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Feature

One Hundred Years of Girl Guiding Part 2
Guiding in Barrow

Today In celebration of the Guiding Centenary, a Barrow Voice reporter called on each of today’s groups to capture a snap shot of Guiding in 2010.

Rainbow Guides

Linda Vesty leads this group for girls aged 5 and 6. They meet in the Church Rooms on Tuesdays at teatime

. They had recently visited White Post Farm and been allowed to give the names Barrow and Rainbow to two alpacas. When I called, two new recruits were each making their Promise surrounded by a maypole of other Rainbows.

After the ceremony, the girls got cracking on a cut and paste activity that reinforced the words of the Rainbow Promise: “I promise that I will do my best to love my God and to be kind and helpful.”

Rainbows follow a programme called the Jigsaw that has four sections: Look, Learn, Laugh and Love. Using a resource called the Roundabout, the whole Unit chooses, through a series of games, which badge they would all like to work on together and then selects an activity from each of the four sections.

Each Roundabout has a different theme and the last one that the Barrow Rainbows did was Global Adventure. The girls were very happily learning through play and games. The problem was: which was their favourite: Pass the Didgeridoo or Hedgehogs?
Brownie Guides

Barrow currently has two packs: 1st Barrow meets on Tuesday evenings in Hall Orchard under the leadership of Brown Owl Anne Wilson. When I visited, the Brownies were busy working on a “Brownies Got Talent” evening (part of their special Adventure 100 Centenary Challenge badge) including a human climbing frame.

2nd Barrow meets on Monday evenings in the Church Rooms with Brown Owl Wendy Stephens. They were in the middle of a quiz which the girls themselves were organising for the Centenary badge, with much hilarity.

Comments from the girls about why they enjoy Brownies so much included “cos we go on fun trips and play lots of games”, “I enjoyed learning sign language”, I like doing the arty stuff like drawing and making Valentine’s cards”, “I can’t wait for the next pack holiday” and “I like playing Stuck in the Mud”.

Brownies have several books with resources and ideas, each suitable for a different age group. Brownie Adventure is for 7 – 9year olds while Adventure On helps the 9 – 10 year olds move up into Guides. Girls are helped to choose which activities they want to do, often in Sixes. Unlike Rainbows, badge work is done individually.

Pack holiday is a highlight for many Brownies with the girls camping out in village halls, schools and other community buildings.

It is a real exercise in team work with everyone helping to prepare food, cook and clear up as well as playing games, singing and carrying out a host of activities in and out of doors.

Guides 1st

Barrow Guides. Frances Acton is the leader of 1st Barrow Guides. Girls between 10 and 14 meet at the Scout HQ on Monday evenings. As the BV reporter arrived the Guides were watching a play written and performed by two girls as part of the ‘Showtime Go For It’.

When it was over, they divided up into their patrols and organised themselves into a wide range of activities, from learning knots (things don’t change after all!) and painting play-dough decorations, to learning about make up.

When the girls were asked what they got out of Guides they came up with some surprising and thoughtful answers: “We enjoy working in patrols, organising what we want to do. You can’t do that so much in Brownies. So we get a bit more freedom but also a lot more responsibility”; “we are trusted to leave the Scout Hut to find out things. Although there’s usually a Guider in the background, they don’t interfere. We get used to being more sensible.”

Guides follow a girl-led programme called “Go for It”. There are a series of booklets with a range of activities as well as badge work. The girls are encouraged to do the Baden Powell Challenge after two years. This requires them to complete 10 activities from 5 learning zones as well as an adventure weekend.

They usually get the award at about 13+. Then at 14 it is hoped that they will either join the Senior Section as Young Leaders and go to help with Rainbows or Brownies or they become Rangers. They can’t usually spare the time to do both.

Barrow Guides still go camping at least once a year. Camps are often arranged with other Guide units or regions. Oaks in Charnwood and Topstones are favourite camp sites but the County Guiding organisation runs annual water camps with all sorts of water-based activities as well as joint international camps.

With modern light-weight and genuinely water-proof tents, decent sleeping bags, probably flush toilets and showers (!!) camping for Guides in 2010 isn’t quite the Spartan experience it used to be.

