“Life is pretty good around here"
Meet Oliver, 18, from Alford, near Aberdeen in Scotland. They are part of the Scottish Senior Section Lone Rangers.
Aberdeenshire is lovely. It
has lots of fields and country roads, especially near me. I have fields on all
sides; there are horses in one, sheep in another, cows and crops. A lot of the
locals are farming families. Generally the weather is pleasant, a little cold,
but when storms and snow come they tend to be hard hitting. The roads can get
precarious when there is snow and ice. We aren’t far from a ski centre.
The ‘local’ school has 550 pupils, drawn from 600 square miles. Most of the pupils take a bus, but I live close enough to walk the mile and a half to school. It’s uphill in the morning and downhill after class. There are several small primary schools in this area; mine was the largest with 52 pupils which the smallest was 12.
I’m a pretty studious student, so I tend to spend most free time at home, but on weekends I will catch up with friends and go for a walk in the countryside or forest park. Occasionally we make the 50 minute journey into Aberdeen to watch a movie and shop. There’s a small playground and skate park in my village, but little else for my age group. Our school campus was recently updated and now has a new library, swimming pool, community rooms and a games hall.
Life is pretty good around here. Most of the local community spends time outside, whether rain or shine, so we get plenty of fresh air. Girls are not disadvantaged at all.
We have rainbow and brownie units about 25 minutes away but no senior section. The closest is probably a 30 to 40 minute drive away. There is also a good mix of female teachers at the school, which I think is important to allow a wide range of role models for young women.
I began Guiding as a tiny little Rainbow and have come all the way through Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Senior Section and now as a leader. I love it. Through Senior Section I am now part of a Facebook group for Lone Rangers. We normally have an annual meet up, as well as monthly newsletters, containing activities and badges.
I don’t feel Guides have a significant presence in my local community. I think this is partly down to travel difficulties. We put on the occasional craft or Christmas fair and tea afternoons. As we do not have a specific Guiding building most of our events occur in one of the two local churches or school meeting rooms.
Guiding has allowed me to travel and meet heaps of new people. For me, Guiding is about friends and many people I have met through the Movement I would now consider family. As for other girls, you have nothing to lose by joining and can gain so much, from confidence, to fun and crazy, awesome opportunities.