All posts by Evelyn McWhinnie

Division Diaries – December 2018

North Division

I would like to thank the girls and guiders from the Botanic Gardens District who attended the Remembrance Day event at George Square. It was such a very wet day I hope you did not get too wet.

Congratulations to everyone in the 207th unit on winning the Pat Gray salver. It was lovely to see some of the girls being presented with the salver at the annual review and I certainly feel that this merits a party.

I believe we have a great team in North Division and would like to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you. I know it is sometimes difficult to fit everything into our busy lives but I am extremely grateful for the time and commitment that everyone affords to guiding. I would also like to say a special thank you to the extremely hard working and resilient District Commissioners who help keep the Division running smoothly.

To finish I would like to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas.

Best wishes

Anne

North East

Thanks to all of the NE Leaders (and Guides) who helped with the Stewarding at the Annual Review in the City Chambers. Congratulations to Sophie and Rebecca of the 278th Guides, and Breanne and Kiera of the 282nd Guides who received their Baden-Powell Awards and to Rebecca of the 278th Senior Section who gained her Young Leader Qualification.

Christmas is upon us, and we hope that you have time to have a break over the festive season. If you had Christmas parties, or going to the pantomime or doing any other Christmas events, remember to post photos etc. on the Division & County Facebook groups.

We will be in touch again after the New Year to organise a Division Meeting in January.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Carolyn & Elaine


East North East

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South East

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South

By the time you read this Christmas will be upon us and you will be winding down for the festivities / holidays. I hope you all enjoyed whatever your units were doing on the run up to it – whether that be the Silent Disco ( 200 children are attending – wow!) panto, parties etc

Those of you who are going to Dalguise in March should be remembering that the balance has to be paid very early in January so parents should have been warned. We cannot miss the payment date so if there are any issues please let me know soon. Cheques should be made payable to South Division Guides and be sent to Claire.

OSCR returns for all those registered units must be completed by end December – if you haven’t done it yet please do so now – it is a simple process once you ‘get the hang’ of it but the consequences of not doing it are dire – it’s a legal requirement. If you are ‘stuck’ / ‘unsure’ it will not go away – please ask for help and I can talk you through it.

Very early in January I will issue Eventbrite links for Ryze and the Zoo – thanks to those that gave me estimated numbers so that I could provisionally hire buses. It has been great to see the Division coming together so often either in support of Division or County events – the girls in our area are really having ‘wow’ guiding experiences so thank you!

I am also pleased to see so many units attending the County Camp – if your girls are going and you are assuming use of Division tents can you let me know — no problem in using them (although to best of my knowledge they have not been out / checked since Rah Rah Rio) but I don’t want us to get there and find everyone thinks they are using them…

Finally for 2018 as many of you will know Linzie Noble has decided to step down from both running her unit and as District Commissioner for Langside/ Cathcart with effect from 31st December. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking her for her long and dedicated service to guiding in South. I am delighted to tell you that Lorraine Gaffney has agreed to take over as District Commissioner and the existing unit team are rising to the challenge of keeping the Brownies open.

As we move into 2019 our focus remains on Growth – girls having wow experiences are our biggest advert – numbers in some of the Brownie packs have fallen, but Guide and Ranger numbers have exploded – looks like we could probably do with opening yet another Guide Unit somewhere in Cathcart / Mount Florida but we will review after the annual subscription process when we see how many units still show as full. I am delighted that the numbers in the new Guide Unit in St Helens are healthy and from January the new Mount Florida Unit will hit 24 guides and be full until such times as we get more leaders. Our next focus should be moving more into building Govanhill / Queens Park as we try to expand and end the guiding desert from there to town!

Thank you again for all your support – have a great Christmas and New Year whatever you are doing

Karen


South West

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West

Hi ladies
It’s that time of year again – Christmas!
As we all have a lot on in December and January we will be having a Christmas get together on Sunday 3rd February 2019. This year we are planning to have a pot luck supper! Invites will be going out soon so we have plenty time to get rsvp’s back, and we can sort out what courses people can bring etc so we don’t all bring the same.

