I just spent the weekend with a neighbouring Guide District, on their first ever District Camp. This means that there was one camp being run for all Guides, from age 5 right up to age 14. The younger girls (Gumnut Guides and Brownie Guides) slept in the indoor accommodation and the 10-14 year olds (Girl Guides) set up camp nearby with their fancy new canvas ridge tents. They came together every day for activities and some meals.
It was the first time we’d had been a part of something so big in our local area – Nurin had never cooked dinner for 50 people before, I had never been in charge of so many volunteers, all but one of my team had never been on Camp with me before, many of the younger girls had never been away from home for so long, Cassowary had never tried to light a campfire when the wood was not dry and Kinta had never planned a camp for such a wide range of ages.
There were many things that were new to us but there just as many that were familiar. So here are my top 10 favourite things that you’ll see on every Guide Camp, whoever is attending, rain or shine:
- Countless opportunities to boost our confidence
- A safe and supportive environment
- Fun and laughter
- Challenging ourselves
- Learning ways to lead
- Developing our communication skills by interacting with people we may not come into contact with any other way
- Increasing our resilience by trying new things and solving problems
- Building trust across generations
- Learning to be independent
- Making new friends and strengthening bonds with current friends
The thing that stuck with me the most from this Camp was the unfaltering care the Guides showed for each other. They got stuck in with the sweeping, even if it wasn’t their turn. They helped each other tie their shoe laces, or search for hats that had gone missing. If one Guide was struggling, another was right behind her with encouragement and support. From reading to kayaking, from doing the zip on their hoodie to writing an original poem to perform, it didn’t matter what the challenge was, each Guide had a network of sisters ready to help her along. As an outsider to the group, I could truly see the beauty where others may have missed it.
If you would like more information about joining a Guide unit in St Lucia (Gumnut Guides for girls aged 5-7, Brownie Guides for girls aged 7-10, Girl Guides for girls aged 10-14), please use the Contact Us form. We’d love to hear from you!