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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