As I write this blog, I hope that you are all continuing to keep well. For those who have seasons, Spring is now firmly in place and it’s nice to be able to sit outside and see trees, shrubs and bulbs bursting into life and some colour coming back into the garden.
Since my last blog, I’m happy to say that more units have been able to return to face to face guiding and this is so encouraging, especially to those who are still experiencing very restrictive life styles until vaccinations come their way. In those areas which have completely returned to normal, units have offered sleepovers, Brownie pack holidays and joint guide and ranger camps. We also have lots of units which are continuing to offer virtual meetings or badges and challenges opportunities. It’s wonderful that so much is going on and that BGO volunteers are doing their best to stay positive and active.
Please remember that if you are thinking about returning to face to face guiding, you do need to contact me so that I can send you the necessary forms to complete and return to me before you can meet.
If the pandemic situation continues to improve, I hope that by September we will have most BGO units meeting face to face and we will be able to welcome new volunteers and girls to start their guiding journey with us and join in the fun.
In February I really enjoyed taking part in the BGO Thinking Day activities and the units that I guide with met up with Rainbows in Dubai and Guides in Bristol, UK. It was great to see the girls comparing their schools experiences, food, language and towns and how it doesn’t matter where you guide, we all do very similar things. My sincere thanks to Emma who organised for over 22 pairings of units to meet up. February also meant subscription and I would like to thank you all for paying the yearly subscription so promptly.
In March I attended the virtual training weekend in BeneLux and France County. As always it was lovely to catch up with old guiding friends as well as new. The sessions were varied and comprised programme, games, safe space, outdoor guiding, returning to guiding, and there was a lot of discussion about the challenges concerning recruiting new members and what could be done to overcome these. I hope that everyone found the sessions useful.
March was made very special as I had the honour and pleasure of presenting Caroline, our International adviser, with the Girlguiding Laurel Award for her exceptional service to guiding in BGO. We brought together volunteers from around the world to surprise Caroline and the brooch even arrived in time to be presented in person. It was a lovely moment and I’m sure that you will all join me in congratulating and thanking Caroline for everything she has ,and continues to do for us all.
I am looking forward to our Virtual ’21 Festival which will start on 8th May. If you haven’t signed up for the event as yet, there is still time to do so and I would really encourage you to come. Amanda, Emma and Caroline along with their brilliant team have written and organised lots of excting things for everyone of all ages to do. All the fun activities are centered around the Girlguiding strategy Today, Tomorrow, Together and have been split into seven themes : Adventures today, Creativity; Together in Friendship; Inside Out; Our Tomorrow, our future; Natural World and finally themes chosen by the girls to shape their own event... There will also be training and fun activities for adult volunteers.
I have got my mascot ready….and I’ll show her to you and hope that you will show me yours, at the opening ceremony - so see you then !!
Best wishes Diane