If anyone wishes to help or has any suggestions for the day let me know.

Merry Christmas to all!

Emma


North West

It was great to see so many girls receiving awards at this years Annual Review. Thanks to 263rd guides who held the division banner and 47thA guides for providing speakers.

I know a number of you have exciting plans for Christmas with your girls. If possible please pass on the information and photos as we are always looking for ideas for the website and social media channels to advertise what Guiding is all about.

Our next division meeting will be Tuesday 29th January 2019. I will confirm the venue as soon as possible.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Lindsay


Division Diaries – November 2018

North Division

Thank you to everyone who attended our Division meeting which focused
on the new programme.  If anyone has any questions  re the training please get in touch and I shall endeavour to find the answers for you.  This is an exciting time for
everyone  and it is great that we are all  learning  together and can share good
practices.

Christmas Tea Party
Our Division tea party is on Sunday 2nd December in Guide Headquarters
Please contact me if you can help.  The tea party starts at 2.00pm  but
help is  also required to set up beforehand.    The tea party is for ladies from the
various  trefoil guilds and friends.  I would appreciate  if some units could
arrange to bring girls along to  provide the entertainment.  Rainbows, Brownies
and Guides  wanted.
I would also ask that if anyone has any names they would like added to invitation
list that you please send me their details.  All welcome

Pot Luck Supper
Our pot luck supper is on Wednesday 5th December in Guide Headquarters.
Please bring along a dish for sharing.   Please do not worry if you cannot cook
you can bring  crisps, juice etc.   This is an informal evening but please
try to come along  as it will be a good opportunity  to chat and share ideas.
I promise there will be no mention of GO , unit accounts or subscriptions.

County Camp 2019
All guide units should have received their letters for County camp by now.  I
know some units  have girls going and I  think it will be a great weekend.  It
does not matter if you are an experienced camper or not  we shall all muck
in together  and give our girls a great experience.  Could I add that this
camp is open to all leaders no matter what section you are in.  I know we
have lots of young, and not so young,enthusiastic guiders in the Division  so
please register for County camp.  If finances is stopping any leader from
attending this camp  please get in touch with me at:-
north@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk

Anne Chapman

North East

Notrhing Submitted


East North East

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South East

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South

By the time you read this we will have had our Division training on the new programme and hopefully your questions will have been answered and you will have found your enthusiasm for change!  It was nice to see so many of you.

Jacqui sent out the link to order tickets for the silent disco being held on 6th December – if you are intending to bring your girls please book on as soon as possible – we only have limited spaces.

Tickets are now on sale ( £8, including buffet) for our social night in Cathcart Bowling Club on 1st December.  The band is ‘So Driven’.   Our ‘big’ raffle will be drawn that night – let me know if your unit requires any more tickets  (90% of proceeds remains with your unit)

The trip to Dalguise in March has grown arms and legs with numbers increasing greatly from the original booking.  I need confirmation of the leaders attending from those units that have not replied so I can fill in the REN.  It does not matter if your unit does not have the required ratio – based on the numbers we currently have we are ‘covered’ but I do need to get the paperwork done.

Details of our trips to Ryze at Easter will follow next month – just finalising the details.

Huge congratulations to Edwina Emery (Unit helper with 59th Guides) who has been chosen as assistant leader through INTOPs to go to Lethoso next summer.

Karen | south@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk


South West

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West

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North West

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Division Diaries – November 2018

North Division

Thank you to everyone who attended our Division meeting which focused
on the new programme.  If anyone has any questions  re the training please get in touch and I shall endeavour to find the answers for you.  This is an exciting time for
everyone  and it is great that we are all  learning  together and can share good
practices.

