Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thinking Day 2014

It is not often that the 22nd of February falls on a Saturday.   This is the day, both Lord and Lady Baden Powell’s birthdays, that Guides and Scouts think of other Guides and Scouts all over the world.

Our region, Gauteng Central organised a fun celebration at Trefoil Park to celebrate the occasion.   Two Waverley Guides and five from Rays of Hope attended (Thanks to Trevor Jacubus, father of Nina, one of the Waverley Guides, who helped transport the Rays of Hope girls to and from Alexandra).   It was a family event and parents, brothers and sisters were all included.   Teams of not more than eight were formed and given a map to various stations scattered around Delta Park.   Each station represented one country where there are Girl Guides or Girl Scouts.   There was the promise from each, the flag and information about the country or activity.

Besides the 7 girls we had Gummi Bear, my assistant Guider, her husband, Graham, Nina’s father, my son, Chris (Grizzly Bear) and Kathleen (Kitty Bear)   We split into two teams with three adults in each.

Our first stop was Japan, where we got to catch plastic fish in the shallows of Braamfontein Spruit.


Next we went to Australia where we found out why they wear corks on their hats and got to transfer corks from a basin of water using tongs.   The group of Brownies and a mother and little brother who were ahead of us scored better than we did.


Off to Italy and boat races (jet propelled!)

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At Mexico we learned about PiƱatas and as a team got to break one in two blows, scattering sweets for all.



At China we got to watch the team before us measuring the “Great Wall”  before it was our turn.

Canada looked like the most fun – getting the whole team plus a tea set across the chasm using stepping stones but it was so popular that there was quite a queue so, because our time was running out, we skipped it and went to India where the girls got to get their hands painted.


Back in Trefoil Park we got to go skiing in Switzerland and make up a song to the tune of Shosholoza in Zimbabwe.


Our last stop was England where we got to do a traditional Guide activity, make dampers over an open fire.   A mixture of self raising flour is rolled into a sausage and wrapped around a green stick and cooked over the coals until it sounds hollow when knocked and comes off the stick when pulled.  Jam was put into the hole and it’s ready to eat.


At each station, once the activity was successfully completed, a puzzle piece was given to the team leader.   At England we got to glue the pieces together and despite the lack of the Canada piece, we got to make the South African flag.


The morning ended with a small ceremony, where thinking day coins were collected in a wishing well and a map was displayed showing all the countries where Guiding takes place.

Well done to the Hillcrest district who organised such a well planned and fun day.   The support was great, over 20 teams took part with plenty of family involvement. 

Love and Friendship


The Rays of Hope Guides took very seriously the encouragement to bring a friend.  Another 7 girls have arrived within the last two weeks.   The programmes are running in tandem.   Last week was making valentines day cards …DSC05915


On Thursday both companies enjoyed “Bring a friend Day”   where we did nothing but play (messy) games.   Unfortunately it was half term for the private schools.   Nevertheless we had a number of friends join us.


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Here’s hoping the friends join and don’t get scared away!

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 and lots of changes

As last year wore on, we had more and more problems with transport and space shrinking as Rays of Hope improved the children’s home.   The house where we were meeting got refurbished, a teacher was hired to help the children with their homework and volunteers from Canada were housed on the premises.   This was all great for the children but not so great for a Guide Company. Since we had visited the Scouts who meet at the Alex Old Age Home, I have been .keeping it in mind as an alternate venue.

So this year we moved to the Old Age Home in Alexandra .   They have made a hall available to us which is usually set up with chairs but we can just move them forward and make enough space for a meeting.   Tsegofatso and Lebohang’s family moved so we started with 5 Guides and since then another two have joined.

I am very proud of the girls.   All but one of them have returned their child care letters – signed by the mother of the children they looked after.

The other change is that I offered to take over 1st Waverley Guides when I heard their Guider was leaving.   They are younger girls and on the complete opposite of the spectrum.   I am running the two companies in tandem, making adjustments for their differences and going to the Waverley Guide Hall straight after we have finished in Alexandra.   It is a bit hectic but fun.   Both companies are working on the Accident Prevention badge and we will have a Friendship day for each close to Thinking day.


1st Waverley Guides

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Childcare badge

I decided to try a new strategy for badges.   It seems like all the Guides have a younger brother or sister or cousin or neighbour that they regularly look after.   I gave them each a letter to give to the mother of the child outlining the badge requirements with a place to sign if they are capable.   This puts the responsibility on to the girls themselves to get the tester and do the badge.

At Guides on Friday we went through suitable food, toys, routine and safety.   Then we talked about suitable clothes for the different seasons and made paper dolls.   

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Well, let’s see how the girls do.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


For most Guides, camping is the highlight of their Guide career.   I had organised with Mandy, who runs the first Waverley Co, that we would have a district camp. She would be the QM and I would run the camp.   I have a colleague who runs the emergency care team at our school (and she also was one of my Guides when I was still with the 3rd Randburg Company) and she agreed to be the first aider then my son,  Chris would help us with security.
My prayer for the camp was that we would have nice weather and that the Guides from such diametrically opposed backgrounds would get on well together.   Rain was forecast for the weekend.
In the end, only 4 of my Guides turned up.   When the crunch came, the parents of the other 3 couldn’t come up with the money.   I had known that the sisters probably wouldn’t be able to make it but I expected 5.   My Guides came very late (predictably) but the 1st Waverley had enough so we could at least put up the tents.
It did rain on Friday night but not enough to flood the tents.   One patrol, however,was inundated by Parktown Prawns and had to be evacuated to the hall in the middle of the night.
camp panorama
On Saturday the girls learned first aid aimed at the first aid badge.

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Our supper was planned to be cooking in patrols over open fires.   Although we had had no rain during the day it looked very threatening by about 5pm.   The girls did manage to make some great fires though.
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Samantha watching the fire

The rain did come, however, and only one patrol managed to get their chicken casserole in foil cooked.   Along with the rain came lightening and we soon relocated the girls into the hall and the foil parcels into the oven.    By the time we had finished our indoor campfire, the lightning had receded and the rain had lessened so we were able to sleep in our tents (except for the Parktown Prawn patrol who were very skittish)
Sunday was badge testing and packing up on a beautiful hot sunny day.
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The girls learned a lot.   They learned table etiquette (don’t walk on the table), working together to do duties,   campfire traditions,   How to Manya for lost property, first aid, of course, and in addition they made lots of new friends.

lunch time at camp

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We all left exhausted with the Guiders vowing not to do another camp for at least a year but the Guides wanting to know when the next one would be.

Raining on Guide Sunday

Because the transport is so iffy as far as timing goes, we decided to get to the Waverley Guide Hall early so as to be quite sure that the girls would get there in time for Guide Sunday.   The plan was to all bring a picnic lunch.
So Sunday dawned very rainy and miserable.   Two girls  phoned or left messages to find out if Guide Sunday was still on.   In general it is very difficult to get hold of people in Alex.  A lot of them have cell phones but don’t have airtime or don’t keep them on most of the time so I decided we would just go with the plan and bring a gazebo and groundsheet.
So we had a picnic in the rain.  The girls didn’t mind.   They even went out walking in the rain .
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Guide Sunday was a combination of inspiration and celebration.   Waverley Guide Hall was 50 years old.
The colour party acquitted themselves adequately and the girls enjoyed the ceremony.
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The best was probably the tea and birthday cake and other eats afterwards.   My Guides have a very positive attitude to Guide Sunday and enjoyed meeting some of the 1st Waverley Guides with whom they would be camping .