Girls from the Newent District Girlguiding have returned home from an exhilarating weekend trip to TRAC in Malswick. They took part in a host of exciting adventures during their trip including aiming to complete 100 of many tasks such as learning 100 words in other languages, completing 100 burpees and 100 star jumps. The weekend also included pedalos, zip wire, go karts, yoga, zumba, crafts and the more traditional guiding events such as campfire and a wide game. Nearly 100 members of Newent District Guiding joined together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Senior Section last weekend. From the youngest section of Guiding, Rainbows (aged 5-7), through Brownies and Guides to Senior Section (ages 15-26) and their leaders (ages 26 to 71). When asked what her favourite part had been, Celete, a Rainbow from Newent, aged 6, replied that the best thing was meeting all the different people. The group’s leader, Sian Green, said: “The trip to TRAC was a great chance for the girls to get away and make new friends, and enjoy each other’s company in a safe, girl-only space. “All the girls told me how much they enjoyed themselves.” The group of 5 who learnt the most languages could say 129 words! 14 different languages were learnt by another group. "In total 2557 star jumps, 247 push ups, 121 ski jumps, 181 tricep dips, 254 burpees, 751 superman stretches, 207 shuttle runs and 524 forward rolls were completed, so they certainly succeeded in the aim to complete the centenary!" said District Commissioner, Sian Green.
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 very noisy coach load of Guides and their Leaders from Dursley District headed to London to watch the musical Wicked. They had a quick walk to see Buckingham Palace and Trafalger Square, before heading to the Victoria Apollo Theatre for a magical show.
Five Brownies and their parents (including one of our Leaders!) from 36th Cheltenham (St Nicholas) Brownies went to the South West England Region Roadshow today. It took place at the Bristol Athletics Academy and the girls had great fun with lots of sporty activities.
The Adult Support Team, County Commissioners and our hosts in Mid Division welcomed over 70 Leaders to Sir William Romney's School in Tetbury for a day full of fun and friendship. Oh, and little bit of training along the way!
Meet Suki (left) and Sian (right). They, along with more than 20 Senior Section members from across the County, have headed off on the Celtic Cities Challenge. Watch the blog post unfold over the next few days as some head to Edinburgh, the others head to Cardiff and they all meet up once again at our County Headquarters, Deer Park, near Cheltenham for the final part of their adventure.
Day one #TeamSuki: The great train ride
Team Suki are heading to Edinburgh by train. They met up at Cheltenham Station and boarded for the long four and a half hour journey ahead. They have puzzle packs to keep them entertained plus a camera and a mascot, what else would you need?! Friendship bracelet making proves a great distraction from the long journey and Suki gets up to all sorts of shenanigans!
They arrive safely at Edinburgh station, posing long enough for a photo before heading for the youth yostel that is to be home for the next couple of nights. Suki hunts down fish and chips for everyone for tea before leading the way to The Edinburgh Ceilidh Club. There the girls soak up the atmosphere and dance the night away to some fantastic music.
Day two #TeamSuki: Edinburgh
Team Suki are up and leaving the Youth Hostel. They off to explore Edinburgh - the challenge has begun! They spend the day completing the various challenges, including squeezing into a phone box, hugging a tree and seeking out a Van Gogh. Sightseeing is also on the agenda and the team manage to spot Edinburgh Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle and Edniburgh's Jenners department store. They also manage to follow in Her Majesty The Queen's footsteps and jump on board the Royal Yacht Britannia. Belinda Bear, who had also come along for the ride, popped into the Girlguiding Scotland Scottish Headquarter's and Shop and bought the girls all a souvenir of their adventures - a badge of course! Dinner tonight consisted of the trandition haggis with neeps
Day three #TeamSuki: Heading to Cowley
This morning the team have a bit of a lie in but are still up, beds stripped, breakfasted and out to see a little bit more of this amazing city before boarding the train for the long ride back to Cheltenham. Suki is looking forward to meeting Sian.
Day one #TeamSian: A drive to the seaside
Team Sian are heading to Cardiff by car. Someone accidentally packs Sian in the boot, she is not amused!! However they have made it to the great Barry Island near Cardiff and are sunning themselves on the beach! They enjoy a bit of crazy golf and building sand art before have a fish and chip supper on the beach in the sun.
Back at Caeglas, the group enjoy a quiz night with the Soup Dragons claiming victory. Before long though, they have their first casualty of the adventure. Sian lost her welly, leg and all!