Christmas Tea Party
Our Division tea party is on Sunday 2nd December in Guide Headquarters
Please contact me if you can help.  The tea party starts at 2.00pm  but
help is  also required to set up beforehand.    The tea party is for ladies from the
various  trefoil guilds and friends.  I would appreciate  if some units could
arrange to bring girls along to  provide the entertainment.  Rainbows, Brownies
and Guides  wanted.
I would also ask that if anyone has any names they would like added to invitation
list that you please send me their details.  All welcome

Pot Luck Supper
Our pot luck supper is on Wednesday 5th December in Guide Headquarters.
Please bring along a dish for sharing.   Please do not worry if you cannot cook
you can bring  crisps, juice etc.   This is an informal evening but please
try to come along  as it will be a good opportunity  to chat and share ideas.
I promise there will be no mention of GO , unit accounts or subscriptions.

County Camp 2019
All guide units should have received their letters for County camp by now.  I
know some units  have girls going and I  think it will be a great weekend.  It
does not matter if you are an experienced camper or not  we shall all muck
in together  and give our girls a great experience.  Could I add that this
camp is open to all leaders no matter what section you are in.  I know we
have lots of young, and not so young,enthusiastic guiders in the Division  so
please register for County camp.  If finances is stopping any leader from
attending this camp  please get in touch with me at:-
north@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk

Anne Chapman

North East

Notrhing Submitted


East North East

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South East

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South

By the time you read this we will have had our Division training on the new programme and hopefully your questions will have been answered and you will have found your enthusiasm for change!  It was nice to see so many of you.

Jacqui sent out the link to order tickets for the silent disco being held on 6th December – if you are intending to bring your girls please book on as soon as possible – we only have limited spaces.

Tickets are now on sale ( £8, including buffet) for our social night in Cathcart Bowling Club on 1st December.  The band is ‘So Driven’.   Our ‘big’ raffle will be drawn that night – let me know if your unit requires any more tickets  (90% of proceeds remains with your unit)

The trip to Dalguise in March has grown arms and legs with numbers increasing greatly from the original booking.  I need confirmation of the leaders attending from those units that have not replied so I can fill in the REN.  It does not matter if your unit does not have the required ratio – based on the numbers we currently have we are ‘covered’ but I do need to get the paperwork done.

Details of our trips to Ryze at Easter will follow next month – just finalising the details.

Huge congratulations to Edwina Emery (Unit helper with 59th Guides) who has been chosen as assistant leader through INTOPs to go to Lethoso next summer.

Karen | south@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk


South West

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West

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North West

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Division Diairies – September 2018

North Division

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North East

Welcome back to a new session and we hope everyone had a good break over the summer.

You will all be aware that the new programme resources are now available giving us lots of new ideas for working with our units. The new system may seem challenging at first, but help is available.

Come along to our first Division Meeting on Thursday 13th September at Carntyne Church Hall at 7.30pm. Judith McGillvray will be giving us a training session on the new programme, to bring us all up to speed.

For those who can’t make that date, there are e-learning tutorials and webinars online at https://go.girlguiding.org.uk/learning-opportunity/ and County Training on Monday 10th September at headquarters with another happening on 14th November.

Hoping to see lots of you on 13th September, and all the best for a successful new session!

Carolyn & Elaine


East North East

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South East

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South

Firstly welcome back, and a special welcome to all our new volunteers– I hope you are all looking forward to a busy and challenging year as we gradually move over to the new programme – please remember you do not ‘have’ to start until September 2019 although I know many units are ‘going for it’

Our Division social / awards night is on 17th September in the ‘Bank ‘– please let Jacqui know if you are attending – I hope to see lots of you!    The Development team have offered to come to a division meeting to give a training on the new programme – can you let me know if you would want this before Christmas   ( If the majority are not starting till next year should we wait?)

