Torphins gathering celebrates another year of Guiding

Sue Walker presented Banchory Guide stalwart Enid Blackie with her 20 year certificate
Sue Walker presented Banchory Guide stalwart Enid Blackie with her 20 year certificate

Girlguiding Kincardine and Deeside celebrated another successful year at their annual review held at the Learney Hall in Torphins this month.

Members were joined by Sir Robert Smith MP; the newly appointed Scottish Chief Commissioner, Sue Walker; the County President, Anne McNair and several Vice Presidents.

As well as outlining the many activities that girls had been involved in, from a Pirate themed Rainbow 25th birthday party, to chocolate making sessions, to a campfire for 400 at Templars Park to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, County Commissioner Hazel McCartney thanked all the volunteers for giving so much time and energy to allow nearly 1,000 girls and young women members to have “incredible experiences and gain self-confidence in a safe, girl-only space”.

Two guides from Laurencekirk, Abigail Fraser and Maya McGinlay, gave an informative talk about their experience of a large, and rather damp, camp held at Crathes Castle over the summer for 200 girls from all over the North east of Scotland.

Then Clare Thomas and Clare Martin who took a small group of senior section members to an international camp in Hong Kong over Christmas 2011 spoke of their adventure.

Clare said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to break down barriers and have fun with others. We as a group really feel we achieved this during our time in Hong Kong.”

The new Scottish Chief Commisioner Sue Walker gave a talk about the positive influence Guiding can have in the community and how she is looking forward to seeing the movement grow and develop.

“Guiding will continue to provide strong and motivational role models for our members and I think it’s important to motivate and inspire the girls.”

One such inspirational Leader is Enid Blaikie who first became involved in guiding when she joined 3rd Banchory Guide Unit in 1992 and has been a dedicated volunteer ever since.

Sue presented her with a specially-designed brooch in honour of her twenty years of service. Sue also presented other long service awards and qualifications.

Seven Guides from Girlguiding Kincardine& Deeside also received the highest accolade for Guides – the Baden-Powell Challenge Award from Sue.

Guides must complete ten challenges in different categories – which include Healthy lifestyles, Global awareness, and Celebrating diversity – as well as the Baden-Powell Adventure Challenge residential camp to gain this award.

Sue said: “I’m very proud of the girls for completing their Baden-Powell Award. This marks the end of a lot of effort and dedication, and is something they can look back on with pride for years to come.”

Girlguiding Kincardine & Deeside stretches from Portlethen in the north, to Johnshaven in the South and Braemar in the west, and all areas in between. It is part of Girlguiding UK which is the UK’s largest voluntary organisation for girls and young women, with around 530,000 members and recognised volunteers.

Over a third of girls and young women (aged 7-21) in the UK are involved in guiding, or have been in the past, and almost half of all the women in the UK have been involved in guiding at some stage in their lives.

The organisation runs Rainbows (5-7 years), Brownies (7-10 years), Guides (10-14 years) and Senior Section (14-25 years), enabling girls and young women to develop their potential whatever their ability or background. Girlguiding UK is part of a worldwide movement of approximately 10 million girls and young women in 145 countries.

If you want to get involved with Girlguiding within Kincardine & Deeside log onto the website and look for the link to ‘Get involved’.