Thursday 1st March, 2007

 

Guiding our girls

the Girl Guides way

 
 
 
 
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Administrative secretary of the T&T Girl Guides Association, Doreen Sampson puts a Girl Guide pin on Angela Nesbitt at the headquarters on Rust Street, St Clair, on February 22. Photos: Karla Ramoo

BY AVALENE HARRIS

TO be a Girl Guide is simple: all you have to do is just want to become one.

It makes a big difference in wanting to become a Guide for reasons other than your mother wanting you to be in the Girl Guides because she recognised how much it helped her develop as an individual,” said Doreen Sampson, administrative secretary of the T&T Girl Guides Association.

Sampson, who has been involved in the association since 1972, said that being in the Girl Guides helps in the overall development of a child.

Many children who we have stumbled upon have low self-esteem problems and have difficulty in opening up,” Sampson said during an interview at the Grace Anderson Girl Guides Association headquarters, Rust Street, St Clair, on February 22.

Celebrating World Thinking Day

Sampson said that after joining the Girl Guides, normally at about age six at primary school, the child was groomed and learned many social and interactive skills.

Some of these skills include proper speaking and etiquette.

The association is very instrumental in assisting young children to become more open-minded, strong and positive thinkers,” she said.

February 22 marked the anniversary of World Thinking Day. The day was celebrated in tribute to Scouting and Guiding founders Lord Robert and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, who together inspired and transformed the lives of millions of young people around the world.

This year’s theme is “Discover your potential by taking the lead, growing in friendship and speaking out.”

Sampson said the idea for World Thinking Day came in 1926 at the fourth international Girl Guides/ Scouts conference held in the USA. The name arose because it was a day on which the members could think of each other.

Serving not boring

Being a Scout, Brownie or Girl Guide could never be boring,” she said.

If you want to serve your country and deliver, there are so many activities that you could be a part of and have fun doing it.

Getting bored is totally out of the question.”

She added that travelling the world was among some of the other opportunities Girl Guides were offered.

One such person is Angela Nesbitt. Nesbitt, who has been a Girl Guide since age eight, said her experiences have been overwhelming. She has never regretted being a part of the membership.

Now 29, Nesbitt who started as a student at Tranquillity Government Primary School holds the position of district commissioner for East Port-of-Spain.

A Guide’s promise

Sampson said being a Guide benefits a child in many ways.

Physically, it helps them through the activities they do and spiritually, by the promise they make when they take the vow to serve.”

The Guide’s promise teaches them to “promise to do my best… to serve my country and to help other people.”

The first thing you learn is to adhere to the promise and to make your life and the life of others around you different by your actions,” she said.

The promise is not really about going to church, but by doing your duty to God.”

Where sponsorship was concerned, Sampson believed that more could be done.

We receive no sponsorship whatsoever,” she said.

If every former Girl Guide could contribute at least $100 to the cause, it could really go a long way,” she stressed.

Thinking Day celebrations in T&T

On Saturday, the local chapter of the association will host World Thinking Day at the Jean Pierre Complex. It will commence with a parade starting at 9.30 am on Western Main Road, St James, ending at the complex.

Patron Her Excellency Jean Ramjohn-Richards will declare the celebrations open. Among the activities expected to take place at the event are workshops, aerobics and presentations of cultural items such as monologues, calypso and dance.

Interested in becoming a Girl Guide? Contact the Girl Guides headquarters at 8 Rust Street, St Clair, or call Doreen Sampson at 628-7966 for further information.

 

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