As we took over the County as Commissioners the pandemic was upon us and we were going into the first lockdown. We had already got our County team together and with their help and support we have navigated our way through some challenging but interesting times. We have been amazed how creative and adaptable our volunteers have been and in true Guiding spirit they have risen to the challenge and provided unique opportunities for the girls, which has been so important during this time. We are now along with our team looking forward to getting Guiding back face to face and meeting up with members from across the County. We have now reached our 1 year of virtual guiding milestone and have just released a badge so our members have a memento of the last year which can take pride of place on their camp blankets.
Cathie and Carol
Joint County Commissioners
What have we achieved over the last year?
Student takeover: Girlguiding in the 21st century
We were recently given the opportunity to tell our story to one of the students from Peterborough college. She chose to write about how children have been affected by the pandemic and soon tailored her story to be based around Girlguiding. It was lovely to hear an outsider’s view of how much guiding has helped our members through the pandemic and help spread our message to the wider world. To read the article it is here.
Cambs West walk together challenge
The challenge was to walk 100 miles and collect the mileage badges and centre hexagon. This challenge was so popular it has raised in excess of £5,000 for the County and roughly 180,000 miles walked. We have had some fabulous pictures from all over the country of peoples walks and orders from as far as Canada and Switzerland. It was a great challenge to do when walking was a lot of people’s main exercise and getting out into the open. Once we can all meet again safely, we plan to organise a County picnic to celebrate all the miles we have done.
Guide herbal remedies virtual badge day
The guides had an amazing day gaining their Natural Remedies badge online. They received kits with lots of products sent out for the day, some were provided to us by Naissance, who kindly sponsored the day, and others collected by the leaders who collated a brilliant kit for the day! The day started with a guest speaker from the Body Shop. They then investigated ingredients from familiar products and learnt about natural ingredients and scents then blended their own signature perfume. Using their signature perfume, they went on to make their produces such as scented candles, bath bombs, shower steamers and soap. A fabulous day was had by all and we had many reports of amazing smelling kitchens.
Oliva Rawson rainbow unit bake sale
With it being difficult to come together and celebrate Christmas with parties and outings such as going to the Panto we had our own Panto Challenge. The purpose of the challenge was to experience the production and performance of the panto.
Ending with a grand finale video called It’s a Rap which showed characters designed, sets made and costumes ready. There was even a well done from some of the cast from Jack and the Beanstalk from one of our Theatres in Peterborough which was brilliant. This challenge and badge are still available on our website if anyone fancies a go.
Virtual World Thinking Day
World Thinking Day is one of the most important dates in the Guiding calendar and as we were unable to meet, we went virtual. The theme this year was peace building so we spent the day learning about women peace builders and traveling around the world centres taking part in activities. We started the day by renewing our promises, then went on to make calm spheres to help us find peace and calm. Traveling around the world centres we did sari tying from Sangam, paper picado from Our Cabana, cheese and chocolate fondues from Our Chalet, peace doves from Pax Lodge and paper beads from Kusafiri ending with a member of Trefoil Guild leading us through the ripples of peace activity.
With a closing video from our sisters around the world we had happy Thinking Day messages sent to us from Pax Lodge, Kenya, Sangam, South Australia, Portugal and Our Chalet. The lovely lady from Kenya ended her message with a huge smile saying guiding is so much fun and we couldn’t agree with her more.
We also spent February taking part in the social media challenge set by Girlguides of Australia called Guide Month. It was lovely to reminisce with all our members and find pictures to match each of the day’s themes and show all our social media followers what a brilliant time we have in Guiding.
What is in store for Girlguiding Cambridgeshire West?
Following a legacy recently left to the County we are in the early stages of planning a new HQ. We have found a new office which we are now moving into and working towards building a new holiday and camping facility for the County.
A Ranger and Young Leader virtual social and quiz evening will be held on Friday 7 May 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
In partnership with Girlguiding Cambs East the Lord-Lieutenants Challenge was launched in February 2020 which is a great challenge to get involved with.
We are working closely with Girlguiding Cambs East to hold a joint County Camp in 2022. With the ideas that are on the table at the moment this is going to be a brilliant event giving girls from both counties the chance to experience a large camp.
It feels refreshing to have blue skies and a shining sun again, it really lifts the spirit. As we have received the news that face-to-face guiding can resume, we must take this next phase slowly to ensure that we are all safe and continue to stay well. Please make sure that your risk assessments are updated with any changes and are presented to your local commissioner in good time, so that events can take place. Risk assessment advice can be found on the Girlguiding website here. I know that many will be struggling to secure our indoor spaces and we will also continue to offer virtual guiding as a blended offer both now and in the future. As always take care of yourselves and do what is right for you and your unit. Over this last year, I have certainly missed coming to visit activities, events, and units across the region. I hope that as we continue to experience easing of the the lockdown restrictions, it will be possible for me to travel and meet many of you once again. I am always happy to attend virtual events so please do invite me if you wish.
Earlier this month we saw the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh and the amazing legacy that he leaves behind. I know that many of you will be remembering the times when you met the Duke of Edinburgh at awards scheme presentations and possibly other times when he has visited events across the region. I was reflecting on my own participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, reaching the bronze award and taking part in the activities whilst at school. The Duke of Edinburgh did come to an event that I was at, although I never got to speak to him, I know that we all felt really proud to be part of the scheme. It was great to see the memories of those involved in Guiding having taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh, either as participants and achieving awards or as supporter, and enabling his legacy will continue. Don’t forget to get in touch with our Duke of Edinburgh Award advisor Jean Verney email@example.com if you need any support or guidance. I know as a region we have always supported this scheme and so many Bronze. Silver and gold awards have been achieved.
