Going for Gold

The Guiding Vibe blogger, Holly, shares her experience of Go for Gold, Girlguiding's international selection event.

In September I, along with 76 other members, excitedly arrived at guiding owned Pettypool Campsite in Cheshire with no idea what was coming next.

Earlier in 2021 I had signed up for an event known as Go for GOLD, in my wish to do something after so much inactivity due to the pandemic. GOLD stands for Guiding Overseas Linked with Development and is an international programme run by Girlguiding, that carries our guiding development programmes in other countries. It is open for anyone aged 17-29, as you have to be 18-30 by the time you take part in the programme. This weekend was a selection weekend, so no guarantee of a place on a programme, but mysteriously I’m bound by promise to not spill a single detail… sorry!

What I can tell you, however, is all about the comradery and kinship I felt whilst taking part. I’m not the boldest of people, until you get to know me of course, then I never shut up. But at Go for GOLD I was amongst company that I felt completely and entirely comfortable around. It was my first activity as an adult leader where there were no girls, and I simply cannot wait to be back in that situation. There was no need for ice breakers (though we did them) as I felt I could talk to anyone there, about anything! Guiding gave us all a link, a link that allowed us to chat and learn about each other like we were old friends. I met leaders from all over the country, forging links and friendships with people that I hope will last a lifetime, and it’s all because we had the time to chat! No girls to worry about, no need to worry about the one that needs to go to the loo just as you get talking, no need to worry about trying to get your exhausted girls to strike camp, adults just do it! As much as I love being a leader and don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change my role for the world, it was truly a wonderful experience. And even if I don’t get selected for a programme, I had the best time.

If you ever get the chance reader, apply to take part in something like that. It will open you up to a world of opportunity I don’t think I would have got anywhere else.