>> Wednesday, June 25, 2014
This week's gallery is 'What were you doing on the Longest Day?!' I was mainly bag packing!
It is a good way to raise money for an adventure. We were collecting for our Summer trip train fairs, they aren't cheap.
But it's not just about money. It helps the girls develop. I really appreciate the customers that talked to the girls about Guiding and why they were fund raising, these sorts of chances to have conversations with ‘strangers’ really help them when it comes to things like interviews and dealing with the wider world as they grow older and have to be independent of their parents.
It is also good for us to be out in the community. We are as happy to pack bags and take trolleys back for people that don’t put in the bucket as well as for those that do. It is a good lesson for the girls, we learn more about helping just because we can, rather than because someone might ‘pay’ for it. There is a *sigh* feeling that comes from packing a person's two trolley full shopping, taking it to the car for them and not being given a thank you, let alone a coin. It is quite nice to see the girls shrug it off as 'how odd' and move on to help the next person with a smile.
I myself had an amazingly challenging moment when a customer told me he was ‘forgetting many things just lately as he was getting old’. I said perhaps he just had a lot on his mind at the moment. He told me he had, his wife had died only last Wednesday. We walked to one side and he told me about the empty chair she no longer sat in, how the dog was missing her, about the funeral directors, how she looked laid out, he talked for quite sometime. I wonder if the uniform I was in helped him to trust me or whether I was just in the right place when he needed to talk, but it for me it was an opportunity to be a ‘Proper Guide’ and say and do the right thing to help someone. I have wished on more than one occasion that we got some training in how to deal with this kind of thing though, it's even harder when girls lose parents or close relatives and they want to talk to us about it.
So I spent 7 hours in the store with a 15 minute break. One of my wonderful Rangers did the same as she is 18 and I needed the adult headcount to cover the store rules. Most girls did 3 or 4 hour slots. And a parent came for 4 hours to help as her daughter couldn't, I thought that was pretty cool.
With 11 of us we raised £600. I think that is quite amazing. Some people are so generous.
Some people are a little sharp. I know not everyone wants to be 'out of routine', it's mainly the 40-60 year old women that say no the most. I wish though that they could perhaps just talk to the girls a little instead and be aware that they help them almost as much by helping the shy, perhaps a little awkward teenager to be a bit less shy another time.
Some people are embarrassed because they have no cash, hey that's cool, we pack regardless, you don't have to say no thanks! Just say 'I'd be happy for you to but I have no cash' and we do it anyway.
But I personally love the men, with the twinkly smiles, that let me pack for them and leave the notes behind. Yes sir, you make me feel so good on so many levels!!