This year's county INTOPS (International Opportunities) group went on an amazing adventure to Slovakia last week! Highlights included a stopover in Krakow (Poland), river rafting, a visit to a monastery, fun with the Slovakian Girl Scouts, exploring the local town, bowling, swimming, a visit to some ice caves, a high ropes course, a 12km hike through a national park, and a visit to a castle!
Read our blog here: http://girlguidingglos-slovakia2017.blogspot.co.uk/
Our County Outdoor Residential Team put together a fantastic weekend for Brownies and their Leaders. The idea behind the camp was to give units who don't have the skills or knowledge to camp to come along for a weekend at Deer Park, to learn new skills and prepare them for camping in the future and for the Brownies to complete their Brownie camper badge.
The camp was a a mix of traditional camp activities and our fabulous on-site activities. The Brownies and Leaders will helped with all aspects of camp life and had a fantastic time!
Thanks to the ORA Team
A number of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides (and their leaders!) from across the county had a brilliant time at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford. They enjoyed loads of great hands-on activities and learned more about different aircraft, engineering and careers in aviation, as well as watching an amazing display by the Red Arrows!
4th Hucclecote Brownies had some VIPs visiting their end of term campfire on 12th July. But they weren't the star of the evening. Regional Commissioner, Carole and County Commissioner, Karen presented Chloe Henderson, a very special Brownie, with her GUIDING STAR AWARD! Not many girls receive this national award, which rewards bravery and determination in challenging situations.
Chloe has Cerebral Palsy which meant she could not stand unsupported and used a frame to help her walk. This did not stop her joining Hucclecote Rainbows when she was 5 and making a huge contribution to the unit. Chloe was always willing to have a go at anything new however difficult it was. Her friendliness welcomed new comers and helped them settle in easily. Her openness about her walker, broke down barriers that often exist when confronted with disabilities.
In 2015 Chloe moved up to Brownies and has continued being an active member of the unit. She has attended Sleep overs, Division Activity days, Remembrance parades and Thinking Day celebrations. Chloe's Leader, Tracy wrote 'Chloe is always willing to share her own experiences to educate others. This was invaluable when we worked through the ‘Free Being Me’ resources. Chloe was able show that we are all special and should respect each other.'
In the Summer of 2016, Chloe underwent several operations that could help her to walk and stand unaided. But writing that statement does not covey the years of struggle and disappointment Chloe and her family went through just to get to there. Chloe had previously gone through a successful, three year process to see if Selective Dorsel Rhizotomy (SDR) would be a benefit; only to be told that NHS funding had been stopped! Even through this disappointment Chloe remained positive and never complained. Her family's support and determination led to a massive fundraising project to allow the operation to go ahead privately. It shows the impact Chloe has on her fellow Brownies and Rainbows, that when we suggested a cake and craft sale in aid of the appeal, they all agreed and wanted to help. The sale was well attended and raised over £400.
The operation was only the start. Chloe has spent the time since then, and will continue to do so going forward, on long physiotherapy and swimming sessions. Chloe has had to learn how to walk and stand and do things for herself that all 8 year olds take for granted.
Chloe is also a budding singer and dancer; becoming the first disabled child in the country to take and pass her pre-primary ballet award, using her walking frame. Chloe has always loved watching the Gang Show performances, with our unit trips and last October took part herself in the County Guiding Show. County Commissioner, Karen wrote in her support for Chloe's Guiding Star application, 'Chloe was one of the stars of our Girlguiding County Show in October. Chloe's contribution and her smile engaged everyone in the audience. I was so proud of her achievement and also proud to be part of an organisation that was giving her opportunities to grow and have fun!'
Chloe was nominated for the Guiding Star Award not just because of all she has gone through in her shorty life, but for the way she lives up to her Guiding Promise every day. Liza, Chloe's Divisional Commissioner wrote, 'Despite all the reasons she has not to try, Chloe still does. She tries every single day. She smiles every single day. She cheers us up every single day. She sees through every day with bravery and determination, never once even considering an excuse.'
Recently Chloe has taken her first steps unaided and only needs two sticks to help her now. Seeing her stride across the main field towards the campfire, unaware that the evening was to honour her, made me smile. When anyone meets Chloe, it is not her disability that they see first, it's her enormous smile and you can not help but smile back. That is why I started the nomination process and am so proud of Chloe for receiving her Guiding Star Award.
250 Rainbows and their Leaders from across the County came together today for a fun filled birthday celebration at our County Camp Site at Deer Park, Cowley, Near Cheltenham. Girls were able to try their hand at Arrows, Tunnels and Grass Sledging as well as take part in other activities such as parachute games, cupcake crafts and toasting marshmallows.
🌈 HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAINBOWS 🌈
Member young and old came to visit Deer Park for a Barn Dance in a marquee on the main field tonight! They danced the night away and there was an awful lot of giggling as we tried to do what the caller was suggesting, but it didn't always go quite to plan!
Thank you to everyone who came and supported the event.
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