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Friday, 31 August 2012

Out of this World - Helene in Flower Power sub-camp

5th Stopsley Guides, Stopsley South, Luton South - Flower Power sub-camp - Wednesday-Thursday 22nd-23rd August 2012

Helene was invited to visit the Flower Power sub-camp during her time at the Out of this World camp, and arrived just as they were making dinner.  They were having cowboy casserole, it was very tasty.  After they had eaten, Helene made friends with another mascot called Billy-Bob!

Later in the evening, we all headed up to the campfire, where a Guide called Shannon took very good care of Helene.

The stunts at the campfire were great, we all liked the Waterworld 'If I Was Not A Girl Guide' song, and the '12 Days of Camping'  performed by Quackopia.  At bedtime, Helene was so popular as a tent-mate, that she had to stay with the Leaders as the Guides couldn’t decide who should have her! The Leaders gave Helene a present, a badge from Haverings, their local Guide residential centre. 

In the morning Helene was taken to the craft tent by one of the Guides, Keliyah. They helped each other make some beautiful things, including painting a terracotta pot. Everyone got back together for elevenses (yummy mid-morning snacks), then Helene went back to her own subcamp.

She had a great night in Flower Power – thanks to them for looking after her!


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Helene's been Out of this World!

Helene arrived in Bedford and was greeted by Gill Lake the Division Commissioner for Bedford, who was busy getting ready for camp. Gill’s friend Marion made Helene her very own camp blanket, so she’s been collecting badges and having them sewn on ever since...

The first day at camp was VERY hot!

Helene sheltering from the sun with her water bottle
The opening ceremony at camp was great fun - we zoomed away from Earth and met the inhabitants of other worlds like – Cadbury World, Planet Rock, Quackapia, and Water World. Each world’s inhabitants introduced themselves and their customs. These were our sub-camps!

Here’s Helene with an inhabitant of Quackapia

...and some friends that she made in Water World

...and a Scouter from Serbia who was staying with Water World
Helene made it on to the front page of the camp newsletter – The Planet – with an article telling the girls all about her.
She visited mission control to sign in

here she is in Planet Rock with their mascot Robin.

During the camp Helene spent some time with some of the other worlds...
Unfortunately that meant that the camp had come to an end so we all said our goodbyes and prepared to strike the rained all morning so Helene stayed warm and dry tucked up in her camp blanket!!
Helene was back on Water World for the closing ceremony – there was a cool performance by several of the girls who were trained throughout the day by Richard, a West End actor, who had just flown in from America.

Then when it was dark we went outside where each world was sent off as a Chinese lantern – there was even one to support the Paralympics. We all had glow sticks as well and we had great fun singing whilst waving our glowsticks. Helene had a great time with Bedfordshire Guides, who made her so welcome at their Out of This World camp and she says thanks to Bedford Division for hosting her!
Our Chinese lantern

Helene's badge collection is growing already!

Watch out for blogs from the sub-camps that Helene visited, coming soon….

Friday, 17 August 2012

From Yorkshire to the USA, with Helene in tow

This summer girls from Girlguiding North Yorkshire South were selected to take part in a trip to America, and Helene came along too!  It was a long journey to get there: we took a train from York to Manchester, a plane from Manchester to London and another plane from London to Boston but we finally arrived late in the evening. Our first impression was the heat, it's a lot warmer than the UK in America!
On the first day we went on a Duck Tour.  A Duck is an old World War 2 tank, we were driven around the city by Captain Duck Tape and then the tank magically drove into the sea and we had another tour by water (we also got the chance to try driving the tank).

That evening we took a bus to Hartford in Connecticut where we met our host families.  We spent two days with our families and visited the local sights like the local Navy submarine base, the beach and aquarium. We also had a pool party in the evening where we met up with all the Girl Scouts who we had stayed with.

On the Sunday morning we all excitedly packed up our bags and headed to Summer Camp. We were taking part in the Girl Scouts of Connecticut International Camporee.  There were lots of international Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from Japan, Ghana, Nigeria, Canada, Australia and the UK, and of course lots from America.  

Throughout the week we took part in traditional American summer camp activities including archery, boating, canoeing, swimming in the lake, crafts, tie-dye, camp fires, cook outs, etc.
 On the Wednesday we held an International Day for all the local Girl Scouts to come to visit.  We met Daisies (like Rainbows) and Brownies who had been too young to come to camp.  We put on a display about our country and Girlguiding UK.  We also made cream teas and put on a sketch.  The camp was visited by the Senator for Connecticut and the President of Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

Camp ended all too quickly and we said very sad farewells to all the new friends that we had made.  We then took a bus for the final part of our trip, a visit to New York City.  We had a fantastic three days in the city seeing all the famous sights such as the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge etc.  We also did lots of shopping including making many of the special edition Girl Scout Build A Bears!
It was then time for our trip to end and we packed our bags for one last time and headed home.  We have so many fantastic memories from the trip and have made so many new friends that we hope to keep in touch with.  Hopefully we will meet up again at another international trip some time in the future.

 PS Fancy going on an international trip yourself? Ask your County International Adviser what's coming up (or if you're a young member, ask your Leader to find out for you!)

Monday, 13 August 2012

Helene's been to BrumJam!

Watching the opening ceremony, Chris Hoy with the flag
Helene arrived the Friday before we went off on camp, hand-delivered by the postman! She really enjoyed the Olympics opening ceremony on the TV, and was a great help on the Saturday, with the shopping for camp.

