Personal · Posts

Wellies and Wristbands

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After some wine, a friend of mine decided we should do Wellies and Wristbands this year, and I did not need much convincing. I always wanted to go when I was in a Senior Section unit and staffing was the next best thing.

Leaving work early on the thursday of August bank holiday, I started the 2.5h drive to Foxlease at 6pm (I forgot it would get dark), arriving shortly before 9 in the pitch black. I found the person I was sharing a tent with and I promptly went to bed for a nice early breakfast and setup before the girls arrived.

I was working in the walled garden cafe, which meant no one needed us until tents were put up, so the afternoon started slowly, but it soon picked up and there was an immediate queue of girls waiting to go in the hot tubs. I jumped in one first with two others from the cafe team, whilst they were still clean (the guides don’t seem bothered about how dirty the water gets) and explored the rest of the site. We saw some of the acts, went on the ferris wheel, and went back to work.

The rest of the weekend was much the same, very busy as everyone needed their caffeine or hot chocolate fix, but I squeezed in the shop, the craft tent, henna, glitter tattoos, riding a segway and Foxlease’s geocaching trail. I must have drunk endless coffee, as our day started work at 6.30am and finished at 10.30pm, with about 4 hours and meals off each day. We did close the cafe for the UV party though, which was great fun. (see picture of the Walled Garden Cafe team ready to party!)

It was a very very busy weekend for everyone, and all of the volunteers who went there and gave up the bank holiday weekend for 3000 guides are to be applauded. Everyone has given such amazing feedback about the event, and I made some great friends. Paying £40 to work 12 hour days and not get paid for it? My family thought I was absolutely mad, but sign me up for next year. I had the time of my life, despite the exhaustion, and I would encourage everyone to do it. Yes, it is hard work, but like all guiding, it was so rewarding.

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Meetings · Posts

Badge planning

I am either brave or insane. A couple of brownies mentioned to me last term that they wanted to make slime, so I’m running with it and doing the science investigators badge! I have four weeks planned (as, like the craft badge I did, we’re running it alongside the cook’s badge with the girls who are soon to leave having the choice which one they do.)

Luckily we haven’t gone back yet (start next week, when I’m back in uni because, as second leader, they kind of need me with the other one off sick) which means I’m able to leave my planning so late. We also have two weeks of settling back in and getting the new girls involved with promise activities etc.

I haven’t planned it into separate weeks yet, but the gist is fingerprinting, lemon juice invisible ink, making red cabbage indicators, spaghetti and marshmallow towers, keeping malteasers up by blowing them through a straw, chromatography, lava lamps, cress heads, making up plays about famous scientists (idea stolen from guiders.co.uk) and of course, slime.

My next job is to actually do some of them to make sure they work and to see how long they take so I can plan it in individual weeks. Which means, I’m going to town with a very strange shopping list, of aldi BLUE laundry detergent, red cabbage, coffee filters or similar, effervescent tablets and many other things. I’m also seeing my friends in town, so who knows what they’ll think of my list of things to buy. I feel like only fellow guiders will understand the strange things we buy in the name of guiding.

Obviously I’ll post as I do the activities with info about how they went, and all of our other brownie meetings, but until then,

Yours in guiding,

Maria

Posts

SPARKLE 2017

A month late (I’ve been on holiday and working full time since it happened, and have spent my afternoon off doing guiding), I am writing this post about Girlguiding Staffordshire’s Centenary event – Sparkle.

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The day was absolutely brilliant, if not a bit chaotic with 4000+ members of gg staffs! Luckily the weather at County Showground was amazing and we had a slightly too hot, sunny day. The first zone our girls went to was the funhouse zone, which was full of funfair style rides, activities and also a petting zoo. We got incredibly cool temporary tattoos, met some owls, and the girls loved the rides!

