Girlguiding South West England
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Where Guiding Goes On
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Tell Us About It!

This is your Website and we need you to help us keep it interesting, informative and relevant to all Sections. Tell us what you are up to and send in some photographs. If it's the thought of writing the story which is putting you off, let us write it for you. Give a brief outline of what it's about, who was involved and when and where the event took place and send it in with three or four images which we can use with the story. jpegs are best, but we can work with png or even cut and paste an image from a word document. Attach your photographs to an e-mail with the story, or put everything in the post with some photographs and we can scan them. If you can't provide any pictures for us, we can probably find an image to accompany the story so there are absolutely no excuses! Any questions, give Susie a call on 01722 343187 or e-mail We look forward to hearing from you!

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Two Pages Added to Website!

To help you find the information you are looking for more easily, we have created two separate pages on our Website - "Useful Downloads" and "Resource Downloads".

Click here to go to the Useful Downloads page where you will find advice on such things as supporting Members with disabilities, activities for Rainbows and Brownies, information on grants, awards, the region logo, and the adult training qualification, as well as press release templates and walking scheme route cards.

All our downloadable resources are now available on one page. Click here to go to the Resource Downloads page and see what's on offer! This is where you will find the Night's Away Record Sheet.


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Introducing Mary Selby!

Mary SelbyWe are delighted to welcome Mary Selby to the Region Office team as our new Finance Officer. Mary will be working with Lucy Pinnock and Sarah George and will help you with expenses claims, invoices and general accountancy enquiries. She can be reached on 01722 343189 or by e-mail at and will be in the office from 9.15am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday each week.

Mary will be known to many of you as Leader of 3rd Verwood Butterfly Rainbows, 3rd Verwood Ladybird Rainbows and 3rd Verwood Brownies in Dorset. She joined Brownies herself at the age of 7 and hasn't had a break from Guiding since - she has been a Brownie Leader for 25 years!

You will get to meet Mary at our forthcoming Region Events and Conferences which she will be attending with other members of the Region Office team. Do say hello!



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Region Compass Award Presentation

Compass Award RecipientsWe were thrilled to host our annual Compass Award Presentation at The White Hart Hotel in Salisbury on Saturday 23rd September.  Twenty-five amazing ladies and their guests were welcomed by Carole Pennington who told them, “Be very proud that you are here today, somebody has seen that you do something extra…. Thank you for everything you do and be proud of all that you have achieved”.

It was an afternoon of celebration and there were lots of smiles and a few tears as the citations were read and each Award was presented.  It wasn’t possible for us to talk to everyone, but the citation for Joy Prince from Cornwall opened with the line, “Joy’s dedication to Girlguiding is second to none” and we wanted to find out a bit more about this Leader who had “brought Rainbows, Brownies and Guides to her village in Cornwall… then went on to open a Senior Section Unit as well”!

Five intervieweesJoy is currently a Brownie Leader and Assistant Leader with the Senior Section.  She told us that whilst living in Coventry she had been involved with running Units in all four Sections and had made up her mind to give up Guiding when she moved to Cornwall.  But, she says, “there was nothing on offer for children in the village”, so she opened a Rainbow Unit and then a Brownie Unit and followed this with Guides and Senior Section!  Joy is keen for the girls to be actively involved in village life and to be seen at village events.  She  organises litter picking and bulb planting in community areas and makes sure the respective Units receive credit and publicity for what they do.  Joy works hard to recruit new Leaders and she told us she believes people are more likely to volunteer when they hear all the good things the girls are involved with. 

Another Award recipient was Jackie O’Connell and we heard that she is:

“A passionate Brownie Leader working with a Unit in Hampshire North where many of the girls come from Army and Air Force families.  Despite the challenges associated with leading a Unit in this setting, Jackie has managed to maintain a healthy and successful Brownie Unit”.

