Back in summer my Rainbows visited our local lifeboat station. The following week, they made cards and pictures to say thank you. I took those home and they sat in a bag in my house for 6 months.
Just before Christmas, I finally delivered them to the Lifeboat station. I hope the volunteers there enjoy them!
Back in the summer, two members of the local morris side kindly came to Rainbows and taught us some dances.
Morris dancing is something close to my heart. I did it for a couple of years with a lovely Cotswold side before I moved to where I live now. I’d been considering joining this local group, so this seemed like a good way to case them out.
They came in their full kit, which caught the Rainbows’ attention, and told us a bit about the history of the group before teaching us a simple(ish) dance. They bravely gave the Rainbows sticks!
The Rainbows made a good effort learning the dance. After a while, they gradually reached the end of their attention, so some went and played with the hoops and skipping ropes while others kept dancing for a while.
It was a good meeting, with no preparation from me needed (yay), and now I think about it, it covered quite a few bases for the girls: exercise, agility, rhythm, working together, and the community they live in.
Another throwback to the summer term.
We’re lucky to live in a seaside town, so I was keen to take the Rainbows to the beach in the summer.
We hired a beach hut that’s owned by a local charity. We didn’t need it – we could have just met straight on the beach – but it was good to have it as a base and as a bit of shelter in case we needed it, and it wasn’t much money for an evening. As it turned out, we had a glorious sunny evening, but the Rainbows enjoyed looking around inside the hut.
It was a fairly unstructured evening. As I remember, we did some hunting for interesting rocks, but apart from that the Rainbows were happy just to dip their feet in the sea (oh yes, we were also lucky it was high tide, otherwise they would have been dipping their feet in mudflats), chase the waves, and sit by the beach hut eating ice lollies. We finished with some games and giving out badges.
After Rainbows, I went off to join the Brownies. I knew they were somewhere in the town doing a trail, so I cycled around the back streets. It didn’t take long to find them in those hi vis jackets.
They were going around in Sixes finding all the little alleyways between the high street and the sea. There are more than I realised, some with very colourful names.
The Six I joined up finished quickly. We had a bit of time before we had to be at our final destination, so we went down to the beach for a few minutes, then took a trip to the public toilets. Oh the adventure.
We ended up at a takeaway owned by a Brownie’s parents (who are family friends of Brown Owl), where we all had chips and a drink in the garden. All in all a lovely evening, helped by the glorious weather.
I’ve lived most of my life a couple of hours’ drive from the sea, so it’s a novelty to me to be living by the coast now. I’ve been keen to have a proper look around the local lifeboat station, and I thought I might as well take the Rainbows too 😉
Two volunteers from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) showed us round. First we chatted about why we need lifeboats, why the sea can be dangerous, and what you should do if you spot someone in danger. Then we had a look at the lifeboat, and learned about the equipment it carries, and how it’s built to give it the best possible chance of staying afloat and completing its task.
We met the crew’s practice dummy, saw the clothes the crew wear (which they can put on in as little as 1 minute), and looked at the tractor that helps the boat in and out of the sea.
Finally we went to the control room and watched some rescue videos.
Our hosts made it fun and as hands on as they could, but the Rainbows did have to do a fair bit of listening. I thought they did a great job. There was a lot to take in, but even if they only remember one or two things it’s raised their awareness. Living where they do, I’m sure they’ll see plenty more of the lifeboat as they grow up.
Several extra parents and grandparents, and a brother, stayed for the visit. It’s always encouraging when you’re doing something interesting enough that people would rather join in than go home or go and have an ice cream on the beach.
…it literally was for this meeting.
We walked to a playground near our meeting hall. On the way, each Rainbow got a sheet of 4 photos of things to look out for on the way: special-looking trees, houses, benches etc. They got pretty into it, and most of them found everything.
We had a fun 15 minutes in the playground and managed to get all 10 girls on the roundabout at once (making it literally a Rainbow Roundabout…I’ve only just realised that).
Then we walked back, had a quick Rainbow chat, and it was time to go. Apart from the preparation taking and printing the photos, it was a nice low-effort evening. All we had to do was make sure the Rainbows got there and back intact.
Guiding things what I did over the holidays:
- Final signing-off-the-Queen’s-Guide-book meeting. The book should be winging its way to the Chief Guide now!
- Summer camp meeting for leaders on our division subcamp (within the larger county camp).
- Bag packing – in a local supermarket raising money for our International Trip Guides and a bit for unit funds. The girls (and their mothers and sisters, and leaders and a few other helpful Guides) were there for 9 hours over a weekend and raised over £1100, an excellent total. We’ll repeat it in a couple of weeks, hopefully not catching too many of the same shoppers.
- Refreshing the Guides’ display board with recent photos and nice bright backing paper.
- And the most fun thing: a trip to a theme park with the Guides! I’ll save that for another post.