The Library needs a home…

You may remember that I mentioned that we had started a library of books and DVDs to inspire discussion and thought on the Personal Values octant. Of course, books need a bookshelf, and so we managed to incorporate a little Independent Living and Creativity octant to our last two meetings.

While a few girls were still decorating their bear’s t-shirts for the Senior Section Spectacular, the rest were getting to grips with an Ikea Flatpack and a fancy screwdriver lent to us by my stepfather (my tools got stolen by one of my tenants many years ago!) that has lots of different ends you can add to suit the job you are doing.

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For most, if not all, the girls this was their first time building flatpack furniture and though it started with a mild look of panic, I stayed out of the way other than to recommend they check everything was there before they started building. A couple of moments of realising bits were in the wrong places happened – but they recognised their errors and rectified them all on their own. As many of them plan to go to university, and I’m sure all of them will eventually move out of their parents’ homes and into their own flats and houses at some point. I’m also sure that this will not be the last time in their lives that they will build Ikea furniture.

They had forgotten about the decorating part, and so once the bookshelf was built they improvised with what they could find in the leftovers from previous craft projects for the rest of the meeting. The result being that this was the bookshelf we left in the church hall next to the Brownie, Guide and Senior Section cupboards

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What you can’t see is that ¬†they got some adhesive backed fabric on the top of the bookcase, and everyone signed their names (they asked me to add mine). At the last meeting the girls all brought magazines and cut out pictures from them to start decoupaging the sides of the bookcase. We will hopefully eventually varnish them once they are finished, which will likely not be until after the summer holidays now.

It has been fun to see them get creative with this, and I can’t wait to see the end product! I’m hoping we can get more funding to get more books and films to add to the library next year.

Now we have just over a week until the summer holidays begin. Some of the unit members are taking part in the Girlguiding Scotland contingent of the riding into Parliament on 2nd July. I’ll sadly not be there as I’ll be at work (boo). Hopefully the girls going will tell the rest of us all about it after!

But that’s it for our fourth year of Senior Section – we will turn 4 on 12th September. Due to a Guide camp in August, losing leaders (hopefully getting more?) and me being on the hunt for full-time work we’ll have two months off meetings and return at the start of September for a new school year. My hope is that I’ll get a job that will allow me to stay in Edinburgh and continue volunteering, but nothing is guaranteed. Fingers crossed though!

Guides visit Pets At Home

One of the benefits about being in an urban Guide unit, is that lots of businesses who have partnerships with Girlguiding UK have branches close by. This makes up for our lack of access to be able to do some of the outdoor skills that we are losing.

Earlier this year, we were able to go to Krispy Kreme and this term we went on a trip to Pets At Home where they offer visits to Girlguiding and Scout Association groups free of charge and they can learn from the staff about animal care and animal handling. A member of staff took our Guides and introduced them to a very friendly lionhead bunny that we nicknamed Simba. All the Guides and our Young Leaders got a turn in holding the bunny, but when one of our Guides got very freaked out at the idea of holding and touching the rabbit, I got to hold it and I’m proud to stay that she conquered her fear with encouragement of her fellow Guides and she did stroke the bunny ¬†while it was in my arms. And the Guides then took this photo (as I’d taken a picture with each of them with “Simba”).

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I think that the staff member had a presentation plan, but never really got to keep to it as all our Guides had so many questions and stories about their relatives and friends with pet rabbits. We were also given an extra visit by one of the manager’s pets. A beautiful golden retriever called Callie.

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It may be we go back to Pets At Home for a second visit at some point as several of our Guides had a dance show so missed the trip. Plus I think there was more to experience, and it would be good to give the girls a chance to tie this in with the Animal Active Go For It.

A beary nice way to celebrate turning 100…

Since August we have been discussing (or more I’ve been urging them to discuss) what we could do to celebrate the Senior Section’s centenary. There is a big camp happening run by our national branch but it unfortunately hits on the first weekend of the school holidays – traditionally when just about every Scottish family takes off on their family holiday before the English schools break up and the going on a holiday prices sky rocket even more. The other plan was to head down to Manchester with another unit for a ball – but again it fell during school holidays when a lot of their families have plans to be away.

And so it was jokingly suggested that we should have a birthday party at a certain bear making children’s shop. One that I may or may not be employed by (and regularly have Guides, Commissioners and Senior Section poking their heads into just to see if I’m working that day -lol!). This branch does ‘VIP’ bookings where they’ll open the shop an hour early on a Sunday just for the party only, and we decided to do that. We bought some fabric paints and I purchased some plain t-shirts for the bears and the Rangers decorated them with a centenary theme ahead of the party.

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Some of the centenary t-shirts

We were also lucky that the metal Senior Section Spectacular badges had arrived in the Scottish Guide Shop that week, so with a teeny bit of budget stretching, I got each of the girls a badge. I then wrapped the badges and their t-shirts in paper and hid them around the shop before they arrived. We were also really blessed as the girls were older and the shop wasn’t open they were allowed to try out the machine that makes the bears (under supervision from staff!).

Four of the Rangers had not yet made their promise, despite being members for almost a year (or more) and they decided they’d like to make their promise at the end of the party. The bears also took part, and I was ordered to ‘help’ the bear I was holding raise his right paw in a three fingered salute so he could make his promise too.

I think the girls had fun doing it (there have been a few pictures of bears appearing on facebook), and hopefully it’s a memory and keepsake to take with them to remember their days as Ranger Guides. It was also an opportunity for two of the Guides who are thinking of moving up to Senior Section after the summer (they decided to stay an additional year after doing Free Being Me to do their Baden Powell award) to join with the current members and get to know them a bit.