Year of the Volunteer

Girlguiding Bristol and South Gloucestershire have brought out a new challenge badge – and this one is for the leaders!

It’s the “Year of the Volunteer” badge, and I’ve decided to take up the challenge.

There are three ways to complete the badge – try it, challenge yourself, or best of both.  I’m going for best of both, which means I have to do six short activities (2 hours each) and two longer ones (6 hours each).

There are six categories, so I’m going for one of my short activities from each category. Here’s what I’ve chosen.

Active Adventures: I’m going to try out a session or two of yoga.  I’ve never done it before, so it’ll be interesting.

Creativity: I’m going to write a short story.  I’ll probably share it on this blog, if I think it’s fit for human consumption!

Leadership: Lead a new activity with your unit.  A bit of a cop-out, possibly, since I do that sort of thing a lot.  Perhaps I’ll help for an evening with a different section, instead.

Personal Development: Think where you want to be in 5, 10, and 20 years time.  I often think about the next year, but I’m not great at long term planning, so the 20 year timeframe may be a struggle.

International: Learn some foreign Guiding songs. Those who know me will know that I like to sing, and I like languages, so this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.

Community Action: Partake in a fundraising activity for a local charity.  I’m not sure if this is cheating or not, but my Guides are fundraising for a trip to Switzerland this summer, and I’m attending so many fundraising events at the moment that it felt like the obvious choice.

As for the Challenge Yourself section, I’ve chosen one from the “Leadership” section – maintain a blog about what you get up to as a leader in Girlguiding.  Which should explain why I’ve suddenly started blogging again after a long break… I’m committing to one post per week until at least July.  I might post more than that if I’ve done something exciting, but that’ll be my minimum.  Feel free to pester me if I fall behind!

The second longer activity is from the “International” section.  I’m going on an International Adventure with my Guides – as I mentioned above, we’re off to Switzerland in the summer.  Since that was already planned before I started the challenge, I wasn’t sure if it was cheating or not, so I’ve decided to make it a little harder.  I’m going to try to learn the basics of German before we go, so that I can speak to a native person while we’re there.

Are you doing the challenge too?  Comment below (with your blog if you’re doing one), and we can encourage one another!


13 thoughts on “Year of the Volunteer

  1. I’m definitely interested in this!

    Not sure yet which challenge to do – I’m having trouble imagining making some of the smaller ones last two hours but I know I want to do my BCU 1 Star this summer and I do want to finish my Walking Scheme but getting an assessor arranged is turning out to be a huge pain.
    I started learning Norwegian semi-seriously in November and Russian very unseriously earlier in the week – do you think it would be cheating to count continuing with them? I was in Norway two weeks ago and discovered that although I can read a very little, I can’t understand a word anyone says and they can’t understand a word I say, so I’ve definitely got a very long way to go with it.
    And I do want to do more Guide blogging.

    (By the way, you may remember me as Jem from YOYO but I’m currently blogging under the screen name of Juliet)

    1. Hi! Long time no (see? read? write?)!

      I don’t think it’s cheating to count them. You started recently enough and if nobody could understand you it surely means you haven’t yet “learned the basics” of the language, so that challenge is still ahead of you.

  2. Oh wow this sounds great. I am a new trainee leader and I’m still very much learning the ropes but I love the idea of this ALOT I hope there’s things like this in the north west too. Enjoy and can’t wait for your updates

    1. Welcome to Guiding!

      Just because you’re in the north west doesn’t mean you can’t take part. The pack I linked to has all the instructions for ordering badges, they’ll post them to you if you’re out of area. Why not get a group of your local leaders doing it with you?

  3. I love the sound of this challenge! Thank you so much for blogging about it, I never would have seen this. Sounds a lot like Look Wider for adults, which I think should be encouraged in Girlguiding especially with all the focus on Being Our Best.
    I think I’ll need to decide on some challenges! I really like your ones, especially thinking about your future goals and blogging, I may choose the blogging one myself too.

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