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.
On Sunday 11 June, 1st Bishops Cleeve Brownies helped out at the local village street fair. St Michaels and All Angels Church invited the Brownies to help with the teddy bears parachute.
1st Bishops Cleeve Brownies were the emergency teddy bear first aid team ready with their stretchers to collect the bears after they parachute from the top of the church! Some had quite a landing on the ground, but others floated perfectly in the wind with a softer landing! A few bears flew away and we had to run after then and a penguin got stuck in a tree!
Well done Brownies for your hard work :D The bears are safe at home with their families now!
One of our rainbows in our district who was looking after Olivia rainbow doll even submitted her in the competition and she parachuted off the church!
This weekend 130 Guides came together at Deer Park, Cowley to take on the 26 challenges that make up the Bubbs Hill Bash!
In the morning the girls pitched their tents and prepared for the challenging afternoon ahead. After lunch and the opening ceremony it was game on and time to earn as many points as they could by completing the various challenges, ranging from Soduku to Pistol shooting, Play Your Cards Right to Spider Mountain!
The challenge stations were set up all across Bubbs Hill and careful planning was needed to be able to get around them all.
At the end of the day everyone relaxed with a hot chocolate before bed while in the office the points were counted.
At the prize giving ceremony on Sunday morning it was revealed that a team from Amberley Guides were the winners! They were also the only team to have completed all 26 of the challenges!
Congratulations to the winning team and well done to all of the Guides who took part in this years Bash!
Our Annual Review of 2016 took place at All Saints' Academy in Cheltenham where we were joined by Leaders & Commissioners from across the County as well as our Region Chief Commissioner, Carole Pennington, and a variety of dignitaries and special guests.
Visitors had the opportunity to view a variety of displays from Divisions, County Events, International trips, etc. as well as browsing some fundraising stalls to support future International Experiences. We then joined together in the main hall to celebrate everything that we have done in Gloucestershire in the last year. We were also delighted to award Sarah Norton from Wotton-under-Edge our County Award, Jeannette McGhee from the Forest of Dean and Ann Jackson from Cheltenham a Thanks badge for all their efforts in getting Go ready to migrate to the new system as well as Long Service awards and a Trainers pin.
We would like to say a particular thank you to Louise and Ella, two of our Senior Section members who went to Finland in 2016 as part of a Region International trip, who gave a presentation about their trip.
Below are the presentations we gave at the event, one is a general Annual Review 2016 and the other focuses on the fantastic Senior Section Spectacular events which our County members took part in, both on a County level and beyond.
We received this lovely letter of thanks from the Mayor of Gloucester
Now here's an idea to help the Leaders in the District to provide something different for your girls with minimal organisation:
Tetbury District teamed up with Minchinhampton Golf Club for a week with all their unit meetings taking place there. One person liaised with the club to make the necessary arrangements and the unit Leaders just had to ensure their girls were appropriately dressed for the occasion and had the relevant consent from parents.
First up were the Rainbows and 1st Tetbury Guides - some superstars emerging. Thoroughly enjoyed despite the best efforts of the weather to dampen things!
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.
Here you will find articles about events, etc. that have taken place in the County from local reports to County ones and beyond. If you have something you would like included on the News page then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org