1st Henley Guide Leaders Say Fond Farewell

1st Henley Guides sang ‘Taps’ for the last time, last week as the three leaders stepped down from volunteering at the unit for many years.

The Guides enjoyed a campfire and s’mores (toasted marshmallows in biscuits with chocolate) and were presented with their last badges which included anniversary ones, water activity, first aid, mixology and Be Well awards plus ‘I was a Girl Guide’.

Former Guides, parents and leaders attended the evening to say farewell and reminisce.  There were scrap books and photos from the unit’s 108 year old history.  One former Guide also brought along her badges from her time in the 1950s along with some photos.

Girlguiding County Commissioner, Sarah Cheetham presented Gillian Chappell with her incredible 30 year service badge and Jessica Bishop and Francesa Hurt a County Lozenge Award for service to Oxfordshire Girlguiding.  Gillian has also been a District and Division Commissioner during her service.  Gillian said, “All three of us have had a really great time with all the girls that we have met over the years.  We hope that the girls have many fond memories of their time with us.  Over the last year we have done lots of things that we knew worked and in Francesca’s case she desperately wanted to do a sleepover and came up with the idea of sleeping on HMS Belfast.”

Jess added, “Without Gill none of us would be here including me so thank you.”

Before presenting the award to Francesa, Sarah said, “A dedicated leader who regularly travels from London to Henley to help our young members have fun, interesting and challenging activities.  1st Henley Guides would not have been the unit it is without the skills and support of Francesa.”

Jessica whose family has long connection with 1st Henley Guides, she herself was a Guide and so were both her Mum and her Grandmother.  Her Mum, Helen made a beautiful campfire cake.  Sarah said about Jessica, “Several leaders in the District have described you as the outdoors expert.  You have led camps at both home and abroad and you are a great role model for young people and you always lead by example and others wouldn’t have taken on their current roles without your support and dedication.”

It is hoped that new leaders will be found, if anyone is interested in volunteering, please go to Become a volunteer | Girlguiding

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