Amber Duthie, is a GirlGuiding NZ Ranger (girl members aged 12 and a half to 17) from Manawatu. Amber shares what makes Guiding special to her.
Amber is 17 and lives in Fielding, Manawatu. She has been part of Guiding since she was eight years old and is now completing her Queen’s Guide Award – the highest award a Guide can attain.
“My mum was part of the Guiding movement ever since she was little, too” Amber says. “She was in the Manawatu Gangshow (a theatrical production that Scouts and Guides produce together) when she was younger, and then became a Leader. My little sister and I became part of her unit as Brownies and Pippins (the youngest members of Guides). Having my mum as my Leader was a unique experience, and it was so cool having her there to experience Guiding with. It does sometimes frustrate me when she is pestering me to finish my badges, but I love having her around.
Apart from the regular challenges and experiences, something that keeps Amber loving Guides are the Gangshows. “Every two years we get ready for it and the whole family is involved. The Gangshow is a nationwide variety show consisting of 12 acts with singing, dancing, and acting, and both Guides and Scouts are involved. I was three months old when I watched my first show and, as soon I was old enough, we tried out for and performed in the show. Even way back then it was exhilarating, and I was hooked; it is in my genes after all! In each of the three shows I have been in, I have been blessed with lead solo singing parts. To perform gives me an amazing opportunity to do something I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
Performing may be a passion, but not everything Guiding offers is so natural to Amber. “Through Guiding, I am put outside of my comfort zone” she says. “It helps me grow and gives me boosts of confidence. I have also gained many leadership and management skills, which have helped me in all aspects of life.
“Flight 18 Jamboree was one of my favorite trips with GirlGuiding. I was put into the gliding group and was given the chance to glide over the Wairarapa region. I was quite anxious about doing it, but it was so beautiful and an amazing experience.
“COVID–19 was messy for me as I was an essential worker working full–time at a pharmacy, which didn’t leave too much time for school, Guiding and myself. It was hard watching everyone else do things like pick up home baking, but I appreciated the learning experience of moving online, especially as it was going to become a regular thing and allowed me to navigate learning new technology skills.
For anyone new to Guiding or thinking of joining, Amber says to “take every opportunity you’re given. Step outside your comfort zone and you will thank yourself for it in the future.”
If you know someone who wants to join GirlGuiding NZ, then encourage them to go for it! More information can be found on the link here.