What’s been happening in our County?



Sangam - Developing your Potential  1st to 17th August
On the 1st August 2017, 16 very excited leaders from Sussex East County, including the County and Assistant County Commissioner, jetted off to India, for the experience of a lifetime.

We flew to Mumbai and then took a four hour coach ride to Pune.  Sangam was very welcoming and the experience began on 3rd August, with a wonderful welcoming ceremony.  We each were given a flower garland around our necks and tumeric powder, in red and yellow, was placed on the centre of our forehead.  For good luck we were each given a mouthful of coconut and sugar.  Finally we went to light a candle, around a beautiful brass ornament traditionally used by Indian people.  Professional photos were taken of this occasion.
Our first experience of Pune, was a ride in a auto rickshaw.  A memorable and on occasions quite scary experience, as you weave in and out the traffic.  We visited a paper factory which made traditional paper with recycled cotton. It was fascinating and many old methods were used, in a labour intensive factory, with many Indians doing very simple jobs.  On the next day we ventured into Pune city, which was very busy.  We experienced a bus ride, which was packed with people.  As we walked through the street bazaar, it was festooned with colour and excitement.  We went into a beautiful sari and punjabi suit shop, with all of us ordering one or more of these items, to be made to measure by the tailor.  I think we were all shocked at how cheap everything was in the shop. Some of us were carried away and ordered loads of items!
We were treated to a meal out in a vegetarian restaurant with delicious curry and sampled the famous lime soda. Then we had an evening auto rickshaw ride home which was memorable. 
The next day we chose our community projects.  I was at a construction site creche, with around 100 people.  The children and staff were delightful and so full of enthusiasm for our activities. We started a project with the older children, for three days on conserving water.  We made water catchers, to see how much water they could collect, we made filters and conducted a range of simple science experiments with the children.  In the afternoons we did creative work making friendship bracelets, Indian God Gnash posters and Indian flags for independence day on 15th August.  It was great fun and also brought home to us the simple but happy lives Indian people lived. They gave us all paper flowers as we left.  A memorable few days where we felt we made a difference, in a simple way.

As our time at Sangam drew to a close, we did the Pune Challenge in a auto rickshaw to visit certain sites around the city.   It was great fun.  Over the course of the days at Sangam, we also had sessions on WAGGGS issues, like Free to be me and Stop the Violence. 
On the last day we each received a certificate and a pin, to remember our time there, in such a magical place.

We made many new Girlguiding friends from Herts, Staffs and Essex. 
As we left Sangam we took a coach to Mumbai and stayed in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. What a beautiful place!  Pure luxury.  Everyone had cocktails and a lovely meal in the restaurant, by the pool.
The beds and air conditioning were heaven!  We saw India gate and the hotel was lit up with green, white and orange lights to symbolise the Indian flag for independence day.  The next morning we travelled to Mumbai airport, to take the plane to Delhi just an hour and 20 minutes by air.  We arrived at our hotel, which had a supermarket underneath and parade of shops.  

The next day we went to old Delhi to have a bike rickshaw ride, which was great fun and so busy, bright and vibrant through the spice bazaar.  We visited a mosque and Sikh temple, which served 7000 meals a day, to anyone rich or poor who lived or worked in the area.  We had never seen such big pans and an amazing flow line of volunteers to make it happen, quite inspirational. The next day we travelled to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It was also the County Commissioners birthday, so she had Happy Birthday sung to her on entering the coach and had a delicious cake, at the restaurant where we stopped for a meal.  A lovely surprise.  

We were taken to a luxury hotel in Agra and again enjoyed a lovely evening. We saw the Taj Mahal at sunset, in the garden opposite and then early the next morning went at sunrise.
Something that will forever stay in my memory, along with sitting on the famous bench where Princess Diana, had her immortal picture taken.  
Special thanks to Lisa Wakeling and Janet Whittle for organising such a splendid and memorable experience.   
Linda Dupret Girlguiding Sussex East County Commissioner  



Stand Up Paddle boarding
The new water activity for Girlguiding Sussex East County.
Paddle boarding is a new activity added to the County Calendar.
10 Guides and The Senior Section girls. 'tested the waters' of this relatively new sport on a warm summers evening on the River Cuckmere at the Seven Sisters Country park. The girls had a briefing about the equipment and how to use it then set of down the river, most of them stayed upright! there are plans to make this a permanent feature of the Activity programme.




More than 500 Rainbows descended on Blackberry Farm at Whitesmith near East Hoathly.

