“Guiding has a very positive role in my village"
Meet Ellie, 14, from Essex, England. She's part of the Colne Valley Rangers in the small, rural village of Gosfield.
There is a volunteer run community shop in Gosfield, a church,
village hall and a playing field surrounded by paddocks near my house. A lot of
rapeseed is grown around Gosfield, it turns bright yellow in summer. The
weather is cold in the winter, normally between 0 and 8 degrees, but in the
summer it can get up to 35 degrees.
On a regular day I wake up at 6am to go to school. A bus picks me up in the village and drives me to a big town, about an hour away. I get into school at 8.30am for registration and then leave at 3.30pm and get home about 4.45pm. In the summer, when it is light, I sometimes walk to my friend’s house after school. They live at the village lake and we do water sports or just swim.
My village is mainly retirees, so a lot of the activities available are aimed at this age group, but there are things like football and tennis for younger people. We are very lucky in our village to have a thriving Guiding community which involves and connects many young girls. We have Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and a division Ranger unit.
One of my favourite things about my community is how safe it makes me feel. We are quite tight knit. This makes it really secure, which is a great privilege.
I found out about Guiding through friends. When I joined Primary school many of my friends went to Rainbows and I wanted to join.
In my community all Rainbows, Brownies and Guides meet in the village hall. We have five leaders; one runs Rainbows and Guides, another runs Brownies and Guides and the other three help run Brownies, as it is a very large unit. We also have a Ranger unit, which is in a neighboring village. At Rangers we meet every two weeks and do lots of fundraising, planning activities for the younger sections of Guiding, plus work on badges and learn new skills.
Guiding has a very positive role in my village. We are the main representatives of the younger generation so we attend many events like special church services, carol singing, community fundraisers, Easter egg hunts, dog walks, parades and our village fete. For our village life to thrive it is important for younger people to get involved and show what we are capable of.
My favourite thing about Guiding is what it does for girls and young women. Without Guiding I would not have nearly any of the leadership roles and skills I have now. I feel I would be less prepared to make my own decisions about my future without it. I think other girls should become guides because it is so much more than just cross stitch, it empowers young women across the world to join a movement that can make a massive impact on their lives.