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Barbara Walker, MGC, 1967 Leaver

Malvern Alumnae 100 Barbara Greenwood

I was a Brownie before MGC, but never a Guide. It wasn’t until my own girls were of Brownie age that I rejoined as an adult volunteer. It’s a familiar story: “Brown Owl is leaving and the pack will have to close if someone doesn’t help out.  It’s only a couple of hours a week.”  That was 30 years ago and the two hours a week often turned into 20!

I ran the Brownie Pack until five years ago. Being a unit leader is a very rewarding experience, especially seeing a shy seven year old girl blossom into one ready for Guides at 10. I worked with a great team and made many friends. 

For three years as District Commissioner I supported all the adults in the area, which in a pre-email era was quite a challenge and it required a different set of skills.  When my role as District Commissioner finished I was asked to arrange the retrospective CRB checking (as it then was) of every Guider in the County after which I was awarded the Good Service to Guiding Brooch in 2008. Every new volunteer now undertakes a DBS check as part of her initial training.

Since retiring from Brownies, I help in our County shop each month and using my skills as a retired Museum professional, volunteer as Heritage Adviser for the County. One of the most enjoyable parts is heritage evenings with the girls. This keeps the Guiding heritage alive and the girls love dressing up in old uniforms.

Girlguiding is a unique girls only space dedicated to creating a better world for girls and young women. Girls take what they do in guiding with them as they grow up helping them develop the skills and confidence to become the young women they want to be.

What does success look like? 

Seeing one of your Brownies taking charge of her own unit as an adult.

What is your best piece of advice?

You won’t know if you can do it unless you try.