Have you been buzzing?
The 50th birthday celebrations continue, and I know that many of you have begun to complete the Buzz About Anglia challenge. You will see that this month we are focusing on the Bee Giving theme, giving out ideas of what to do with your unit, as an individual or as a group. Please don’t forget to send us photographs (with permissions) as we would love to share these with everyone else who is taking part in the challenge. You can download the challenge here and buy the badge here.
As the weather gets warmer and the nights get lighter, there will be more opportunity to take part in some of the outdoor aspects of the challenge. We have two great events coming up is year the Fiesta Fun 17 – 18th of July and our Amazzzing Anglia Birthday party on 27 November more details will follow but please keep those dates in mind when you are planning so that you can take part in these celebration events.
I am looking forward to the summer months meeting up with friends within guiding and perhaps spending less time on Zoom, which takes up so much of my guiding life at the moment. It has been an amazing tool which has enabled us to hold meetings, meet girls and undertake activities but I am looking forward to when I can meet more of you face to face as we return to some new ways of offering guiding. There is much happening over these next few months and it feels like new beginnings, as we emerge from the virtual world. Let us shout out to the world about how fantastic Girlguiding is to everyone, let’s do this together so that we can grow again and welcome new members and perhaps welcome some old ones back too.
Take care and Keep smiling
Girlguiding Anglia invites ramblers, meanderers, scramblers, hill-climbers, and walkers of all disciplines to learn more about the Girlguiding Walking Scheme.
Despite our lack of elevation in Anglia, we have a growing group of keen walkers who are looking to encourage more young people to get outside and into walking. So, whether you are a Brownie or Rainbow out on a scavenger hunt, or trying out geocaching for the first time, there is a style of walking to suit everyone. Getting outside improves both our mental and physical wellbeing, so now is a great time to have a go at some walking challenges.
Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire West have created their own county challenge badges which invite members to walk 100km – that is 2-3 km each day, (about 45 mins) and the total distance will soon add up! Why not get involved, you can log your walks with pen & paper, or using any app on your phone e.g., MapMyWalk or Strava? So, whether out with your dog, family, a friend, or playing Pokémon Go – make sure you log your walks to complete these fun county challenges. More information can be found on the following county websites: Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire West or by contacting the region Walking Advisor on firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about The Girlguiding Walking Scheme
The Girlguiding Walking Scheme provides a variety of training and assessment opportunities for leaders looking to gain level 1-3 qualifications or a Mountain Leader Award! There are three levels to Girlguiding’s Walking Scheme, which you can take depending on your existing skills and experience. Each level prepares you to walk in new, more challenging locations.
Walking Scheme Level 1 – will give you the skills and knowledge to take your girls walking in lowland country, including urban and rural environments, nature trails, tracks, and paths through local woods, fields, and recreational areas.
Walking Scheme Level 2 – will enable you to take girls on walks in non-mountainous countryside, in areas that are typically no more than 600 metres above sea level.
Walking Scheme Level 3 – will help you take girls on walks in remote country anywhere in the UK – excluding steep slopes, rocky ground, scree, loose rock and exposed ridges.
This qualification is open to anyone who is interested in supporting girls and young women to do walking activities. You do not have to be a Girlguiding member.
Every year, Anglia’s walking advisors across region and counties host a Level 2 training scheme, often held in November in the Peak District. This event is also open to social walkers or those needing to complete walks for their logbooks.
Completing Level 2 qualifications
This November, Girlguiding Anglia hopes to invite leaders looking to complete their Level 2 Training and Assessment course in Peak District. Tentatively pending for the 13-15 November, we are now asking members to register their interest if they would like to join us. Members in attendance will need to sort out their own accommodations due to ongoing COVID restrictions.
Not looking to complete a qualification? No problem!
Anglia region also runs a 100% social walking weekend for members and friends. This year, Girlguiding Anglia is encouraging everyone to get out into the beautiful countryside, from forests and fields to sandy beaches and coastal trails, bring your family and discover more ways to enjoy the beauty of the British countryside on foot.
Anglia’s annual walking weekend will now be taking place in Shropshire in June 2022 where we hope faces old and new will unite in their love of the great outdoors (socially distanced of course!). This weekend will include the option for attendees to join scheduled pre-planned walks (in line with any long-standing COVID restrictions) or choose to do their own thing – combining completing any necessary recorded walks with some light sightseeing and a tea stop or two along the way. As Anglia only offers Level 1 terrain, we encourage all social walkers on our walking weekends to record their activity. The Shropshire Hills are ideal for Level 2 walks.
Not sure what you need to complete your qualification?
All requirements can be viewed here.
Any questions? Get in touch with Verity Maclachlan, Girlguiding Anglia Walking Advisor at email@example.com
Keep walking Anglia!
Edit October 2021: All section specific newsletters have now been combined into their own section folders and can be found at the following link girlguiding-anglia.org.uk/resources/activities-and-games
Over the past 15 months, we have been providing section-specific newsletters for leaders to send out to Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, and Rangers if they can not meet. Our July newsletter is the last in the series and each section contains ideas that can be sent out or completed in unit meetings as they return face to face.
We also have four activity packs, one for each section, kindly shared with us from the Space to Grow Together project, and designed for use as remote guiding activities or as ideas for activities to do when socially distanced meetings return. Find the packs here in our member support download area.
Our previous newsletters are also still available in the resources section of our website with each sections full set available at the following links:
We also have a wealth of resources able to be shared with young members or to support our valued leaders with guiding at this time. Follow the links below to download the resources: