I used to be Brown Owl. Not a surprise to most of you, I would imagine! And before that a Rainbow leader and a Guide leader.
I did enjoy every aspect of Guiding, but my favourite bit by miles has always been the campfire. And it turns out that I have managed to get myself a bit of a reputation in that area!
I am the Campfire Lady!
I was asked to run a campfire for the local Brownie group. I love fires and I love showing off and lighting them with one match and no firelighters (that would be cheating!).
I have all the songbooks that I have collected since I was 10 and the songsheets that I compiled with my favourite songs (yes I am a Guide campfire geek!).
I love seeing the enthusiasm on their faces, getting even the girls who are pretending to be cool to stick out their tongues, stand on one leg, and sing “Little Green Frog”.
It is such a change after sitting in front of a computer, solving problems, to suddenly be needing to keep 7-10 year olds engaged, as well as avoiding smoke inhalation when the wind changes.
I came home exhausted, but with none of the normal strain in my shoulders. Perfect – the best way to relieve stress and keep my clothes on!
The biggest surprise for me this time was that I turned up at the meeting and most of the girls came up to me and said “We know you, you’re the Campfire Lady!”
Which was lovely but led me to think – that is not normally a hat I would crown myself with. How many of us are doing our jobs, leading our lives, thinking “I am a golf club manager” “I am an employment law expert” when actually the people around us see us in totally different terms, such as “He is the only manager who was willing to get involved at karaoke” or “She always gets everyone involved on Red Nose Day”
We should be thinking a little bit less about our “official role” and more about the impact we make on lives around us. No need to be a total people pleaser, but to be aware of how our “simple” decisions can affect how people see us, for good or bad.
Oh, and if you need a campfire lead, I am the Campfire Lady!