County will be issuing their adventure book giving details of all the events available to each section shortly ( if link is not in this newsletter) – I am hoping we will support – as a taster there is a trip to Alton Towers for Rangers in October, A Stem day for Brownies, Brownies to Kelbourne, County Camp for Guides etc.

At Division level we have our Christmas Party / Silent Disco on 6th December ( places limited – organisers will issue an eventbrite link shortly to book places) – cost is £8.  We have our trip to Dalguise on 15th-17th March, cost £80.  A few guiders have asked about extra places – let me know if you think you will need some and I will speak to PGL.  Can those units that are going please confirm the names of any leaders attending as I need to complete the ‘REN’.   Those that have not paid the deposit for the places booked before summer need to do so immediately as I paid it!  We will be booking out Ryze again in April ( cost to be confirmed but probably £14/£15) and we are going to the Zoo in Edinburgh on 1st June ( cost £20)

Finally as a ‘help’ towards costs I have again arranged a raffle, with individual units keeping 90% of sales to support their own girls – if you wish books let me know.  It will be drawn at a social event in Cathcart Bowling Club on 1st December – I have booked a band ( So Driven) so again hoping we will see lots of you – tickets for this event will be on sale shortly ( you are welcome to bring children as the club licence allows this so babysitters not required)

I think that is plenty to choose from!

Have a brilliant term and if you need help ask – team work and all that!

Karen | south@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk


South West

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West

On 23rd August we had a very enjoyable get-together at the Heart of Scotstoun Community Centre.  There was a good representation from most units and we had a look at the materials for the new programme.  We also welcomed two new volunteers who very bravely came along and met us all for the first time!  Lets hope we can convince them to stay.  Great to meet you Claire and Katie.  We also had a surprise  for Lauren Gallagher when we presented her with her Queen’s Guide Award.  Well done to Lauren who worked really hard to gain this prestigeous qualification, the highest award in Guiding.

It’s over to you Emma to arrange the next get-together.

Marian


North West

I hope you have all had a relaxing summer and are ready to start a new guiding session.

It was great to see so many of you at the new programme training last week. I hope that you managed to get some of your questions answered and are looking forward to starting with your girls. Thanks goes to Judith for running this training for us.
A number of units are heading away to camp or pack holiday in the next few weeks. We hope you have a great time and look forward to hearing about it when you return.

Our next division meeting will be the end of the September I will be in touch to confirm the details.

Lyndsay


 

Top Tips – Taking your girls on adventures!

Are you thinking about taking your girls away on an adventure for the first time? Check out these top tips for getting prepared and making it a trip to remember for everyone!

 

1. Getting started

There are lots of organised residential activities you can take your girls to without needing a Going Away With licence, but why not run your own? If you’re a leader, commissioner or adviser, completing the Going Away With Scheme will help you learn how to plan everything, from health and safety to maintaining camping equipment.

2. Know your options

Giving girls new experiences and helping them discover the great outdoors is a fantastic way to help them grow. From camping to international trips, find out everything you need to know about planning different types of adventures here.

 

3. There’s always something happening

Check out our events section on this website for things happening in the county or head over to Girlguiding Scotland’s website and check out all the action-packed events happening around the countryand at Netherurd, our home from home in the Scottish Borders here.

 

4. Every little extra helps

Already got your first adventure planned? If you can, try tobring more volunteers along. Having extra help can ease the pressure on all volunteers involved and it means the girls will get that little bit of extra attention.

 

5. Drum up excitement

Get girls excited about the adventure you’re going on by doing activities related to what you’ve got planned. For example, if you’re heading off to discover the great outdoors on an exciting camping trip then why not do nature-themed crafts?

 

Banish travel boredom

Check out these top tips for banishing travel boredom here.

Become a mentor

Are you a leader ready to pass on your knowledge to other volunteers? Then why not become a mentor! We caught up with 170th City Of Glasgow Guides leader, Judith to talk all about this rewarding role.

 

Q: Why did you want to become a mentor?

