On the longest day of the year – for those of us in the northern hemisphere – another district in my division took over a nearby hostel for a Big Brownie Birthday sleepover.
The hostel is up in the downs above the town where I do my guiding, and has one of my favourite views in the world, looking down over the vale for miles and miles. (Claim to fame: it’s described in the first chapter of Jude the Obscure). Sadly I don’t seem to have a photo, but here’s one looking up towards the site.
It also has great grounds, with a decent-sized wood, camping space, and a big flat area where we’re allowed to build a fire. My district goes there for a bonfire every November, so it made a change to see it in daylight!
The Brownies arrived in the late afternoon and did some activities and a treasure hunt in the woods. The Rainbows and Guides joined them for a barbeque and campfire singsong, then left the Brownies and Brownie Guiders to their
fate sleepover stay-awake-over. I didn’t stay overnight, but by all accounts it was good fun and something the Brownies will always remember.
Wait, why was I there? I was invited to lead the campfire singing. My usual singing partner, Queen’s Guide Buddy, couldn’t make it, but I was helped by two excellent young leaders from this other district. They really were great, and I’m sure they could have done it on their own, but the arrangement worked well as I did a few songs they didn’t know, and they did some that I vaguely know but wouldn’t have thought to do (including Bananas of the World. A perfectly fine song, but I have a mental block on leading it). A couple of other leaders got up and led a song or two as well.
The Brownies and Rainbows joined in enthusiastically with everything, and most of the Guides with most of the songs. We sang for just over an hour, by which time I was getting to the end of my repertoire suitable for all the age range without word sheets.
The campfire ended with everyone (over 100 of us) in a big circle, and some Promise ceremonies and reflections on the Brownie Birthday. Oh, and it was gloriously sunny throughout. What a lovely evening, and I’m glad to have been able to join in.