Much of Jackie’s success is thanks to her calm and positive attitude.  (Jackie is a firm believer that unless there is a rule which says you can’t do something, you can!)  Jackie explained that many of the girls who join her Unit have been Brownies in other parts of the country, or even in other parts of the world and they are often used to meetings being run in a different way.  It is important that they are made to feel welcome and helped to settle in as quickly as possible and Jackie says her Brownies do seem to accept the new arrivals quite readily.  She thinks this is in part because the girls in her Unit attend lots of different schools. 

By comparison, the membership of 1st Tetbury Brownies in Gloucestershire is very local and the Unit’s Leader, Charlotte Reid, knows a lot of the families in the community.  According to her citation:

“She has managed to include many girls who would not have otherwise attended without her encouragement.  She is a very enthusiastic fundraiser, ensuring that the girls can participate in meetings, wear the correct uniform and go on outings regardless of their financial circumstances”.

Charlotte has “built up a fantastic rapport” with her girls’ parents and she says they are happy to come forward and talk to her if they need help.  The girls in the Unit are very involved in all the fundraising which takes place and in July they held a big family disco which raised £377 for the Unit’s new building fund.  We did ask whether the good relationship Charlotte has with the parents means that she receives offers of help from them with running the Unit but she told us this isn’t really necessary as she runs the Unit with her Sister, Auntie and two Assistant Leaders. 

Iris Hodgson became a Unit Helper in 1978 in Shirley, Hampshire West, when her daughter joined Brownies and Iris was asked if she could help.  Her Husband was in the Police and working shifts and Iris couldn’t commit to being a Leader, but helped every week whenever possible and fitted this around bringing up her four children.  She told us, “I absolutely love it” and clearly the feeling is mutual; Iris’ citation reads, “She is a positive influence and an inspiration to adults and girls alike” and continues:

“Rainbows and Brownies love her and she is a calming influence on any girls that are feeling upset on sleepovers or holidays.  Iris will sit with them and teach them knitting or other craft activities to take their minds off their homesickness”. 

Tracia Reynolds is the Leader of 3rd (Jersey) West Rainbows:

“She has recently addressed her long waiting list, by starting another back to back session at her Rainbow Unit, so that girls will not miss out on joining the Unit, and thus ensuring membership growth in Jersey”.

Tracia says she has had a problem finding helpers, but that a parent rota “works most of the time” and her Young Leaders were back from university at the end of the Summer Term.  She told us the secret is to be flexible and understanding.  Tracia’s Rainbows feed into four Brownie Units so finding places for the girls in the next Section isn’t an issue and her citation says:

“She always ensures that her girls are given every opportunity to attend events, including events with the local Brownie Units, to ensure her Rainbows moving up are comfortable and know some of the girls and Leaders before making the transition”. 

Tracia told us that two of the local Brownie Units in particular are very keen to get involved with the Rainbows and they recently held a joint Scottish Night with a ceilidh band “with lots of drums and lots of noise which the girls loved”!  She says the Brownies are happy to return to Rainbows and often spend a whole meeting with the younger girls, passing around their sashes during circle time for the Rainbows to see and joining in with the craft and other activities.

Compass Award BadgeJoy, Jackie, Charlotte, Iris and Tracia, and all the other very deserving Compass Award recipients, repeatedly told us that they don’t do anything special or anything more than anyone else.  So that means there must be hundreds of people within our Region who also deserve to be recognised for what they do for Guiding and you need to tell us about them! Award nominations need to be with us by the end of December for consideration at the next Awards Sub-committee and you can find out more information about all the Awards which are available from the Region and Girlguiding by clicking here

Please don’t leave it to someone else to say thank you!

Pictured left to right in the second photograph are Joy Prince, Jackie O’Connell, Charlotte Reid, Iris Hodgson and Tracia Reynolds. Many thanks to Russell Sach for taking the photographs for us.

