Bring a Friend

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Long ago, a Little Girl lived in a small community. This Little Girl had a big brother, a little sister, and a little brother. She loved to play with her friends. She also loved to learn and to play teacher.

One day, a New Neighbor moved into the house next door. The New Neighbor had a big sister and a little brother. The little brother was about the same age as the Little Girl. They went to school together and really liked each other. The big sister baby-sat the Little Girl and her brothers and sister.

One day, the New Neighbor asked the Little Girl if she would like to come to Girl Guides as a guest at their “Bring a Friend” night. OOOh! The Little Girl was so excited to be going with the older and bigger girls.

Guides was fun. They played games, sang songs, had a patrol meeting, and got into a little trouble. Not a lot of trouble, but just enough for the little girl to remember it 30 years later. One girl had brought a little mercury in a bottle and had dropped it. If you have ever tried to catch mercury, you know it is almost impossible. They didn’t know about mercury poisoning at the time. They were just little girls.

The Little Girl wanted to join Guides but she was too little. She had to be 1 year older. She could hardly wait. But she was sad too, her New Neighbor had moved away. And nobody asked her to another “Bring a Friend” night.

Finally the Little Girl was 12. She could now join Guides. She had a wonderful time being a Guide. She camped, earned badges, and became a patrol leader. She loved wearing her uniform, even her beret. She helped the Brownies learn Semaphore.

When the Little Girl was 15, she suddenly thought she was too big to be a Girl Guide. She grew up and moved away. She got married and had 3 children. Two of those children were girls. They became Brownies. The Little Girl (who wasn’t little anymore) remembered the fun that she had as a girl.

The Little Girl (who wasn’t little anymore) became a Guider when nobody else would help with her daughter’s unit. The Little Girl (who wasn’t little anymore) had lots of fun and learned lots of new things. The Little Girl (who wasn’t little anymore) was very shy. She learned to talk to the girls. Then she learned to talk to the girl’s parents. Then she learned to talk to other Guiders. All the while her children were growing up and learning new skills as well. The Little Girl (who wasn’t little anymore) was able to use her new skills in new jobs.

One day the Little Girl (who wasn’t little anymore) was helping at a training. She was talking to another Guider while they were drying the “Bed Night” snack dishes. They talked and talked, and the more they talked and talked, the more they realized who they were. They were taller, shorter, rounder, older, had lived in many places and they had new last names because they were married, but their first names were the same. And their memories of that meeting were the same. The other Guider was the New Neighbor who had taken the Little Girl to her first Guide meeting. They began to make lots of noise to celebrate and woke up all the little girls. Once again, they were in trouble.

Now The Little Girl (who isn’t little anymore) is the Wheatland Division Commissioner, Arrowhead Area Training Adviser, an Leadership Development Program Trainer, and the Alberta Provincial Stage 2 Co-ordinator. They also call her “Trouble”. She has a long history of being in trouble.

The New Neighbor is also known as Zucchini. She has been in Guiding all of her life. She never thought she was too old for Guides. She sits on the Alberta Provincial Camp Committee. She deserves a "Bring a Friend" sticker for bringing a friend into Guiding, don’t you think?

So, you never know what will happen when you bring a friend to your meeting. It may take you 30 years to find out. So go and bring someone to your meeting. Have fun! (and a try not to get into TROUBLE)

With Love, Trudy (Trouble) Haughland

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FYI, this story was in the Dec 97 issue of our Alberta Provincial newsletter, the "Blue-Print". (with "author's name withheld", BTW - but I knew who "Trouble" was!)

The copyright notice for the Blue-Print is as follows: "Copyright 1997 by the Girl Guides of Canada- Guides du Canada, Alberta Council. Unless otherwise indicated in the text, reproduction of material in Blue-Print is authorized for non-profit Guiding use, provided that each copy contains full acknowledgement of the source. Any other reproduction in whole or in part without prior written consent of the Alberta Council is prohibited."

So, as far as Alberta Council's concerned, it's ok. But it's always polite to get Trudy's permission too, especially since her name was *not* attached to the original.