This month we're talking about:

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Easter eggs and Zumba! An exciting week for Helene in Sussex

All the Easter bunnies together
Over the last week I’ve been busy visiting Brede Brownies in Sussex East (LaSER). They're a small group of 16 Brownies and they were all really friendly and so excited I’d come to visit.
I went to their last meeting of term before the Easter holidays and was treated to an evening of fun games and Easter chocolate.
The Brownies in Brede had planned the evening themselves and had decided they wanted to make bunny ears and play Easter themed games. We also had an Easter egg hunt in garden overlooking the fields of East Sussex which was beautiful. The Brownies showed me around and were very kind and made me a set of ears and hid me a chocolate egg to find in the garden.
Check out my ears!
As well as all of these exciting activities some of the new Brownies read the Brownie story to me as they are going to make their promise next term which is great!

At the weekend I went on a bit of a journey to visit London Over the Border County at one of their Senior Section events. The event was called ‘Look Wider Go Further’ and it was designed to inform older Guides and Senior Section about the different opportunities available to them. Throughout the weekend the participants took part in activities that helped them to complete phase one of the different octants. Some of the activities including...
Cooking the rabbit
Cooking a thai green/red curry and learning about the Millenium Development goals through Together We Can (international), casualty themed make up, making pretty recycled jewellery and karaoke (creativity), a Zumba, Yoga and Wii Dance session (fit for life), skinning and cooking a rabbit (independent living), SMS Treasure hunt (out of doors) and lots, lots more! It was a busy weekend and many of the older Guides used it as their Baden Powell Challenge or as a residential experience for Look Wider. The girls also had sessions on In4mers, Queen’s Guide and International opportunities.

It was such a busy weekend I’m looking forward to a bit of rest before I arrive at my next destination!!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Ancaster Brownies in Canada celebrate the Queen's Jubilee with Helene

Look at our beautiful fascinators
Helene had a wonderful time during her second week with the Ancaster Brownies, attending our Queen's Jubilee Tea Party with 54 Canadian Girl Guides including Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders and Rangers. 

While devouring delicious fresh scones made from Queen Elizabeth's favourite recipe, we sipped on a variety of delicious herbal teas sweetened with fancy flower decorated sugar cubes. 

We learned how to sing 'God Save the Queen', played some British games, and made beautiful fascinators that we wore to tea. 

Mmmm scones fit for a Queen - and a bear!

During tea we watched some 60 year old movie clips of Queen Elizabeth's coronation!  

Everyone, including Helene, earned the special UK Queen's Jubilee badge.  For part of the challenge we all contributed at least one item to several birthday party kits (cake mix, icing, party plate, napkins, balloons, invitations, etc.), which we have donated to a local shelter for abused women and their children.  

We said a fond farewell to Helene and wish her bon voyage as she looks forward making more Girl Guides friends as she continues her travels!

Helene's very proud of her badge

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A friendship activity idea - secret friend

I'd like to share a friendship activity we normally do on our Brownie holidays.

All the girls' and Leaders' names are put into a hat/bag (whatever!) and on the first night, they each draw someone out.
This person is then their secret friend for the weekend. In a similar way to the Random Acts of Kindness idea, they must perform small acts of kindness, helpfulness etc for their secret friend.

If I'm honest, some of the girls are better at keeping secrets than others, but it's lovely to see them helping each out and actively finding ways to do so. It could be something like offering a sweet, helping to make a bed or just saying something nice to that person.

Kerri Hickman, 145 Sheffield Hallam Brownies

Here are some of our Brownies on a trip to see the Sheffield Guide show - en route, we spotted a free photo booth and couldn't resist!
Have you done a special friendship activity with your group recently? Why not send a blog entry to share it?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Helene in Wall Heath: On Your Marks, Easter and BIG GIG 2012

When Helene arrived in Wall Heath, West Midlands she was invited to attend the District Leaders' meeting, where a very special day out was being planned for the Rainbows’ 25th birthday. We hope it will be a big adventure!  While Helene was at the meeting, she became an honorary member of Himley Division and was presented with our centenary pin – we hope she’ll continue to wear the badge as she continues her global journey.

Everyone's a winner
At Guides, the girls had completed the sport stage of On Your Marks... At previous Guide nights we had made energy bars, created a new fitness activity and had a mini games night and tonight was the award ceremony.  Everyone was a winner and got a gold medal (chocolate of course). Helene had a special mini-medal made for her. Not many medals made it home!
There were some very spEGGtactular designs
The Guides also were doing Easter crafts. Helene helped the Guides make an Easter card or a decorated egg.

Saturday 31st March. It was BIG GIG day!! We travelled by train in our frilly tutus, and Helene got her own special one. When we got there some Guides bought BIG GIG badges and bags, but the Leaders just wanted a cup of tea!

Check out our badges!
The concert started with The Saturdays and everyone started dancing and singing.  Helen Skelton presented the acts and she got all the Guides stamping and screaming. There were lots of good acts but our favourite was Olly Murs. Only two of the Guides had been to Big Gig before so Helene and the Guides were amazed to see so many Guides.

Helene has a tutu too
The Guides said: ‘ It’s been amazing’.  ‘Absolutely brilliant’. ‘Enjoyed it a lot, Olly Murs was the best’.  ‘Big Gig rocks. I loved it when Rizzle Kicks was on the stage’. ‘Hope we can go next year.’

On the way home, there were so many Guides wanting to get on the trains, they had to close the platform, but only for a short time. We were soon on the train home, very excited but very tired, and rather quiet – we had no voices left! We hope Helene gets her voice back for her next adventure...

Look at all those Guides!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Claire launches our new topic - friendship!

Me (left) making new friends!
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."
Anais Nin

A quick look through my Facebook friends list reveals one of guiding's little-mentioned strengths.  Amongst the countless activities I've tried, skills I've learnt and awards I've achieved, lie the hundreds of friends I've made along the way.  Even as I'm typing, the song in the background reminds me of going to see my first Ranger unit in the local Gang Show!

My guiding friends really do sum up the concept of 'Global Conversations'.  Yukie, a Japanese Girl Scout leader, who lead the hosting team for a cultural exchange project I went on in 2009.  Anna, a Swedish Scout leader I met at the
World Scout Jamboree last summer.  Hannah who was one of the participants on a trip to Namibia and has now herself been a leader on a trip to Sangam.  Wassim and Walid, two Tunisian Scouts who took my team under their wing while doing the Explorer Belt (and Em and Mary my teammates of course!).  Kirsty and Mary of my second Ranger unit, and our fab unit trips to Paris and Copenhagen.  Pippa who's spoken at the UN on behalf of WAGGGS.  Don't worry, I won't mention all 200 of them!

I know they've all had their impact on me, and I'm really lucky to be able to call them friends, thanks guys!  After all, a lot of what makes my guiding memories so special is the friends that go with the places, smells and sights. And if all this global talk has whet your appetite (and I hope it has!), why not apply to take part in an international trip? Nothing beats an international trip for new friends and global conversation! Ask your Leader to help you find one for you.
Meanwhile get involved in this global conversation by sending in your own blog about friendship - there are lots of  fun ideas for all ages here.

Claire Bennett, Girlguiding UK member