Completing the Baden Powell Challenge award

Written by Verity, Guide, 5th East Molesey Guides

What does being a Guide mean? Helping the community, arts and crafts, exploring, spending time with your friends... this is probably shown no more prominently than in the Baden Powell Challenge award. My sister was one of the few Guides who didn't complete the journey, which made me evermore determined to complete it myself - and top trump her!

Putting the expedition aside for a moment, one of the hardest things was the skills we had to learn, complete and master. They give you a list consisting of five zones, each with about ten tasks. You aim to pick one from each, and some you do while at Guides. Many keep you fit and active or creative and intuitive. In my experience, I built bivouacs, cooked stir-fry, train a puppy in agility, learn about water safety and poaching, and made a cookbook for Rainbows.

I loved this experience and that wasn't even the end! We took a trip to London to Victoria Park to record a Monopoly board in real life... there's a sentence I never thought I'd say! Before all of this, we had to get to London: a crazy train journey to finally get to the headquarters up in London. The first day consisted of Mean Girls (the film!) Dominoes and what was essentially one massive sleepover with all my fellow Girlguiding friends.

The next day myself and two girls I did know, and two others I didn't, went on our expedition around London. This was fantastic as it not only gave us a chance to learn about the fun things to see and do in London with completely new eyes and initiative, but also a lot about the women around me. Jessica and Charlotte were sweet and funny and have become close friends to me since.

This is what I love about Guides, no matter where you go with them there are likeminded fun girls who are just as ready to see what the next adventure will be as you are!

The women who ran it were really chilled and fun. On the first night, we had Dominoes for dinner and the leftovers for breakfast the next day! The weekend was fun, laidback and adventurous. I really enjoyed it, everything from making the mascot (for proof of our being there we took photos with them at certain Monopoly landmarks) that was covered in feathers to recording my friend sleeping and putting it in an official 'what we do at Guides BP' clip!

Overall the weekend was exciting, superb and intrepid. It was dazzling and vivid... especially in my memory. Thank you to the Girlguiding team for their work and securing an excellent time for us. It was independent and we all came home tired but joyful.

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