story 5 October 2021

Girlguiding centres come together in a joint expedition

We spoke with the Girlguiding Leader in Scotland about how they ran their DofE expeditions with a difference during the pandemic.

1. What was the expedition aim?

To complete several of the Girlguiding Skills Builder sections associated with exploring the outdoors and navigation and, for the non-DofE participants, to support the others through the Expedition section.

2. What did the expedition look like?

Five Girlguiding members were in the one group, but only one was doing the DofE Award through Girlguiding. Two others were enrolled through their school, and the other two were considering taking up the Award with either their school or Girlguiding. Two Girlguiding centres came together to support this event.

The two days consisted of looped walks (15km), starting and finishing in an urban area, but exploring surrounding woodlands and hills. Campcraft activities included: cooking lunch on Trangias, pitching and striking lightweight tents, leave no trace and wild-toileting training. Navigation puzzles were included to help with strengthening navigation skills. The group returned home to sleep overnight.

3. What did you need to consider to organise and lead this expedition?

“When planning it was apparent that not everyone had access to a vehicle, so routes were planned to allow for supervision without motorised transport. Most supervision was done on foot and within walking distance of Supervisor’s home, plus three of the five girls walked to the start point from their homes. The start/finish point was planned to allow for this. Lead Supervisor was a biologist, so was also aware of the need for all to minimise carbon footprint.”

The equipment used was either the participants own, Girlguiding equipment, and the gas for stoves was left over from a previous expedition. Training and supervision were done in-house by trained Girlguiding volunteers, so no staffing costs were incurred.

4. As a Leader, what did you notice about the outcomes for participants doing this expedition?

Verbal comments from participants/group members and their parents so far have been very positive. The event was a great example of the support that Girlguiding members give to each other. The group said that they enjoyed the event, and it improved their confidence. The Girlguiding Silver participant has continued to complete a Silver qualifier/Gold practice expedition jointly with another Girlguiding centre.

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