Blackberry farm was given over exclusively to the Rainbow Section to celebrate their 30th Birthday.
The Girls took part in activities laid on by Blackberry farm including feeding animals, barrel rides, pony rides and animal handling, as well as going on a tractor/trailer ride, also enjoying the adventure play-park.

Other activities the Rainbows enjoyed included Circus Skills, pedal go-karts and a quiz.
The day finished with a closing ceremony which included a singalong of popular Rainbow songs and a special presentation to Florence Tuesday from Uckfield Rainbows, and Isla Beckingham from 1st Hellingly Rainbows. Two Rainbows who jointly designed a special badge for the day, one of which was given to each Rainbow and leader who attended.
 The Rainbows went home with a goodie bag and happy memories of the action packed day. 
Special thanks must go to Elaine Westgate and the core team put together to make this a memorable day for our youngest section.


2nd St Leonards Guides 100th Birthday Party


More than 100 people turned up to a special Birthday Party at Sacred Heart School recently to help the 2nd St Leonards Guide unit recently celebrated their 100th Birthday.
Guide Leader Gill Clare welcomed old and new guides to the party, on display were Guide Uniforms covering the 100 years, Photo’s and momentos from Guide activities and camps from across the years.
The guests were treated to tea, sandwiches and cakes.
One ex Guide made and donated the special 100th Birthday cake for the party
The party was also attended by Linda Dupret County Commissioner, Who presented long service awards To Peter Clare, Gill Clare and Carole Martin.
 Also receiving awards for their Baden Powell challenge award were Guides Mia Elliot, Megan Perkins, Jasmine Robins and Erin Ward.
Senior Section Members Charity Hammans and Hannah Fenton also received their Young Leader Qualifications.
 Linda said “It was wonderful to join 2nd St Leonard's 100th birthday. To see the range of photos and memorabilia from over the years on display that showed the devotion and dedication of our leaders to arrange such a varied menu of activities, for several generations of guides. It was a particular pleasure to present Gill and Carole with their 40th Year service awards and Peter 20 years service award. Also to present girls with Baden Powell and Young Leaders Awards. They currently have achieved 94 Baden Powell awards over the years and they aim to reach 100 over their centenary year and I wish them great success in this challenge. Congratulations 2nd Leonard's Guides”.
Gill said “It was interesting to catch up with so many ex Guides and find out what they are doing now. It also brought back many happy memories”
The Guides would like to thank Girlguiding Sussex East County archive for the loan of the past uniforms and also the many ex Guides who turned up to the afternoon
and make it such a special occasion.

2nd St Leonards Guides Disneyland Trip
After nearly 18 months of planning and fundraising, Forty Members from the 2nd St Leonards Guides started celebrating their 100th birthday celebration year by going on a four day adventure to Disneyland Paris.
The group set of on a Eurostar train to Paris and after boarding a coach they arrived at the Explorer Hotel at the resort
Monday saw the group advance on Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Enjoying the themed lands in the park many Guides braved the fast rides whilst others preferred the more gentler rides.
After watching the Parade down Main Street the group went off to Planet Hollywood for a meal and rest before returning to the park for the spectacular firework display.
The following day it was the turn of Walt Disney Studios to welcome the Guides,
Where more fast rides and shows awaited them, the Tower of Terror is definitely not for the fainthearted.
 After another action packed day, the group returned to the Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks for the last time.
The final day of the 4 day trip the Guides boarded the ‘bendy’ bus for last minute shopping in the Disney village. The coach returned the group to the Gare du Nord for the Eurostar journey home.
The tired but happy Guides arrived at Ashford International with happy memories of the adventure to be collected by their parents.
Gill Clare (Guide Leader) final comment was “What a fantastic way to celebrate the 100th Birthday of our Unit, We have done it – we lived the dream”.

Lauren from 6th Hove Senior Section was one of five senior section members who walked from Billinghurst to Warninglid in May half term; an expedition for the Silver Duke of Edinburgh award. 

"We were very lucky for the most part with the weather. It being sunny on the first and second days, allowing us to take our time and explore around our two campsites Nowhurst Horsham Guides campsite and Beacon Hill Horsham Scout campsiteWe took some amazing pictures of the sunset and were able to do yoga on our sleeping mats.  The final day had awful weather. Our waterproof jackets were waterlogged. Our feet swimming in water, and our bags a kilo heavier with water. We powered through, finding slight shelter for a quick lunch. We all were drenched. But then we got to go home, have a bath and put fresh dry clothes on. Despite the challenges, it was fabulous. Yes, cold and wet at times, but I enjoyed it massively, we sung a lot and got to gossip with my friends." - Lauren, 6th Hove Senior Section.

