A Busy Summer for St Catherine’s 186th

Guides and Brownies in Switzerland

Story and photos by Gillian Andrews

The 186th St Catherine’s Brownies joined their older guiding friends from St Catherine’s, Wisewood and Stocksbridge Guides to have a lovely weekend away at the Sheffield girlguiding outdoor activity centre in Whiteley Woods. It is the first time the Brownies have been on a pack holiday and so they were very excited.

On the Saturday the Brownies did lots of crafts including mermaid boxes with sea shells and sparkles, hiked to Forge Dam and did archery in the afternoon. We were joined by the Guides for a pirates’ feast for dinner and had marshmallows toasted in the camp fire and smores to end the day. On Sunday, they joined the Guides to strike their camp, helping to dry and flatten the tents and learn about camping to earn an extra badge. An excellent time was had by all.

In August the three groups also joined up for a trip to Switzerland. Whilst there, we did tobogganing, visited a museum that housed chalets from the 15th century onwards and went down St Beatus caves. We also visited Interlaken and Thun. It is traditional to visit the woodcarver house where the children bought unique mementos of their adventure. On our return journey we spent a day in Disneyland Paris.

These types of international opportunities are available to Girl Guides across the country. The guides are planning a Japanese weekend organised by one of our girls working towards her Queen’s Guide award, a Christmas dinner sleepover plus a weekend next year in Derbyshire. Brownies are getting on with our new programme and planning a pack holiday next year at the guide centre in Whiteley Woods. Rainbows have sleepovers planned and will be spending a Christmas Day at Whitely Woods with the Wisewood unit.

Finally, on 19th October there was a big concert for Girl Guides at Sheffield Arena called the Big Gig. Unfortunately the 186th unit did not have enough money to attend. On Saturday a call was received saying Fleur East, who made her fame on the X-Factor as part of the Addictiv Ladies girl group, had bought ten tickets for a less fortunate unit to attend – and the 186th were nominated! A mad dash ringing around the girls to attend the concert followed!

Fleur East was so taken by the information about her unit that she asked to meet the girls which she did just before the concert started. The girls were thrilled to meet her and had a brilliant time at the event.

Currently the 186th unit have space in all units at St Catherine’s. Rainbows aged 5 to 7, Brownies 7 to 10, Guides 10 to 14 and Rangers 14 to 18. If you would like your daughter to attend contact Gillian on 07863 890 144 or go into the girlguiding.org website to register.