6th Brownies had a visit from Peter Blackman, from Guide Dogs for the Blind, who brought in retired…
We have three successful Guide units for girls aged 10-14. We follow a programme which includes outdoor activities such as camping and cooking over wood fires, as well as crafts, games, community support and challenges. There are a range of themed activities called Go For Its that the girls use to plan their programme.
From September – December 2015 we looked at topics such as personal image, decisions based around peer pressure, taking and accepting compliments and self-belief. We ran an excellent game where the girls have to run to the side of the hall and write a compliment about the person behind them and then run back to the next person for her to go. They had a limited amount of time to write as many compliments as they could about another person. Then we reversed the game and the girls had to write something they liked about themselves, in the same amount of time. We went from having 60+ lovely comments to only 10 or so as they took so long to come up with something they each liked. It was very enlightening for them and us.
From January – Easter the girls had to plan the term. In their patrol groups, they had to come up with every activity from the start of the meeting, till the end. It was very interesting to see the incredible ideas they came up with for the evenings. The highlight from the leaders was cupcake making and decorating, each girl was partnered up, one with sight who was directing the person without how to weigh, measure and mix. They also created the tallest structure from recycled materials, ran a board game night and made their own smoothies. The girls had to take responsibility for being on time, having all their materials and being confident enough to explain the evening, answer any questions and deal with any problems that arose. It was a great exercise for them to see how much work and planning goes into every session at guides and a lesson in leadership and organisation.
Finally, over the summer we were outdoors as much as possible. We linked up with our neighbouring Scout unit for a joint rounders’ match, went on a night hike, ran a mini Olympics (which was hilarious as we were using races such as wheel barrow and cartwheel) and the girls planned and put on a party for all the parents at the end of the term. They cooked food on fires they built themselves, made decorations and invitations and performed entertainment. A fantastic evening to celebrate the girls, and thank the parents.
Some of the guides and brownies from SWF were lucky enough to have the opportunity to lead the England Women Cricket Team onto the pitch as they faced the Pakistan Women Cricket Team. After completing the flag of honour and returning to their seats, they watched England bring us home to victory at the Chelmsford County Ground. Overall an excellent and very exciting way to finish the term.
3rd South Woodham Ferrers Guides have had a very exciting year. We were pleased to welcome 9 new girls during the year. We began last September by holding afternoon tea in aid of breast cancer and raised £188.76 for the Big Pink campaign. The girls decorated the hall and made cakes and we invited lots of guests. After term we invited Ferrers Quilters along to 3 meetings and they came along and showed the girls how to make beautiful Christmas decorations.
In January we held a quiz night for all the guide units, had a drama evening and watched a movie in our pyjamas. The term with a trip to Base Jump at Rayleigh.
The summer term began with making crafts to sell at the fete and then we spent some time teaching all our new girls how to cook on a camp fire. During May half term we camped at Creekview Lodge with the theme of Around the world in 3 days. We were proud to be the first unit to camp at our new HQ and we had a brilliant time.
In June we were lucky enough to join Eyotts Sailing Club for a sailing taster session down at their HQ. The evening was wet but all 22 girls managed to get out and sail with the help of a large team from the sailing club. This completed our Water Safety Badge which included practical knot tying, throwing rescue ropes and understanding the Water safety code.
Earlier in the term several girls were lucky enough to go to London for the 90th birthday Trooping of the Colour. We had tickets to a special enclosure for uniformed groups and were able to see the Queen come right past us in her carriage. We then battled our way up the Mall to see all the Royal family come out on to the balcony. We finished our day with a trip on the river and a ride on the Emirates cable car. What a brilliant day! At the end of term several of our girls also went to see the England Ladies cricket team play the Pakistani Ladies team at the Essex Cricket ground in Chelmsford and formed the guard of honour as the players came on to the ground. We are looking forward to next year.
4th Guides has 29 girls in the unit and there are 3 Leaders, and a Young Leader to help organise the activities. Our patrols are named after animals - dolphins, elephants, penguins and lions.
Last Autumn was the Rugby World Cup so we decided to do a challenge badge. Each girl had a different participating country and had to find out some information about that country. Progress in the World Cup was reported each week, and we undertook various activities relating to countries in the different pools such as making Welsh cakes, pizzas for Italy, origami for Japan and making La Boca style houses out of recycled materials (Argentina). The unit also celebrated its 25th birthday with a special cake and one of the ex-leaders came to visit and talked about what the girls did when she was there. We finished the term in November with a residential event at Creekview Lodge with a seasonal theme.
2016 was the Senior Section’s 100th birthday and we decided to do the Mission Spectacular Challenge and Chocolate GFI and badge – always popular with the girls. We found out about chocolate production and fair trade, had a visitor to show us how to make chocolate pizzas and lollipops, designed a wrapper and advert. For Mission Spectacular we did the Giant Art Attack challenge and had a celebration marketplace with a Mexican theme.
The summer term is always an opportunity to get outside as much as possible. Our third challenge for Mission Spectacular was to build four different styles of campfire – some worked much better than others! We had a couple of evenings of outdoor cooking, camping preparation and water games to finish the term, and a walk on the wild side at Blue House Farm where we saw the barn owl chicks on the webcam, dissected owl pellets, and met voles and shrews in the flesh. We took part in the Beacon Lighting ceremony at the local yacht club on the Queen’s birthday and some of the Guides went to London for the Trooping the Colour event in June and also enjoyed going on the Thames and the Emirates cable car.
Guides are for girls aged 10 to 16 although they can join the Senior Section and become Rangers or Young Leaders when they are 14 years old.
Guides work in patrols of 4-8 girls, elect their own leader and plan activities with the help of their Guiders. New Guide wear was introduced recently which is much more practical for today's young women.
Guides enjoy challenges, making things, outdoor activities, camping, community service. There are lots of activities they can undertake from the range of Go For Its. A favourite activity is usually outdoor cooking on wood fires and of course camping.
For more information about Guides, visit the Girlguiding website.