>> Sunday, May 26, 2013
Did you know that Guiders don't get paid? It seems that some parents don't. Perhaps we aren't very good at pushing this point home, mostly it doesn't need to be. Mostly I think I get more out of Guiding than I put in, I think that must happen with most volunteer work. The rewards for the effort are really quite remarkable.
But sometimes parents can be quite amazing when they ask a Guider if they 'get paid any extra for taking the girls away' or suggesting that the term's program should be improved because 'I pay your wages'. These both make me chuckle.
I came across a letter sent out by a unit to their parents, I think I think it's a good idea but part of me thinks it's not really worth the effort. Those parents that care probably already know, and for those parents that don't care, well they probably have the children that will get double reward from the types of things they will learn in Guiding, so we still win!
This is it:
"We are not experts. We’re your next-door neighbours. We’re not perfect; we are just parents like you.
We don’t have any more spare time or energy than you do. We all work full time and juggle our families and our schedules and try to keep it all together as best we can.
The only difference between us is that we believe in what Girl Guiding has to offer. So much so, that we contribute our time, our miles, and our talents to help our girls and your girls grow in Guiding.
We complete authorisation forms, budgets and registrations and fill our homes with boxes of paperwork, books and craft supplies that you will never see.
We give up time with our families to take many hours of training as well as attend various meetings so that we can meet our greatest challenge – providing a variety of programs that meet the needs, and interests, of very individual girls.
We try to involve parents who want us to understand that they don’t have the time to drive on outings or help at meetings. We rejoice at the generosity of others.
Life happens. Sometimes we find ourselves going in too many directions. We run out of steam. We have memory lapses. Communication lines break down. Time slips by. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t care.
So many evenings we spend on the phone, seeking advice and support from other leaders when disappointments or problems occur. “How do I keep my girls’ attention?” “What are your ideas for the ceremony?” “How do you work with girls in different grades?”
Our dining tables are covered with bits of rope, menus, trip permits, craft supplies, paperwork and badges for each and every girl in the unit. A couple of them won’t show up and don’t think to call and let us know. Sometimes we feel unappreciated.
Yet, these girls can fill us with pride at their determination and accomplishments. Their smiles light up a room and when they say “Thank You” it makes it all worth it.
We help these girls build relationships. Some struggle more than others. Consideration, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness … is encouraged by the Girl Guide Promise and Law. And sometimes we too must learn these lessons over and over again with the girls. But we are willing to keep learning.
Please be patient if we appear distracted or frustrated or overwhelmed at times. Forgive us if we are not the kind of leader you would be if you had the time. Instead, provide us with encouragement or offer your help. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
We are, after all, only mentors…role models…leaders. Volunteers who have taken an oath to give these girls, your girls, the most precious gift we have to offer – the gift of time.
Please talk to one of the Guiders if you wish to discuss what your daughter is learning or doing (or not doing) at her meetings."
It's not too bad is it? Oh maybe we'll get a bit offended when the odd parent fails to appreciate the work we put in, but mostly we'll be letting it wash over us!
If you really want to show your Guider you appreciate what they do then you could offer your skill yes, you have one to share, EVERYBODY does just once, one night, go in and share it.