This weekend I had the opportunity to go away camping with the Guides. Around 20 adults and over 100 young people from across the country attended and I ran several sessions on Girl Scouts USA with the girls. I talked about the common values and experiences, GS cookies and summer camp, and taught them songs and games. I was thrilled to be asked and for the opportunity to take part. It felt just like Girl Scouts, which isn’t really a surprise because it was Guides but I have missed that. I had the best time doing youth work in that environment because it really is my native setting and it was great to be goofy with the other leaders. It was a wonderful weekend.

During one of the sessions I ran, a girl mentioned having been a Girl Scout in California when she lived in the US when she was younger and another leader told us about selling New Zealand Guide cookies! At the campfire that night, I taught an action song and it felt wonderful to hear so many people singing around the campfire. As we transitioned to slower songs, I was asked if I wanted to teach another song. I headed up to the fire and thought about what I might teach and knew that it had to be Magic.  

Magic is the name of a song I learned at Camp Tohi when I was in 4th grade. I can’t remember what counsellor taught it to us that year, but I came home with a new favourite song. Over the years, it has become a core song we sang all the time when I was a camper and then through my years as a staff member. It is always the first slow song I teach groups if they don’t know it so I knew that this was the song I needed to share with the Guides this weekend.  

I taught the chorus to the whole group and had just begun to sing the first verse when I heard a voice near me singing it. I looked and saw the camper that had told me she lived in CA and I said ‘you know this song? Come sing it!’ She declined and in that second I remembered her mentioning California and asked ‘Did you go to Skylark?’ She said yes. I said ‘after 2001?’ She said yes. I said as I realised ‘I taught them that song!’ 

Everyone heard this and one of the leaders said ‘now you really need to get up to sing’ to the camper. She did and we stood there by the fire singing the verses, surrounded by Girl Guides singing the chorus strongly with us. I had a moment when I teared up because I realised that the song I took from my childhood camp and shared with others because I loved it came back to me in Scotland. It was powerful because even though my camp was sold this summer, the magic I learned and lived there and do my best to share with other Girl Scouts and Guides is living and being passed down to young people still. I had the proof singing next to me.   



  1. I am so Happy that you got to experience the Magic of Camp there.
    Most of all I am Happy that you received such profound acknowledgement.
    You planted seeds far from home, on the West Coast in 2001, then 14 years laters,
    in Scotland, even further from home, you had the blessing to witness the Fruits of your MAGIC.
    I am weeping.

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