As soon as we arrived at BrumJam (an international jamboree camp in Birmingham) we were busy doing exciting activities. Our first day was Skills - as part of one of the zones, some of our Guides needed to design and make a gadget all within 30 minutes.  Helene joined this group and helped them design and make our new camp couch. They made it really well and all managed to sit on it, though Helene tested it first as she was the lightest!

Check out our gadget!
On the Monday we had our subcamp day and ate breakfast at a different camp with people we did not know. We all enjoyed making new friends.
After breakfast we joined in the mini-Olympics which was full of fun games like sponge throwing and spent the afternoon trying food, playing games and doing crafts with other groups on the subcamp, before watching BrumJam’s Got Talent. Though our group entered a fantastic dance unfortunately we didn’t get through to the big finale - Helene thinks we cheered the loudest though!

Visiting friends for breakfast
The next day was all about fun in the water. Our group built a fabulous raft with Helene's help, but  she did not fancy going out on the water as the waves were nearly as big as her! The Guides were very brave though. After lunch our group went canoeing, but as the waves were still quite large we tied the canoes together to make them more stable. Helene once more decided that staying inside with the other Leaders was a better option than taking to the water.

After raft making waiting to get on the water
The Thursday was an early start but nobody moaned as it was off to Alton Towers with our Subcamp. Woohoo! The braver members of the group did the big rides such as Nemesis, Air and Oblivion and the others did the less stomach churning rides like Ice Age 4, Rapids and Battle Galleons.

We all had a sleep on the way home from Alton Towers ready for the Subcamp campfire in the evening. Helene enjoyed the songs and skits, some of which we did not know and enjoyed sitting by the fire keeping warm.

Friday and the last day of camp was our Blackwell Adventure day. We were split into groups and each given four activities for the day. Helene’s group started with archery, followed by crate stacking where Helene had a go and managed 5 crates with some of the Guides. After lunch we did the 3G swing and then a tree top trek.
Kieran took Helene with him as she was too small for the harness, he instead tucked her into his hoodie so she could enjoy the views of camp as well!


After dinner we all headed off to the closing ceremony where we watched the BrumJam flag lowered and all voted for our favourite ‘BrumJam’s got Talent’ act and our subcamp, Hercules, won! We had a few speeches and then a final disco to finish the night off.
Helene and all the Guides had a fabulous time - exhausting but a brilliant adventure!

Helene looking tired and ready for a nap after all the excitement :o)

P.S. If you're interested in finding out more about international camps, keeping checking back here or find out what's going on in your Country/Region

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Biscuits or cookies? Helene chats to Michigan Girl Scouts in York

Today our Guides hosted some Girl Scouts from Michigan, and Helene met them too! It's the Girl Scouts USA's Centenary this year - a very exciting time for them.

Here are the Girl Scouts and Girl Guides with the whole group

Our "British Biscuit and American cookie" picnic

Helene visiting the Minster. Helene joined by wearing a UK Centenary Tshirt!

Helene braves the rain for an Olympic adventure with 1st Boxmoor Guides

A couple of weeks ago, Helene arrived to stay with 1st Boxmoor Guides and friends securely in her own ‘sleeping bag’ but did get a little downhearted being asked to ‘sleep rough’ on a door step in the rain whilst waiting for one of her hosts to return from work! Eventually she returned, gave Helene a hug and things started to look better.

Helene soon learned she was to have a very busy Sunday as the Olympic Torch was coming to Hemel Hempstead and she was invited to join Guiding and Scouting members to a Torch Celebration with lots of activities before we all marched across town to view the Olympic Torch as it passed by.

Sunday morning came with huge rain clouds and a flurry of activity – Helene started to worry about getting wet again...

We arrived early at the Guide Hut where we loaded a huge assortment of equipment into various cars and set off for the local park. Helene watched as areas were set up for Sports Day, food and creative activities, and kept a very close eye on the weather.

At 1:30 as all the Leaders assembled in a big marquee the rain began to fall, we all had to shout to hear each other over the rain. Oh-no, would all the Rainbows, Beavers, Cubs, Brownies, Guides and Scouts still come? We crossed our fingers and the sun began to shine a few minutes later.

Just after 2:00 the young members began to arrive, and Helene made friends with some local Guides who took care of her for the rest of the day. She had a really great time with them!

Everyone had a great time – there were marshmallow pigs made, union flags coloured and waved, giant straw constructions, welly throwing, team sports competitions, fruit kebabs made, so many things we didn’t get to finish them all!

At 4:15 we all lined the streets outside the Guide and Scout Headquarters and waited patiently for the Torch Tour to pass. It began to rain, but we were so excited we didn’t really notice (and a Leader walked along the line with a bucket of sweets!).

Everyone had all been collecting 1ps and 2ps we put these in the now empty sweet bucket to raise money for WheelPower (based at Stoke Mandeville, a fab Olympic themed charity). Soon we heard whispers along the lines that the torch was coming, and the excitement was building. Then police bikes drove slowly past, and some policemen waved - one created a cheering competition!

And then it came - we heard chattering down the road and saw a glimpse of the top of the torch in the distance, the clapping and cheering got closer to us and then we could see the Torch Bearer and the Torch in front of us and it was our turn to cheer. It was a once in a life-time experience and Helene was so glad we all braved the rain.

That was the highlight of Helene’s week, she’s also been to a unit meeting where two of our older Guides organised a team sports day – we did get rather muddy but that was all part of the fun and it marked the end of term for 1st Boxmoor Guides.