What’s happening in Seven Hills

Seven Hills Division have had a busy year so far. 

At the start of the year the leaders gathered to create a new division team with a new Division Commissioner and team around her. Our division has brought together units in Morley, Churwell, Gildersome, Drighlington and Tingley after previously being spread over various districts before covid. 

Many of our units have taken on the Leeds County 50th Birthday Challenges, with edible campfires, designing new uniforms, natural collages, painting to music and lots of human 50s!

All of our units have been busy with UMAs and skills builders each week at unit meetings.

Our division ranger unit have found themselves a new permanent home at a local church and carried out some community service, cleaning up the outdoor space. 

Morley is renowned as a town for it’s amazing St George’s Day parade and each year our division joins the parade. This year was no exception and hundreds of girls and volunteers took part and renewed their promises in front of the town folk before enjoying the festival. 

2nd Churwell Brownies spent a weekend on pack holiday at Curly Hill for a Roald Dahl themed weekend. 

1st & 2nd Morley Guides and 2nd Churwell Guides attended the Leeds County Camp at Bramhope Campsite and enjoyed a wonderful weekend of new experiences and of course lots of fun in the sunshine! Two Rangers from our division also attended as part of the service team and did a tremendous job, along with local members of the trefoil guild who ran the handbell ringing activity and other volunteers helping with various roles across the weekend. 

We have also celebrated lots of our wonderful volunteers, with leaders being presented with awards for long service with three leaders having completed 10 years service and an incredible 50 years service award to the leader of 1st Gildersome Brownies. One of our leaders was also presented with a growing Guiding pin after opening a new unit in our Division this year allowing even more girls the opportunity to join Guiding. 

And we keep going! We’ve enjoyed our summer break and are in full swing for the autumn term. It started with a full Division Skills Builder Day in September where all sections from across the division came together at a local campsite to complete the Camp Skills Builder within a day. We also had units attend Flamingo Fling at Flamingo Land! We’re busy planning more residentials along with lots of exciting weekly meetings and events.

What’s happening in Abbeywood

So far, it’s been busy this year in Abbeywood Division! Abbeywood borders Meanwood, Headingley, Kirkstall and Armley.

Many units have started the Leeds 50th challenge badge, enjoying painting to music and a meeting in the dark. 3rd Kirkstall Brownies have started the Leeds County 50 challenge, attempting 50 throws/catches (which took a while to complete!) and undertaking a 50p recipe/meal shopping to ingredients from their leaders’ special shop!

In Meanwood, units worked together to plant a tree in Meanwood Park to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee. In addition, 1st Meanwood Rainbows celebrated their 30th birthday with a party; one of the original Rainbows even attended.

95th Leeds Brownies celebrated Thinking Day with their traditional magic carpet evenings visiting Japan, Argentina, Spain and Ireland. This included traditional dancing, food and learning about Brownies in the different countries.

Food featured highly for 95th Leeds Guides and Rangers who enjoyed making (and eating!) pancakes!

37th Leeds Brownies completed their Live Smart Stage 2 Skills Builder, enjoyed a chip walk and held and under the sea themed pack holiday at Robin Hole.

There was plenty of fun for the leaders too who enjoyed a division social at The Oak in Headingley in February.

Elmwood Adventures

Stretching across our 477-girl strong division, we have been very busy these past few months leacing up to 2023. We’ve been having lots of fun in our unit meetings, fantastic trips out and adventurous residentials.

1st Woodlesford Brownies had a visit from the Prickly Edge Hedgehog Rescue Centre, who taught the girls how to take care of hedgehogs and what to do if they were to come across them during the daytime. The unit also did a fantastic fundraiser collecting money and items for the centre and raised a grand total of £500! We are very proud of their fundraising efforts.

1st Kippax Rainbows have created some fantastic rainbow mobiles, which helped them introduce the promise to the new members of their unit. To commemorate the passing of our patron, Queen Elizabeth II, they remembered her with a reading next to the Diamond Jubilee Tree in the grounds of their unit meeting place. They also painted silhouettes of the Queen. More recently they created poppy wreaths and poppy suncatchers, as part of our Remembrance Day activities.

3rd Garforth Guides have been very busy over the past few months, participating in activities in and out of their unit place and have been on multiple pack holidays! They have taken part in: an Oscars party, land yachting, quad biking, a rowing challenge, a cave bus, CPR & AED training, a silent disco, a drumming workshop, been to a Euro football match, GoApe & Zip Wire and even a game of human hungry hippos!

