Welcome the new website for
Girlguiding Sussex West
We hope find what you are looking for and enjoy seeing what we get up to in Sussex West. Please keep coming back to visit the site as it will be regularly updated with information on up and coming trainings and events and news from across the County. If there is other information that you would like on the website, please let us know.
WS2017 – August 2017
After two and a half years of planning 3,500 members of Girlguiding West Sussex, Girlguiding Sussex Central and Sussex West Scouts took part in WS2107, a fantastic camp with international guests from over 20 countries. The theme of the camp was Harry Potter and the units were all divided into sub-camps of the Hogwarts houses, plus Dumbledore’s Army for The Senior Section members. The fabulous range of costumes that were seen around the camp during the week was a sight to see. The opening and closing ceremony even had its own Hogwarts Express, carrying the County Commissioners and the Camp Chiefs (Dave & Debbie Phillips) dressed as ‘Dumbledore’ and ‘Professor McGonagall’!
The wonderful range of activities available during the week included archery, climbing, zip lines, rifle-shooting, kayaking, rafting, inflatable challenges, stilt walking, drama workshops, blacksmithing, science and craft, plus getting up close with owls and other birds of prey, lizards and insects, to name a but a few.
On the Wednesday there was an opportunity for all sections that were unable to attend the camp to visit for the day. So Beavers, Rainbows, Cubs and Brownies were all invited to experience the fun of an international camp. Unfortunately the weather was not kind and the rain poured for most of the day! But scouting and guiding is nothing if not resilient and the day went ahead with some adjustments to the venues for the activities and all had a wonderful chance to experience some of the crafts and challenges of the camp. In the afternoon a charity fund raising event was held in one of the large barns, where everyone had the opportunity to have a go at the The Muggles Charity Fair stalls. Everything was 20p a go and the money raised was split between the chosen charities, The Coco Foundation and Chailey Heritage Dream Centre Appeal. With all camp participants dressed in the Harry Potter theme the atmosphere was great and all the visitors seemed to have good time, despite the weather! The money raised during the whole camp was a fantastic £9000, with cheques for £4500 each presented to the charity representatives during the closing ceremony.
The camp centre was Diagon Alley with a range of shops selling Scout and Guide merchandise, as well as WS2017 branded clothing and souvenirs, plus the café, the tuck shop, the International hub, and the ‘Chill Out’ area. At night the stage was lit up with music from the band or DJ Nev or the WS Has Talent contestants, whilst everyone filled the area with dancing. The opening and closing ceremonies were held here, as well as ‘Scouts and Guides Own’ service on the Sunday afternoon.
Throughout the camp friendships were formed and wonderful memories were created, with a great atmosphere of fun, friendliness, kindness and most definitely the fabulous spirit of Girlguiding and Scouting.
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Laurel Award - November 2016
At a recent County Thanks & Recognition Event there was a special presentation of one of guiding’s highest awards – The Laurel Award. This was presented by Sally Christmas, our Region Chief Commissioner, to Pat Rawson in recognition of over 50 years of dedicated service, not only to Girlguiding Sussex West, but also to LaSER and Girlguiding nationally. Pat has held numerous roles in her guiding life in our County including Guide Unit Leader, as well as various Commissioner, mentoring and training roles where she was able to share her passion for girl-led guiding with others. She has also taken on lead roles at many large scale events including WS camps, ‘Party in the Park’ and ‘One World One Beat’.
When collating the information for the National Awards committee many letters of support were received for Pat but there was one phrase which appeared in all of them – ‘Pat supported me, encouraged me. She made a difference to my life and who I am today’. Congratulations Pat, this was a very well deserved award.
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Disneyland Paris - October 2016
On a dark, misty morning in October 2016; 48 Brownies, 60 Guides 3 Rangers and 21 Leaders from 14 different units in Arun Valley Division, gathered in Littlehampton to set off on our adventure. Our crossing to Dunkirk was perfectly calm and everyone enjoyed their brunch before we travelled onto PGL’s Chateau de Grand Romaine just outside Paris arriving in the early evening The next day we visited the Eiffel Tower, it made an instant impression - there were gasps of “Wow-that’s amazing” as the girls realised the sheer size and complexity of the structure.
We then tackled the 669 steps to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower before admiring the amazing views out over Paris. This was followed by lunch a much-enjoyed boat trip on the River Seine; a coach tour of Paris and a visit to Notre Dame. Day Three was Disneyland-highlights were meeting Cinderella, watching the parades, the Disney Castle and of course the rides-Pirates of the Caribbean; small world and Indiana Jones being amongst the favourites.
Reflection: I have held my Brownie Holiday qualification since 1980 and thought about taking my Brownies abroad for many years as they “nagged” about wanting to go to Disneyland for Brownie Holiday; but when working full time never quite had the time. I didn’t expect to lead such a large group but it was an amazing privilege to work with so many dedicated and enthusiastic Leaders and an experience that created many wonderful memories and proves you’re never too old to try something new.
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Iceland - August 2016
15 Senior Section members and 4 Leaders had a fantastic time camping in Iceland for 12 days in August 2016. We stayed at Ulfljotsvatn which is the northern-most scout centre in the world.
