Today I had the privilege of meeting with a young Girl Guide from my local area who was working toward the Traditions section of her BP award. She had lots of questions for me: When did I join Girl Guides? What had I liked most about Girl Guides? Did I get a Guide award when I was a Guide? What was I most proud of achieving as a Girl Guide? What influence did Girl Guides have on my life? Had I visited a World Centre? Which one? Were my daughters Girl Guides? How did I get to be the Acting Chief Commissioner?
I also had lots of questions for her. We shared what we love about Guiding with each other. I shared my first camping experience one very cold winter a very long time ago. She shared she was excited her Leader was working toward her camping qualifications to take her unit camping. We shared that we were both excited about the Sydney Jamboree this year. We shared Gang Show experiences (we even sang We’re riding along on the crest of a wave together!). We shared how Guiding had helped us grow, the impact Guiding has on our lives, how it enables us to help others and the friendships we have made. I was so encouraged by her enthusiasm for Guiding. When she talked of her Guiding experiences her whole face lit up and her eyes beamed. There were so many years between us yet so much in common.
We also talked about our Promise and Law and how important it is in shaping how we live our life every day – not just when we are wearing our uniform. The Promise and Law embodies the principles of Guiding. As Leaders we must lead by example. The Promise and Law must be fundamental to how we live our lives, how we lead, how we interact with other Leaders and how we interact with the parents.
Girl Guides Australia (GGA) also has a Code of Conduct which defines the standards of behaviour expected of all adults participating in Girl Guiding in Australia. As an adult involved in Girl Guiding in Australia you must adhere to this Code of Conduct.
- Behave in the spirit of the Girl Guide Promise and Law.
- Adhere to GGA and the relevant State Girl Guide Organisation’s policies and procedures.
- Treat others fairly, knowing that GGA and State Girl Guide Organisations do not tolerate unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, gender, marital status, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, mental or physical ability, political or religious beliefs, social background or health.
- Create an environment in which girls and adults are safe from emotional, physical, verbal and sexual abuse.
- Respect other’s rights to privacy and the confidentiality of their personal information.
- Fulfil the roles and responsibilities as stated in your position description (where applicable) and act within the limitations of your authority in performing your duties.
- Represent Girl Guiding in the community in a positive light.
I encourage you to take some time to reflect on the Promise and Law you made as a Leader and the Girl Guides Australia Code of Conduct. Are these the foundation on which you build?
Today, my memories of so many wonderful Guiding times came flooding back.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory.” Dr. Seuss
Acting Chief Commissioner