A: I’ve been a leader for 17 years and began mentoring not long after I gained my Leadership qualification. I love helping my Brownies and Guides have adventures and seeing them grow in confidence; so the next step was helping new volunteers settle into Girlguiding and to get involved in all the great opportunities on offer.

Q: How would you describe your mentoring style?

A: I make sure new volunteers know they can always contact me with any questions or for advice. I help them break down the leadership qualification into manageable pieces and suggest how to complete them, by sharing unit activity ideas and checking everyone has all the training opportunities they need.

Q: What top tips would you give to new mentors?

A: 1. Make sure you explain things like World Thinking Day. It might seem obvious to you but it isn’t if you’re new. Let leaders in training know there’s no such thing as a silly or obvious question.

  1. Help leaders in training gather the evidence they need to gain the Leadership qualification. I help by taking photos of meetings and trips, and gather up programme plans – all great things to include.
  2. Introduce new volunteers to as many people in Girlguiding as possible like other volunteers, advisers and other leaders in training in their area so that they can build up a support network and make friends.
  3. Let them know where to get information – new volunteers can find out more here. Check that they’re receiving the Girlguiding and Girlguiding Scotland newsletters (and county one if you have it).

Q: How has becoming a mentor helped you as a volunteer?

A: I always pick up new ideas from going to other units to visit leaders in training and helping out at their meetings. Every unit’s different so there are always new activities, games and ways of doing things to learn and try out with your own girls. I’ve also met lots of new people who I can sometimes ask to help me out with my own unit activities.

Q: What would you say to those thinking about becoming a mentor?

A: It’s a great role and I’d recommend it to everybody. It’s fantastic to be at a county event and see a leader you’ve mentored there having a great time with her own unit. Mentoring new leaders is not only rewarding, it’s key in growing the organisation.

Get in touch

Find out everything you need to know about becoming a mentor here.

Division Diaries – May 2018

North Division

I would like to say a big thank out to everyone who has submitted their
accounts.  If you have not these are now overdue and should be submitted
to your District Commissioner immediately.

With the summer holidays  approaching  I know  units will be going on trips
and outings.  Please have a great time and let’s hope the weather is kind.

Looking forward to seeing lots of guiders at our Division camp.  It will be
great to spend a weekend with so many enthusiastic  guiders and I know
we will have a great camp.

Could I finish by thanking everyone for their  commitment to guiding.  I really
do appreciate all your dedication and hard work.  Enjoy your well earned summer
break, have a good  rest and recharge your batteries.

Happy Holidays

Anne | north@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk

North East

As we are coming to the end of the session, hopefully the girls are able to take advantage of the better weather and light nights and get outdoors.  We are always looking for good Guiding photos so please send us any you have which you think would be suitable for the website or other publication (provided everyone has permission to photograph of course).

At the last Division Meeting a date was set for the Division leaders night out – Friday 8th June. We are proposing to go back to Nakodar in Annfield Place, just off Duke Street as it was good last year.  if you want to go, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing HYPERLINK “mailto:northeast@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk” \o “mailto:northeast@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk” northeast@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk

Unit accounts should be sent to Elaine by the end of the week – any problems please let one of us know.

We wish you all a relaxing summer break and to the Guides attending the Regional Camp -have a great time and fingers crossed for sunshine!

Carolyn & Elaine


East North East

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South East

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South

As I write this sitting in the sun I have my fingers crossed for good weather for those of you off to pack holiday/ camps/ trips over the coming weeks!

Our trip to the Safari Park in 2nd June has had  fabulous uptake with 273 members going!  Buses will be leaving at 9.30am and returning around 5pm.  I will be in seperate contact regarding pick up points – juggling units/ buses at the moment.  Please remind the girls to bring sunscreen, packed lunches and waterproofs.

