Ranger Interview: Jennifer Hallam

Jennifer (pictured left) is a Ranger who has recently completed her Queen’s Guide after over 10 years of being involved in GirlGuiding New Zealand. 

‘I am 17 years old and I live in Auckland, born and raised. I started Guiding when I started school, at the age of 5, and we are running on 12 years of Guiding now.  

My mum and Grandma both did Guiding in England and when they moved over to New Zealand, my grandma continued to run Brownie and Guide units, which my sister and I now help run. When I was old enough, they said, “here you go, you can do that” and put me and my twin sister (pictured right) into GirlGuiding. It’s so good working with my grandma because we can sit down and chat when we need to. Mum is also a huge advocate for us continuing with GirlGuiding and being leaders, taking whatever opportunities we can. 

My sister and I spend a lot of time dedicated to GirlGuiding, including a lot of weekends spent doing everything related to it. I have done a Brownie Jamboree previously but enjoyed the Flight 2018 Ranger Event the most, because it was different than anything I had ever done before; we were older with more responsibility and no adults watching over us. We started in Masterton and did heaps of new activities like the Tongariro Crossing. The trip finished on my birthday, so they bought us a cake just a day before we left and sang Happy Birthday. It was so cool to do this with my new friends and my community; I didn’t know them for very long, but it felt like I had. I also learned important skills on this trip, like putting down a tent in torrential rain! 

I have a fond memory that happened on my Queens Guide retreat. We made presentations of our adventures including what we did to help our community. Everyone else presented interesting community trips and projects, and our group presented what we did, like picking up rubbish in front of our hall. Everyone found it pretty funny, but I promise it was fun to do!  

Something that I have learned from my time in GirlGuiding is how to organize and plan well. I had to be held accountable for my plans because other people would be following all that I have planned. I assisted in organizing many events like badge nights or communicating with the church for events, and doing these things helped me develop my skills. I also learned the classic skills like how to use a gas cooker and put up a tent, much like most girls in GirlGuiding learn to do. 

Outside of Guiding, I like to read and play football for my school. In the coming years, I am considering moving to Dunedin to attend the University of Otago to study Geology.

My grandparents are really into Geology and Geography and they kind of got me into it during high school; from there it stuck, and I have been super interested in it ever since. 

Moving forward with GirlGuiding, my friends and I have joined Connect for the rest of the year before we all move away for university. 

Someone I look up to is my grandma, as cheesy as that is, because she is so dedicated to anything she does; when she is involved in something, she gives so much of herself to it and tries to do her best by providing the best opportunities for everybody else.  

To all current girls in GirlGuiding New Zealand – “Take all opportunities you can and give everything a go; if you don’t, you will regret it and if you do, you will probably learn something good from it’’. 

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