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.
The next two weeks were out of the meeting place, we are completing the Anglia outdoor challenge and really enjoying ourselves, mostly the weather has held.
The first week we had a Penny Hike, my first one ever! I was so excited to finally go on one. We had 3 leaders, 2 Young Leaders and 4 Patrols, so our Young Leaders took the eldest patrol and each of the leaders went with one of the others.
My patrol has mostly Guide who have just moved up so I was keen to get them independent and tried to let them lead as much as possible, just keeping them out of private property and reminding them to flip the coin.
We ended up having a lovely walk, although we got stuck going in circles in the chalk pit for a while. Finished up in the play park for 5 minutes where I found the young leaders and the caterpillars 🙂
From land to water, the following week was at our local campsite’s outdoor pool. I think it was a first for some of our Guides and it was a bit chilly but half of them really got into it. All of them tried but some of them had to be sent to get changed early. They weren’t moving around enough.
Windsor taught them some live saving and water safety and then they started jumping in and playing with blow up balls. A few had to be persuaded to get out at the end!
We finished up with hot chocolate and biscuits and singing Taps outside. I love singing Taps outside, it always feels connected to the world around you.
Apologies for not blogging in so long. On the positive side, its because life has been going really well, I’ve been busy with friends and Guiding and am really glad I moved over here.
Our Campfire got cancelled, as the heavens opened and it chucked it down. We are Guides, we could totally run a campfire in the rain but no one would be happy and would never want another campfire. So that week got cancelled and instead us leaders had a lovely night in at Celtic’s house and she made us dinner.
The following week I had flown home to surprise my mother for her 50th (It went really well) and Timber and Windsor ran a PJ party with popcorn and hot chocolate, they watched the old version of Beauty and the Beast and had a great time.
Next meeting was a trip to Clip and Climb. This was with the Guides and the Senior Section, fulfilling my requirement for my Senior Section ALQ to join with another unit for an activity.
Fantastic evening, the set up in there was pretty good, we had exclusive use of the place, and there were enough walls and staff that all of them could be climbing at once.
I think we will be returning to Clip and Climb, it was a request from all of our Guides to do so!
We have a new LiT (Leader in Training), kind of, she’s called Timber and she’s a fully qualified leader with Brownies, who is doing her module 1 for Guides this term, and Rainbows next term, to allow her to mentor more people through the ALQ (Adult Leadership Qualification). She doesn’t have a permanent unit at the moment and is more interested in exploring mentoring. So she has to plan a few of the activities this term to fulfil some of the ALQ clauses.
Together we set out to organise an evening in the local chalk pit around the theme of direction and trails. Our original idea was the TV programme Taskmaster, but a lot of the tasks didn’t really lend themselves to a group of 24 Guides.
We set up 4 positions, labelled 1-4, and from each position there were two compass directions to follow until they found an unusual item, they were to leave the item alone and write down what it was. At the end, the first letter of each item, would make the phrase, “Well Done”.
We thought it would take them about half of the meeting to complete so had also given them a sheet explaining how to lay trails and another one with semaphore on it. However it actually took them the entire meeting.
None of them had seen a compass before, even after explaining how to use one, and demonstrating it, I still had one Guide hold it vertical and exclaim that it wasn’t pointing north. Several of them decided that the paper plates denoting the starting positions were the items they were supposed to find. *headdesk*
But after a lot of learning and fun, they figured it out and had a whale of a time. A very successful evening.
As our final night of last term, we held an Easter Tea with the Senior Citizens and it went really well. I was impressed that basically all of our Guides turned up and really interacted with the Seniors.
Celtic had written an Easter quiz with questions suitable for both younger and older team members, so they had to work together. There was lots of chatting and they all did pretty well in the quiz. Our young leaders did a good job running the quiz.
The Guides then served their guests tea and hot cross buns and did it very well. I think the Guiders were more stressed in the kitchen, listening to all the orders.
We finished up with Campfire singing, which somehow I ended up leading. I have never lead singing before and I’m not sure I ever should again! It was a good laugh though. They introduced me to some new songs and I brought some new ones to them. My personal favourite was “A Pizza Hut” with the addition of the Guiding Verses:
A tall Girl Guide,
A tall Girl Guide,
A skinny little Brownie,
And a tall Girl Guide.
A skinny little Brownie,
And a tall Girl Guide.
For which the actions are to show tall, show skinny and show voluptuous breasts. I think I was a bit over enthusiastic with the action on the last one and I had a couple of the senior citizens in tears of laughter.
It was a very fun night!
It’s the little things that get Guides excited, like my last unit going Christmas shopping. They requested to go to Tescos and mostly they were excited about getting to do shopping and put stuff through the till.
We arrived at Tescos to be greeting by two employees who were going to be looking after us and they did a brilliant job. They engaged with the Guides really well and kept them entertained.
We had two activities for the evening, the first was a tour of the bakery and the second looking at the price of Fresh, Tinned and Frozen fruit and veg.
We split in half and my group started with the bakery. The baker was excellent, he showed them how to make bread in the huge mixer, how the sifting and cutting machines worked and let them have a go at shaping the dough into buns and plaits. We got to see the huge proving oven and the cooking and steaming ovens. The Guides were engaged and interested and then we all got to taste a selection of breads and cookies. They were very happy and full of sugar.
Next we headed off to the fruit and veg section and they went off with their clipboards to find the price per kg of fresh, frozen and tinned, raspberries, peas and peppers. It was an interesting activity for them and they really enjoyed running around the store. I hope we didn’t annoy to many shoppers but I think they did pretty well.
The final activity Trinity had put together, she gave each patrol a chicken dinner list, one patrol had Tesco Everyday, one had finest, organic and the last had ready made. They ran around to find the prices and then compared them against one another.
We had one enrolment to hold that evening and the Guide decided to make her promise in the Fruit and Veg Section. I like that this unit is happy for us to have enrolments outside of the meeting place!
All in all, an excellent evening and I picked up my week’s shopping afterwards 🙂
Hello Everyone, I hope you have had an amazing Thinking Day! Since I finally have a formal shirt, I wore it to work with my Promise badge and I also painted my nails to have Trefoils on.
Tonight the plan was to have an evening out of the meeting place in a local orchard and plant some daffodils for the Thinking Day theme of Grow. Sadly Storm Doris made things a bit more complicated. Branches had been falling all day and we didn’t deem it safe to go wandering around. So a small delegation went to plant the bulbs with Trinity and Windsor and the rest of us stayed in the hall and played Guiding Top Trumps.
It was written by Quoll who is at Pax Lodge this year as a volunteer and my Guides loved it! They have however decided they never want shirts or tunics as uniform.
We played a couple of games of Stalking in the dark with a torch until the planting delegation came back. Lots of running around screaming!
I had written a Thinking Day scavenger hunt, the plan was to have the answers hung on trees with Glow Sticks in the plastic pockets and send the Guides out with the question sheet and torches. We ended up running the hunt in the hall instead. They had a brilliant time and learnt some things about Guiding.
Afterwards, they each got one of the Glow Sticks and put it on their right wrist and made the promise sign. It was our way of bringing the Guiding Light to our meeting. I did take a picture but sadly my phone decided to shut down and didn’t take the picture!
This is making me making the promise sign with a Glow stick on my wrist.
We finished the evening in the dark with the Glow Sticks singing Taps.