Tough, rewarding ‘reality check’
Being involved in Guiding has opened the door to some exciting opportunities for Mel Cooper.
Not only does she have the friendship and support of great women, but she has achieved her biggest and most exciting challenge to date when, through GirlGuiding NZ, she was given the chance to attended Outward Bound earlier this year.
‘‘The eight day experience in the Marlborough Sounds was mentally and physically very challenging,’’ Mrs Cooper said.
‘‘Sleeping on hard floors was painful but a good reality check. I’m not really a girly girl and am very thankful I’m not. Outward Bound is not a place for hairdryers, makeup or worrying about your nails,’’ she said.
When Mrs Cooper moved to Tokoroa, she decided the best way for her to get involved in her new community would be to volunteer for an organisation that would help motivate her and support young women in building their self-esteem.
‘‘I was impressed with the professionalism, the structure and the on- going training that I would receive.’’
Mrs Cooper said she benefited from good role models growing up and can definitely see the advantages of girls having someone to look up to or talk to outside of home.
‘‘Guiding is the sort of organisation that works to your strengths. I feel part of a team and enjoy planning activities that stretch the girls, if they come away learning something new, I feel like I’ve achieved some- thing. Two years on and I still love seeing the girls grow and develop skills that will help them in years to come which is really what Guiding is all about. I feel part of something – I’m proud to be member of Girl Guiding New Zealand and would recommend Guiding to anyone who wants to become involved in their community.’’
Mrs Cooper is a leader at Tokoroa Guides. They meet from 6 till 8pm on a Wednesday at the Guide Hall on Clyde St.
For information about joining GirlGuiding NZ please call 0800 555 170 or visit girlguidingnz.org.nz.
FEARLESS: Tokoroa GirlGuides leader Mel Cooper was able to attend Outward Bound through the Guides.