To find out more about the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards and how the challenges fit with many different parts of Guiding click: 

Why not tweet your own DofE story to Sussex East Guiding https://twitter.com/GuidingSussexE or post to our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Girlguiding-Sussex-East-County-176759555863775/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf


On 24th and 25th April Girlguiding Sussex East County ran two days of activities at their county campsite: Picketts Wood for 250 Rainbows and Brownies.
Each year the committee run two specific days for Rainbows and Brownies to be able to explore the beautiful campsite. This year's theme was 'wood and water' and girls were able to try activities such as blowing and bouncing bubbles on your hand, walking on a slackline, water puzzles, cooking drop scones on a fire, toasting marshmallows to make smores, making wooden keyrings and many more activities.

This year we were joined by Laura from RSPB who ran sessions on bugs and bluebells. It was great to have her as part of the day to extend girls' experience of the outdoors. By taking part in all of these activities the girls also got to get their Growing Up Wild Spring badge.

"I just wanted to say a really big thank you to you and the Picketts Wood team for an amazing day in the woods on Sunday. My Rainbows had a really fun day and didn't really want to leave! I thought the activities were very well thought out and it was wonderful to see some of my quieter ones grow in confidence with the gentle encouragement of all the helpers. It is my first year as a Rainbows Leader and the first time i've taken them to a Girlguiding day out and my experience was really positive in every way so thank you all for all your hard work and creating good, fun memories for my girls and me."
-Jane McMahon, 24th Eastbourne Rainbows


 14 members of The Senior Section aged 14-19 from across the county took part in an overnight adventure at the Lookout Lodges at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The group travelled by mini bus, and were able to have a quick look around the zoo before booking in at the Lookout Lodges where they warmed up with hot chocolates!
After a welcome talk they settled into their lodges and prepared for their safari tour! On safari they met 
the bongos and white rhinos, before getting on the safari bus to go round the Asian zone of the zoo, which is a unique part of the Lookout Lodge Experience. They even got to see the tigers!

 After dinner they set off on a torch lit walk of the zoo where they saw flamingoes inside for the night (so they didn't get blown away or cold), Bruce the Moose was fast asleep, and the cheetahs were all inside their hut. They then went back to visit the white rhinos again to see them settling down for the evening.

The group woke up bright and early in the morning for breakfast, then helped to feed the chimps and brown bears! After that, they met a lovely group of baby lemurs and then explored the zoo in groups. They had one last tour of the Asian zoo before heading home.

"I've had a truly amazing time. It is an amazing opportunity for animal lovers such as myself, especially the night tour. The zoo staff were friendly, passionate about the animals and their welfare and very knowledgeable about the animals they introduced us to. The lodges we stayed in were cosy and clean, unlike any accommodation I have stayed in during a guiding trip. I loved the animals, the baby giraffe, Nuru, being my favouriteOverall, I have really enjoyed this trip. Thank you to all those who made it possible. A wonderful way to kick off The Senior Section Spectacular." - Laura, Girlguiding Weald.



SPARK 2016
Several groups of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section members from Sussex East joined hundreds of fellow Girlguiding members in London this weekend to kick off celebrations for 100 years of The Senior Section.
Over 5,000 girls and young women aged five to 25 took part in the celebrations at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 February, where a huge girl-only festival was held to kick off celebrations for 100 years of The Senior Section. The two-day event, called Spark, saw the girls step out of their comfort zone and take on adventurous activities such as bouldering, bungee trampolining and zorbing. 
Open to all girls and young women aged 14 to 25, The Senior Section offers a host of amazing opportunities to older girls in guiding – from international travel and adventure to advocacy and leadership skills. Over the past 100 years, Senior Section members have witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, swum the Channel, attended the UN Convention on the Status of Women, and represented Great Britain at the Olympics. Celebrations will continue across the UK until October, taking in mountain marathons in Scotland, a carnival fiesta in the Midlands and a democracy festival in London.

Who was there from Sussex East?

Brighton West Division
2nd Preston Guides
2nd Preston Brownies
2nd Preston Rainbows
7th Preston Park Rainbows
3rd Preston Rainbows

Hastings Division
Hastings Senior Section

St Leonards Division
13th & 7th St Leonards Guides
Vision Rangers
14th St Leonards Brownies

Seahaven Division
Newhaven District - all sections
Peacehaven Senior Section

Weald Division
Hailsham Brownies & Hailsham Guides
Uckfield Senior Section

What did they enjoy about SPARK?
Julia, aged 13 from 2nd Preston Guides said: "It was a brilliant day, and I had great fun."