Accounts to 31st March should be with the district commissioners by now – thank you in advance for your support with this project.  Please remember that those of you who registered with OSCR need to do your annual return when you get the accounts signed.  It takes 5 minutes once you know what you are doing – please just ask if you need help.

I am looking forward to a nice relaxing summer recharging batteries for another busy year :

Dalguise has been booked for March –  110 of us going at the moment – I have paid the deposits so would be grateful if those of you who havent yet could send the money to Claire as soon as possible so I can get it back!   We can only now add to numbers if PGL agree as I surrendered the rest of the ones I had on hold.

I will be organising a christmas raffle again – let me know if your unit wishes to participate to raise money towards this or any other trips ( units keep 90% of funds raised) – i will be ordering tickets over the summer.

Next term there will be a brownie christmas party and guide silent disco the first Thursday in December ( the brownie party will be half traditional party, half disco).  We will repeat the trips to Ryze in Holy week and we are going to Edinburgh Zoo the first Saturday in June.  On top of that County also have extensive plans so should be a great year!


South West

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West

West Division!

As we’ve not had a get-together for sometime, how about we have a wee meet up to tell everyone what we’ve been doing over the last year and what we’ve got planned for next year?
How about a wee afternoon tea somewhere (Fiona makes lovely cakes and I’m sure someone can make a cuppa)? If you can provide your hall and if we can all agree on a date sometime in June, preferably before 23rd June when I’m off an a cruise (selfish, I know) and we can get the ball rolling.
We look forward to hearing from you with lots of suggestions.

Contact either of us – marian823@hotmail.co.uk or Feesommerville@gmail.com
Marian & Fiona


North West

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Division Diaries – March 2018

Northern Division

I would like to thank everyone who attended our World Thinking Day event. It
was nice to see Rainbows, Brownies and Guides all having fun together. I have a few
extra WAGGS challenge badges if anyone did not get one. Our thinking day
pennies will be sent to WAGGS.

Subscriptions

Could I remind everyone the deadline for payments is 15 March. If you have
sent off your cheque please accept my apologies for yet another reminder and
accept my thanks for being prompt.
It would be great if our Division was showing as 100% paid by 15 March and I
would be extremely happy.

Division Meeting

There will be a Division meeting on Tuesday 27 March at 7.30 pm. This will take place
in BP hall in Guide Headquarters. Please try and come along.

PVG’s

Could I remind everyone that no one can attend a residential event unless they have a guiding PVG. This is non
negotiable and your District Commissioner cannot give you permission to
attend unless you have a PVG. I realise that the summer is on the horizon but
I must stress that if you do not have a PVG you cannot attend any camps or
Indoor holidays.

PVG’s are very important and are a priority. If you do not have a PVG please
speak to your District Commissioner who will arrange to have it completed.

Division Camp. 15/17 June

The deadline for numbers was 5 March. A few guiders have contacted me to
say they did not meet last week, because of the weather, and asked for a
little more time. I agreed to this and the absolute deadline for numbers of
brownies, guides and senior section girls is Monday 26th March. Deposits
can be brought to Division meeting on Tuesday 27th March if not already
paid. Cheques should be made payable to Northern Division camp account.

Can I finish by saying a big thank you to everyone involved in guiding in North Division.
I am extremely grateful for all the dedication and hard work
that is ongoing and look forward to seeing you all soon.

Thank you

Anne Chapman | North@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk

North East Division

Thanks to everyone who helped out at our Mexican themed Thinking Day event on 17th February. Although the numbers were small, the girls who did attend had a ball and that is down to the time and effort put in by all our volunteers.

Can you please make sure you download your Subscriptions invoice right away if you haven’t already done so. We still have a lot of units who have not viewed their invoices, and it in important that we get all of the invoices paid, ideally by 15th March which is not far away!
If anyone needs a Division cheque to pay their subs, please contact Carolyn or Irene.

The next Division Meeting will be on Wednesday 14th March at 7.30pm at Carntyne Church Hall. Amongst other things, we are hoping to organise a leader’s night out as we didn’t have one in February.

