IT WAS only girls allowed when more than 1,000 Guides, senior section members and their leaders from all over the country took over Foxlease, Lyndhurst, for a muddy weekend event, Wellies and Wristbands.
Four girls aged ten to 13 from 4th Lancing Guides signed up for the high adrenaline event months ago and they have been talking about it ever since.
Having been advised to pack lightly, because it was not known how far up the hill they would be camping, Amber Haycock, Beth Ayling, Emma-Jane Gardner and Aimee Da Costa-Skiffins were collected and headed off in two cars.
On arrival, they had to trek up the hill to pitch their brand-new tent but, fortunately, staff members at Foxlease were on hand with a buggy to transport the ‘lightly-packed’ bags.
Julie Retallick, assistant leader, said: “There was no way they were getting up the hill in one go with all the bags they brought with them. Training on light packing is definitely required for next year.”
With the tent up in no time, the girls had time to explore.
“There are hot tubs,” they quickly reported back, before doing a quick change into swimwear and wellies.
Dinner was eaten in a huge marquee and entertainment followed, including music, dancing and singing.
Julie said: “The very loud girls were hyped up and in no frame of mind for sleeping. The campsite eventually fell silent at approximately 3.30am, what a long day.”
The outdoor activity centre offered lots of activities on Saturday, including zip lining, abseiling and canoeing. For the less adventurous, there were dance and music workshops, a craft tent, face painting and balloon modelling.
British rapping duo Bars and Melody was headlining that evening’s entertainment, so the girls applied neon face paint and changed into onesies.
Julie said: “It rained all night, however this didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. There was lots of dancing and singing in the rain and the campsite fell asleep pretty early, which is a good job as the group had the early breakfast spot Sunday morning.”
With the poor weather continuing on the Sunday, it meant the craft tent was popular and the girls went away with some fantastic masterpieces. Meanwhile, the leaders had time to visit the site shop.
The final music line-up kept the girls hyped up, despite the muddy conditions and a further threat of rain. It stayed dry enough until everyone was back in their tents but then the heavens opened all night.
Julie said it was her first Guide camp as an adult and she had never been to anything of that scale before.
“A fantastic weekend was had all round and we are so lucky that Girlguiding gives us these fantastic opportunities,” she said.
“I loved every minute of it. The bands were fantastic and the volunteers who organised everything were great.
“My weekend was finished off nicely as I had to be towed out of the parking field by tractor, ready for the journey home and I doubt I will get the mud out of my car any time soon but that’s what makes it so fun.
“I cannot wait until next year - we will definitely be booking in again. We would love to be able to get as many girls involved as possible. It truly was an experience I will never forget.’”
Girls aged ten and over who are interested can visit the website www.girlguiding.org.uk for more information, contact Julie Retallick on 07850 858568, or see 4th Lancing Guides on Facebook.
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