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4th Hucclecote Brownie is Presented With Guiding Star Award

Brownie receives Guiding Star AwardThe Guiding Star Award is presented to Members under 26 years of age who have shown bravery and determination in challenging situations. Chloe has cerebral palsy but that didn't stop her joining Hucclecote Rainbows in Gloucestershire when she was five and making a huge contribution to the Unit. In 2015 she moved up to Brownies where she joined in with sleepovers, Division Activity Days, Remembrance Parades and Thinking Day celebrations. She is a budding singer and dancer and was the first disabled child in the country to take and pass her pre-primary ballet award whilst using her walking frame, and last year she took part in Gloucestershire's County Guiding Show. Chloe's Division Commissioner says, "Despite all the reasons she has not to try, Chloe still does. She tries every single day. She smiles every single day. She cheers us up every single day. She sees through every day with bravery and determination, never once even considering an excuse".

Chloe underwent a number of operations in the summer of 2016 and has recently taken her first steps unaided and was able to walk to the campfire on the night of her Award presentation, unaware that the evening had been arranged to honour her. We are told, "When anyone meets Chloe, it is not her disability that they see first, it's her enormous smile and you cannot help but smile back".

Click here to read more of Chloe's story.

Click here to find out more about the Awards which are available from Girlguiding and the Region.



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Ruth Sara, MBE

RuthWe were thrilled to learn that the Region’s President, Ruth Sara, had been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to young people in the South West of England. 

Ruth has been involved in Guiding in the Region for over 50 years.  In 1965 she became an Assistant Leader, or Tawny Owl, with 5th Sholing (St Francis) Brownie Unit in Southampton.  She then moved on to become a  Leader with Guides and Rangers as well as holding a number of National, District, County and Region roles including County Commissioner for Somerset North and Chief Commissioner for the Region from 2001 – 2006. As well as being the Region’s President, Ruth is currently also County Vice President for Somerset North, a Division Mentor for Bath Division, and Assistant Leader with 1st Bath (St Lukes) Guide Unit.  Ruth has also held a number of positions with BGIFC including Chief Commissioner from 2007 – 2012. 

In addition to her involvement with Girlguiding, Ruth’s professional life has also been focused on young people and as a science teacher she ensured that girls’ achievement was a high priority.  She was also heavily involved in the merger of two schools where she is now a Governor.

Ruth says it is still good to be involved in education, but Girlguiding has obviously played a huge part in her life.  She told us,

“Looking back there must have been more than 1,000 girls who have passed through the Guide Unit in Bath and some have gone on to be Leaders.  That is so great.  Leaders or not, it is always good to hear what young people achieve and wonderful when they attribute some of their confidence and achievement to being a Member of Girlguiding.”

She added that although it has been “a privilege” to work with Girlguiding nationally and internationally, “The girls are the most important thing and the best bit of Guiding – if they did not come then we would not be here!!”

Ruth says that receiving the news of her Honour was a “total surprise” and she had to read the letter several times and still cannot believe it.  She says she feels “very humbled and flattered that people thought I deserve to be recognised in this way for doing something I enjoy and believe in".

Click here to go to the Useful Downloads page and find out how you could nominate a Girlguiding Member for a National Honour.


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Spotlight on the Walker Family

Spolight on Walker Family front pageOur latest Spotlight Interview is a little bit different. Samantha Walker is a Brownie and the fourth generation of her family to be involved in Guiding. We have been chatting with Samantha; her Mum, Karen Walker; and Samantha's Grandmother, Di Frost.

Click here to read about this remarkable family.

Our Spotlight Interviews are always published first in the Region's monthly Newsletters so make sure you open and read yours as soon as it arrives and be ahead with all the news!


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Hampshire West Reach New Heights!

Hampshire West logoClick here to see the film of this year's Hampshire West international trip which offered girls and Leaders the opportunity to trek to the Annapurna Base Camp. Situated in the Himalayas in north-central Nepal, Annapurna is the 10th highest mountain in the world and the film features stunning views and lots of smiling faces!




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1st College Town Brownies Hit The Jackpot!

1st College Town BrowniesWell done to 1st College Town Brownies from Girlguiding Royal Berkshire who ran a human fruit machine stall at their local school fete in Owlsmoor on 1st July and raised £60.00!

