‘Rio 2016’ – GirlGuides
GirlGuides and Senior Section camp in a field by a beach near Montrose, 10-16 July 2016
As part of our Olympic flame relay/opening ceremony, the girls answered the question ‘What do the Olympics have in common with Guidecamp?’ Most agreed that it’s a chance (or a challenge?) to meet and understand new people and make new friends - more so because we share our camp with the Pitlochry Guides. Being fit and healthy, competition, sport, and meeting a challenge were some other thoughts.
And a challenge it certainly is. No mum or dad to put breakfast or dinner on the table, make the bed, find the missing sock or jacket or whatever just got lost, or even wash the dishes and clean the toilet. Accomplishing all that in patrols of six - sharing a tent, a cooking fire (that means collecting wood too) and a camp-toilet – that’s quite a big ask for today’s kids. Oh, and no running water or electricity either, and of course no mobile phones!
Patrol leaders, usually aged around 13, keep the show on the road. So what about the Leaders – well, we are there as well, keeping busy in the background. We’re a safety net really, and if that fire won’t light, or that tent not stand up the way it should, we help. And we do have some ‘technology back up’ in the form of gas cookers, a hot water boiler and a fridge (thanks to a Griffin micro grant from the community council) in a central tent. But it’s all about the girls going for it independently as much as they can. So yes – a challenge. For the Senior Section that’s all old hat of course – so we just let them get on with it (the odd inspection to maintain standards not withstanding ;) ).
In keeping with the Olympic idea, the camp wasn’t all about sporting activities. The girls made their own mascots, tried to hold a short conversation in Portuguese, learnt to dance Samba and had a Carnival (organised by the Senior Section). Short Yoga sessions in the morning helped focus the mind. The camp being next to the beach, we made the most of sea and sand, with paddling whenever the weather was good enough, and a sandcastle competition. We thought about and had a go at Paralympic activities, and learnt to play touch rugby. No camp of course is complete without some adventurous activities, so the Guides went raft building and burn walking. The Seniors got to canoe around the Montrose basin, while the Guides went into the mud and pond dipping at the Montrose Wildlife centre. The Seniors – following on from being independent on site, they now go off on their own – took an unaccompanied hike with overnight stay to Lunan Bay.
For me, camping in this way is the mainstay of Girlguiding. And, still in keeping with the Olympics, GirlGuiding also has a great international dimension, as does Scouting. So next year, we are planning Switzerland 2017 - spending a week at the International Scout Centre in Kandersteg.
That comes at a price of course, and we don’t want anyone to miss out for lack of money (for previous camps, the National Lottery and the Griffin Fund were big donors, but sadly neither now fund trips abroad). So the parents have got together to form a fundraising committee and hope the various fundraising activities will be well supported by the community. Please look out for them at posters around the village or here in the Bridge. The first one is a Family Ceilidh at the Birnam Institute on Friday 23
September at 7pm, with ‘Strung Drawn and Quartered’, the Breadalbane School Ceilidh Band. Tickets will be available at the Birnam Institute. Next up will be a week long charity shop in Blairgowrie from 8 October. For this, we will need lots of good quality sales items (clothes, bric a brac, small items of furniture etc.). If you plan on clearing out your cupboards for a good cause, please let me know (07770324173).
Thank you for being interested in Girlguiding in Birnam and Dunkeld – I hope you enjoyed reading about what we get up to once we disappear in the minibus every summer.
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