Cinema Trip

Lark and I took 11 Guides to the cinema for our end of term trip. We had managed to earn enough money through easyfundrasing to enable us to fund the trip on a Tuesday night, since it’s crazy Tuesday and only £3 each.

Last year, every one of our Guides came to this end of term outing but this year we had only half. I think I can contribute that to the choice of movie this year. Last year we went to see Pitch Perfect 2 and it was brilliant, however this year, we had the choice between, Alice Through The Looking Glass or Ninja Turtles 2, we settled on Alice.

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The Guides were pretty good actually, a bit of chatting and giggling throughout the movie but nothing major. They seemed to join it and ate an alarming amount of sweets.

Afterwards I stood outside waiting for them all to be picked up. I had asked the parents to pick them up at 8.30pm. We got out of the movie at 8.15pm and all of the Guides text their parents, but I didn’t mind waiting until 8.30pm of course. However, one mother kind of took this to an extreme and didn’t turn up until 8.50pm!!! I was rather annoyed.

Next weekend is camp, I’m a bit nervous since I’m now going as the only leader, I’m hoping to get there early and have my tent up before the Guides arrive. That way I can concentrate on them and helping get their tents up.


100 Years of Senior Section Party

The day was finally here, the Celebration/Look Back party. I’ve been having a bit of a stressful time in work and could have done with the party going off without a hitch but that was a bit too much to expect from a Guiding party I suppose.

I asked the Guides and Leaders to arrive 15 mins early and Sheetbend has the keys to let us in when the Beavers aren’t meeting. However Sheetbend was late and we didn’t get into the hall until our guests started to arrive and well… everything was a bit of a mess.

Barrel was supposed to have invited the Trefoil Guild 3 weeks ago… but hadn’t. She had, in fact, invited them the day before. But we had two very lovely ladies appear to join our celebrations. I had also invited any mums, big sisters, aunts and grandmothers who had ever been involved in Guiding or wanted to find out more about it and two lovely mums appeared. We invited our District Commissioner, Clove and had a few old Senior Section members.

Sheetbend had promised sandwiches but turned up with some cold pre-cooked chicken wings and cocktail sausages and the fixings for some sandwiches. So overall not a success.

Barrel was assigned traybakes and turned up with some cake.

I was assigned smores, I achieved all the fixings, put them in the oven to melt, in a metal dish… and then promptly forgot about them! That involved a lot of scraping of burnt marshmallow off the oven *Headdesk*

However, some things did go to plan. We had a competition to design the uniform 100 years in the future. We gave the Guides plastic bags, newspaper and sellotape and set them off while the adults chatted. Some of their outfits were hilarious. One team had added a diaper, they claimed it was to show that Guiding was for all ages. Several teams had hats, one looked like a wee bonnet. Three out of four teams had capes, they claim they would be practical at camp. It was very very funny.

Sheetbend had brought some old pictures of our Guide and Senior Section Units in years gone by, including one which shows the unit parading on VE day. After reading the book, “How the Girl Guides won the War”, that picture really hit me hard. It’s a book which I will probably do a blog entry on at some point over the summer.

One of the Guides brought her mother’s old uniforms to show to us all, the Guides all agreed that culottes were not the way to go with a future uniform.

As part of the yearly challenge badges, we went around the room and asked everyone what they enjoyed about being a Guide, Trefoil Guild member, Leader or parent. It was lovely to hear what the Girls enjoyed. One of the Trefoil Guild members had attended a Boarding School in Dublin where basically everyone was in the Guide Company. Captainball was almost a school sport and they competed against other Boarding Schools in and around Dublin.

I asked a friend in work to bake and decorate a cake for the party. I can bake, but am not very good at decorating. The cake was amazing.

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The presentation of awards also went well. The Guides thought the ribbons were really pretty 🙂 We awarded patrol of the year to the Poppies who had managed to average the most stickers per patrol member for being helpful (and some other things you can get stickers for, like sewing on badges).

It did take the Leaders quite a while to clear up after the Guides at went home and it was very hot! So Sheetbend’s Daughter and Granddaughter bought us ice lollies from the shop across the road, I was very thankful.

