We had a gentle start to the year with looking at our Guide promise & law then making our entries for  a District competition being held in conjunction with Hitchin Guiding Thinking Day activity afternoon which some of the girls attended.  We had a cooking evening ~ which everyone loved.  We celebrated the humble Yorkshire pudding & each patrol cooked their own but with amazing variations to the recipe.  Apples were popular but oh my did everyone love chocolate chip Yorkshires ~ who knew ! 

We spent a day in the February half term at the Within the Walls Garden project in St Paul’s Walden for well being week.  The girls got involved in building a beautiful willow dome ~ somewhere everyone can go & use to take some time out from the pressures of modern life.  After lunch we built some bird tables ~ well we tried to.  They were kits but none of the holes matched up & despite drilling & hammering to our best efforts they weren’t very upright ~ we hope to re-visit this but boy did we have a giggle with them.

We had a Guide holiday in March & spent the weekend in Dunstable & had a brilliant day at the zoo.  The sun shone although a little blowy up on The Downs but we all had time with our favourite animals & a number of girls & two of our Young Leaders made their promises with theirs, Giraffes for two new Guides, the Young Leaders had a difference though with Lucy renewing her promise with the Elephants & Jemima in the Butterfly house.

As I put in last year’s report ~ one of our Guides who has now moved up to become a Young Leader was selected to go on an Anglia Region trip to Nepal ~ so our last night of the term was a fun fundraising evening to help Charlotte with her efforts.  We had a Strictly Guide Dance evening, with mums joining us as we were near Mothering Sunday.  We had glitter balls & professional dance teachers come in & they taught us a number of dances, with a break for tea & cake as Guides can’t be that long without some cake & it gave the girls a chance to treat mum for a change.  We had a great evening, with lots of laughter & made a good start to fundraising too.  The patrols all had small cake stalls through the Spring & Summer terms & in total we raised £200.

The Summer term started with jousting with St George with each patrol making a cardboard horse & shield ready to do battle.  We were once again invited to take part in St George’s day parade with Hitchin District Scouts.  It really is amazing to see how many young people in Hitchin are involved in Scouting & Guiding from the smallest Rainbow all uniting & showing how many young people are involved in our two fantastic organisations.

The following weekend we went to Hogwarts, well Guide style.  We held a weekend camp with a Harry Potter theme.  The girls made enchanted ceiling shoes, made potions & had other magic lessons as well as learning some camp skills & enjoying a weekend with their Guiding friends.  We were delighted to be joined by some Guides from 1st Pirton who now camp regularly with us. 

We have got involved in a new Hitchin Youth Allotment Project & spent a few nights involved with this.  Starting indoors at the hall with planting seeds for the allotment & potatoes which the girls took home & tended & then enjoyed with their families.  We then had a few nights through the year at the allotment, including a visit to Buzzworks as part of one evening to find out how the bees help us.  We have got involved with shed painting, planting, weeding, harvesting & making some scarecrows to help guard the allotment & are looking forward to continuing our involvement with this.

We had a trip to play Crazy golf for a term outing & had a fun night with an enrolment on the 18th hole.  Fun to find out how our scarves glowed in a UV section of the course.  As always we try to make the most of the better weather & getting out & about as always.  The Guides tried building dens with varied success.  We ended the term with Hitchin monopoly & a picnic on Windmill Hill to which we invited families to join us.  It was a fun night & to end the picnic we presented Charlotte with a cheque for the £200 we had raised to help with her trip & wished her well for her adventure.

A team of girls from the unit had again entered the County Great Patrol Hunt competition, they had competed in two rounds earlier in the year & at the end of June they took part in the final round, which is a camp held over a weekend.  They came 2nd in this year’s competition which is fantastic, so in four years of taking part they have been in the top 3 every year.  In our opinion they are  The Greatest Patrol in Hertfordshire.  The rounds run from October to June & after this year’s round one they are currently in 2nd place & looking forward to the next round in March 2018.

