Trudine Wilson is proof positive that guiding is for life.
The Colwood resident is still a leader in the same Colwood hall, for the same organization, wearing the same level of commitment and pride on her chest despite more than 50 years of service to the Girl Guides. Her dedication to the principles and youth she serves hasn’t changed since she entered the program as a Brownie in 1962.
“It is just a great atmosphere to become you, to find out what you are all about and how the world of women can all work together,” she said. “Guiding and Brownies made me realize we are all (equals)… It’s great for girls to be girls and learn what women’s rights are in the world and how much a woman can do.”
Despite more than five decades of service that led to her receiving an honourary lifetime membership in 2007, the retired secretary still works tirelessly planning and organizing events and leading by example for generations of new guides. She said often the smiles on children’s faces are the best reward for the commitment and energy she is so happy to give.
“I really like it, I enjoy planning things for an event for the girls and seeing their smiling faces in the end. It is those smiles that make you realize you are doing a job where you are always being thanked (with happiness).”
She said giving back to the community that has given her so much and the passing on of knowledge and empowerment to the young children who come through the ranks has kept her motivated throughout the many years.
“Being a leader means I have had such a great life with so many people and it keeps me young,” she said. “It is the sharing of what I know for the girls, and the girls giving back to girls… Sitting down with a lady that has been guided for 65 years and hearing her stories makes me realize it has brought so many people joy.”
She hopes young Girl Guides continue to come and participate in the camaraderie she values so much and said she still holds so dear.
“No matter how old you are, you are still a Girl Guide. Whether we are here with the young girls sitting down making pies or out with the senior Guides camping we are all the same,” she said. “It is the sisterhood that is there and the sisterhood never leaves…. Once a Guider, always a Guider.”