Tough, re­ward­ing ‘re­al­ity check’

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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