Was out last night at the AGM of the local Girl Guide Unit. Both my kids are Guides and as I carry them up and back my visibility is higher than most of the fathers so I tend to be on call to do small stuff for them. I don’t do any of the carpentry, plumbing or electrical work, I leave that for qualified tradesmen, It’s a long time since I worked on the ‘maintenance gang’ for Cowlin’s in Cardiff so my skills have atrophied dreadfully.
Nevertheless when I can, I do anything and everything else from standing around at barbecues chopping onions and grilling snags to mowing the grass around the hut. For the past couple of years I’ve also been ‘Vice-President’ of the Parents Support Group. This requires turning up once a month to a meeting at the hut , drinking tea, eating biscuits and trying to work out how best to raise funds to maintain the hall. It’s a nice social evening… and I’ve not been for almost the entire year!
Last night was the AGM and the level of parental involvement was so high… that I was the only Committee member still available so had to give a report on the years activities! Ok I’d been involved in *doing* a lot of the things I needed to talk about but couldn’t even recall half of them. Nevertheless, and despite severe misgivings I agreed to do my bit… which is usually what happens.
To my eternal gratitude, the District Leader had prepared an agenda, organised guests and managed to find volunteers to man the barbecue. She’d originally suggested I run *that* as well as run the meeting… but decided it was a bit much to ask me to be in two places at once. 🙂
As it happened all went well. The speech, such as it was, seemed to go down ok, the new officers were elected… myself as Vice President despite again not having been consulted 🙂 and the new President took the chair and took over the meeting. With relief I went off to join the wife sitting at the back of the crowd.
And crowd there was!! We had well over a hundred parents there along with the girls themselves. We did our usual ‘selling’ part for the Support group to try and get more parents involved in the fundraising. How much success we had we’ll not know until the next Support Meeting. To be fair to the others I *know* how hard it is to get involved. We all have families, all have other things that seem more important, and would anyway rather be doing than sitting around in a Guide Hut with a bunch of strangers. Still, these are ‘our’ kids and I do what I can.
There was one little hiccough. We share ‘grounds’ with a bush fire station and have had endless ‘battles’ with them over parking. Quite reasonably they want the exit points from the grounds kept clear. They *need* to be able to respond immediately to calls for help and if their doors are blocked they can’t get the engines out. Usually this isn’t much of a problem, especially if one of us (i.e. me) monitors where people park and make sure their access is kept clear. People come, drop their kids off (or pick up) and leave.
Last night of course people *didn’t* leave so the car park was soon filled to overflowing. One of the leaders managed to control parking such that there was ‘space’ near the doors, but latecomers weren’t perhaps so aware of the potential problem and just parked where there was space. And of course the inevitable happened… the alarms went off and the fire trucks had to leave. This caused chaos as the kids had to be corralled out of harms way whilst cars were shunted around in an effort to clear space between the road and the fire station doors. It was done… took a few seconds more than it should have… but all seemed well in the end.
That over, people went back to the ‘festivities’ and attacked the buffet with renewed vigour until all but a few sausages, a couple of hot cross buns and some Lamingtons were left. We did a bit of self congratulating and slowly people drifted away leaving us ‘regulars’ to do the cleaning up. Unfortunately I forgot to pick up a key to the hut, and the barbecue needs cleaning… something else to remember.
All in all it was a good night and I’m pleased I went and ‘did my bit’. Actually some of us ‘dads’ were recognised for our support when we were awarded ‘support pins’ and give a certificate of thanks. I think I’ll frame mine and hang it on the wall. 🙂