It was a glorious sunny day in May when a group of members of the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire came to visit us at Deer Park. The aim was to showcase what Girlguiding Gloucestershire is all about and we asked some of our Leaders and girls of all ages from around the County to come and talk to our visitors about their Guiding experiences.
It was a truly fantastic afternoon and we were very proud of those who came to be the faces and voices of the County. Thank you to everyone who was involved.
The aim of the afternoon was for them to see what we get up to and to then allow them to see how they might be able to help us in the future in recruiting volunteers so we'll keep you updated on the relationship as it grows.
A big 'Well Done' to Bishops Cleeve District Rangers (Senior Section)!
A fantastic celebration took place on Friday for all the hard work they have been doing to achieve awards and badges - from the Chief Guide award and Baden Powell Challenge to Look wider Octants and camping badges!
Carole Pennington, our South West Region Chief Commissioner, was invited to the event and handed out the Chief Guide Award to the Rangers who had completed it. She also surprised us all and the Rangers received a special Region commissioner badge too!
Thank you for spending the evening with us.
Three new members of our Ranger Guide unit (Senior Section) were welcomed and they made there promise at the event.
We hope that more girls aged 14+ will join the unit - plan your own programs, go on camps, international opportunities, work towards awards such as Chief Guide, Queens Guide and Duke of Edinburgh Awards and just have a space to socialize and chill out from school work or exams. If you are interested please let us know!
During the recent Wartime in the Cotswolds event, Winchcombe Guides and Brownies had a visit from King George VI and Winston Churchill at their Vintage Tearooms in Winchcombe Guide Hall.
The hall looked amazing, with bunting everywhere and a brilliant exhibition of Guiding in the 1940s put together by two of our members Jane and Pat.
Guides, Brownies and leaders dressed up in old uniforms from the county's archive. Along with members of Winchcombe's Friends of Guiding, they served tea, coffee and cakes all day, raising £400 for Friends of Guiding funds.
The Baden-Powell Award is the highest award a girl can earn at Guides and is a huge achievement. Towards the end of the award, Guides attend a "Baden-Powell Adventure" with other local girls who have also been working on the award.
Leaders Debbie, Sue and Charlotte took our latest batch of award candidates on a Baden-Powell Adventure to Bourton-on-the-Water last, where the Guides took part in a treasure hunt, ghost tour, ate chips, got lost in the maze, visited Birdland and finished off with a lovely afternoon tea!
36th Cheltenham (St Nicholas) Brownies became the Flying Squad for Cheltenham Town Football Club this afternoon. The girls were dressed in their smartest uniform and sporting some fabulous England flags made by Barn Owl, known as Karen Walker in the real world!
The girls were extremely enthusiastic and made lots of noise to support their local team. They chanted so loudly others behind the goal could hear them and they even managed to get a round of Thunderation singing around the stadium, a traditional Guiding song. It obviously worked as Cheltenham won 1-0 ensure they stay up in the league!!
Barn Owl also managed to get a fabulous write up in the match's programme helping to promote Guiding to the other supporters.
Thank you Barn Owl, for giving your Brownies this amazing opportunity and for helping to spread the word about Guiding in the wider community.
Hundreds of members of Girlguiding Gloucestershire enjoyed trips to LEGOLAND Windsor over the last couple of weekends, as part of a special Girlguiding SWE region event! Some Brownies were even lucky enough to sleep over before their day out in the adventure park. A fantastic time was had by all - here's a selection of photos showing just some of the exciting things we got up to!
District and Division Commissioners from across the county come together at the Girlguiding Gloucestershire Commissioner Conference to share ideas and learn new skills to help them in their roles. Several new commissioners were also presented with their badges by the County Commissioners - congratulations!
County Commissioner, Anne, says "It was fantastic to see so many of our Commissioners coming together. Lots of fun was had as well when they joined in with my Hippopotomus game! Thank you to each and every one of our Commissioners across the County for the vital role they play in helping us to Be Our Best."
To celebrate National Science Week 2017 we teamed up with Cheltenham Science Group who organised a wonderful science fair for Brownies in the County. 5 Units were were visited by CSG for 2 weeks this term where each Six learned about and demonstrated science experiments. It began with an evening of fun hands-on science activities. The girls experimented with harmonicas, investigated chromatography and modelled lungs. Then they had to come up with their own science demonstration. Following heats within their own pack, five teams qualified for the grand final that was held in Coronation Square during British Science Week. The girls explained their experiment to a judging panel including Prof. Adam Hart from the University of Gloucestershire, Countess Bathurst, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, Steve Mitchell from Business in the Community and Alex Chalk MP.
Before the event, Diane Paton from Ashchurch brownies said, “We are very excited about this and the girls have been working hard on their experiments.” The girls explained how pond skaters move across the water by using a paper clip to demonstrate surface tension. The judges thought it was an original idea and were impressed that the whole team were involved in the presentation. Lady Bathurst announced that this was the overall winner as it was the experiment that had taught her some new science.
Dr Lucy Clarke from Emmanuel brownies in Cheltenham says, “The girls have absolutely loved doing the science experiments.” Their entry to the final was an exploding rainbow. Birdlip brownies showed us how to clean copper coins and Bourton brownies created and painted a fantastic volcano so they could show off how vinegar and bicarbonate of soda react.