Also, if you need any advice or help with your unit accounts please bring them along to the meeting (on paper, on your laptop / tablet or on a memory stick) and we will try to help. Unit accounts need to be finalised and handed in by the second week in April, so if we can sort out any problems at this meeting it will save us all a lot of time later.

Reminder for Guides going to the Regional Camp – the Division has paid the first deposit and that should be refunded to the Division if not already done. The second instalment of £20 is due by 13th March and can be sent to Headquarters directly or paid through the Division. Please contact Carolyn if you want to pay through the Division. The final instalment of £35 will be payable by 30th April.

Hope to see you all on 14th March.

Carolyn & Elaine | NorthEast@Girlguidingglasgow.org.uk

East North East Division
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South East Division
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South Division
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South West Division
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West Division

A huge thank you to you all for paying your Census well within the deadline – all Units have now paid and a Division cheque will be sent to GGUK this week.   Next due are Unit Accounts as at 31st March.  Fiona and Emma will be taking your accounts from end of April and would like them all completed by the end of May, in line with County’s timescales.   Please ensure all bank statements are enclosed with your accounts and for those registered with OSCR two sets of accounts are required.  If you require any support completing your accounts both Fiona and Emma will be happy to assist so please don’t panic, help is at hand!

Have you signed your girls up for County Camp on 23rd – 25th May?  Looks to be a fantastic event with over 350 Guides from all over Strathclyde taking part.  A few places remain so don’t let your Guides miss out, register via Theresa below.   There are also still spaces available for Brownies to attend the 50th Anniversary celebrations at Achachairdeis at 2-5pm on Saturday, 28th April.  Cost of the event is £5 with transport  being organised centrally.  Lots of fun activities for the girls to do including outdoor trails, a magic show, crafts and of course Birthday cake!   If you require further information you can contact Theresa  from our Division, who is involved in the organising of these events with the County’s Outdoor team (outdoor@girlguidingglasgow.org.uk)

North West Division
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My DofE Training

Our first lot of training took part on 4th March 2018 consist of what your expedition aims are, what to take and what not to take to your expedition. We also learnt how to light a candle using both matches and lighters and then how to safely blow out both the matches and candle. Once we’d successfully mastered this, we went outdoors to cook on a trangia – we took turns practicing putting fuel in and lighting the fuel to cook our lunch. We had fun cooking on the trangias and cooked two courses: Starter was hot chocolate or cup-a-soup & our Main was a mixture of pasta, rice, couscous or smash (All this is possible if you use water (bring to a boil)) or use the microwavable packets that you can buy off the shelves.

Once we had eaten, we moved on to putting up different types of tents up. We practiced on two types of 3-man and a 4-man tent. The point of the task wasn’t just to put tents up, it was a test of our communication skills as well, working together to get the tents up safely & quickly (& correctly so they don’t fall down in the night!). Once  the tents were up, each group went around to test them out so that they know what to expect when comes to their expedition.

After all the fun stuff was over, it was down to business for the last couple of hours. We went on to how to read a map and how to plan a route from A to Z. Once we’d decided a route, we had to measure each section in kilometres. Then we had to write down in detail what the compass was saying on the angle of the direction we would be heading. All these steps lead us to create our own route cards. A route card is a safety measure and is completed before setting out on the journey. A route card covers map reference, bearings, distance, major height climb, times estimated and description of the route. Its to help you if you loose your map so you still know where you need to go.

The day was a great adventure from start to finish. Lisa, Anna, Lizzie and Rachel (the leaders), were very helpful and supportive. They took the time to explain the bits of the training you needed help with. I learnt so much about what I am good at and what I need to work on to achieve my Duke of Edinburgh. I am looking forward to doing more trainings and getting to take part in my practice expedition as well as my assessed expedition.

Catrina Pollock

South West Division