note that someone else took these pictures and I didn't actually get any pictures of the weekend as I was too busy stressing about being a leader! 😓