The Brownies' Leader, Pam Bailey, says, "I would like to thank them all, they all worked very hard and had a great time". The girls were raising money so they could celebrate their last meeting of the year with an outing. Not only did the Brownies run the stall all day, but they helped prepare it and decorate the boxes beforehand.



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Olivia Helps Rainbows Scale New Heights!

Rainbows boulderingMany thanks to Claire Ferbrache from Guernsey who sent in this great photograph of 9th St Matthews Rainbows bouldering with Olivia!







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9th St Matthews' Rainbows Have Been Busy Again - Chilling...!

Rainbows Pamper NightClaire Ferbrache also sent us this really lovely photograph of one of the 9th St Matthews Rainbows enjoying their recent Pamper Night. Obviously a little relaxation was required after all that bouldering!




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8th Capelles Guides Celebrate Songkran

Guides Celebrate SongkranAnother photograph from Claire Ferbrache, this time of 8th Capelles Guides on Guernsey celebrating the festival of Songkran which they clearly enjoyed!


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LEGOLAND - The Region Builds on Previous Events to Create Another Huge Success!

LEGOLAND Our latest Region Event took us to the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort at the end of March for two fabulous weekends. Six hundred Brownies took up our invitation to join us for a very special sleepover, and 4,500 Members of all ages joined us for the day visits during which they were able to enjoy everything the resort has to offer, from the thrills of the rides to helping create an enormous LEGO mosaic.

Click here to go to our YouTube site and see the film which we have had made about the event.




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Celebrating the Senior Section Centenary

Holly ScrivenerClick here to watch the film celebrating all the fabulous things which happened in the Region to celebrate the Senior Section's first 100 years: Holly Scrivener (pictured) organised a solo walk of the South West Coast Path and completed the full 630 miles in just 50 days raising nearly £1,400 for Girlguiding South West England. We followed her progress and were so proud when she crossed the finishing line. What an achievement! An intrepid group took to the high seas for the Challenger Challenge, and Hampshire West Senior Section moved a little further inland to complete the Three Peaks Challenge in three days, conquering Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. A slightly less exhausting but equally exciting time was had when the Region invited Senior Section Members to a sleepover at Alton Towers where they enjoyed the fun of camping and the thrills of the rides in the park.

It was great to receive all the stories and photographs of the events that Units, Districts, Divisions and Counties/Islands organised more locally and there was so much variety - from exhibitions depicting the history of the Senior Section, to picnics, to the glamour of the Wiltshire South County Ball.

Here's to the next 100 years!

Please note that due to copyright restrictions on the music which has been used to accompany the film, we regret that it will not play on mobile devices.


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Carrick South Division Use Code to Celebrate World Thinking Day

Guides and LEGO RobotsCarrick South Division in Cornwall celebrated World Thinking Day by exploring code and how technology can grow Guiding. The #GirlsCanCode event was the District's first for the year and was organised by Eve Scott, Penryn District Commissioner, and Dr Michael Scott, a Lecturer with The Games Academy at Falmouth University, the venue for the event.

The day began with an introduction to three female role models who have made history in the field of computing: Ada Lovelace, a mathematician who is said to have written the first instructions for a computer program in the mid 1800's; Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral who invented the first compiler for a computer programming language; and Margaret Hamilton, another American computer scientist and leader of the team that developed the flight software for NASA's Apollo missions. The Rainbows, Brownies and Guides then began to talk about how computer programming is changing the world we live in today and how code can help to grow Guiding.

Rainbow using ScratchThe different Sections then split up into workshops in which they were able to explore and extend their knowledge of a variety of different computer technologies and programmes which are now available. The Rainbows began by learning how to create and control a sprite character on their computers using Makey Makey, Scratch and Play-doh! After lunch they enjoyed some colouring by numbers which helped to demonstrate how computers store drawings, photographs and pictures by numbers and how a grid, when filled in with colour by using numbers, creates a recognisable image.

