IRENE’S A GUIDE FOR OUR GIRLS
IRENE Burrows has been helping Townsville girls become strong and resourceful women for decades.
The Aitkenvale District Girl Guides manager has been in her current role for 15 years, but a part of Girl Guides for more than 90 per cent of her life.
“I went into Brownies at the age of seven and I’m still here, I’m 72 now,” she said.
“I believe in the basics of Guides, the aims, the principles.”
Ms Burrows progressed through the Girl Guides youth ranks in Mount Isa before moving to Townsville in 1965 and joining the Aitkenvale branch.
“Our district is 54 years old now and when we first started the numbers were more than double what we have now,” she said.
“My responsibility is to all of the units and the parent support group. We have some excellent parents who give their time and make life easier for us.”
Ms Burrows said girls in their teens were becoming less motivated to pursue Guides while balancing school, part- time work, social lives and more.
“I mostly work with the girls from 10 to 14 years old, they have so many more computers and phones and all that sort of thing these days that they don’t commit so much to guiding they way they used to.
“These days girls have far more to do now than they did back in the ’ 60s.”
Ms Burrows said the district was seeking volunteers, particularly younger women who wanted to discover how rewarding leadership roles could be.
“While I’m still getting on with the girls, I’m very aware that they relate better to younger people,” she said.
“I’m happy to pass on my knowledge to them but physically, as you get older, your parts wear out and you can’t do the things you used to. I don’t get up on the low ropes and the flying fox anymore, but we do outdoor cooking, pioneering.
“You get out of guiding what you put into it. That’s why I’m still here today.”