Two years of additional volunteering and planning came to fruition for March Brownie Leader Susan Southwell last weekend. Back in 2012 Susan volunteered for a national guiding project working to provide International Brownie Adventures during the Big Brownie Birthday year.
“I was excited and a little nervous when my application was accepted” said Susan. “Would I know anyone else involved, would I know enough about International Guiding and Brownies?”
At the first planning weekend around 20 leaders met at Heron’s Lodge activity centre. “I didn’t know anyone on arrival,” said Susan “but by the end of the weekend I had a new set of friends.”
Last weekend Susan was part of a team of three Leaders who transformed Hautbois, Girlguiding Anglia’s activity centre in Norfolk, into Our Cabana, the guiding World Centre in Mexico, for the weekend. Similar weekends have also taken place at Waddow, Blacklands Farm, Netherurd House, Broneirion and Foxlease.
At the weekend, Susan and her two volunteer colleagues met another new set of friends: 25 Brownies and their Leaders from around the United Kingdom. Activities lead by the team and Hautbois staff included a World Association Girl Guides Girl Scouts game, Mexican meal and adrenaline activities on the zip wire and climbing wall. The Brownies made ponchos and sombreros and also experienced a Hautbois campfire.
Susan explained “There’s one word for the weekend – ‘brilliant’! I felt that the Brownies learnt a lot about Our Cabana. Even after 47 years as a Leader it was great for me to have a new challenge. I would encourage other local leaders to broaden their horizons and sign up for a new project”
Current volunteering opportunities with Guiding at a national level can be found at https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/members_area__go/whats_happening/volunteering_opportunities.aspx (you will need to copy and paste this into the members area of the Girlguiding website)