Brownie using ScratchMeanwhile the Brownies were using Scratch to create interactive stories and animations to illustrate what they love about being Brownies and why other girls should join. They then enjoyed a game jam session with the MetaMakers Institute. The girls were invited to test a new game which the team had been working on, before being given the opportunity to create their own levels for the new game.

The Guides had fun with LEGO Mindstorms robots which they customised and then mobilised using code before completing one of a number of "space missions". Eve Scott says, "There were many laughs during the process, and ultimately all the girls and Leaders too enjoyed playing with LEGO and seeing their thought processes being put into action". Some of the girls also got to try The Games Academy's virtual reality kit which enabled them to move around within a virtual reality world and to draw or paint something within it. What they could see was streamed to a television so the rest of the group could watch.

Bev Benney, a Brownie Leader who attended the day said, "I think it was great for the girls to be involved in something so different to more traditional activities and it opened their eyes (and ours as Leaders) to the boundless possibilities that Girlguiding can provide for us... a positive message that technology is for girls".

The best quote was from one of the Brownies who said, "I want to do this everyday"!

Well done to Eve and her team and many thanks for sending us the story and photographs.

Girlguiding South West England's latest Resource contains activities relating to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) which you could enjoy in your Unit meetings. Click here to go to the SWEBOTS page of the Website for further information on this, and for a link to the Women's Engineering Society's website which provides an extensive list of inspiring women from the world of engineering.


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H2O 4 Life

H2 O 4 Life ResourceWater is a precious resource which we tend to take for granted.  However we don’t have limitless supplies and all available sources of fresh water for drinking are already in use.  On average, Thames Water customers each use 160 litres of water every day – that’s 25% more than in 1980.  The Government target is to reduce this consumption to 130 litres per person per day which means we each have to find ways to save 30 litres of water per day.  However cutting down doesn’t need to affect your daily routine. 

H2O 4 Life is Girlguiding South West England’s Resource pack which was developed in partnership with Thames Water, the largest water company in the UK with 9 million supply customers.  The pack, which is suitable for all Sections, includes a booklet full of activities for you to complete, along with interesting facts and handy hints on how you can save water. There are also challenges, quizzes, board games, card games, posters and stickers to help you become more water efficient at home and in the garden; to explain more about the importance of clean water in promoting good health; and to explain how waste water is processed.  Complete the Family Water Audit to calculate how much water you use now and to demonstrate how much you have saved by making a few simple changes.

We also have a badge which you can wear when you’ve reached your target.  For every badge sold a donation will be made to WaterAid, the only international, non-governmental organisation dedicated exclusively to helping the world’s poorest people to overcome poverty by enabling them to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. 

The H2O 4 Life Resource pack and badges can be purchased from the Region’s on-line shop - click hereThe Resource pack has been reduced to £3.00 (plus postage and packing) and the badge and record card cost £1.00 (plus postage and packing).

Click here to take a look at some sample pages from the Resource Activity Pack.

Click here to go to the Resource Downloads page where you will find the downloads which accompany H2O 4 Life.


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Region Roadshow Success Continues

Quay Climbing Centre LogoOver 200 girls attended the Region's first Roadshow for 2017 at the end of January. All our Roadshows are free of charge and for this one we had arranged exclusive access to the Quay Climbing Centre in Exeter giving Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section the opportunity to try climbing and bouldering. Trained Instructors were on hand and provided expert tuition which enabled all those who attended to either experience an exciting new activity, or to improve on existing skills.

We have received lots of positive feedback from parents who particularly enjoyed the free tea and cake which was provided, but have also commented on our excellent organsation and thanked us for funding the afternoon which enabled girls who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to visit the Climbing Centre to do so. One parent also commented "It was great to chat to Leaders [and] to understand more about Girlguiding". The girls have told us that they enjoyed spending the day with friends "doing a new and fun activity", but many have also said that one of the best things about the day was the opportunity to make new friends. One told us, "I made a new friend with a Brownie from another Unit and we are going to be pen pals" and a parent has told us, "My Daughter had a superb time at the Exeter Climbing Centre and got to meet other Brownie Members from around Devon, one of which [sic] is attending the Legoland trip in March". Favourable comments were also made about the fact that all Sections were able to participate: "The age range was diverse which is good to see at events" and many parents also commented on the fact that it had given their daughters the opportunity to try a new skill and build their confidence.