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The next zone was the mega zone, where I got friction burn from a having an inflatable obstacle course race, and the girls enjoyed activities such as the climbing wall, helter skelter and inflatables. After that, we moved to the glitter zone, where most of the girls spent their time in the headphone disco, or learning circus skills. This zone was much quieter as it was late in the day, and we then went to the parade and finale.

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Divided into our divisions, and with our special t-shirts on – each division had a different colour and we had to decorate them in meetings, we entered the showground where there was the likes of the Disney princesses, an Olly Murs tribute and a Robbie Williams tribute, all performing for the girls to celebrate the centenary of Guiding in our county. When the celebrations came to a close, some very tired brownies all got back on the coach and we had a quiet trip back up to Stoke!

My top to represent Newcastle division

It was a fab day, thank you so much to Girlguiding Staffordshire for making it happen, everyone I talked to had a fab day and it was lovely to see everyone in county and how many people are part of our giant family! ♥ ♥ ♥

 

Personal · Posts · Uncategorized

Pax Lodge and other plans

So, one month into the summer holidays, and guiding has once more taken over my life. I’ve been back to home brownies and guides twice, where in brownies they made pompoms (which they found frustrating, but liked the end result), and boomerangs out of a cross shape of card which I will attempt sometime and post a proper link to because it worked nicely) and my new shiny well behaved guides (the troublemakers have left yay) did their Go For It!s in patrols. 

Anyway, on to more important things. This week I had the most amazing trip to London with my boyfriend, so I dragged him around the one and only London WAGGGS centre- Pax Lodge. What an amazing place, it radiates friendship and unity and really makes you feel part of something. Talking to the South American receptionist who is also a brownie leader really made me feel connected to so many other women all over the world. Guiding is truly beautiful. My bored scout didn’t seem to be having the same epiphany as me, but that’s what you get for dating a guide. It was a truly wonderful experience to see one of the world centres at last and learn more about guiding worldwide and it’s history. I spent an obscene amount in the shop – £18 and would’ve spent more quite happily. 


My camp blanket now looks beautiful as the badges I got from my first world centre have filled up my second perimeter nicely, but getting the Pax Lodge pin through the awful new style badge tabs was a pain. 10/10 would recommend a visit, just look how thrilled I am. 

Personal · Posts

Why I’m useless in the summer holidays

I have nowhere near enough guiding events to look forward to. As I’m now at home, I no longer have SSAGO or Brownies to entertain me in every living moment, and its rather hard to bare. All I have is Sparkle, Staffordshire’s centenary event, and Wellies and Wristbands. Oh, and SSAGO rally in Huddersfield and a potential trip to Pax Lodge with my boyfriend. This is not enough things to do!!! I’m feeling guiding deprived already and I’ve only been home for a week and a half. I’m settling for trawling the internet looking for guiding things to buy to cheer me up or guiding things to do. I was not aware that I’m this addicted to guiding! Does anyone have any tips to cope without guiding?

Crafts · Meetings · Posts

Dream Catchers

How this took them an hour and a half I do not know, but this is the craft we did to finish off their craft badge. 

It required a paper plate which I cut the insides out of and hole punched beforehand (it took me quite a while so the brownies would’ve taken ages) and the girls then decorated it, some took 45 minutes on this and I wish I was exaggerating. Nevertheless we ploughed on, attaching the feathers with simple knots in 3x 15-20cm lengths of wool. Another length of wool that size was used to make a hanging loop. 

Then the fun began. I cut 150cm (approximately, I was using my arm as a measuring device), lengths of wool and told them to weave it through, adding beads if they wanted to. This is apparently impossible and none of them could do it because they were all bored and gave up, but eventually we got there and, once they had tasted the food the girls doing the cooks badge had made, we were ready to leave, only 15 minutes late! (I didn’t get home until 8.50 that night, oops) 

Overall, the craft was super cute, and it looked really good, the brownies were so excited until I told them that I wouldn’t be doing it for them. They still enjoyed it though and it was good fun had by all.