NLDP-ready . . . !

Sisters across the globe were able to follow the progress of the first ever National Leadership Development Programme (NLDP) event in the Western Hemisphere –– Barbados venue –– by following the newsfeed on the Western Hemisphere Link on the WAGGGS website at This week, Guiding Star shares the entries as posted by the participants.        

Sunflower Divas Patrol: We are among 24 Girl Guide Leaders participating in the first ever WAGGGS National Leadership Development Programme (NLDP), during the week of April 5 to 11 in Barbados. As shown in the mural, we all are beginning at the start of the road, and throughout the week will make a metaphorical journey by traversing the road, crossing bridges and navigating through tunnels.

Sunflower Dival patrol
Sunflower Diva patrol

Later in the week we will separate into two different but parallel advisory tracks –– training and governance.  When the two tracks converge, we will be equipped with the tools necessary to strengthen our individual member organizations and the region. To embark on this journey, we have been involved in reflection, team building and enhancement of leadership skills.

We took a historical journey through the garden museum that highlighted the rich legacy of the WAGGGS Leadership Development Programme (WLDP). We ended the first day’s activities by pledging our commitment to continue this journey utilizing the tools we will gain from this inaugural WAGGGS NLDP.   We are ready for the journey!!! We ready . . . . We ready . . . . We ready!

Red Rose Patrol: With eager eyes and open minds, we welcomed the second day. Some of us are still apprehensive, but others are ready to wander into the unknown. With the space created by our NLDP trainers, we are confident [we’ll] gain the knowledge and skills to travel this exciting new journey.

We are inspired to be our best possible selves . . . and create a learning space which acknowledges the skills, values and experiences of learners as the starting point to connect and extend the NLDP vision.

By reflecting on the video clip I Will Be A Hummingbird, we are reminded that in our own unique way we can take this leap of faith to be the change we expect. Equipped with tools such as the SWOT analysis and monitoring and evaluation techniques, our day was indeed busy.

But, of course, in true Caribbean flavour we did some laughing and dancing to culminate an enriching day.

Morning Glory Patrol (aka The 4 Js): Today we parted ways, as we extended ourselves and our journeys took divergent paths. One group delving into the world of governance (leadership and succession planning) and the other submerging themselves in the essence of facilitation.

Morning Glory Patrol
Morning Glory Patrol

With great anticipation, the participants in the governance stream started our journey to develop and implement succession planning strategies in our member organizations. We covered Analysis Of Skills And Competences In Strategic Plans, Recruitment Strategies For Board Membership, Best Practices In Succession Planning and Ways Of Recruitment.

The regional training advisers, soon to be facilitators in their own MOs and throughout the region, focused on practical implementation today. We worked on plans to separate sessions based on the WLDP personal development module, which helped us determine the major differences between teaching, training and facilitating.

We were also encouraged to do deep, reflective introspection, as we learned that understanding not just the audience but also ourselves is extremely important. We are definitely on our way!

We actively participated in a Toastmasters International meeting where they demonstrated their meeting procedures. Monitoring and evaluating speeches and table topics were undertaken by participants, allowing us to apply the skills we had developed.

There was an exchange of Guiding and Toastmasters’ principles that may be adopted by both. We are looking forward to an excellent partnership! The night ended with cultural presentations and tasty treats being shared as we eagerly await what’s coming next.

The Budding Purple Orchids: What will your awesome be? That has been our challenge for the past four days as we continue our journey along the NLDP path. This morning we were exposed to leading change, and one thought that resonated with us was: “I want every little girl who is told she is bossy, to be told instead she has leadership skills.”

Can you imagine that? This was an ah-ah moment for us, as we never considered bossy girls to be leaders, and we don’t think you did either. Now we look at it differently . . . because that’s what NLDP is all about –– changing a mindset, which we have come to realize begins with us, before we pass what we know on to you.

A realistic depiction of the four phases of the Change Curve Model was performed by the NLDP Dramatic Society, allowing us to experience the different feelings first hand. We must say that the methods employed by our facilitators are truly innovative and varied, just always pushing us to think just a little bit more, even when we think we don’t know the answer.

We are indeed charged up, excited, enthusiastic and exhilarated! And imagine there is still more to come . . . . . As leaders, we are all volunteers, and this sparked a discussion about how we can encourage others to make the effort to step up to the plate. This was where FLEXIVOL came in, which stands for Flexibility, Legitimacy, Ease Of Access, Experiences, Incentives, Variety, Organization and Laughs –– truly quite an interesting concept to grasp.

But, all of this information was just preparing us for our final task of the day, and this was a aha moment! We had to begin working on being facilitators, who would lead the change by using the strategies of the NLDP. Wow!!! This was going to be an all-nighter, but we were going to get to our awesome!!!

The end of this part of the journey. Awe-inspiring are the only words we can use to describe the final leg of our journey. We saw the growth of individual participants during the presentation of topics pertaining to this region. The ramble through beautiful Bridgetown allowed us an opportunity to see some of the significant landmarks on the island –– which were amazing.

The trek through town was fun and exciting, as we all wanted to reach the Bay Street Esplanade finish line first.

Standing united on the beach was our closing ceremony, which touched us all emotionally as we reflected on our journey. We were all supportive of Yolanda as she decided that this moment on the beach was the right time to make her promise. We concluded the closing with dinner at Carib Beach Bar, where we enjoyed food and fellowship as one united Caribbean Link.

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