The parent of a Rainbow and Brownie summed up the afternoon for us by saying, "They made friends in new places, challenged themselves on things they had not done before and generally had the most fun possible"! That's what Girlguiding in South West England is all about!

Our second Roadshow took us to the Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park and for the third we travelled to the Isle of Wight and spent a day at Monkey Haven. It was lovely to see the girls' reactions when they were able to get up close to the animals and at both these Roadshows they also had the opportunity to earn Rustle, Bustle & Squeak badges by making bird boxes, building bug homes and entering a colouring competition. For some it was their first taste of what Rustle, Bustle & Squeak can offer, click here if you would like to find out more about our most popular resource.

Our final Roadshow of the year found us at the Beau Sejour Leisure Centre on Guernsey where we invited girls from all Sections to join us for an afternoon of various sports including fencing, trampolining, table tennis and volleyball, and the chance to enjoy a funzone with bouncy castle, parachute and graffiti art.

Click here to go to our YouTube site and see the film of our trips to Weymouth SEA LIFE Adventure Park and Monkey Haven. Please note that due to copyright issues with some of the music which has been used in the making of the film, it will not play on mobile devices.

Our 2018 Roadshows and Activity Days have just been announced in the Region's latest Newsletter - keep watching the Website for an update!


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Try, Inspire, Qualify

ArchersThis fabulous Region event was a huge success with over 60 Leaders attending a weekend of activities, training opportunities and assessments. Many went home with new qualifications including the Archery GB Instructor Award, CIEH Level 2 Food Safety, and boating awards. One of those who gained the Core Coach Fencing qualification was Rosie Gitsham from Devon. Her County will receive equipment worth £500 from British Fencing for Rosie to use to train others, and Rosie sent the following letter to her County:

"I have just returned from a fun-filled weekend at Try, Inspire, Qualify at Foxlease. I am writing to thank you Devon County for providing £60.00 towards this weekend. I passed the British Fencing Qualification and am now able to offer fencing sessions to Guide and Senior Section Units. Once the fencing equipment and coaching booklet has arrived I will be able to start offering sessions.

"During the weekend I challenged myself on the high ropes and climbing wall and tried whittling for the first time. I also listened to storytelling and went to a campfire. It was a lovely and relaxed weekend where some people tried new activities, others qualified and some did both. It was good to see Guiders I recognised from past events and meet Guiders from across the South West Region. This was one of my favourite 'training' weekends. I hope that Try, Inspire, Qualify becomes an annual event to allow more Guiders from Devon to try activities and gain a qualification."

We also offered abseiling, the crate challenge and the zip line, plus geocaching/orienteering, mini-pioneering, backwoods cooking, shelter building, traditional skills such as knots and pyrography, and wide games. Workshops on writing risk assessments, the Going Away With Scheme modules, the GGUK Water Safety Module, and Duke of Edinburgh scheme were also available.

Click here for the full list of qualifications earned at Try, Inspire, Qualify. Our congratulations to you all!

Our next Try, Inspire, Qualify is happening at Foxlease from Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd September 2018.

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Boomps-a-Daisy BadgesThe Region has picked a bunch of fun activities for its challenge resource which will have you singing and dancing!

Boomps-a-Daisy has something for everyone and covers all ages and a variety of interests. The activities are divided into five categories including adventure, activity, social action, tradition, creativity, food and fun and can be completed by individuals or in groups. Remember that Guiding is flexible so all our suggestions can be adapted and substituted to suit your needs and those of your Unit.

