Go Global

Posted by Martin Wynn

On 18th March almost a hundred 10-18 year old members from across Girlguiding Shropshire took part in the virtual international themed event ‘Go Global’. As with almost all aspects of life over the last twelve months, international experiences have had to change as a result of the pandemic. No travel for the last year, but, that doesn’t mean no international fun! We ‘set off’ virtually on our adventures to all corners of the globe….

As everyone was joining we saw where members from Shropshire have travelled abroad with Girlguiding before with a fantastic display of photographs and videos. We then learnt interesting facts about Girl Scout cookies and played ‘Cookie Face’ which bought a lot of laughter to start the evening with a bonus snack for extra energy.

To make some of the activities easier for everyone we then split into breakout rooms and played a variety of games which could be shared with Guides from all over the world. Most importantly we had ‘packed’ a bag although some things may not have been as useful as we had hoped. Thankfully, we were able to see what we might actually need and the importance of these things. Everyone needs to be kept entertained whilst travelling as there are often many hours on planes, cars, boats or buses so we also made an origami cup and ball set to keep us busy. We learnt how to carry water bottles on our heads and practiced walking around the room – an activity people in Rwanda were proud to teach me during an excursion on my GOLD project. Finally we spent a relaxing five minutes learning some yoga to do whilst on the long journey – luckily it was only sitting down!

In the later session we had great fun trying some towel folding to make our travels all the more luxurious. We even managed to make an elephant… although some practice is still needed to perfect them!

Travelling abroad with Girlguiding is one of the most exciting adventures you can have. As you may have seen, members from Shropshire have made it to every WAGGGS Region in recent years and the options really are endless. Have a look on our social media for more stories about international travel following our takeover in February.

Please contact me for any further information – hopefully we will be able to jet off somewhere amazing soon! Katherine Leeming – Shropshire County International Adviser

Great Wall of China Trek

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One of our leaders, Rebecca Harding, tells us about the challenge she set herself in the name of Girlguiding.

“In December 2016 I decided to challenge myself and signed up to take part in the Girlguiding UK Charity Trek of the Great Wall of China. As a Brownie leader I challenge Brownies each week to try new things and at 6th Whitchurch Brownies we are not allowed to say we can’t do something! So this was a challenge for me and throughout the challenge I was not allowed to say ‘I can’t do it’ – our Charity Trek group t-shirts said it all – ‘Girls can do anything’.

I first saw the challenge on the Girlguiding website, the iconic image of the Great Wall stood out and made me think I would love to go; traveling independently I knew going with Girlguiding I would be looked after and have fun. I signed up and told my family over Christmas dinner that I was going to China in 2017. I have been fundraising and training for the challenge throughout 2017 finding beautiful walks around Shropshire, Cheshire and North Wales borders as well as climbing lots of steps. The Girlguiding Charity Challenge co-coordinator at HQ has been very supportive and she also completed the challenge with us.

Over ten days at the end of September thirty ladies took part in the challenge, the majority of whom are members of Girlguiding but the charity challenges are open to anyone to raise money for Girlguiding UK. Some of the group flew out to China the week before the trek and had an extension trip to see the Terracotta Warriors; I joined the second group traveling to China for the trek. The trek was organised by Discover Adventures and we were joined by two guides from Discover Adventure, a doctor and two local Chinese guides. We spent 6 days walking along different sections of the Great Wall of China – this included walking on parts of the original wall, wall that had been restored, walking on / by un-restored wall. The weather was kind to us and we had breathtaking views of China. The walks were challenging with lots of steps and slopes to climb up and down. Each night we stayed in different hotels close to the section of wall we would be climbing the next day.

All of the ladies successfully completed the challenge and have raised £45,000 at present for Girlguiding UK – this money will be used for new unit grants, grants for units in deprived areas, training for Peer Educators, paying for members to travel and speak at high profile events to influence decision making and supporting members with disabilities.

I loved taking part in this challenge, I challenged myself physically, experienced a wide variety of Chinese culture and met amazing inspirational ladies as we supported each other to meet our personal goals.”