Day two #TeamSian: Cardiff
Team Sian are up and ready for the day! Today they head into Cardiff itself. They are catching the bus and keep the locals amused whilst keeping themselves warm at the bus stop by making the word Cardiff using only their bodies. Once in Cardiff, they start n the challenge. They visit Techniquest, the local science museum, where some of the tasks prove a litte complex, but much fun was had with the light box and the thermal imaging camera. They also took a ride on a boat around the harbour which everyone enjoyed.
Day three #TeamSian: Sightseeing before heading to Cowley
Team Sian have had a more leisurely start this morning, cleaning up the holiday home before they can set out for the day's fun. A quick selfie in the car before the head to St Fagan's National History Museum, a wonderful museum feature the history of Welsh life through the ages. Before leaving Cardiff behind the team take a tour of the Principality Stadium, the iconic venue for sports, concerts, exhibitions and conferences. They then start the journey back to Gloucestershire, eager to find out what Team Suki have been up to.
Day three #TeamSuki & #TeamSian reunited at Deer Park
Team Suki have returned on the train and team Sian via car and everyone taking part in the Celtic Capitals Challenge have been reunited at our County Headquarters at Deer Park, near Cheltenham. They finish the evening with a good old fashioned campfire around the wood burning stove. Thanks to Christine for leading the singing.
Day four #TeamSuki & #TeamSian A final fling!
It's the last day of our adventures together but there's still time to queeze in a little more fun! We make memory frames to remind us of our time together and get messy with finger painting to create a Senior Section Spectacular logo. But soon the times comes for us to disperse back to the corners of the County from whence we came. Thank you to the organising team for helping us create these amazing memories.
We will continue to update this post sharing the goings on of the Senior Section throughout their trip.
The Gang Show started the week of with a bang last night at the Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham! Scouts and Guides from Gloucester District are currently putting on their annual variety performance of Gloucester Gang Show. This year's show consists of celebrations of 100 years of cubs and senior section, pirates searching for buried treasure and the cast go on a summer holiday.
The show runs every night this week; starting at 7:15pm and there is a matinee on Saturday which starts at 2.15pm.
"Brilliant first night at Gloucester Gang show tonight, well done everyone" says Gail
"Everyone performed marvellously. There are so many fantastic voices in Girlguiding and Scouting" according to Val!
Gloucestershire County Commissioner recognised for her role empowering hundreds of girls and young women.
A Cheltenham Girlguiding volunteer has been honoured for her work supporting girls and young women over 34 years with the prestigious Girlguiding Laurel Award
Helen Welsh was presented with a specially-designed solid silver brooch in honour of her inspirational efforts by SW England Region Chief Commissioner Solange Rebours at a ceremony last weekend. Helen first became involved in guiding when she joined as a Brownie in Hampshire aged 7, became a Gloucestershire Girlguiding adult volunteer after moving to Cheltenham in 1981 and has volunteered ever since – providing amazing opportunities for girls and young women
Helen’s highlights during her time with Girlguiding include taking a group to a camp in South Korea, celebrating its Centenary with her Ranger Guides at the top of the Empire State Building, waving off a member of her unit who took part in a Tall Ships Race, and seeing many hundreds of girls grow in confidence and self-esteem as they completed things they didn’t know they could be capable of. More recently Helen has been leading a pioneering Holiday Brownies project giving girls waiting to join Brownies the chance to experience all that Brownies has to offer. Run by local students, many of whom are former members of Helen’s units, this new and flexible approach to Guiding is now spreading nationally. Helen’s current unit is also breaking new ground as it is a joint unit made up of local teens and students from the Star College. When Helen is not busy with her Gloucestershire Guiding, she also works on the world guiding stage training leaders, and helping them find ways to grow the organisations in their own countries.
Helen, said: "I’m extremely proud to receive this award. Volunteering for Girlguiding is such a rewarding experience and it’s been wonderful to work with so many young women and girls over the years and see the difference guiding makes to their lives. Guiding opens up so many fantastic opportunities for girls to grow in confidence and become a powerful force for good in their communities. I would like to dedicate this award to all of the girls and leaders in the UK, USA and wider world I have had the pleasure of knowing over the last 34 years."
Emily Green, 22, who attended Helen’s Senior Section Unit, was one of the first leaders of Holiday Brownies and is now volunteering with a charity in India during a gap year said: “being a member of Cheltenham Rangers opened up a lot of opportunities for me thanks to Helen. She inspired me to travel to places I had only dreamt of visiting, take organisational roles in events I never thought I could be a part of, and encouraged me to make an active impact in my community, both within Guiding and in other ways”
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, said: “We are very proud of Helen’s contribution which has had a tremendous impact on the girls, volunteers and wider community that benefits from Girlguiding in S W England. Without dedication such as hers, we would not be able to offer the challenges, fun and friendship which are an integral part of belonging to Girlguiding.