Boomps-a-Daisy has been printed on a new 'plastic paper' which is wipeable, and not easily torn and we hope will prove more durable than ordinary paper or card. Each A4 sized challenge resource pack contains four, full sets of the activity sheets which can be shared amongst your Unit enabling you to promote girl-led Guiding by allowing the girls to choose their activities. We have also included separate Leader Notes containing recipes and additional information and it is all bound together within a plastic folder.

To gain a badge one activity should be completed from each of the five categories. Individual badges are in the form of a pair of daisy petals which surround a centre badge depicting the Region logo. The four petal badges and daisy centre badge can be purchased separately for 60p each, or as a petal badge plus the centre badge for £1.00, or as a full set of five badges for a bargain price of £2.50! The Boomps-a-Daisy resource costs £6.00. Postage and packing will be added to all the above prices.

Click here to go to the online shop and place your order today!

The challenge resource contains the words and music to Hands, Knees and Boomps-a-Daisy, an old music hall song and dance. We would love to receive video clips of your Unit performing the song and will put the best on our Facebook page - e-mail .

Where will your Boomps-a-Daisy grow? On your camp blanket, or on a hat, or on a bag? Send us a photograph to include on the Website - e-mail .


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9th St Matthews Rainbows Enjoy Boomps-a-Daisy!

9th St Matthews Rainbows in Guernsey celebrated completing the Boomps-a-Daisy challenge resource by making (and eating!) Eton Mess - decorated with wafer daisies! Many thanks to Claire Ferbrache for sending in these great photographs.


Rainbows enjoying Eton MessDaisy wafers


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Girlguiding South West England - Where Guiding Goes On!

Brownie in boatThe Girlguiding South West England Region is made up of 16 diverse Counties and Islands, each with Divisions and/or Districts and individual Units which are often quite unique from their neighbours.  All enjoy a variety of advantages and face different challenges, but the Region’s Leaders and Commissioners work hard to ensure that Guiding continues to be fun and accessible to as many girls as possible, of all ages, regardless of where they live.

A large proportion of the Region is coastal which offers fantastic opportunities for all kinds of outdoor activities on the beach and water all year round, although an influx of summer tourists does obviously impact on the life of the locals.  The weather on the coasts and particularly on the islands is often a deciding factor on where and when Unit meetings take place; for example, in the Isles of Scilly, the most westerly part of our Region, travelling to a meeting by boat is often the norm.  The Brownies on St Martins make the journey across to St Marys during the summer months, but are unable to do this in the winter, and even on some summer evenings when the weather suddenly draws in.  Island Guiding does make it more difficult and very expensive for girls to take part in events and activities which are held on the mainland and this can make them feel rather isolated. 

Senior Section building shelterWe also have the beautiful New Forest, Exmoor, and Dartmoor National Parks within our Region which enable local Units to make the most of the wonderful outdoors.   But on Dartmoor there are very few local Units and girls may have to travel quite a distance each week to meet up with the friends they only see at their Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Senior Section meeting.  Here again the weather can change very quickly and planned activities may need to be re-arranged, and the outbreak of Foot and Mouth some years back meant that many girls were unable to attend meetings whilst local roads were closed and travel restricted.

Rainbows cooking over tealightsThe wonderful outdoor opportunities which are available to our Members in coastal and rural areas are not so easily accessible to those who live in our large towns and cities.  Here Units are restricted to using local parks for wide games, but camping and campfires are not possible and personal safety is a consideration when out and about.   Units in these areas do though have much easier access to museums, swimming pools, bowling alleys, climbing centres and other attractions and girls don’t usually need to travel so far to attend meetings which are also less weather reliant!  The distraction caused by all the other activities which are available in a busy town or city can however, sometimes mean that girls get drawn away from Guiding. 

For those attached to the armed forces which are stationed within the Region, Guiding can provide a sense of continuity for girls and Leaders whose families move around the country, and indeed around the world.  Many have benefitted from the warm welcome which Girlguiding extends to them wherever they go and have found that it is much easier to make friends in a new area when they have Guiding in common.  The Units which are based on Salisbury Plain receive practical and financial support from their local garrisons in recognition of the help which Guiding provides to service families.

