Girl Guides sparkle at first camp in depths of winter

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GUIDES and Senior Section members from Fareham and Rowlands Castle joined more than 300 other girls at Sparkle and Ice, Girlguiding’s first ever winter camp.

During the weekend of February 4 and 5, the girls had a go at archery, catapulting and ice skating. The guides also took part in an assault course, zorbing and learnt some vital survival skills.

The event took place at Foxlease, Girlguiding’s Hampshire activity centre in the New Forest. In the evenings, the girls kept warm by singing around the camp fire before moving into the centre’s teepee for a disco. The day finished with a magnificent firework display laid on by Foxlease staff.

Senior Girl Guide, Andrea Gary, 16, said: ‘Guiding is great because we get to do lots of amazing trips, camps and activities; no matter how hot or cold the temperature.

‘Going camping in February is wonderful because not only does it test your skills to keep warm, it gives you the chance to do different things and make new friends, and catch up with old friends too.

‘Not only that, but Guiding also gives you a chance to escape your mountain of homework and let your hair down and have fun. Embrace the cold, eat lots and try something new and exciting, that is what camping in the winter is all about’

Despite the ground being very wet and muddy, the girls enjoyed their two-day trip with the sun still shining despite the winter temperatures. The activities and adventure of the centre just added to the fun for the girls.

An ice sculptor produced a sculpture of a bird of prey for the Guides’ visit.

The girls also had the chance to see eight real birds of prey over the weekend and learned about their habitat and skills, as well as having another go at the assault course.

The Girl Guides are hoping that the trip will become an annual event, and enjoyed cups of hot chocolate to keep warm. The girls all met in the teepee one last time before making the chilly trip home.

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