I had brought my Camp Blanket along to show the Guides examples of old Brownie and Guide badges and I was showing Sheetbend the section of my blanket which shows badges we’ve done with the Guides and the couple of swaps I have managed to gain, from a Canadian Guider at  Camp last year and one Reef sent me from where she camped this year. Sheetbend said I should have some of the old Guiding Badges and gave me a pile of them. She also gave me the old necker of the unit, we don’t wear one anymore but our colour was green.

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I’ve decided that I’m going to sew the badges onto the necker and then sew the necker to my blanket in the swaps and special occasions section. This was a gift that made me very happy, and it didn’t even cause Sheetbend a second thought.

I spent the evening looking up what the badges were for and learnt about Patrol Pendants, something I had never heard about before.

At the end of the month, our unit is going to a camp organised by Lorne (Guiding Headquarters in Ulster), Barrel is supposed to be there as well and informed me that she will be there on the Friday night but needs to leave on the Saturday and may not make it back for the Sunday. I kind of wanted to ask her what the point of her coming at all was but I think I’ve given up. I’m now trying to see if I can get another leader to come with me but it’s technically alright if I can’t, ratio-wise for our Guides I’m within the limits with 11 Guides and there will be other leaders there. It may just be a bit boring for me.

Crafts and Badges

I’m not the best at crafts, its something I struggle with and tend to rely on my other leaders for help with. So I’m pretty impressed at my accomplishments for our badge presentation this year!

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We are having a Look Back and Celebrate party as part of our Senior Section Spectacular Badge and we have a lot of Badges to hand out to the Guides. I wanted something beautiful to hand to the Guides in front of our guests. However, each of our girls had earned a number of different badges and it would be difficult to make sure each Guide got the correct ones.

I got ribbon and double sided sticky pads and stuck the badges for each girl onto a ribbon with their name at the top. That way I was able to call out the name of the girl and she could come up and receive her badges! Hopefully we shall see some of them sewn onto t-shirts or camp blankets in the future.

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I’m pretty proud of me 🙂

Water Sports

Saturday was our Water Sports Day. This was the first time I had organised a day out for the Guides by myself and I had asked another Unit if they wanted to join us. We had 12 Guides from my Unit, 9 from the other Unit and I also brought along my half-sister, who is a 12 year old Guide from another district.

To start the day, we had to split into two groups, neither unit wanted to be split and interact with the other, so I was heartless and told them to wise up and split them up. They need to learn to interact with other people.

The first activities were the climbing wall and archery. Two of our Guides are afraid of heights and refused to climb on the wall. I did try to persuade them but they really weren’t up for it at all. I’m a bit scared of heights myself so I can understand but I had to try.

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I forgot to take pictures of the archery ( I was far too interested in the activity myself!) but they all really enjoyed it. The groups were starting to interact slowly, there was still a split between us and them though.

Over lunch they did start to talk to one another, my sister was getting on with them all, she had no worries!

One of my Guides came to me concerned that there wouldn’t be a wet-suit large enough to fit her. She’s a tall girl and fairly heavily set, nothing to worry about, but occasionally she gets a bit upset about being bigger than the other Guides. I reminded her that grown men came to this centre and she sort of laughed at herself and went away happy.

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For the afternoon they were in one massive group, we started with the canoeing.

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One instructor very kindly took myself and the other leader (and her son) out in the speedboat so we could watch the girls. One boat wasn’t doing so well on the steering so we gave them a hand and pushed them up 🙂

They canoed out to an old boat moored in the middle of the lake, the centre has set it up to be a jumping platform. It was fantastic, we had guides doing forward flips and bombs into the water, such squeals and shouts. They had a brilliant time and we loved watching.

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We then switched to having the Guides on Banana Boats and try to throw them off! Even the other Leader’s son, who was 6, had a go at driving the boat and knocked the Guides off. I think that made the day for him.

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A couple of the younger Guides got a bit frightened but they all had a go at least.

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All in all, I would highly recommend a water-sports day to any Guide Unit and for any in Northern Ireland, Craigavon Watersports has a fantastic set up and brilliant instructors.

As a leader, once I had it all booked, it was a very easy day to watch and join in with the Guides having fun.