Girls completing jigsawThe different challenges and rewards which are experienced through Guiding across our Region are demonstrated beautifully in our DVD, Where Guiding Goes On, which was filmed whilst Solange Rebours was Chief Commissioner.  The film has been shown to guests at the Region’s Roadshows to demonstrate the diversity of the Region and remains an interesting and informative illustration of what our girls and their Leaders can achieve wherever Guiding goes on in South West England!  Click here.

We would like to publish your stories about Guiding within the Region.  If you are a Unit Leader, a District, Division or County/Island Commissioner with a story to tell about the challenges and achievements of Guiding in your particular area, do please e-mail .




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Senior Section Centenary Challenge

Senior Section Centenary Challenge BadgeThe Senior Section Centenary Challenge was created by Senior Section Members from within the Region to celebrate their 100th birthday. The Challenge contains activities for all Sections and is available as a download - click here. It is also available to purchase as a printed copy from the online shop at a cost of £1.00 including postage and packing. This fab badge accompanies the Challenge and again costs £1.00 including postage and packing.

Click here to go to the online shop and place your order today!






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Cookafun - The All Section Challenge

CookafunCookafun has been updated and the competition element removed so you can continue to enjoy its mouthwatering menu of activities designed to keep Members of all ages stirring and simmering, dicing and drizzling!

Cookafun is a Challenge involving food, food activities and cooking which will promote healthy eating and encourage girls to be adventurous with food and to try something new. The Challenge can be linked to all Section programmes and the activities are flexible and easily adapted to suit the facilities available to individual Units.

The Cookafun badge can be earned by completing five Challenge activities and is available from the online shop for £1.00 plus postage and packing.

Cookafun may be downloaded free of charge by clicking on the links below. Full colour, double-sided copies of the Challenges for the different Sections are also available to purchase from the online shop for £2.00 plus postage and packing.

Click here to download the Cookafun Challenge for Rainbows.

Click here to download the Cookafun Challenge for Brownies.

Click here to download the Cookafun Challenge for Guides.

Click here to download the Cookafun Challenge for Senior Section.

Click here to go to the online shop.


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2015 Fastnet Challenge

Fastnet Challenge Badge Girlguiding South West England were proud to enter a team in the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race. To mark this historic event we created The 2015 Fastnet Challenge which includes activities for all Sections ranging from singing sea shanties, to long distance walking, to cooking, to learning more about nautical history as you travel from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, to Ireland, to the Fastnet Rock and finally to Plymouth! The Challenge sheet can be downloaded onto two sheets of A4 paper (see below), or can be ordered as a full colour, double-sided sheet from the on-line shop for 50p plus postage and packing. This lovely badge is also available from the on-line shop priced at £1.00 plus postage and packing

Click here to go to the on-line shop.

Click here to download the Challenge sheet.


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- 1st College Town Brownies
- 8th Capelles Guides Celebrate Songkran
- 9th St Matthews Rainbows Bouldering
- 9th St Matthews Rainbows' Eton Mess
- 9th St Matthews Rainbows Pamper Night
- 2015 Fastnet Challenge
- Boomps-a-Daisy Challenge Resource
- Brownie Receives Guiding Star Award
- Carrick South Division Thinking Day
- Compass Award Presentation
- Cookafun
- Downloads
- GGSWE - Where Guiding Goes On
- Hampshire West's Trip to Annapurna
- H2O 4 Life Resource Activity Pack
- Mary Selby Appointed as Finance Officer
- Region Roadshows
- Ruth Sara is Awarded an MBE
- Senior Section Centenary Challenge
- Senior Section Centenary Film of Events
- Spotlight on the Walker Family
- Stories for Website - How to Submit
- Try, Inspire, Qualify

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Girlguiding South West England, St Ann's Manor, 6-8 St Ann Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2DN. Tel: 01722 329306
Girlguiding South West England is an operating name of The Guide Association South West England. Registered Charity No. 305951