The competition was funded by a £1000 grant from the British Science Association as part of British Science Week. The second phase of the project will see each of the 5 packs visit the science centre in Coronation Square once it has been populated with exhibits. The Cheltenham Science Group team will also run a training session open to all Girlguiding Leaders to embed STEM activities into the Brownie programme.
"Bernadette and I have had the privilege of volunteering with 2nd Coleford Brownies for 5 years now! Last night we were both award with our 5 year award at our Division AGM & tonight we celebrated with Zumba!
I can't tell you all enough what a privilege it is to work with Magic Owl on a weekly basis & to have Girl Guiding as a family! It's so important that we continue to encourage and empower the girls we work with, no matter their age.
We all do such a fantastic job and I just want to say a big THANK YOU to you all for giving up you time (which is much more than just an hour a week), your money and, most importantly your energy. From someone who has been a part of Guiding since she was 5, the girls you work with are, and will be, grateful - I brownie promise!
PS. The girls loved our outfits!"
Charlotte Butcher, 2nd Coleford Brownies, Forest South Division
Last night, Rhiannon from 16th Cheltenham Guides had a special surprise visit from South West England Region Chief Commissioner, Carole.
Rhiannon was presented with the Chief Commissioner's Certificate of Commendation for her bravery and courage when the Bournside School coach she was travelling on was involved in an accident last summer, while in France on a school trip.
Rhiannon stayed calm and took action to made sure that the other pupils were safely off of the coach, including using her sleeping bag to protect them from broken glass and making sure they all had shoes on.
Huge congratulations to Rhiannon on such an incredible show of bravery and guiding spirit in such a challenging situation.
Our members have been busy celebrating World Thinking Day with all sorts of fun activities! World Thinking Day is a special day in the Girlguiding calendar, when we think about our 10 million sisters in guiding all across the world. Groups typically celebrate with activities to learn about other countries or the history of guiding, and often meet up with other local groups to help remind us that we're part of a huge global movement!
1st Yorkley Brownies were really proud to receive this letter from the Chief Guide this week. They have been nominated by our region for an award for our social action with Forest Pulse.
Lots of our members took part in remembrance parades all across the county. Many groups have also been undertaking their own acts of remembrance in their weekly meetings. Below are a selection of photos from some of today's parades.
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
The County Team are pleased to introduce our new President Sally Pullen.
Sally has her roots firmly planted in Gloucestershire. She is married to a farmer and they have a son, a daughter and six grandchildren.
She was a Non-Executive Director and Mental Health Manager with the former East Glos NHS Trust.
Her voluntary experience, has also been county based, including being a magistrate. She has worked with several local charities: Sue Ryder Hospice, Leckahmpton Court, Riding for the Disabled, WRVS, NSPCC and Friends of Gloucester Three Choirs Festival. She has been a Trustee with DART (Disabled Afloat Riverboat Trust) and LINC Leukaemia and Intensive Chemotherapy Fund). Currently she is a Trustee, Governor and Home Visitor with Barnwood Trust. In her spare time she enjoys the countryside, music, history of art and gardening.
cThis year, for the first time, Girlguiding Dursley District took on the task of organising the town's Bonfire night firework display. The town had been in danger of loosing it's annual fireworks display, which had previously been run by the local Round Table, unless someone else took it up and Girlguiding Dursley District rose to the challenge!
The event was held on 5 November and was attended by over 2500 local people and raised an amazing £8000+ for local charities and Williams Syndrome Foundation.
Local Leaders, parents, friends and family made up the teams who ran the stalls and the gates. Young members and their parents also baked lots of delicious cakes to sell to the crowds. Entertainment before and in between the fireworks was also provided by the local Rednock Swing Band.
Leaders who were involved have had some wonderful feedback from local people who attended the evening, with some saying that it was the best Fireworks display that they have been to in Dursley for many years.
Dursley District Co-Commissioner, Clare Fletcher said, "It was lovely to be able to bring this event back to the town and show everyone what Girlguiding can do. We had so much support from our members, their parents, local companies and the public, and thanks to them we raised so much more for our charities than we could have hoped for!"
Use Your Voice 2016, a 2-day democracy festival brought together 155 members of The Senior Section from all Regions and beyond, plus 70 volunteers. There were more than 50 sessions – workshops, talks, visits - across 8 venues together with 3 sleepovers and 1 once-in-a-lifetime event at City Hall.
The organisers said “We arrived with trepidation, ready to embrace the unknown; unsure of exactly what to expect, we took risks; we discovered, we grew. We left informed, equipped and inspired to use our voices, in the most vibrant, dynamic and innovative of ways.”
Two Girlguiding Gloucestershire members, Liza and Beth, from Coopers Hill, attended and shared their updates throughout the weekend:
"Having a great time at Use Your Voice 2016!! So far, we've done two fab workshops on body language expression, and making your voice heard through improv."
Girlguiding Gloucestershire members were invited to participate in the Spectacular Masquerade Ball organised by Wiltshire North and held in Royal Wootton Bassett. Over 20 Girlguiding Gloucestershire members attended and enjoyed a buffet meal, disco, sideshow games and displays from the archives, finishing off with a rendition of Happy Birthday. Some members then stayed overnight in a local Guide hut. It was a lovely to see all of the posh frocks and masks, and a really well organised event. Thanks are due to Wiltshire North for inviting us, and to the organising committee of Pam, Rebecca, Sam and Marybeth.
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