Cheltenham Girlguiding FESTIVAL-GOERS give it some welly!
A group of Guides from Cheltenham have returned from four days of high-adrenaline activities, expert football training and entertainment from top pop quartet Only the Young. They attended Wellies and Wristbands, a fantastic girl-only festival exclusively for Girlguiding members over the bank holiday weekend (28-31 August).
14 members of 17th Cheltenham (Bethesda) Guides travelled to Foxlease in Hampshire to join more than 2,000 Girlguiding festivalgoers for the action-packed extravaganza.
This year’s festival included a unique opportunity for girls to develop their football
skills with some of England’s top female players – at special FA coaching sessions held over the weekend.
Thrill-seekers had their pick of the adventurous activities on offer at Foxlease.
In the evening they were entertained by former X Factor band Only the Young on the main stage, as well as a host of local bands.
Among the activities the Cheltenham group, chose to try out were such as football goalkeeper skills, whizzing through the trees on a zip wire, being a monkey climbing trees, making a leap of faith on a trapeze and lazing in the hot tub.
Erin, 11 said: “I enjoyed getting stuck in the mud, being with my friends in the hot tubs and having a go at the zip wire.”
Annie, 13 said: “I have really liked the activities and watching the concerts, especially meeting the performers and getting things signed.”
Millie, 11 said: “I really enjoyed pretending to be a monkey by climbing a tree and making karate poses on the top of a pole but the biggest thing was falling over in the mud when I got stuck, there was mud everywhere."
Following the success of Dursley District's 'Time For Tea' challenge the same team have put together 'The Far Away Challenge' which is based on a set of books by Enid Blyton. It is set to send you on magical adventures above the clouds and the possibilities of lands you could visit are endless. It is perfect for a residential or for your regular unit meetings. You can download the challenge pack and badge order form from their website.
Thanks to everyone in the county who supported us with Time For Tea and we look forward to seeing your photos of 'The Far Away Challenge'.
To download the resource and for details of how to order badges please visit the District's website
This weekend older Guides had a CSI themed Baden Powell Award Adventure at Deer Park with Guides from Glos, Wilts, Berks, Oxon & Cardiff. They solved a Murder Mystery, took part in a low ropes challenge and helped out with some wood collecting and splitting - to name just a few of their challenges! Well done, Guides! You're well on your way to earning the highest award a Guide can reach! Keep going!
On Saturday 22nd August a group of 12 members of Girlguiding Gloucestershire departed for a fantastic week in Switzerland.
After a flight from London to Zurich we traversed Switzerland by train, arriving in the pretty town of Interlaken. We spent 3 nights in the Youth Hostel, with beautiful views of the mountains, river and trains, and explored the local area.
The following morning we ventured up the mountain – taking 3 different trains to reach the top of the Jungfraujoch – the highest railway station in Europe, at 3571 metres. We managed to see the view for a few minutes, before the clouds came down, and then the icy hail/snow fell, stinging our faces, with a temperature of -1degrees. Forced inside we explored the sculptures in the Ice cave, and the tunnels through the mountain before returning back down to Interlaken.
That evening we met up with the Interlaken Scout group and had dinner with them in their Scout Hut. They were so welcoming, providing us with a fantastic Raclette dinner followed by games outside, laughter and swopping of gifts. The older adults amongst us were stunned to find that the Swiss Scout Association starts training the scouts as leaders from the age of 12, with leaders only being allowed to volunteer until they turn 25.
The following day was shared between a trip to the Grand Cafe Schuh and a visit to the Trummelbachfalle. The Head Chef/Chocolatier in the Grand Cafe Schuh showed us how the chocolates were made by hand, before we sampled them and spent our money on gifts to take home. We then took a train and a bus to visit the Trummelbach waterfalls. The falls collect the glacial water from the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, where it flows in cave systems inside the mountain, at 20,000 litres per second – a deafening and amazing spectacle.
We finished Monday by taking the cable car up the opposite mountain towards Murren – a first experience for some of the group – but not one everyone enjoyed!
