The West Shore Local Hero Awards are back! You can find this year’s special feature in the March 16 edition of the Goldstream Gazette or online under e-editions. Stay tuned for more on each of this year’s honourees, you will also be able to read their stories online at goldstreamgazette.com/tag/local-hero-awards.
Trudine Wilson has reaped many rewards from her 56 years as leader of 1st Colwood Guides.
“If I can see the kids learn to be kind, polite and share, if I can instill that, and to respect themselves and others,” she said, it makes her smile.
“It’s gratifying when you feel like you’re getting them ready for the future. I love seeing them learn something new and the smiles on their faces when they accomplish it,” she said. “I had one child for three years who wouldn’t say boo at first. I ran into her mom recently and she said her daughter’s now acting in theatre productions.”
Wilson also cherishes the connections she’s made and the way they are reinforced, even at times and in places you would never expect.
“My hubby Will and I were on holidays in Fort Steele and he mentioned that it would be so nice not to be recognized for a change,” Wilson recalled. “Within two minutes we ran into a former Guide working there for the summer who said ‘Trudine, it’s so nice to see you.’”
Of course, Wilson and her husband made time to go see her and her sister perform in a play that evening.
Wilson was also moved deeply by a letter she received from a former Guide who had to do an essay on someone she looked up to.
“She picked me and wrote a beautiful essay. I really felt honoured,” she said.
“Whether it’s teaching skills like knitting, sewing, recycling, camping or respecting nature and conservation, you’re trying to prepare them for the future. And I learn from them as well.”
She mentioned how the mother of one of her Guides, a former Guide as well, said she never thought she would see Wilson on a Zoom meeting. “Neither did I,” Wilson replied with a laugh.
About 20 of Wilson’s Guides have become leaders … One is a doctor, and another specializes in finding cures for diseases.
“Lots of them have taken part in community initiatives and volunteer efforts as well,” she added. “Just the other day I ran into one who wanted to know if our Guides would be interested in gathering items for homeless people as a community project for school. She started out in Sparks and helps with my Guide company now. I got her in touch with the District Commissioner so they could get more Sparks, Brownies, Pathfinders, and Guides involved in the project.”
Although Wilson has received numerous awards, including a Victoria Elder Recognition Award for her work with the Royal Canadian Legion, there’s one that holds special significance, her lifetime membership award from Girl Guides Canada.
That makes perfect sense considering how much Wilson enjoyed her experiences, beginning as a Brownie in 1962. It inspired a life devoted to ensuring hundreds of girls will look back fondly on their time with Guides, and the leader who helped them flourish along the way.
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