Oulton Rainbows visited The Wonkey Donkey Centre in Knottingley. They fed the goats and got to cuddle the small donkeys in the paddocks.

3rd Rothwell Brownies went to Skelton Grange to get stuck in with learning about bush crafts, building shelters and even cooked popcorn on an open fire, Yum!

20 girls from 1st Garforth Brownies went on pack holiday to Thorntwaite Scout Activity Centre. They had a Kite Workshop, where they made and later flew their kites. They also used the centre’s traversing wall and completed Disney themed activities and the camp skill builder!

Our division has been enjoying being back face-to-face after covid and the excitement of all the activities we have been doing and are yet to do!

We are very thankful to all the volunteers in our division who make all this possible.

Trees in Tarnheights

The Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from Tarnheights Division have planted a hundred trees from the Woodland Trust at the local Parkinsons Park along the Jubilee walk, as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project. We planted elder, blackthorn, hazel, dog rose and rowan.

The girls brought their parents or leaders to help armed with spades. The ground wasn’t the easiest to drive a spade into and two Brownies teamed up to solve this problem. With a foot on each side of the spade and arms wrapped around each other, they used their combined strength to push the spade into the earth.

Parkinsons Park had also been given some daffodil bulbs to plant which they asked for us to plant too.

We look forward to revisiting Parkinsons Park in the spring to see how the trees are doing and all the daffodils that will have popped up to let us know spring is here.

Be Prepared in the New Year

As Girlguiding members, we’re always ready. Right?

Well, yes in theory, but with another exciting year ahead, we end up juggling, improvising and squeezing in any number of things at the last minute.

So what are the best ways to get organised in 2023?

Here are 9 tips to help you out:

1. Get a 2023 Diary and/or Calendar

This is a great way to keep track of your Guiding, work and home life.  With all the usual bank holidays, and important national dates, it’s a great way to stay motivated if you prefer to actually write important dates down and hang on a wall.

2. Share an e-calendar with your loved ones

Stay joined up by using a digital calendar too – if you share calendars, you can see what everyone’s up to while you’re on the move.  And stop missing those important dates!

3. Set aside an hour a week to review your commitments

Putting some time aside to check your commitments will help you stay on top of your time-keeping.  Can you really attend everything?  Could someone else go in your place?  Could you send apologies or perhaps meet two or three people at the same time?

4. Work out what’s important

Your time is the most precious thing you have.  Where can you make the biggest impact?  Identifying the important and urgent things is time well spent.  Don’t forget to factor in enough time for you and your family.  If you get burnt out, you’re no good to anyone.

5. Make time to plan, write some to-do lists!

Sometimes it can feel like you’re always fire-fighting.  Why not block out some time in your calendar to review your plans, hopes and ambitions?  Setting goals will make you feel more in control and beats just fighting the inbox.  It’s such a simple thing, but it really does work.  Make a to-do list, remembering to include some easy and achievable things, along with more challenging goals.  Tick them off and you’ll feel like you’re really getting somewhere.

6. Stay tidy and give important things a place!

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘tidy desk, tidy mind.’  While we all work in different ways, there’s some truth in this.  Working in an uncluttered space will make you feel calmer and think more clearly.  So planning in a few regular clear out days is a good idea.  How much time do you lose searching for that document, book, or passport?  Make sure everything has a proper home, it will save you loads of time in the long run.  The same goes for your digital life.  If your desktop looks like someone has dropped a deck of cards, then why not create some folders and delete some old files while you’re at it?

7. Book some days off

Life isn’t a competition to be the busiest person you know.  It’s about balancing work and volunteering with you and your family’s own happiness and wellbeing.  Make some time to stop and stare and just appreciate life.  Book some time out – go on a family hike, a trip to the beach or just a bike ride on your own.  Put down your phone and recharge yourself.

8. Have some back-up plans

As we know, 2020 didn’t go how any of us planned, the world was turned upside down and as Girlguiding, well, we were forced to be suddenly even more innovative!  Having some back-up plans is a good habit to get into, whether attendance isn’t as you expected, the weather decided to be – British – or anything else that comes up unexpectedly.

9. Reflect on the last twelve months

What went well?  What would you do differently next year?  Did you have 12 productive months despite everything, or was it another year of mayhem?  The most important thing is that you had some fun, got things done and made a difference. If you did, then well done you.