Smithton Girl Guide Francesca Backhouse is just the fourth guide based in Circular Head ever to be awarded the Queen’s Guide Award.
The Queen’s Guide is a prestigious guiding honour only distilled upon the most committed and engaged Guide’s across the world.
To be eligible, Guides must complete a number of specific criteria, as well as the Gold Endeavour.
“Basically the Queen’s Guide Award is a series of challenges to encourage you to grow as a person and expand your experiences,” Francesca said.
“It’s quite tailored, so your personal challenges [are] what’s really important, what’s a challenge for you is perhaps not a challenge to somebody else,” she said.
As part of the Award Francesca explored environmental activism, educating herself and others about the action she can take to save the environment.
“I set myself a series of three challenges over three different months for nine in total,” she said.
“I researched environmental activism in all its methods including different environmental groups, in recycling, in what you can do personally and what you can do that potentially effects everyone on a global scale hopefully!” she said.
“Trying to educate myself and other people was the goal, recognising i guess that what you do as an individual, if we all did that, could influence what happens globally.”
The second focus is the Arts focus, which was fortunate for Francesca, who is a talented pianist.
“I was studying music at Hellyer College last year and I was able to work it in,” he said.
She completed two exams, one through Hellyer and one through the Australian Music Examinations Board.
Francesca says that Guides are free to work towards the Queen’s Guide Award from age 14 but that she herself was too scared, not beginning the process before turning 17.
“It takes most girls a minimum of 12 months but usually about 18 months or three years,” she said.
“I crammed it in somehow to 7 months because I was silly,” she laughed.
No Guide has received the award in Circular Head since Kate Wainwright in 2005.
Francesca has been involved with the Guides since she was 10, and is now 18 years of age.
The award was presented by State Commissioner Linda Durran, who made the trip from Hobart especially.
To join the Guides or find out more information, contact Sandra on 0427 521 752.
Francesca Backhouse receives the prestigious Queen’s Guide Award from State Commissioner Linda Durran.