Breakaway to Belgium

Written by Caitlin Kinch, 10th Lee South (Guacamole) Rangers

On World Thinking Day, Girl Guides across the world remember how the organisation began. We celebrate World Thinking Day on 22 February, which is both Lord and Lady Baden Powell’s birthdays, and this year Rangers (aged 14+) from Girlguiding London and South East England region celebrated by going on a trip to Belgium. It is important to celebrate the actions of the girls who interrupted that Scout rally in 1909 to ask Baden-Powell to offer girls the same thing.

It's important to remember how worldwide guiding is!

— Charlotte Pennycard, Ranger and Young Leader

My Rangers pack - 10th Lee South (Guacamole) Rangers- took the Eurostar to Brussels Midi on the morning of Thursday 21 February before partaking in an all-you-can-eat waffle making workshop. Not realising how long the workshop was (and all seven of us being five years old at heart), we stuffed our faces with all the waffles we could manage before we all felt ill. For the rest of the workshop, we cooked the waffles and created “paintings” with whipped cream and waffle “sculptures”.

The next day, we explored Belgium, including going to the European Parliament and the Parlamentarium Museum where we all expressed our views on Brexit and tested our ushering skills on a game where we had to seat as many Parliament Members as we could in the time limit.

On Saturday 23 February, all the Rangers took part in a Wide Game across Brussels and Ghent. This event started at St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral, where the Rangers gathered to collect their tasks. These tasks included checkpoints across Brussels and Ghent, questions about particular locations, a list of objects to take pictures with and some bonuses such as points for the best Boomerang, the best mascot photo and the team who travelled on the most modes of transport. These then got posted onto Instagram and the points were totalled up at the end of the day.

This gave us the opportunity to get to know the Rangers and leaders better, explore two new cities in beautiful weather, take comedy photographs and become social media stars through our new, entertaining Instagram feed.

— Marie Hobson, leader

We found out the results that evening and realised that we had misunderstood the competition criteria about the modes of transport! We thought we had to just travel on them rather than take a photo of your mascot on them. We were disappointed with the result, so at about 10pm that night we went to the hotel lobby and started playing a game of pool. It lasted one and a half hours because we struggled to pot the balls! In the end, the leaders won after getting help from a man sat in the lobby waiting for his plane.

The last day involved three Rangers and one leader making their Promise and all of us consuming about a kilogram of chocolate at a chocolate museum, buying fifteen last minute postcards, and then finally arriving back home.

During the trip, I grew in appreciation of the leaders and girls in my unit. I feel very lucky to be in our unit as I think we have lots of fun and are supportive and accepting of each other.

— Marie

I will take away the memories.

— Charlotte

Personally, I will remember the fun I have had with such an incredible group of girls - and I still cannot think of chips or any other potato based food without feeling ill.

To find out more about this trip, follow us on Instagram: @10thlsrangers.

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