In Gloucestershire there are currently over 450 girls who want to take part, and Girlguiding Gloucestershire needs lots more volunteers to give time to support their local groups.
By giving just one or two hours a week, volunteers can help local girls and young women enjoy a wide range of exciting activities, as well as acquire new skills and experiences – and have fun at the same time.
The charity welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. For more information about volunteering with Girlguiding, visit www.girlguiding.org.uk
Girlguiding gives girls and young women their own space to have fun, grow in confidence and discover their full potential. For more information, call 0800 1 69 59 01 or visit www.girlguiding.org.uk.
Photos from events around the county, celebrating World Thinking Day 2016 and helping connect all 10 million guiding members worldwide!
Girls from the Senior Section in the County headed to Alexandra Palace in London for Spark, the spectacular national event to mark the 100th anniversary of the Senior Section. Here are a few photos of what they got up to.
A Brownie's perspective
I woke up at 4.06 in the morning as I was really excited. We had to be ready by 4.45am to go and collect Mia at 5am. We arrived at the station at 5.15am to get on the 5.30 train. As we set off we did an eye spy on the train booklet (by the end of the day we found most of them) Then we played a game and train surfed (making other people smile). As we walked we nearly fell over, Mia was being really funny.
We changed trains at Swindon to catch one to Paddington, London. I was going to sleep. Then me, Mia and my Dad had to go to first class to buy food. We had a croissant. We both listened to some music trying to get some sleep but we were too excited!
This was my first time to London and I had my first ride on the underground, we went from Paddington station to Victoria station. I stood up for most of it.
We had breakfast in a café near to Girlguiding headquarters, it was yummy!
After visiting Girlguiding headquarters we went for a little sightseeing. First we went to Buckingham Palace. We saw guards doing a funny march. The flag was up so the queen was there but we couldn’t see her looking out of her window. We went to watch the horse guards, they kept very still while everyone was trying to get a photo. When they got off the horse we saw them do a funny walk!
Next we went to Downing Street, we were talking to the police officers, they wanted to know who we were and if we would get a badge if we had a photo taken with them! We couldn’t go down the road as there were lots of ministers arriving. We also spotted Big Ben, the London Eye and a statue called Monty.
We made our way to Westminster Abbey, we were a bit early so we went into the shop, the lady in the shop was asking what we were doing in London and when we said we were there for the Thinking Day service she gave us both a chocolate coin. She said she remembered being a Brownie and Guide and carrying the flag.
We went and met up with two Rainbows, two Guides, two members of the Senior Section and their leaders. We also met Solange who is the South West Region Chief commissioner and Anna from Headquarters. Mia and I gave out Thinking Day cards to everyone that we had made. We had a tour of Westminster Abbey, the man showed us all the special things to look at. He told us who was buried there and we looked at lots of memorials.
We then went to the Evensong service and sat where the choir sings, it felt very special to be there. After we had a service with the scouts to remember Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Mia and I were chosen to lay the wreath with Angela who is the deputy Chief Guide. at first they didn’t have the flowers so we just had to bow our heads, then we placed the flowers on Lady Baden-Powell’s memorial.
Solange treated us all to a Black Cab ride to Zizzi’s, it was fun. Mia and I sat on the fold down seats and went backwards! When we were at Zizzi’s we met Gill the Chief guide. Solange and Gill gave us all a special badge. For tea I had a pizza it was really big but really delicious too, for pudding I had ice cream with popping candy!
We shared a cab with the Senior Section back to Paddington, they were really funny as they were counting down the time to their train and as soon as the door opened they ran as fast as they could to see if they could catch it – I wonder if they did?
It was a brilliant day, I really enjoyed it.
36th Cheltenham (St Nicolas) Brownies
A Leader's perspective
After receiving an email from the County Commissioners saying Gloucestershire had been asked to select one Brownie Leader and for her to choose two Brownies to go to Westminster Abbey for the Thinking Day service, you can imagine my shock, delight & excitement to find out it was me!!
We were told we would meet up with Solange (Chief Commissioner of South West Region) and there would be 2 Rainbows, 2 Brownies, 2 Guides and 2 senior section with their leaders.
On Saturday 20th February, my two Brownies (Samantha and Mia) and I caught the 5.30am train to London! On arrival to Paddington station we made our way to the underground. While travelling on the tube the girls tried a bit of “train surfing!!”