Bea, aged 10 said: "I especially enjoyed the lazer maze and solar paneled cars!"

2nd Preston Park Rainbows really enjoyed bungee trampolines and the roller disco
Hastings Senior Section were impressed that their henna tattoos were still there on Monday when they were at their meeting.
Brownies from Brighton West Division especially liked spider mountain!



Round Up of 2015 News
Recipients of 50 Years Long Service Badges

Marie Brown from Girlguiding Lewes Division was presented with her 50 year Long Service Award, at the Ringmer Brownies Sausage Sizzle recently. Marie started her guiding journey in London, before moving into Sussex East, where she has spent most of her time in guiding, covering Brownies, Guides, Commissioner & County appointments.



Linda Dupret presented Jenny Campbell from Girlguiding Hove Division with her 50 year award and her daughter Zoe with her 20 year award. It was a super occasion at a campfire on the Devil's Dyke with all the Brownies, Guides, Leaders and Jenny's Trefoil Guild members from Girlguiding Hove Division.

Eye Spy 
Girlguiding Sussex East County
Members from all over the county had the chance to discover about all our Divisions by scoring points in our very own Eye Spy Girlguiding Sussex East County as the county celebrated its 50th year anniversary.
Below are Polegate Brownies who travelled to Hastings and scored a few points including gaining points for finding this sculpture - Winkle Island, and also 3rd Mile Oak Guides spotting beach huts on their travels.


Congratulations to our
Queen's Guide Award Recipients
Last year saw four of our young women achieve the highest award in guiding - The Queen's Guide Award. A lot of hard work and determination goes into achieving the award and we would like to pass on our congratulations to:
Amy Webb - Girlguiding Eastbourne Division
Fiona Woodall - Girlguiding Seahaven Division
Zoe Dumbrill - Girlguiding Brighton West Division
Bex Robins - Girlguiding Eastbourne Division

 Amy Webb       Fiona Woodall

Leaders Walk in May 

The day started off cold and windy, but warmed up and we had some glorious bluebell woods on our route.  We found some of the paths quite overgrown, such as the one through the field of rape and over the stile, but we all enjoyed our day and are looking forward to our next opportunity to get out walking.

Girls enjoy the canoeing as they take to the water
Despite the cold wind, 50 Guides enjoyed a day on the water.  A lot of fun was had by all as the girls built their confidence in a girl only space.
Rainbows & Brownies enjoy Woodland Days at our County Campsite Picketts Wood
Despite the weather Brownies and Rainbows from across the County wrapped up warm on the last weekend in March to enjoy Woodland Days.

The day's adventures involved a variety of activities designed to build the girls confidence and stretch their imagination, these included, building a den, using a rope bridge and cooking stir fry wraps and chocolate bananas over the fire.  The girls also made owls out of bark and badges out of wood.  They learnt about creepy crawlies and how to work as a team.  

The girls enjoyed the fun of the day with their friends, in a girl only space, where they could be themselves. Some of the girls did not want to go home but eventually they had to -  and off they went tired, but happy, and in some cases just a little bit muddy!

County Baden- Powell Challenge at Mallydams in January 2015 The first County B.P. Challenge of the year saw sixteen Guides from across the County arrive at Mallydams Wildlife Rescue centre,(near Hastings) they were greeted with snow flurries and freezing temperatures, undaunted they set about the weekend with a welcome and introduction to the Centre and its role within the community and were given an idea of what they would be doing.
Following a walk to explore the grounds of the Centre lunch was prepared, the afternoon started with tree planting in which the Guides planted over 150 trees.  (Planting the trees will ensure new habitats being formed for the many wild animals and birds   native to the local area and also replacing trees that have been lost in recent storms)
Returning to the main building for a warming drink, it was then time to prepare for craft of the day, making an owl! A fox did make an appearance outside the building whilst the craft activity was going on.
After the evening meal Ruth came out and gave a talk on Senior Section.
A venture out into the woods after dark to go animal watching proved to be a non-event (even too cold for them to venture out!!)
Evening entertainment took place by watching a dvd and enjoying some homemade popcorn,
Sunday morning the girls visited the RSPCA shop on the site and then were collected to go home.
Divisions represented were Hastings, St Leonards, Rye, RotherSeahaven
 and Brighton West.