Burning Promise

Our May Senior Section meeting was busy.

They had requested to hire the pyrography pens so that they could spend a bit of time decorating some wood. Since there are so few of them and so much time, they reckoned they could do some really nice work and my young leaders had had a taster with the Guides.

My mentor was coming to do a unit visit and I decided that it wasn’t a great idea for my attention to be elsewhere when the Senior Section were using hot things. I asked Timber to come and give a hand so that someone could keep their eye on them. Turns out Timber is really artistic and an absolute treasure trove of ideas and materials and a lovely person as well.

I think one of the things that I really enjoy about Guiding as an adult is that there is no age divide. I’m 25 but Guide with people who are older than that and its never an issue, we have great conversations and go out for dinner together etc.

Overhand had come to visit because the International Opportunities weekend was coming up and we were trying to persuade the Senior Section to go for it. We were both super excited about our trip to Iceland for the World Scout Moot coming up in the summer (There is going to be a blog post, or maybe a few) and wanted to get them interested. We did convince Merida to go for selection and she is now heading to Spain next year. I was really proud.

We moved on to some promise activities. I had some exercises on making your own decisions and being true to yourself. We had a discussion about what the promise meant to everyone and made some good turn promise beads, which gave us lots of time to chat.

My mentor, Crown and the Peer Education Coordinator came to visit and I discovered they were both Trainers. I had a chat with them about being a prospective and came out with Crown as my Tutor, so definitely a success! I can get started on training now 🙂 ( I also went to the trainers conference, very informative, met up with the Ulster lot and made some new friends from Anglia).



The Future

The final part of the Anglia Outdoor challenge was to have a meal in an interesting outdoor location. We chose my old college Newnham as it has some beautiful gardens.

Surprisingly, as an Alum, it was very easy to get permission, it did help that we were planning to go during university holidays so we wouldn’t be disturbing any students.

We met outside the Porter’s Lodge and started the evening off with a tour. I used to give access tours a lot when I was at Uni so I’ve picked up a lot of titbits about the college.

Newnham is an all womens college, one of three in Cambridge. It was founded in 1871, however women were only allowed to attend lectures with a chaperone and were not permitted to sit exams. In the future they were allowed to sit the exams but could not qualify for a degree. It took until 1947 before they were allowed to hold degrees from Cambridge. Keep in mind that Cambridge is over 800 years old, and women have only been able to hold degrees for 70 years of that.

Many amazing women have attended Newnham. Millicent Fawcett read Mathematics and was ranked highest in the year of her final exams, scoring higher than the Senior Wrangler. The Senior Wrangler is the highest ranked person in the Mathematics Tripos, in those days, only men qualified. Today is obviously different.

Emma Thompson attended and an admirer once road a motorcycle down the corridor to surprise her. Miriam Margolyes also attend and read English.

I think I got them a bit interested but I did get some strange questions when I explained that I used to live in the buildings around us. One asked if I was ever allowed to go home!

We finished up in a lovely spot in the gardens, had a picnic and asked what they wanted to do next term!

We asked them all to bring a picnic and maybe something to share and they really did get into the spirit of sharing which was lovely to see.