Guiding four generations

GUIDING in Kerang is alive and well teaching girls and young women life skills while gaining confidence and having fun.

FAMILY AFFAIR. Guide leaders, Tania Barnes, left, Linda Davey, Julie Davey and Thelma Steel and newest Gumnut Guides member, Sophie Barnes.

FAMILY AFFAIR. Guide leaders, Tania Barnes, left, Linda Davey, Julie Davey and Thelma Steel and newest Gumnut Guides member, Sophie Barnes.

Guiding offers programs for girls to look beyond themselves and into the community around them by giving service to others. 

They learn and explore new and exciting things through games, craft, songs, camping and much much more.

Guiding shows girls that the sky is the limit and through "girl-power" that girls and young women today can achieve anything.

With the addition of Gumnut Guides for girls aged five to seven years, Kerang now boasts four generations of Guiding involvement at the same time.

Thelma Steel is a unit helper for the Gumnut and Brownie-aged girls with daughter Julie Davey and granddaughter Linda Davey serving as the leaders.

Julie Davey and daughter Tania Barnes lead the older aged unit for girls aged 10 to 15 and 14+, with Linda also helping from time to time. 

Sophie Barnes, aged 5, has recently joined Gumnut Guides and is loving the Guiding experience. She is Mrs Steel's great granddaughter, Julie Davey's granddaughter, Tania's daughter and Linda's niece.

Sophie said she wanted to join Gumnuts because "it sounds like fun" and she enjoys "making things" the most.

Mrs Steel filled a need for a unit helper some 10 years ago when her granddaughter asked her if she would like to come and help. 

It has been a rewarding experience and Mrs Steel said she is very proud of her family.

Julie was involved in the Support Group during the years when her two daughters were Brownies and Guides themselves.

After they had both finished Guides, she thought she was finished with Guiding, but then one at a time they both went back as leaders. After seeing a need for an additional leader, Julie agreed to help out and was eventually convinced to don the uniform as well.

She said that she has found the experience fulfilling and she feels it has stretched her to unimaginable places.

"The most rewarding thing is seeing the changes and growth of the girls from when they join, move through Guides and then out into the community as confident mature young women," she said.

Mrs Davey was awarded the Gannawarra Citizen of the Year award in 2017.

Tania has been in Guides since she was very young and it is something that, now as a mum of three girls, would love for them to experience.

Mrs Barnes said that as all the leaders are family members it can make things difficult at times, so for Guiding to continue to thrive in Kerang, they would love to see more leaders.

"It is awesome to see the confidence and skills learnt as girls grow in Guiding. From not knowing how to butter toast to making lasagne, being terrified of heights and conquering a high ropes course, it is truly amazing to experience. I would recommend Guiding to all girls and women no matter your age" Mrs Barnes said.

Linda Davey says she was a shy, quiet kid but at Guides it was her safe place so to speak and "I came alive".

"I loved everything about Guiding and wanted to become a leader to show other girls how much fun they could have. I especially wanted them to find the confidence I eventually found through Guides," she said.

"Guiding never ends, I remember a lovely lady, Janet Bear, saying 'once a Guide, always a Guide' and I have never forgotten. It doesn't matter if you are no longer involved, if you have said your promise you will always be a Guide. That is the kind of impact Guiding has."

Kerang Girl Guides will recommence for 2019 on Monday, February 11.

Girls aged 5 to 14 who are interested in trying Guides are encouraged to contact Julie on 0427 522 438.

"Our first session back will be filled with water fun so don't forget your bathers, towel and a change of clothes!", she said.

"We are always looking for more leaders and unit helpers, don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or to express interest in joining this wonderful and rewarding movement, don't let the girls have all the fun!"

Mrs Davey said that 2019 was already looking like a jam-packed full-of-fun year and she encourages girls to come join in the experience of Guiding.

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