The start of the summer holidays was our week unit summer camp, we were again joined by some Guides from Pirton & had a great week near Bournemouth.  We took part in lots of activities with climbing & archery amongst them.  We had a whole day with a boat trip to Swanage, completing a town quiz set by the leaders, sandcastle competitions & then back to Poole harbour on the boat for fish & chips whilst watching fireworks over the harbour.  We also had a day where we visited Tyneham village, which had been abandoned during WWII & then went to Durdle Door & walked over the stunning cliffs to Lulworth cover for a well earned ice cream.  The girls all helped with running of the camp & helped cook, tidy etc, to see the change in them over the week as they take responsibility & learn new skills often without them realising it’s happening is always so great to see.

Back to Guides after the summer & busy as always but we still managed to get out & about & had another few nights at the Youth allotment project & had a night at the hall with each patrol cooking a meal to share with all the lovely things they had helped to grow through the year, cauliflower cheese, vegetable chilli, raspberry & white chocolate (ok the chocolate wasn’t from the allotment) muffins.  We then had a small presentation of how far the allotment had come from a rough patch of earth earlier in the year.  The girls had had a competition to see who could grow the tallest sunflower & Erin was presented with her prize.

We attended Girlguiding’s pop concert at Wembley Arena & the girls had a fantastic evening with lots of the acts being really popular.  It is such a wonderful sight ~ 10,000 girls all with flashing bunny ears & all Guides & there are two shows in the day, it goes to show the girls that there are so many more Guides than just us in the hall on a Thursday night.

The Guides wanted to do some baking, so lots of different & very yummy cakes made & decorated.  Some of our older Guides are working on their Baden Powell Challenge & they ran a great Divali themed evening with different activities to teach the girls about some of this festival & celebration.     We had a Paddington themed sleepover & the girls all enjoyed learning some new skills ~ making marmalade & fudge was a first for many but Paddington does like all things sticky.  We had a very successful Christmas shopping fundraising evening ~ a lovely night & with yummy marmalade & fudge to sell that the girls had made that weekend.  Thank you so much to everyone who came to support our evening ~ it is really appreciated & is the start of our Christmas now.

We were honoured to take part in the town’s Remembrance Parade & even though we had only finished our Paddington sleepover a few hours earlier & it was a bitterly cold day we were very proud that we could be there.  Some of the girls were able to attend the annual Hitchin Guiding carol service, despite the snow which had tried it’s best to stop us. 

Charlotte ran our last meeting of the year, giving the girls some activities to do following her trip to Nepal ~ she then did a presentation of her trip & it was lovely that some of our parents could join us for this.

Throughout the year the Guides have also organised many patrol evenings covering so many different activitites, ~ keeping fit, cooking, science, animals, communications, fashion, pampering & survival to name a few.  We have also keep up with our contribution to our community helping with the Big Hitchin Tidy up & have cleared The Dell of rubbish twice this year.  We were also delighted to be asked to help at the Holy Saviour Christmas Tree Festival again this year.

Sadly we said goodbye to some girls this year & hope they will remember their time with us fondly but also continue to welcome new ones.    Our general numbers of Guides are down at the moment but despite this we still feel Guides at 11th Hitchin (Holy Saviour) is strong & as ever look forward to next year & the fun & friendship that will bring.  We have exciting plans for 2018 & are planning a trip to Switzerland in 2019.

As ever we have had a really busy & fun year, this report is the highlights despite it’s length.  None of this would happen without some amazing people who put so much into making our unit the fun place it is.  Thanks to our assistant leader Chloe, our Unit Helper Andy (who doubles as hubby) & our Young Leaders Lucy, Jemima & Charlotte for the help & support they have given me over the year in running our unit.  We all do this alongside work, families & school study & sometimes there aren’t always enough hours in the day but we all love what we do & the girls make what we do so  worthwhile.  

Thanks to the parents & ex parents who bring their daughters along each week & bring them to the camps & extra activities.      

My biggest thanks is to the Guides, without you we wouldn’t have a unit & your smiles & achievements make it all worth it.


 Thank you.

 Jo Clinch


11th Hitchin (Holy Saviour) Guides

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