Breakfast time! Having found a little café near to HQ we stopped off for Breakfast, the girls tucked in while I panicked that the cooked breakfast would end up down their smart uniforms! The café owner was very impressed with the girls and gave us a discount for being in uniform!
Off we went for a quick visit to HQ, the girls had a look round the shop and bought a couple of treats with their pocket money before setting off for a bit of sightseeing. Some of the sights included Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Downing Street, Horse Guards, Houses of Parliament, London Eye and of course Westminster Abbey.
At one o’clock we started to meet up outside Westminster Abbey, Solange was there to meet us. Mia and Samantha handed out Thinking Day cards that they had made for everyone. We were then taken for a tour around Westminster Abbey, finding out lots and lots of interesting facts.
For the Evensong Service we were sat in the Quire stalls, not far from the male choir. It sounded beautiful.
We waited for the public to leave before being taken to the part of the Abbey where the memorials for Lord and Lady Baden-Powell are. We were joined by Angela Milln (Deputy Chief Guide) and the scouts for a short service and then Mia and Samantha were chosen to lay the wreath for Lady Baden-Powell.
After a quick photo shoot with everyone we were then treated to a black cab taxi ride (to the girl’s great delight!) to where we met Gill Slocombe (Chief Guide) for a meal.
We made our way back to Paddington station for our journey home – two very tired Brownies but who had both done themselves, myself, their pack and Girlguiding proud.
It was a fantastic day, with lots of great memories for the girls to cherish. They were very lucky to come away with special badges too. I would like to thank Helen and Carole for putting us forward and to everyone involved in the day making us feel very special and treating us to an enjoyable and memorable day.
36th Cheltenham (St Nicolas) Brownies
Yorkley Brownies celebrating Chinese New Year in style by cooking a feast and eating together. Dim Sum, sweet and sour chicken, stir fry noodles and vegetables in plum sauce.
We are delighted to say that one of our current County Commissioners who is due to step down from her post in May 2016 will not have time to draw breath before she takes on her next challenge. It has been announced today that from May 2016 she will become the new Region Chief Commissioner.
Well done Carole!
Upton St Leonard's Rainbows and Brownies held a Christmas Concert and presented Sarah Jones from the Royal British Legion with a cheque for £800. The girls raised the money by making and selling in the region of 500 crocheted and knitted poppies to family and friends. Well done girls!
On our Italian themed Baden Powell Adventure Weekend, we covered a wide range of activities, including pasta making. The pasta was very enjoyable, but unfortunately our pasta carrying skills were not as good as our pasta making skills and some ended-up on the floor! We got to discover the many different ways of booking a holiday by planning a virtual trip to Venice. As patrols we got to experience the responsibility of handling our own money and ordering our own food at a restaurant, which was very enjoyable and was a great chance to get to know one another. One of our outdoor activities was geocaching in which we were let loose in the countryside on our own to find boxes of treasure. We then spent our final hours making Venetian masks which showed us a snapshot of the culture of Italy as well as letting our creativity flourish. All in all the weekend was a great success and a lovely way to celebrate our achievements and get to know others who have done the same.
Written by Daniella and Josie, two of the Guides who attended the weekend
As a member of the WAGGGS European training and events team, I have been privileged to be working on both the European and World level in November and I would like to share some personal thoughts from the World conference on Growing Guiding. It's actually taking a while for them to settle in my brain. In the UK we help girls and young women develop their potential through Guiding and we have enormous numbers of girls led by exceptional leaders and supported by peer educators who grow up stronger and better equipped to face the world ahead.
In Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Pakistan and Zambia – not only do they do this too, but they save lives too by giving girls the skills, knowledge and confidence to say no to violence, FGM, early marriage and child slavery. I feel humbled and amazed by both the young pioneers in emerging Movements and the ladies who have helped Guiding thrive in their countries through turmoil, war and awful threats to women's lives.
Over the next few weeks, I would like to give some real thought as to how I can support some of these organisations as they strive to meet the needs of even more girls in so much more challenging conditions than we will ever know. I feel sure out of this will come a new project and purpose at the end of my time as County Commissioner – Helen
Photo shows Pascaline from Rwanda with Helen, with all sorts of other international leaders in the mirror.
We would like to wish Sue Haines congratulations on being awarded with her 40 years award! Sue was presented with her award at Brownies as a surprise. We are sure that she has helped develop many, many girls and young women over her 40 years. Thank-you Sue for all you do for Guiding in Gloucestershire!
Above: Sue pictured with some of her Brownies.
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