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CHIEF’S BLOG

Dear leaders,


My second blog to you comes as I return from my visit to Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

What an exciting time Hazel and I had accompanied by Adele Steel who was giving level 3 safe space training sessions, amongst many others, as part of her module 4 trainers licence. We met many leaders during section, safe space and first response training sessions and I’d like to thank everyone for attending, participating and giving up more of their time for guiding. The atmosphere was great at all the sessions and even in the safe space sessions there were some chuckles. I was delighted to present Adele with an association thank you brooch as she had worked tirelessly giving the majority of the training over two weeks.

Hazel and I were very happy to visit some Guides, Brownies and Rainbows while in Kuala Lumpur and join in their fun meetings with their enthusiastic leaders. I also met the senior section, joined them when they made their promise and presented a Baden Powell award.

We ended our visit in Kuala Lumpur meeting with the commissioners in Asia from Singapore, Jakarta and West Brunei for the level 4 safe space training and commissioners’ conference. This was the first time that we had given this training which has been especially written for us. We had the time to share ideas and experiences with each other over dinner and I presented Fiona Howells, Malaysia Division Commissioner, with her 10 long service brooch. A big thank you to Fiona for hosting us and for organising the training over the two weeks.


We then moved onto the Middle East. In Abu Dhabi we had the pleasure of meeting many of the leaders at a social event and catch up with what they are doing with their units. One of the guide units had just had a wild camp where they had caught fish for their supper, gutted them and cooked them over an open fire and the Brownies were having a sleepover the following weekend. I had the honour of presenting long service brooches including 10 year awards to Elaine and Louise the Abu Dhabi District Commissioners. Adele and Hazel gave another level 3 safe space training to more of the leaders.

I had the pleasure of meeting the Sharjah Girl Guides at their very modern and well equipped Guiding centre where they run camps and activities for local girls. Our BGO units in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have joined them for Thinking Day and other activities as well as holding camps at the centre. This is a great example of BGO and WAGGGS units guiding together to give the girls unforgettable guiding experiences and we chatted about other events that we could share in the future.

In Dubai Adele and I ran the final level 3 and 4 safe space training of my visit for the Commissioners from Kuwait, Bahrain, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi as well as the four district commissioners from Dubai. We also had time to discuss local issues, share experiences and discuss plans for the future over a very tasty BBQ. Once again I was able to present long service awards including two 20 year awards, one to Dani Payne, District Commissioner of Bahrain and the other to Kerry Westcott-Stewart from Dubai. Many thanks to Caroline Coleman, Dubai Division Commissioner for hosting us during our stay.


While in Dubai, Caroline challenged me to complete the Pringle Ringle Challenge which she has also challenged the girls going to the World Scout Jamboree to do.  It’s not the easiest thing to do, especially as you really do need to sample one or two of the Pringles in the process but I’m proud to say that I achieved it working in a team with Caroline. So ladies, can I pass the challenge on to you now?! I look forward to seeing your photos soon!!.

It was a pleasure to meet so many leaders and commissioners during my two week visit. Their enthusiasm and commitment to guiding is amazing and I know that this is echoed in all areas of BGO. The girls are so lucky to have you all.

Spring 2018