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A Guiding Update

I am a third year pharmacy student. I should probably do less guiding and more learning, but I spend all day every day in the library so I figure I deserve the guiding time! I’m honestly doing so much I do not even know where to start.

At brownies, I recently renewed my first response and need to do safe space level 3, because I’M DOING MY HOLIDAY LICENCE!!!!!! Who knew when I didn’t want to leave guides in December 2011 that 6 years later I would be all ready to embark on the Going Away With Scheme. What am I doing? Either way, I cannot wait. I’m buzzing for my test even though it’ll be this time next year, which feels like ages but will probably fly by.

Over the summer I plan to do the ICANDO London Challenge, maybe a Pax Lodge one, and hopefully Wellies and Wristbands if I can get the time off placement.

With SSAGO, we are going camping to Kandersteg International Scout Centre. Its in 53 days and I find that quite scary. However, we are hiking to Our Chalet which I am soooooooooo excited for. I fully intend to buy all of the badges, a necker and hopefully a hoodie if it is within my 100CHF budget. (Its a once in a lifetime thing, okay.) We are also running a midlands camp which I wish was more planned than it is argh.

My SSAGO presidential year is nearly over as well which is heartbreaking, especially as I am not on committee next year. I am genuinely gutted, and also wish I was on SSAGO exec. But no, once again my degree is ruining all my hopes and dreams because I have to spend every waking minute doing work or applying for placements or visiting hospitals. All I want is guiding and SSAGO but sadly no. Oh, also I was going to do Unity 2018 (Guiding Stafforshire’s international camp in Uttoxeter), but no I couldn’t fit it with placements. Service team for 2022, here I come. I hate pharmacy.

Because of this huge gap in my life where I have a spare 5+ hours a week from not doing SSAGO, I am going to do Queens Guide. I sent off my first email an hour ago about it, so my commitment is in very early days right now, but I am fed up with turning down amazing guiding opportunities all for my degree. These days are partially over – if I can do it whilst qualifying then I can do anything, and if I can’t, at least I tried. Queen’s Guide Award, here I come!!!

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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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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.

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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?

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Hello everyone! I have started this blog as procrastination for exams, but also because I want a record of my progress as a brownie leader. As a recently qualified leader, I am still scared of doing a lot of things and am very low on ideas. Hence, I want a catalogue of ideas that have been tried and tested by my very own Brown Owl, Barn Owl and me. I hope you enjoy browsing and that you get some inspiration from here. x