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Edinburgh 2007

Thousands of badges

Hundreds of Guiders

6 Senior Section members

1 amazing international project

On the 18th May 2007, an enthusiastic group of travellers ventured from the depths of Kent to the hills of windy Edinburgh.

Our mission:To tell as many people as possible about our international service project to Namibia and to spread the GLK Africa Challenge far and wide. A team of 15 of us are going to Namibia in August to spend two weeks working at Beautiful Gate, a centre for orphaned and abandoned children affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Our group was one of the lucky few who had been selected to attend Girlguiding UK’s Annual Event, one of the most prestigious events in Guiding and a great opportunity to find out about other fantastic Guiding projects around the UK.

After a good sleep in the university halls we were up at the crack of dawn the next day to set up our display. (Some of us needed a bit more coaxing than others to get out of bed!) In fact we were so eager, we were at the conference hall armed with our badges, photos and other lovingly prepared exhibition materials even before the event organisers. After grabbing breakfast we headed to Edinburgh city to squeeze in a whistle-top tour of the city which was amazing; a bit of shopping, sightseeing and sampling the infamous Chocolate Soup (hot chocolate so rich it’s served in bowls).

We were going to Namibia in less than three months and still hadn’t managed to find a Namibian flag anywhere back in London…..and to our surprise, whilst in a Scottish souvenir shop we randomly found what we had longed for! This was the final touch for our display back at the Annual Review, making our stand look exceptionally professional. The Annual Review was amazing; we felt privileged to be there. We were able to learn more about the movement and about projects around the UK; we met Brownies who raise awareness about endangered orangutans, as well as a Ranger Unit who organise summer camps for disadvantaged children. This really inspired us to think about the levels we can take our Guiding to. From Rainbows to Trefoil Guild, all members have a voice, and this was reflected in the launching of the new strapline at the Event; ‘Girls in the Lead’. After the presentations and speeches, complete with very fitting music, we went to our stall to advertise the project and spread the GLK Africa Challenge to Guiders from all over the UK and even abroad. The hour spent talking to other intrigued Guiders, including Liz Burnley (Chief Guide) and then badge selling whizzed by; soon we had to take the display down and get back to the airport, we were sad to leave but definitely plan to come back and spend more time in this wonderful city. We want to say a BIG thanks to all those that enabled us to take part in this event; we hope that lots of units around the country complete the GLK Africa Challenge and become proud owners of the fantastic special edition badge that goes with it! To download the Africa Challenge, please click here.

~ Sara ~ Jo ~ Nicola ~ Emily ~ Vicky ~ Sophie ~ from the GLK Namibia 2007 group

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