Today saw 40 of our esteemed District and Division Commissioners join the County Commissioners at Deer Park for the annual Commissioner Conference. The bulk of the day was spent in the A Safe Space level 4 training but once this was completed there was some fun planned for them! Three of the onsite activities at Deer Park were opened for them to have a go at ; archery, pistols and our newest activity, the Zip Wire.
The new zip wire is located at the very top of Bubbs Hill, the furthest point from the main buildings where the training had taken place. About 12 of the Commissioners, including the 2 County Commissioners, took the 20 minute trek over to the Bubbs Hill site and up a very large hill. But it was agreed by all that it was worth the effort. You can see for yourself from the photos and video below how much these ladies enjoyed it.
Our official opening takes place on 14th April but this was a good opportunity for the Commissioners to test it out and make sure it was working properly!
The verdict - It's awesome!!!!
Despite the snowy weather, 10 volunteers and 1 Centre Manager headed up to Deer Park today for training to become instructors on our new zip wire. Here's a few photos of those who would let us take photos!
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
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.
160 Guides from across Gloucestershire came together once again for an action-packed camping adventure at the Girlguiding headquarters at Deer Park, Cowley.
The crowds gathered on top of Bubbs Hill to join in the lighting of our very own Queen's Birthday Beacon. Our County Commissioners, Helen & Carole, lit our beacon whilst the Queen and over 900 others lit beacons across the Country to mark this very special birthday for Her majesty. Many Leaders, girls, parents and members of the local community joined us at the top of the hill where a traditional Guiding campfire sing song also took place.
A big thank you to staff from Zurich in Bishops Cleeve who spent the day up at Deer Park today, volunteering their time to give all the benches a new lease of life. Their help is hugely appreciated and the benches look fantastic!
What are you doing this weekend? Is it as fun as holding a Senior Section only camp at Deer Park, Cowley? Maybe not...but if you're aged 14-25 you can work for your Senior Section Camp Permit that enables you to take your group away without adults! How exciting! Hannah and friends spent last weekend sleeping in the bird hide (it sleeps 7!) trying out archery, low ropes, making tie dye neckers and having a great campfire. Adult leaders are involved in the planning and training process and check in on the girls periodically during the camp. What a wonderful way to gain independence in a safe environment. Well done, Hannah!
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!
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."
The wonderful team from Gloucestershire Roads/Amey spent a day at Deer Park today and worked their socks off clearing and painting the stables and putting in a all-seater new campfire circle on Bubbs Hill. That block now looks great and would be super for a group evening meeting, basic sleepover or to support a camp up on the hill. We are also keen to get schools using it as an outdoor classroom for eco-education. If you know of someone in a school we could take round to show them the space and activities, please let us know. We are always happy to host volunteer teams from businesses in the area as there are always more jobs to do. A special thanks to Ann, Sue and Jean for the non-stop tea and cakes which helped keep everyone going strong throughout the day.
These Rainbows from Dursley District had a fantastic day at Deer Park at the weekend, trying some outdoor cooking, having a go at grass sledging and exploring the tunnels! The girls had an amazing time trying out these new activities and particularly enjoyed the gooey fruit & chocolate wraps cooked on the open fire.
This weekend, leaders have been training other leaders in all the skills they will need to take girls away overnight in the outdoors. Providing a safe space to enjoy the delights of pitching tents and outdoor cooking is just one way our volunteers enrich the lives of girls. Well done to all of those who gained modules for their qualifications over the weekend.
Over 160 Guides from across Gloucestershire came together for an action-packed camping adventure at the Girlguiding headquarters at Cowley.
Groups of four worked in teams to earn points on 22 different challenges to be the winner of the first ever Bubbs Hill Bash. Challenges included a tunnel maze, archery, code breaking, blindfold sandwich making, pistol shooting and low ropes walks, as well as more traditional guiding activities such as knotting and map reading.
The girls camped overnight, some for the first time ever, and enjoyed a campfire with singing before heading for their tents on Saturday night. The winners were announced on Sunday morning with 1st Chipping Campden Guides earning second place.
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