On Tuesday we left Interlaken and took more trains and buses across to Adelboden, to spend the following 4 nights at our World Centre ‘Our Chalet’. On the way we called in to see Mr Trummer the woodcarver, and purchased our trefoil badges and ate lemon cake in the sunshine. We found the outside toilet with the best view across the valley, taking turns to stand on tiptoe in the toilet and take photos through the heart shaped window!
During the next few days we experienced the beautiful surroundings, exhausting hills and Guiding friendship that make Our Chalet the special place it is. We stayed in the Spycher House, with all the girls in the attic, with beds in rows like the 8 Dwarfs! We shared meals and activities with the International staff, groups from America, Canada, and Wales, and had a fantastic time. Our onsite day included a welcome flag ceremony, where we all received our pewter ‘Our Chalet’ pins, campfire cooking, orienteering, recycling awareness and getting to know our surroundings. The International night saw us dressed up in our winter and wet weather gear, reciting a poem about the rainy British weather – much appreciated by the American group!
We visited the Rehari adventure park, where we traversed the river 12 times each, attached to a zip wire, and watched some of the girls jump off a bridge over the river, attached to the pendulum swing – which Mirren decided to do in the most unusual upside down position (heart in mouth time for the leaders!). This was followed by climbing up the rock face, before huffing and puffing back up the very long and steep hill to Our Chalet.
Fritz came up from the village with his Alpine horn to help us celebrate ‘Swiss night’. He played it beautifully and we all joined in singing songs including Amazing Grace and the Bernese Oberland anthem of ‘Vogellisi’ before competing in a quiz about ‘all things Swiss’, and winning the prize of Chocolate Fondue.
Our last day at Our Chalet found us taking the Funicular railway to the top of the Niesen Mountain, at 2336m. We climbed right to the top and ate ice cream whilst admiring the view. We then took the steamer boat across Lake Thun, to visit the beautiful fairytale castle at Oberhofen. The sun was hot, the sky was blue, and more ice cream followed!
That evening we hiked in the twilight to visit the Bonder waterfalls. We were joined by the Canadian Ranger group, and listening to the girls chatting, swapping stories and experiences whilst walking in the dark was fantastic. This was followed by a badge swopping session – and lots more chatting.
Saturday saw us waving goodbye to Our Chalet and walking down the hill to the bus stop, where one bus and 2 trains took us back to the airport to fly home. Just before boarding the bus we were delighted to see the farmers bringing the cows down off the mountains, walking the herd along the main roads, with their cow bells clanging loudly. The girls chatted together like they had known each other for a lifetime, and we were all sad to say goodbye when we reached home.
We would like to thank everyone who helped us with the fundraising / donations for this trip. We had an amazing time and experienced Guiding at its best – and it couldn’t have been better.
Here are some lovely photos from our Senior Section campout at Deer Park, our county HQ and activity centre. The group had a brilliant time trying out our fantastic new tented village, complete with beautiful bunting made by County Commissioner Helen!
Brownie Elizabeth Green has achieved the amazing task of completing all 57 Brownie badges. Ten year old Elizabeth from Highleadon completed her final badge, the Camper Advanced, to complete her set. The badge was awarded by County Commissioner Carole at Deer Park.
Elizabeth says "I did my first badge at Brownies in December 2012 and soon after I decided that I'd like to complete them all because not many Brownies do."My mum helped me with some of the badges by setting things up and taking me to lots of different places."
"I've kept busy most school holidays with one badge or another."
"I've learnt so much by completing all the badges."
"Each one taught me something different and new."
"My favourite badge was Disability Awareness because it was an interesting experience going around town in a wheelchair."
"The hardest was Advanced Swimmer because I've had ear problems and couldn't get water in them, which meant I didn't swim well. I had to persevere with it."
Huge congratulations to Gloucester Gang Show, whose members won a competition to sing on the official England Rugby single with Ella Eyre! They were invited down to Abbey Road Studios last Friday to record their part. The mixed guiding/scouting group included Rainbow leader Sam and Brownie leader Claire - we're very proud of them!
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