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All items, photos and data copyright © British Girlguiding Overseas 2020      Site updated on 01-11-2020


September 2020

Diane’s blog for September

When I last wrote my blog we were all going into lockdown and I commented on how the world was changing. Little did we know then that it would continue to change and change again….  

We are all used to keeping in touch using various virtual and phone platforms so it won’t come as a surprise to you when I say that I have been able to continue to meet volunteers and girls at some BGO events during lockdown. As I know that keeping cheerful is not always easy (and especially at the moment) I wanted to share with you some of the very positive moments that I have joined in with in BGO since I last wrote.

Our Stay at Home challenge has been a huge success. Over 400 girls and leaders from all parts of BGO embraced the challenge, making it one of our most popular badges to date. The most popular challenge was the weekly dance session and I’d like to say a huge thank you to Freya for dancing her way through the summer and enabling us to keep happy and healthy – if sometimes a little out of step -  when joining her every Saturday.  Our live dance finale at the end of August was brilliant. Close behind this challenge in the popularity stakes were, making a poster and placing it in a window to make someone smile, growing seeds, creating an obstacle course, reading a book in an unusual place, having a sleepover in a room which was not your bedroom, learning to tie a friendship knot and starting a camp blanket.  There are still badges available so if you know of someone who has finished but missed the deadline, please let me know. I have asked Jill to produce a special newsletter in which we will share some of the comments, photos and pictures that we have received so please keep an eye out for this. We will send it to all leaders via email.

I ‘joined’ the guides in Jakarta at their sleepover when I heard all about the activities that they had done and answered the questions that they had prepared for me.  Bucharest Brownies also sent me questions and I answered these through a short video which they watched during their virtual sleepover.

I really enjoyed ‘going’ to Germany and joining Vicki as she led her Juliette Low seminar project - 100 girls Lead Out Loud challenge - with BGO guides and leaders from Germany, Belgium and France. It was also lovely to meet the American Girl Scouts who were on the call.  The final session when the girls were asked to dream big and ‘met’ Diane, one of the deputy directors of NASA was particularly enlightening and moving.

I sang along at two virtual camp fires. I joined the WAGGGS World Centres virtual campfire where it was great to see other BGO volunteers along with other leaders from our huge worldwide guiding family. I also sang, did all the actions in the action songs, toasted marshmallows and met girls and volunteers at the Cayman Islands camp fire during their virtual sleepover. A particular thanks to Purple Magic who led this super camp fire.

With ‘my’ guide unit we visited our guiding penfriends in New Zealand. We exchanged information about guiding lives in our countries, did a scavenger hunt and swapped camp fire songs.

Phone calls have taken me to a lot of BGO countries including, Anguilla, Abu Dhabi, Azerbaijan, British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Kuwait, Malaysia, Monserrat, Oman, Spain and St Helena. Recently I visited the Guide Hut in Bermuda and chatted with some of the leaders and I also joined Dubai and Singapore’s division and district meetings and had the opportunity to chat some more!!

It was brilliant to join up with a lot of our BGO commissioners at our first commissioner conference. The coffee, cake and chat café was a moment for informal get-togethers which were then followed by training sessions and presentations. Thank you to Amanda Medler, Chief Guide ; Sandy Hennis, BGO ambassador and the BGO trainers and advisers who made the week so special.  From the feedback we have received, it seems that everyone found it very useful, a great opportunity meet one another and something that should be repeated.

So as you can see, I may not have left my living room but I have kept in touch with many of you. Thank you for the invitations which have enabled me to do this and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like me to join you whether it is at a meeting or event.

Whatever forms of guiding you can offer the girls within the constraints of the countries where you are living is brilliant and a huge, huge thank you for all that you are doing in these particular times.

I’ll be back in touch soon !