I’ve been a leader in Girlguiding for 5 years, I was 19 when I started. About six months after I joined up a Guide moved up to become a Young Leader with us and was given lots of information on ‘The Senior Section’ by our District Commissioner. This was something I’d never heard of and given no information about. To everyone and myself I was a Brownie Leader in Training.
It took a while for me to realise I was a Senior Section member. I started looking into what that meant and started this blog when I discovered ‘Look Wider’ – a personal development programme to give young adults new experiences. There is no unit close to me so I started looking at doing things by myself and recording it here. I soon realised that without the motivation of a group this didn’t work but I continued this blog as I do try lots of new experiences and challenges.
Then, last August, I discovered something about The Senior Section that was REALLY me. Peer Education. This is a training for members aged 14-25 to understand how to run specialist sessions on tough subjects. You are then able to run these sessions with Brownies, Guides and Senior Sections groups anywhere. I was 23 at the time, and you can only run these session up until your 26th birthday. I had to get a wriggle on.
The dates on the website showed one coming up close by so I booked the weekend off work and sent my application form. I heard back that it was full. Another date was offered but I had plans. I was told to keep an eye on the website for new dates.
2013 went by and nothing new came up, so I emailed to check for more dates. Suddenly there was something going on in March. A few weekends time. This was too soon for me as I had solicitors to see and mortgages to arrange. I checked the website today to find two more weekends. One is Brownie Holiday weekend, another is the weekend after that. No chance I’d get another 2 days holiday from work straight after the Holiday weekend.
So here I sit again. Desperate to become a Peer Educator but nowhere to go. No one in the District to call in to complete ‘Free Being Me’ – the new body image resource. And no one to run it for the rest of the District either.
Time running out is a horrible feeling which I never experienced as a Brownie or Guide, but as a Senior Section member – who never knew she was a Senior Section member – I feel I am losing opportunities that would not just benefit myself.
My friend and I discussed opening a Senior Section unit ourselves. It would be hard work, balancing Brownies, work, the new home, my personal life and a new unit, but there needs to be someone out there who understand The Senior Section and can get this message out to the younger members who don’t know it exists!