Returning to Guiding in these very strange times … daunting, very daunting, so I thought, right, let’s just do it!

At the end of last term we Zoomed with the girls, but out of a unit of 18, we only had 6 regular girls and it just wasn’t the same – don’t get me wrong, it was good, but just not the same.  So, I thought – let’s spice it up a bit and spend the winter term outdoors!

The beauty about outdoors – workload = hardly any – not much planning, a very straight forward risk assessment process with our lovely Division Commissioner (thanks Ailsa), loads to do without any resources and we can ask for the much needed subs – £20 for the term, but with no outgoings it will mean that we might have a fighting chance of paying the 2021 Census!

We’re meeting in ‘bubbles’ so we have split our 17 strong unit into a group of 8 and a group of 9 Rainbows:

Group 2 – the older Rainbows and the new recruits

Group 1 – the inbetweeners! 

Each group meets fortnightly (so we do the same thing 2 weeks in a row), we have me (the Leader!), Kendal – our newly qualified leader, Wee Louise – our Young Leader (who joined as a Rainbow at 5 and doesn’t seem to have ever left!) and a parent helper (thanks Shellie – Group 2 and Dawn – Group 1!).

 

How do we collect subs?  We hand delivered letters, calendars and consent forms to the girls, with instructions to meet in the carpark in Cathcart Street (near the park) – parents could stay at their car and the girls walk to us from there. I made a post box – out of a box and a bin liner – for waterproofness!  The girls posted their consent forms and fees in my unique post box (they loved that) which I locked in the car whilst we walked and then stored in a safe place at home and not touched for 72+ hours.

So, with oodles of hand sanitiser, a first aid kit, consent forms, warm layers (which we ended up shedding), waterproofs, facemasks (adults only) and we were off!

Weeks 1 & 2 – up the hills – and that’s what we did – went up the hill at Douglas Park and back down again, we counted steps, found painted love hearts everywhere and had running races.  We rested on benches and tried to spot our houses from the top of the world!  We even had a wobbly tooth full out – so much for social distancing with that one!  We loved it!

Weeks 3 & 4 – we’re going to have a good walk around Douglas Park, The Burns Garden, the pond, faerie trail and bug hotel within and of course have more running races, because the girls love them!

Weeks 5 & 6 – we’re going to go to Anderson Park (spicing it up a little) and play on the swings, might even take a football to kick about in the ball court.

Weeks 7 & 8 – an open air Promise Ceremony which our Young Leader – Louise – is going to organise as part of her Young Leader Qualification.

And so, what if it rains?  Well then, we’ll just have a ball jumping in puddles and getting wet and then sending all the girls home for hot baths and hot chocolate!

As for what we all thought of our new way of Girl Guiding …

New Rainbow, Quinn said “I liked meeting new people and seeing some of my friends 😊 and I liked when we had to run up the hill and have a race”

Young Leader Louise says “I’ve loved watching all the girls enjoying and exploring the great outdoors, and their happy faces seeing their rainbow friends after not meeting for months.”

Leader Kendal says “Having Rainbows outside has been a little different but a lot of fun – the girls seem to love it! Can’t wait to see how things pan out over the next few sessions and I’m sure no matter what the weather we’ll all have a blast exploring and adventuring outdoors😊🌈”

Isabella says she liked having Rainbows outside. She loved running up the hills and back down again. And she especially liked that her tooth came out! 😅🌈x

Nina says she liked looking for the hearts 💕

Hollie – “I enjoyed seeing all my friends and going on a walk together”

Sophia – “I enjoyed climbing up the big hill and racing with my friends”

Paige loved being outdoors and meeting the new girls, she said that the race was definitely the fun part and her mum said – thanks again for organising it all. They love being outside.

And as for my thoughts – well, I hit my step count and had a wonderful time doing it, with great company who see so much more than we do as they are closer to the ground!  Lol!  I am seriously considering making outdoor Rainbows sessions a firm future plan and can’t think why we haven’t done more of it sooner!

By Sharon Murdoch