Celebrating Guiding Through the Summer Together
When I became as County Commissioner in April things were just starting to open up a little. I have been overwhelmed by the way units have risen to the challenge and created ways in meeting together whether on Zoom, in parks, green areas and latterly inside. It has been great to visit units on Zoom and hear about all the things they have been up to and share my experiences of doing Rainbows, Brownies and Guides virtually.
We have looked at new ways of spreading the message of guiding in Lincolnshire South to try and recruit new girls and leaders. We have had some great responses and feedback from the various events we have held, and we have given each of our divisions a recruitment box with merchandise to use at their own events.
Through the summer Lincoln has hosted an Imp Trail. Logos of some of the charities, specifically those who have supported young people in Lincolnshire have been used along with iconic symbols such as the Red Arrows, Lancaster Bomber, and the mighty Lincoln Imps football team. Girlguiding Lincolnshire South joined together with our friends from Lincolnshire North to sponsor our own Imp. Guiding groups, individual leaders and families have taken part in the Imp Trail had a fabulous time.
The photos below show our lovely Imp at our Guiding Properties, Parva House and the Nellie Doubleday Centre together with Hautbois. We hoped to be able to get groups of girls all over the county with the Imp but sadly due to Covid-19 he had to travel alone.
As a County Team we have worked to celebrate our leaders and a card and badge has been sent to all our volunteers.
Welcome to this month’s edition of Signpost. The days are getting shorter and its beginning to feel autumnal, as the seasons change so do the activities and opportunities we offer our members. I don’t know about you, but it’s been lovely to get back to unit meetings, seeing our young members face to face and feel that buzz of excitement a new term brings.
One of the first activities the Brownie unit I volunteer with did was to make a birthday card to celebrate Anglia’s 50th Birthday and take part in the Region wide birthday card swap, where units send and receive a birthday card, as part of the Amazzzing Anglia Birthday.
It has been a delight to be able to start visiting events around the Region again after so many have had to be cancelled or postponed over the last 18 months. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the launch of the Shuttleworth Quest. A brilliant collaboration between Shuttleworth and Girlguiding Bedfordshire. The Quest is set around the different aspects of the Shuttleworth Collection and suitable for all ages, I would encourage anyone who can to pay a visit.
I also had the pleasure of attending Girlguiding Buckinghamshire’s Thanks and Recognition Dinner. An opportunity to meet with volunteers from across Buckinghamshire, share stories and thank them for all they do to provide wonderful opportunities for our younger members. I was particularly interested to hear from a couple of members of Inspire, their local group is going from strength to strength and have organized all sorts of events both virtual and face to face. If you want to find out more about Inspire in your local area contact your County Champion.
Tracy and I are both looking forward to meeting adult volunteers and young members around the Region in the coming months.
Whatever your plans for this autumn have fun!
Deputy Chief Commissioner
One thing that I pride myself on is that I lead by example. I never expect someone to take on a role or task that I would not or have not at least tried myself when it falls within my capabilities or offers a challenge for me to rise to. At Wellies and Wristbands in 2016 the then Chief Guide challenged us all to do something for the first time, so I climbed up and jumped off of the trapeze at Foxlease…I was really scared of the jump but there were guides watching, so I jumped and of course, loved it, if only there had been time to go again.
During September and October, the theme for the Buzz about Anglia challenge is ‘Bee a Leading light’ so, here’s my chance to lead by example again. I am always encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone, to challenge themselves, to give something new ago, so, I’m running 2 half marathons. 1 reason it’s a big challenge for me is that I only started running in Feb 2019 with a very slow couch 2 5K.
I’m telling you because I’m doing it for Girlguiding Anglia to raise awareness and funds. We all need to shout out about the brilliant work Girlguiding does and by that, I mean you and I. We are the organisation and more than ever we need to tell people how wonderful we are and encourage more people to get involved.
On Sunday 17th October I’ll be running the Oxford half marathon, this is mostly a flat course and on roads I know really well as I live here. On Sunday 21st November I’m running the Conwy half marathon which is far from flat as it includes running up the Great Orm, I have been there before but way before I was running anywhere; I went up on the tram and I suspect the weather will be far from the sunny day I had for that tram ride.
I love running, I love Girlguiding so putting these 2 things together just makes sense and I hope you’ll share with others what I am doing, perhaps they and you can add a few pennies and pounds to my fundraising total.
Who doesn’t love a badge?
Despite challenges of the last year or so, the team in Girlguiding Hertfordshire has gone from strength to strength. Units have been meeting online and many returned to face-to-face just as soon as it was allowed.
During Lockdown, we introduced flexible units to allow girls to take part when their local unit might not have been able to offer anything. We aim to continue with these units to enable girls to start their guiding experience when a place is not yet available to them. Flexible units also help us to ensure we are inclusive, when girls can’t get to a unit, for whatever reason.
Our social media presence has increased massively since our PR team grew in numbers and they gave themselves the challenge of getting involved in all the different platforms. The “Meet Our Leader” posts are designed to support recruitment by showing that our volunteers do other things, not just Guiding! They have been very successful. We have also used social media to celebrate our volunteers’ awards and long service following our virtual presentation evening.
Following the success of our Thinking Day challenge, we have exciting plans for the year ahead. We are launching a county book challenge in the autumn term and have a golfing challenge in planning for the spring.
Our Walking Team have been encouraging us all to get outside and keep well by introducing the marathon badges and mini mid-week challenges
The Great Patrol Hunt has been running for many years and continues to bring guides together from all across the county to take part in challenges and team building over a series of events throughout the year. This will start again in October ending in a camp in the summer term.
Teamwork is really important to us. With such a big county, we couldn’t function without working together as we do. We try to recognise our volunteers and the dedication they have and what better way to do this than with a badge!