If you have been rescuing kittens stuck in trees and bringing home baby birds that fell out of their nests (knowing full well that they wouldn't survive, but you had to try anyway) since you were in elementary school, chances are, you would make a fine Guardian. If you were the kid in Junior High who always put themselves in between the school yard bully and the fat kid with thick glasses, knowing that you were going to get punched instead of the fat kid, chances are, you would make a fine Guardian. If you get a nice warm gushy feeling inside when you are able to help someone who is having a trauma, chances are, you would make a fine Guardian.
Guardians are born with the desire to protect and serve their Community and everything in it. Unfortunately, and contrary to popular belief, they are not born knowing HOW to best protect and serve their Community. This can lead to some very interesting stories which will be told around the campfire long after they are old and gray Guardians ....much to their dismay.
What makes a good Guardian is experience and experience is hard to come by ...literally. Experience often hurts. If you're real lucky it only hurts you and not some innocent bystander. Of course formal training in areas like the Martial Arts, Emergency Medicine, Psychology, etc. help build a good Guardian, but it's all pretty useless without experience. Acquiring the skills and tools is relatively easy, what's tricky is learning when to apply which ability.
You may have a Purple Belt in the Ancient and Venerable Art of Mong Joy Duck Fein Shue Kung Fu but if you are not aware of how an even slightly overbearing demeanor on your part can turn a loud music complaint into a fist fight, all your formal training is more of a hindrance than a help. If you have to answer any kind of a complaint about a festival campsite party, and you don't at least get offered a beer before you leave, you are doing something wrong. You need to spend as much time exercising your sense of humor as you do your muscles.
You can learn these and other valuable lessons the easy way or the hard way, but you will learn them if you choose the Guardian path. The hard way is alone, just by doing and screwing up mightily along the way. For some Guardians this was the only option they had and they bear the scars of their mistakes. The easy way is to watch and learn from Guardians who already know what they are doing. Whether or not they learned what they know the easy way or the hard way is irrelevant, they can teach you how to accomplish your goals with a minimum amount of pain and embarrassment.
Most Senior Guardians are more than happy to include Rookies on their teams, as long as that Rookie is being honest and forthright regarding their level of training and experience. Having Rookies on the team is great. Who cares if they don't know squat, they are so limber and full of energy. Rookies get to carry the heavy med kits for a reason. If they trip over a root, they do a perfect break fall and bounce right back up. Half the time they won't even drop the bag. An older Guardian falls down and they just tend to just lay there on their backs like a flipped turtle for a few minutes and say "I'm ok" repeatedly like they are trying to convince themselves of the fact.
As a Guardian approaches middle age all the old injuries they suffered in their youth start to catch up to them. You sit on the ground and when you go to get up bones that were broken 20 years ago verbalize their displeasure with cracks that sound like a 2 x 4 hitting cement. All the twisted joints and body parts that you had replaced with steel decades ago suddenly decide to take up a career in meteorology and predict incoming storms by swelling to the point that you walk like a duck.
The ironic thing is that most of these injuries we pay for later in life occur during training, not in the field. In a real life situation, we are focused and careful. Training with our friends we play and get sloppy. Being extra careful as a Rookie can lesson the damage your body takes to a point, but some injuries just can't be avoided in our chosen path. Sooner or later, every Guardian starts to slow down, and they know it, and for this reason, they are grateful for Rookies. Rookies need the senior Guardian's accumulated wisdom and senior Guardians need the Rookies youth and strength.
G.U.T.S. is endeavoring to connect Rookies with experienced Guardians. We will try to match you up with a Guardian as close to your physical location as possible. Please be aware that you will often have to travel if you want to attend a gathering, which means that you will need to plan your finances and personal obligations accordingly. Working Pagan festivals and events DOES NOT PAY financially. You will occasionally get gas money but even that does not happen often. Some Guardians make their living in a related field like law enforcement, the military, emergency services, etc., but many do not. Always remember that you should be in a secure position yourself before you offer to help others.
This FORM (Click here) is for Rookies who wish to join the G.U.T.S. Network Please fill it out completely and no griping! Consider this part of your Guardian training. Experienced Guardians know you can't have an acronym without a form. Birds have to fly, fish have to swim, and Guardians have to fill out forms. Such is the way of the world.
We ask that all forms be signed and sent to us snail mail so we will have the hold harmless statements on file (and obnoxious, but necessary precaution) If your situation is time sensitive, you may send a copy to us email and it will be accepted with the understanding that a hard copy is on its way to us.