First Fish Hoek Girl Guides recently took part in a basic pioneering skills competition – placing 24th out of 41 teams.
Guider Yvette Stephen says: “That’s not too bad – with only a weeks’ notice and two days practice at some basic pioneering skills.”
Ms Stephens was prompted to remind girls in the far south of Girl Guides, particularly because of a comment made by a parent at this competition. Also, she has hopes of starting girl guide groups in Simon’s Town and Ocean View.
“Watching the closing parade for the Scouts Gordon Shield competition, I was approached by a parent with a daughter from a mixed scout team – who said that she was surprised to see a few Girl Guides at a scouting event,” she explained.
The parent said she thought Girls Guides would not be interested in pioneering skills and were more concerned with sewing, crafts and possibly looking after small furry animals.
“I did my best to inform her that
Girl Guides was not for ‘sissies’. In fact, our team, a rather motley crew of guides and rangers, was quite excited about being outdoors competing with the scouts,” Ms Stephen said.
She has been a guider for nearly two years and says she realises the reason she signed up as an unsuspecting parent from the support group was that being a Girl Guide was about being resilient.
“Girl Guides were a response to the Boy Scouts and were just as good as the boys at doing all the tasks and performing all the skills the boys did. Why should girls not have go at survival skills which would stand them in good stead in any situation? Scouting and guiding offer children the opportunity to learn basic resilience skills, along with leadership, team work and also have some good old fashioned fun,” Ms Stephen said.
But why send your daughter to Girl Guides and not a mixed scout team?
“Girl Guides offers girls a safe place to explore their potential, which might or might not be inhibited in a mixed unit – depending entirely on the girl,” Ms Stephen said.
“I hope that the girls in our unit feel that they can be themselves and express themselves without wondering what the boys are thinking about them.”
Ms Stephen urged interested parent to contact her.
“As this is Women’s Month I thought I should just add my thoughts to the many being expressed about women and their struggles.
“This year we invited a group of girls from Ocean View to join us and we were overwhelmed by their positive response to guiding at each visit. The girls bonded immediately and laughed and join in the games and activities.
“We hope to be starting up a Girl Guide unit in both Ocean View and Simon’s Town. All we need are capable and interested adults who can spare two hours, once a week, to guide the girls through life’s adventures in a safe and informative space.”
Parents in Ocean View or Simon’s Town who are interested in getting involved in Girl Guides, can contact Ms Stephen on 073 279 5108.