Nelson Girl Guide hopefuls are sitting on waiting lists as the organisation faces a shortage of adult volunteers willing to take up the mantle.
Emma Reeves is one person who has. She spends her days as hydrologist at Nelson City Council, but by night she is teaching young girls how to conquer the world.
The Girl Guide unit leader has been helping to inspire the next generation of females for the past eight years, but with a lack of leaders in Nelson she is encouraging others to give it a go, too.
Having been in the Girl Guides since she was five-years-old, Emma wanted to give back to the organisation and now mentors a group of girls aged five to nine-years-old at the Enner Glynn club.
“I enjoy hanging out with kids. You can have a bad a day at work, but that changes when you get to your meeting. You can’t have a bad day when you are hanging out with kids.”
Emma says watching the girls’ confidence grow is one of the highlights for her.
And she says you don’t need to have had experience in Girl Guides before to be a leader.
“One of our leaders had nothing to do with guiding as a girl but wanted to give back to the community. Anyone can do it.
“For me, it involves weekly meetings, preparation for meetings, camps a few times a year and a weekend activity every now and then – but the model is very flexible.”
Emma helps her group work towards badges, which can involve anything from duathlons, outdoor challenges, camping skills, performing on stage and learning about body confidence.
South Island volunteer recruitment co-ordinator Andrea McClean says they are very keen to recruit new leaders in Nelson.
“We’ve got girls sitting on waiting lists who need new volunteers to get them into units. Even one or two people would make a huge difference.
“Sometimes, unless you put it in front of people, they don’t know this kind of thing is an option.”
There are a range of ages and groups, from Pippins, Brownies, Guides and Rangers. Prospective volunteers can decide on what would suit them best and all support and training is provided.
Group meetings run for up to two hours once a week during school terms, and Emma encourages other Nelsonians to join her.
“I know everyone is really busy these days, but you really get so much more out if it than what you put in.”