‘There were steam rooms which were hot, hot, hot! You couldn’t spend much time in there. It was a nice relaxing experience and we tried the face masks which made your skin soft and clear. There was also lip balm to try. We all sang Happy Birthday to Amy but got told off as we were a bit too loud!’ Sophie
‘My favourite day was the day of the Golden Circle Tour. We travelled in our minibuses to Thingvellir which was the site of the oldest parliament that was assembled there in 950AD. After this we went to visit the Geysir and filmed everyone in front of it when it went off. Finally on this day we went to a thunderous waterfall at Gullfoss. It was really pretty and we were really lucky to be there.’ Chloe
‘I enjoyed the day when we walked up the mountain next to the campsite, we had to find our own path and it was quite steep but the views were fantastic at the top and we could see some glaciers as well. In the afternoon we visited an extinct volcano with a lake at the bottom of the crater which was something that you would not be able to see in the UK.’ Amy R
‘Whilst in Iceland we took part in multiple extreme and adventurous activities. I especially enjoyed the kayaking on the crystal clear lake which was only metres from our tents. At another time we went white water rafting which included jumping off cliffs. Down river our instructor decided that we had not fallen out of the raft enough so made us play games that ultimately ended up with us all in the water at one stage or another!’ Emily C
‘Near the end of the trip we had the choice of going horse riding through the mountains on Icelandic ponies or snorkelling in the Silfra fissure. I chose snorkelling and it was day I will never forget. We were able to see down the fissures which had opened up due to the techtonic plate movement. The water was at a constant 3°C so we had to wear huge dry suits with thickly padded jumpsuits beneath, but even with all of this we were still freezing afterwards. The hot chocolate and biscuits helped though!’ Naomi
‘Visit to the Langjokull Glacier in West Iceland - We all went into a deep tunnel one by one and it was incredibly cold. It was a hot day outside so it was melting the ice and it was basically raining. We got to the Chapel deep in the blue ice and seven of us made our Senior Section Promises for the first time and Gen was enrolled as a Leader and Naomi & Holly got their Chief Guides Challenge badge. It was so special – we were the first ones to ever make their Promises inside the glacier!’ Amy B
In addition to the memories above, we enjoyed a whale watching boat trip and saw Minke & humpback whales, dolphins and porpoises. Were absolutely thrilled to see Puffins at the black sand beach at Vik as well as its basalt columns and caves and took many photos of the enchanting Skogarfoss waterfall with its 2 rainbows!
We also stopped at the foot of the 2010 volcano – Eyjafjallajokull and walked to the oldest thermal pool in Iceland. Many challenges were faced and new friendships were formed and a big thank you to County and all our supporters for helping with the fundraising and enabling us to go on such a special Centenary trip for The Senior Section.
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Madison - July 2016
It is with heartfelt pride that we tell you of an amazing achievement by one of our Brownies in the 1st Easebourne Brownie Unit. Madison Pilcher has recently finished her Brownie Adventure with a flourish, by gaining ALL the interest badges in the badge book. This is an amazing achievement and one which is worthy of praise and recognition by us all. It is a remarkable testament of hard work, dedication and definitely one of trying her very best and keeping her promise always.
Madison has been a wonderful brownie, a model of all that we are proud of and aspire to.
We wish her every happiness and great success as she ventures forward on her Girlguiding journey as a Guide.
Guiding Games - July 2016
Nearly 600 Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, members of The Senior Section and Leaders and helpers from across the County joined together at the Arena in Bognor in July to celebrate the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games by holding their own Guiding Games. The girls had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of sports (loosely based on the Olympics) that they might not have previously been able to access or try.
The day started with a colourful and rather noisy ‘Opening Ceremony’ held in a carnival style with dancing and samba drumming! Each District had a representative dressed in either the national costume or Guide uniform of a country they had choosen for the day, who paraded in before the lighting of our own Guiding Games flame!
The girls then took part in activities which included Archery, Swimming, BMX biking, Soft ball, Laser Clay Shooting, Gymnastics, Fencing, Volleyball, Maritial Arts, Dance, Rugby, Handball, Samba drumming and Athletics. The day concluded with everyone gathering again to watch a display of dancing learnt during one of the activity sessions, to party with the Samba Band and finally to extinguish the Guiding Games flame.
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Patrons Lunch - June 2016
Worthing Cissbury Division were selected at random to represent Girlguiding LaSER Region at the Queen’s Patron’s Lunch, on The Mall on Sunday 12th June, along with 10,000 other people. We were asked to provide 2 Rainbows, 2 Brownies, 2 Guides, 2 Senior Section and 2 adult Leaders. We travelled up to London by train on the Saturday, giving us a chance to walk to the Palace and The Mall and do cartwheels and chase pigeons in St James’ Park! We listened to Big Ben and spotted wildlife in the park, did parts of the London Challenge Badge and the Growing Up Wild Urban Areas Badge.
We were able to stay at Girlguiding Headquarters, at ICANDO, along with the group representing Wales. Everyone was excited on Sunday morning when we all walked together round the corner to join all the other people on The Mall. Our table was not far from Buckingham Palace and we investigated the contents of our M&S hampers in the pouring rain! The Royal family made their way past us in cars, stopping at various points to talk to members of the public.
Prince Andrew came over to talk to us – paying particular attention to our two Rainbows, though they mainly talked about their apple juice! We were lucky to see the parade twice – once as their rehearsal and again after the Royal family had come outside. Groups danced, skated, marched and sang their way down The Mall, with themes representing different time periods of the Queen’s life.
It was a privilege to represent Girlguiding at this event and talk to some of the many other volunteers attending with other charities. We will have memories that will last for ever.
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