The ultimate Guiding adventure and they’ve done it all themselves…

For three solid weeks, 11 girls tromped up and down stairs in apartment buildings and businesses. They were delivering phone books. Thousands of them. They needed the cash.

They sold hotdogs and hamburgers at Zehrs. They sold cheese orders and Christmas wreaths. They held craft shows and convinced people to buy Avon puppy dogs. They held a Bangers and Mash dinner in mid-winter. They sold Crispy Cream donuts.

They sold ghost insurance to downtown businesses at Hallowe’en. This week we applaud 10 Pathfinders (those are 12-year-old Guides) and one Ranger (age 16) who have raised over $34,000 so they could attend the World Guiding Centre at Pax Lodge at Windsor Castle in London, England. From July 29 to August 11, Wings 2003, the Jubilee of the Guiding and Scouting movement will be a weekly camping extravaganza on the lawns of Windsor Castle. A&M Food Store donated money to their trip.

Their moms and dads were involved in every fundraiser. It’s been a truly family goal.

What a goal!

Diane LeMay explains that Champlain District and Severn Shores Division in Barrie and Waubushene are fielding 11 girls and 3 adults to this world Guiding stage. Applications came from Allandale, Tall Trees and Northern Heights and now these girls and their families are busy preparing the enormous paperwork that will ensure everything’s been covered.

Kathy Marentette, leader at Whispering Winds District in Severn Shores Division, met Diane LeMay over four years ago. They were struck at the similarity of their approach to Guiding and decided to apply for a trip. Research on the internet and the rest is history!

When they leave Canada on July 29, these Guides will have been waiting for over a year to fly to this incredible experience. They were approved by the Governor General of Canada by November, 02. The Wings 2003 event will attract 3500 Guides and Scouts in total; the 30-40 girls that will attend from Canada are very excited about meeting each other.

In fact, last weekend they hitched up their tends and made capri pants from their jeans and headed into the elements near Bass Lake just to ‘brush up’ on their camping skills. They’ve been busy budgeting for their stay in England.

All over the world, families and friends are supporting every member country so that the event is truly world wide. That’s what makes it so special. Imagine that in every country involved in the Guiding and Scouting movement, young people have been setting and meeting goals, celebrating small success along the way.

Now their leaders are consumed with the paperwork for 11 girls who barely sit still. Budgets set up, international applications filled in, notarized letters that allow them to travel without their parents, health applications, monthly meeting reports re trip tips. The entire event relied heavily on District Commissioner Marg Parke and Bev Brown, Area International Advisor. Rounding out that extra helping hand is Bahia Eldner of Southern Skies Pathfinders.

And why do this? Why spend the incredible hours to develop and meet a goal without some guarantee of seeing something ‘big.’ Well, the girls will have the chance to talk with counterparts from other countries who are enthused about what guiding offers.

They’ll be learning about martial arts before they go, as well as studying the customs of other nationalities so they don’t offend them. And when they get back? Scrapbooks, public speaking, motivating other units will sure make the trip worthwhile.

So who’s going? Amanda Lemay, Ashley Brownridge, Mimmi Thompson, Alison Jacklin
Bethany Read, Sarah McNeil, Angela Hill, Rebecca Morrison, Jacqueline Demartin, Victoria Coyle and Sarah New round out the youth team. And Diane LeMay, Kathy Marentette, and Bahia Eldner are the courageous Guide leaders taking the trip. The leaders all hope the girls come back with a sense of other kids in other countries, and perhaps renewed enthusiasm for Guiding.

What a goal! What an achievement!

Thanks, Diane, Thanks Kathy, Thanks Bahia.