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.