Rangers

Although there used to be a Ranger group in Barrow, now the nearest group is in Quorn. Girls from 14+ attend on a Monday evening and may dip into a programme called “Look Wider”. The group runs rather like a youth club with trips and activities but girls can also do their Queen’s Guide Award and/or the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Trefoil Guild

Guiding is such a powerful philosophy of how to live your life that many adults wish to carry on long after they have left Guides or Rangers. Some were never in the movement but have become interested.

There are about eight members in Barrow who meet up with members from other villages once a month in Birstall. They also have a (casual) uniform and, like all the other branches of Guiding, they go out on trips, have meals out together, make cards and decorations for the Christmas tree, help out at Carol Services and Guiding celebrations and some even work on the adult version of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Celebrating the Centenary of Guiding 2009-2010

The events planned for this centenary year are quite mind-boggling. They are a mixture of national and international events such as the huge international Centenary Camp at Harewood House, regional events such as the milelong carnival procession that will take over Birmingham city centre at the end of April, county events including the Princess Party for Rainbows to be held in Leicester at the start of April and the Brownies Takeover Wicksteed Park in May plus lots of local events.

The Guides of the area have The Great Guide Getaway to the Seaside in June and local Brownies had a Brownie Takeover of The Great Central Railway last November and lots more.

Barrow itself has its own celebrations. There was a big campfire and sing-song at the Scout HQ last November 2nd and more events are planned for 2010.

All the Barrow units are busy working on the “Adventure 100” Centenary Challenge badge. Each girl has to get 100 points to win this badge.

Challenges are arranged into 10 sections. Their headings give you a good idea of where Guiding is going in 2010. They include “In the Dark” (adventures, sleeping and exploring at night time), “Wet and wild” (getting around on water and getting wet), “What a performance” (Singing, dancing, acting and mime) - this is what both the Guides and 1st Barrow Brownies were doing when they were visited by Barrow Voice - and “Ice Cool” (Freezing activities and being chilled out), ie in this Health and Safety obsessed society, Guides go out (safely) and do adventurous and challenging things.
All over the world, the Centenary celebrations will officially end with the “20:10 20.10 2010” To explain: every member of the Guiding Movement will renew her Guide Promise on October 20th 2010 at 20.10. What is this Promise that binds so powerfully so many girls and women? The Promise has changed slightly over the years (can you remember yours?) and it is slightly simpler for Rainbows, slightly fuller for the Trefoil Guild. In essence it goes: “I promise that I will do my best to love God, to serve the Queen and my country, to help other people and to keep the Guide Law.”

And the Guide Law is...
• A Guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.
• A Guide is helpful and uses her time and abilities wisely.
• A Guide faces challenge and learns from her experiences.
• A Guide is a good friend and a sister to all Guides.
• A Guide is polite and considerate.
• A Guide respects all living things and takes care of the world around her.

Last Words from Frances

There have been Guides in Barrow since the 1920s and today we have up to 100 girls in the village from the ages of 5 to 15 actively involved in Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, as well as a Senior Section (Rangers) unit that meets in Quorn. We can only continue because of the time and commitment given by our volunteer leaders, and we are always in need of more help – if you would like to find out more about this very rewarding and fun role, please contact Frances Acton on 413827.

Contributions are from Frances Acton, Tilly Yates, Jan Hind, Val Gillings and Judith Rodgers.

WERE YOU A GUIDE OR BROWNIE?
Did you know that 2009/2010 is the official CENTENARY YEAR for Girl Guiding UK?
WHY NOT COME & JOIN US ON SATURDAY 20 MARCH
at Barrow upon Soar Methodist Church between 10.00am and 4.00pm for a chat and to catch up on what’s been happening.
Bring your memories & photos along too!
Camp fire songs at 3.30 Light Refreshments will be available
For more details contact: Tilly Yates on 01509 413085
Gather round the toadstool and find out

Leicestershire County Council Record Office is celebrating 100 years of Girl Guiding with an exhibition which runs from 23 February to 16 April. This will feature a wealth of photos and memorabilia of local Guides, Brownies and Rainbows from the earliest days to the present.

For further information contact Brown Owl (Janette Pearson - Archivist for Girl Guiding Leicestershire) on jan.pearson@leics.gov.uk or ‘phone (0116) 2571080.