A Place to Grow Parent Ambassador

Name: Heidi Froehling

District: Randwick

Occupation: Director, Learning and Development Company

Daughter’s age: 12

Length of time in Girl Guides: 1 year

Why were you keen for your daughter to sign up with Girl Guides in the first instance? What were you hoping to get out of it?
I was hoping she would make new friends from different backgrounds and with different interests, face new challenges, enjoy the outdoors and old-fashioned fun (away from technology!).
Has the experience of Girl Guides been what you expected?

Yes, the experience so far has exceeded my expectations. I love hearing about everything from her point of view. She’s had only positive experiences and looks forward to Guides more than anything else in her week.
What are three things you feel your daughter has learned whilst being in Girl Guides that has surprised you?

She has learned how to ski, she has learned about the importance of never giving up (in practice as opposed to just talking about it), wanting to participate and sign up for things without first needing to know who would also be there – the confidence to trust that she would make friends and enjoy herself regardless.
What life lesson/s do you feel your daughter has learned from Girl Guides?

I think the key lesson has been the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone, giving everything a go and learning that failure is part of learning. For me this has been growth mindset in action.
What are some of your daughter’s favourite activities?

The outdoor activities have been her favourite. The highlights have been hiking in the Royal National Park, skiing and the sleep-out at Taronga Zoo. Before Guides she had never even seen snow. She signed up without knowing who was going and went away with a group of people, who she has mostly never met before and headed off excited and nervous about what was to come. She came home with new friends, new courage, new skills, and an unshakeable desire to return to ski camp every year forever!
Have you as a parent learned anything in particular from your daughter as a result of her involvement in the Girl Guides?

I have learned that the simple joys of Girl Guides have not changed since I was a Guide many years ago. Despite all the differences in our lives, technology, pace of life etc; the joy of friendship, learning new things, overcoming challenges, pride in yourself and a sense of community are as important as ever.

In five years’ time, what do you think you'll remember most about your daughters' time with Girl Guides?

Her excitement and enthusiasm about spending time with kids from all walks of life and Guide Leaders that inspire, motivate and make her happy.

Some people may feel the Girl Guides is not relevant to young people growing up with a digital life. What would you say to that?

For me this is one of the key attractions! The satisfaction that comes from digital life is short lived and empty. The joy that comes from Guides is real and impactful.

If I could put you on a stage in front of Australia, what would you like them to know about Girl Guides?

There are fewer and fewer opportunities for our daughters to bond with other girls to be strong, creative, take risks, challenge themselves, learn new things, contribute to their community, enjoy the outdoors, and inspire each other. Girl Guides provides this opportunity and more.
What do you feel is the role of Girl Guides in society today?
To empower women and help them to become inspiring role models.

Do you have any other comments or anecdotes you’d like to share about your experience with Girl Guides?

Some of my favourite experiences in life have been as a Girl Guide myself and working as a camp counsellor at an amazing camp in Maine (Wyonegonic – the oldest girls camp in America). I would dearly love Namika to go there, that is not really possible as a camper, but Girl Guides is helping to prepare her to one day go there as a counsellor. A thought that makes me very happy!

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