Every month, we like to get to know a member of our amazing Victorian Guiding community a little better. This month we caught up with Unit Leader Zahara Harrison.
A Leader at Second Company Mount Waverley Guides and Second Mount Waverley Rainbow Fairies, Zahara’s Guiding journey started at 6 years old.
Today, at 19 years old, you’ll find Zahara (Squirrel) guiding and mentoring some of the youngest members of our Guiding community, and helping to make some of our biggest events (like this year’s Snoozefest!) a resounding, meaningful, and fun success for our Guides.
How did your Guiding journey start, and what made you decide to become a volunteer with GGV?
My Guiding journey started at Mount Waverley Rainbow Fairies. My mum had signed me up because I “needed more friends who were girls”. I don’t know if that part was true, but I certainly did need Guiding. I became a Guide Helper at 12, and then did my Queen’s Guide with a leadership focus.
Becoming a volunteer was just natural for me — it was a role I felt I was just born into.
Many of the Guides who are part of your Unit are five years old, and just starting their Guiding journeys. What do you enjoy most about working with Guides who are so young?
I love seeing Guides start their journey, and introducing them to what Guides truly is. I love seeing them find their place in the world, and that they know that Guides will always be there for them. However, getting them as badge-obsessed as I always have been is an added bonus!
What’s something unexpected that being a Guides volunteer has taught you?
Being a Unit Leader has taught me so many different things, many of them I can barely explain, as being a Guide is such a large part of who I am. I’d say that it probably taught me that I could trust the people around me to always love and support me no matter what.
Aside from Guiding, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m attending Uni and I work part time, so I don’t have much spare time. However, when I do have free time, I like to read and play video games, mainly strategy. I also like to spend time outside, especially if I can bring along my husky.
What piece of advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
I’m only 19, so 16 isn’t that far away, but probably just to “keep on going”. 16 was a HARD time in my life…start of the Covid lockdown, a new school, a bit of a gender crisis as well. I’m a lot happier now and feel like I have a greater understanding of who I am.
Where would you time travel if it were possible?
I am obsessed with Sci-Fi television and books, so probably some time in the future, preferably after space travel is commonplace, because I think that would be awesome. Plus, I don’t think people in the past would be very trusting of someone with blue hair, so I think the future would be the safer choice.