Why do you volunteer? Why do you commit multiple hours a week, weekends and multiple weeks of your summer to volunteer?
Those are all questions I get asked often because I am a volunteer. I give countless hours of my time to empower girls and women. I volunteer to make a difference in my community and the large world.
Each week I spend time with my Pathfinders. Together we try new things, gain confidence, learn problem solving skills, give back to our community, protect our environment and work together for a better tomorrow. I say we because that is what it is like to volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada. I am learning just as much, if not more from my Pathfinders than they are learning from me.
I volunteer not because I always have the time, I volunteer because I love it!
I love watching the girls try new things, work hard to master skills, and develop into young women.
From them I learn to think on my feet, be creative, organized, work hard and the power of a role model.
It took me along time to realize this, but as we discussed female role models, and leaders in their lives my name was brought up. They discussed all the qualities they saw in me, some I didn’t even realize were there. And how grateful they were to have me as a Guider.
I volunteer for the heart to heart moments with the girls as they share the good and challenging moments of their lives. And their dreams for the future.
I volunteer for the countless giggles shared around the campfire. As we share stories and learn new songs.
I volunteer for the late nights at camp, as they must do just one more badge, share one more story or make just one more snack.
I volunteer for the moments when their eyes light up with pride because they reached their cookie selling goal, ran a whole weekend camp, or earned the last badge in the book.
I volunteer to give back to an organization that has influenced my post secondary education. And has continued to leave a positive impact on my life.
I look forward to each meeting, each event, each camp and each trip. Regardless of the time it may take, the paper work or the amount of cookies that must be sold. As I know there is so fun much to have, new things to learn and positive memories to make.
I am volunteer and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Kayla Bernard, Catapult 2011