So this post has nothing to do with my Guides and is about me and my Guiding Journey 🙂
I’m determined to experience all that I can from the Senior Section before I hit my 26th Birthday and since its the centenary year, there is plenty to get involved in. Reed messaged me and asked if I fancied a weekend in London for London Monopoly and we got Bowline involved as well! That’s me on the left, Reed in the centre and Bowline on the right, notice how short I am in comparison. Occasionally my District Commissioner finds it difficult to spot me when I’m with my Guides.
I was so excited to spend an weekend in London with my two best Guiding friends and we had an amazing time. It did involve us arriving at Kings Cross at 8.30am though, which made me a little sad. We got handed our starting pack without having to ask, as our NI accents gave us away. The weekend was organised by Bedfordshire Senior Section and was exceptionally well run. Our meeting place was the Birdcage, which actually contains a swing. Bowline really enjoyed the swing!
Our starting pack contained a cryptic clue tube station quiz, a laminated card for you to write your team name on, the back had all of the places you had to visit, £5 for the Chance cards, a tube map, a London A-Z map and of course, badges! We actually got two for this event.
There was a countdown to 9.30 am and then we were off. I think we should have planned our route a bit better but we ran off to get Fenchurch Station and London Bridge Station but really should have gotten Whitechapel road while we were at it.
The day was so busy, we walked 27,756 steps according to Reed’s fitbit. The aim of the game was to reach a location, take a picture with the item or the street sign in the background and then tweet it to @bedsmonopsat and you could ask to buy it. If you were the first team there, then you owned the property and any team who turned up afterwards had to pay you rent. I think we owe a lot of respect to the kind Leaders who were sitting in Monopoly HQ trying to figure everything out.
For bonus points there was a famous location to find for each colour. There was also things to do, buy and find for chance and community cards. For example, get a pic with a police officer, some Boris bikes and a £1 tacky souvenir (we got Union Flag underwear). We also had to get monopoly counter selfies. The best of which was when we found Doug the Pug Therapy Dog and his lovely owner who let us take a selfie with her.
We managed to own some locations and paid rent on others, by the end of the day we had only missed out on 4 locations. Although if we had planned better, I think we would have managed it. We came 2nd out of 6 in our game and 6th out of 20 overall!
The highlight of the weekend was getting to stay at Pax Lodge. It is one of the 5 World Guiding Centres and since I got back into Guiding, I’ve been keen to visit one. Pax Lodge was lovely and we met some amazing people there.
The event was for Senior Section Members aged 14-25 so there were some older leaders there to look after anyone under 18 and we mostly ended up talking to them. I asked if they had anyone going to the World Scout Moot next summer and I was lucky to find someone! One leader’s daughter, Overhand, is going and is super excited, just like me. I asked how she was getting to the briefing weekend as I was struggling to find a way to get there and she was amazing and offered me a lift if I could get to Peterborough Train Station. So she is my new best friend. What sort of amazed me more was that Overhand and her mum just accepted that she would pick me up and I could have dinner at their house before we drove up to the campsite. This is something that I love about Guiding, instant friendships.
We had a get to know each other game of monopoly, a modified board which included cards that had someone’s name on, then you had to go find them and ask them a question. It included winning sweets and chatting to everyone and it was really good fun.
Reed and I went a bit crazy in the Pax Lodge shop and I bought a necker and some badges. We also pinned our county badge onto the wall map to show we had been there.
The morning was very special. We had a flag raising and pinning ceremony. Each World Centre has its own pin and you can only get the pin by going to the centre, you can’t order them or buy them on Ebay, you have to actually be there. When the flag was raised we sang the World Song, which none of us knew but that I’m determined to learn. There is a special pin this year for the 25th Anniversary of Pax Lodge.
Bowline had to leave early to get her bus home but Reed and I spent the day together in London, I’m an engineer and she is a physics teacher so we headed off to the Science Museum. We had a great day and got to see some cool science things and tried to get some inspiration for our Guide Units. We then headed to platform 9 and 3/4 and may have indulged in buying some badges.
All in all, I had a brilliant weekend and am so glad we decided to do this.