Most units have been in contact with their girls and are holding Zoom meetings. Volunteers are doing a great job and girls in units which are unable to offer guiding at the moment have been invited to join other units’ meetings to ensure as many girls as possible are able to continue their guiding adventure. A couple of units had started meeting face to face indoors but had to stop with the second lockdown. Units have taken part in ‘Act your Age’ with Children in Need.
Sandbach’s next district meeting is in December when we will be doing a quiz. Di Bolton’s role as District Commissioner comes up for renewal at the end of the year.
We held outdoor meetings in the park, on the field and in the yard at the Guide Hall and volunteers excelled themselves in adapting activities to keep everyone safe. We played games, excitedly hunted for treasure, got smoky around campfires, and made beautiful collages from the results of our scavenger hunts.
As soon as we could, we swept the cobwebs out of the Guide Hall – literally – made it Covid-secure and welcomed the girls back indoors. Nothing fazes the girls and as usual they took everything in their stride. New girls and new volunteers tried guiding for the first time and loved it. We tried our hand at decorating Gingerbread men, learnt to lash ropes and make a delightful tea-light bonfire, chanted songs quietly as we can’t sing loudly, learnt the basics of first aid using our teddies as our patients and made gorgeous tessellated pictures. It’s back to Zoom meetings and activity packs but the fun goes on!
Holmes Chapel District has continued to offer Girlguiding to the girls in the area throughout.
During lockdown this was through virtual meetings but as things were eased after the Summer Units began face-to-face meetings outdoors. Rainbows, Brownies and Guides all had a chance to get together. During the last few evenings before second lockdown, 2 Rainbow groups and 1 Brownie group, enjoyed hot chocolate, marshmallows, and Sparklers out in the open air.
Girlguiding has continued to operate in Congleton Cloud district since the start of the first lockdown. Some units have held virtual meetings or sent activities via email or hand-delivered activity packs and some units managed to meet face-to-face, indoors, and outdoors, when allowed. One Brownie Unit visited their leader’s farm to enjoy outdoor meetings in one of the fields. The Guide Unit even held a virtual camp, involving camping in their own gardens or making dens to sleep in inside their home and completing challenges set by their leaders.
Badge work has been completed and presentations made across the whole programme. Two Guides, Sammy, and Louisa, gained and were presented with their Guide Gold Award just before October half term at the Unit’s virtual meeting. All leaders have been working really hard to keep their Units going through this unusual time and are looking forward to a rest over the Christmas period.
Five units in the district are holding regular Zoom meetings – one unit only started in early October, but numbers doubled between the first and second meeting which was really encouraging. One unit was Zooming successfully during the summer term but then enthusiasm waned. However, hoping to do a couple between now and Christmas
Keeping in touch with the leaders of the remaining units, trying to encourage and link up with units elsewhere to get ideas on how to use Zoom.
We are encouraging girls from 7th Congleton Guides, which definitely cannot restart at the moment, to join up with 3rd Congleton Guides. That seems to be going well and over half the guides from 7th are now joining the 3rd Congleton Zoom meetings and a couple of older ones are on the Ranger waiting list to join next year.
The District is planning to have a pre-Christmas social meeting via Zoom when Christmas jumpers or other festive decorations will be worn, everyone will enjoy a drink and we may even make gingerbread or do a quiz together.
We would love to welcome some new volunteers and hope that the newly appointed Retention & Growth coordinator will have some good ideas on new ways to approach this.