Two stalwarts of the Guiding community, Joan Thom and Kaye Reeves, have called it a day, announcing they are stepping down from being Guide leaders.FIONA BLICK January 21, 2014 5:02pm
Joan has notched up 40 years of Guiding in Melbourne and Yarrawonga and was presented with a Banksia Award for service to Victorian Guiding in 2005.
Kaye began her Guiding career in 1990 with Gumnut Guides and after 23 years was presented with a Boronia Award for service to the local Guiding region last month.
On the announcement of their retirement, Kaye and Joan spoke to the Yarrawonga Chronicle about their experiences with this unique organisation.
Kaye told the Chronicle Girl Guides had flourished in Yarrawonga Mulwala and there had been quite a lot of changes over the years.
“From something as simple as uniform changes to the big step of the very young Girl Guides now being able to go camping, I have seen Guides change with the times,” she said.
Girl Guides Australia is one of the largest organisations in Australia for girls and young women.
It provides leadership and personal skills development to its 30,000 members, including 22,000 youth members.
According to Kaye, Guide Leadership training, while it may well be a commitment, is extremely enjoyable and you come away with new skills.
“Girls and young women will look up to you, valuing your friendship and guidance,” she said.
“There are no monetary rewards, but changing lives is priceless.
“I have loved the girls and will miss the contact with them and their parents.
“In Guides each person is valued for themselves and each individual person is recognised for their own skills, whatever they may be.”
Joan said she would still like to be involved in some way in the local group and vowed to help whoever stepped up to take on the Leadership role.
“Guiding has given me a long term friendship network,” Joan said.
“I have done a lot of things I would never have done in my normal life including abseiling and travelling the world on the World Centres trip.
“I have gained an enormous amount of pleasure knowing the girls were enjoying their time at Guides and that I was able to help them develop their daily life skills and confidence to be part of the community.
“I have also enjoyed the leadership training and personal development side to Guiding.”
Sadly, no one as yet has put their hands up to take over the leadership role and the future of the younger Guiding group is in doubt.
“There are some wonderful girls involved at the moment and would be very sad if they weren’t able to continue on with Girl Guides,” Joan said.
Both Kaye and Joan have indicated they would be more than happy to give advice to any potential leaders; for more information on the Girl Guides please phone Joan on 57441681 or Kaye on 57442614.
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