6th September 2014
It is with great sadness, but a sign of the times, that I have to tell you all that after 59 years South Creake Guides have now met for the last time and will close after our Summer Holiday in August. As many of you will be aware there are no longer Brownies in South Creake or Burnham Market, and Docking Brownies closed for a few years, meaning no new girls came up to Guides in the last 3 years! My existing Guides are now 14 yrs old and will come back in September as Rangers so the Guides have really died out on me!
Rather than be sad about it – after all I will continue with the Rangers until they too grow too old for the unit – I thought I would share some recollections of my 30 years as Guide Guider in South Creake although in reality I have been a member of South Creake Guides since my 10th birthday in 1976 meaning I have really done 38 years unbroken service with them!
South Creake Guides is probably a very unusual unit in that, in its 59 year history, it has only ever had two Guiders in Charge (or Captains!). Elizabeth Sands was the first Captain running the unit for the first half of its history, I joined her firstly as a Guide, then Young Leader, then Assistant Guider eventually taking over the unit when Elizabeth decided to retire from Guiding on her 60th birthday. However during that time there have been a few more Assistant Guiders (or Lieutenants). June Ringwood (who will forever be known to 40years worth of Guides as Aunty June because that’s what Robbie and I call her and it caught on!) was Elizabeth’s Assistant for many years and decided she would also retire when Elizabeth did – although heaven only knows why she decided that – as she has continued to do Guiding with me for all of my 30 years and I had the great pleasure of presenting her with her 50 year service thanks badge 5 years ago at our camp at Burnham Overy Windmill. She still helps me today and doesn’t escape Rangers either!
Initially I had my nursing friend Jill Tinsey as my Assistant but Jill got the chance to lead Dereham Guides (which made sense as she lived there) so she left us and another nursing friend Sylvia Scott came to join me. Sylvia stayed with me until Teresa May and Sabrina Baxter reached 18 and were able to become Assistants. Teresa remained with me for years and Sabrina went on to open Brownies and Rainbows in South Creake. Helen Wakeman also became an Assistant on her 18th birthday until she went away to university. Throughout my whole 30 years Vickie May has been my loyal Unit helper – when I was a young Guider Vickie looked after me so I had the confidence to look after the girls. Invaluable support! Every new Guider should have a Vickie and a Aunty June! Of course, I was also lucky enough to have Mum & Dad close by to support every single fund raising event I ran in those 30 years.
I have a beautiful memory and photograph of Teresa as a 10 year old at her first Camp at Rougham: the family cat where we were staying would insist it wanted Guides for company so Teresa was the one who loved having it around and it got lots of cuddles that week! Sabrina always loved to cook and I have pictures of her (like me) much to Elizabeth’s dismay cooking in a blue bikini top and shorts! The camp kit list said ‘Blue’ it didn’t say no bikini tops allowed!
Camping has been a big part of South Creake Guides history – Elizabeth instilled a love of camping in me and Jill was an extremely keen camper, so as soon as we took over the unit we did 2 camps a year, every year. A long weekend for Whitsun and a full week in August. We even got adventurous and went out of county twice to Grimsthorpe Castle. Our favourite campsite however will always be Mr & Mrs North’s paddock in Rougham. The solitude and possible adventures around the old brick kilns made it the perfect camp site with only a standpipe for our water – but we were very lucky as Mr North always dug us a huge Lat Pit with his digger!
Latterly, girls haven’t like being in the middle of a field with just cold water. They like flush toilets so we enjoyed several camps at Garvestone, then the girls decided they liked showers and proper beds so we went to the windmill. Last year we went to a caravan site at Kessingland and this year we are seeing ourselves out in style by going to Centre Parcs at Elveden! Wow.
South Creake Guides wouldn’t have been the same without the love and support of Mrs Kate Woodsend in Brancaster. She was my Young Leader Guider when I was 16 and introduced me to Wols Cottage. Since then I have taken Guiders and Guides there once or twice a year. As Kate knows its one of my ‘special’ places, she always lets me go a day early and enjoy the tranquility and coastal path for 24 hours before the girls descend on me. Over the years we have had cooking, craft, health and beauty, and etiquette weekends there. I have dyed girls hair pink, Elizabeth had her nails painted 10 different colours, we have all been tattooed (henna) and had sleepless night with girls terrified by the head of ‘White Nile’ mounted above the picture window overlooking the marshes!. Many, many Guides will have such fond memories of Wols Cottage. We even got locked out in our wellies and pyjamas one morning and had to keep warm and active while Cousin Adam and Uncle Len rescued us and mended the door!
Our most special trip, however, was in 2005 to mark the unit being 50 years old when we went to the Girlguiding World Centre ‘Our Chalet’ in Adelboden, Switzerland. We stayed in one of Herr Hari’s chalets, self catering and Teresa and Josie did some spectacular driving for us. Sarah Buckley ran a superb kitchen, Vickie was everyone’s general help as she liked to term herself and I hobbled about as my back was awful and I never did get to walk to the waterfall. The girls enjoyed doing a trip abroad and two of our girls, Helen Wakeman and Alice Peck were awarded their Baden Powell Challenge Badges in the World Centre.
Over the years we have completed so many badges, that I think the only badge I haven’t personally completed is the football one! We have cooked, crafted, learnt about our world, given service to our community (we do hope you have enjoyed the soup lunches) and many many more. We have produced a Queens Guide – Teresa May, being in the last group of Guides to be presented with their award by Princess Margaret; 2 Chief Commissioners Challenge girls – Teresa and Sabrina; and several Baden Powell Award Guides (too many to mention but I am proud of every one of you|). I would like to mention Kelly Tuck who chose to be awarded with hers by Lady Leicester in the Marble Hall at Holkham. A very special day for Kelly; we thought we were going for a brief ceremony and felt very proud and special that Kelly’s request had been granted. However, after the ceremony Lady Leicester and her Butler took us all on a tour of the cellars!. Wow again! We saw parts of the hall many people don’t ever get to and funnily enough the girls didn’t seem to mind stuffed animal heads when they weren’t sleeping under them!
In my 30 years we have had as many as 36 Guides at any one time, which I found really difficult as I would get home after Guides and realize that there were some girls I hadn’t even had time to speak to; and as few as 2 Guides. For me, the best numbers have always been 16-18 Guides in a hall big enough to have some competitive games. Elizabeth always met in the School but that closed the year I took over so since then we have met in the Institute, the Football Hut, The Old Chapel and for the last 10 or so years in my house. Wherever we have met we have made the most of our facilities and planned the programme around what we could do in the space, rather than fret about what we couldn’t. The stuff we couldn’t do weekly like cooking in the football hut – well we just planned another weekend away at Wols or the Old Norwich Arms and cooked there! I don’t think any Guide has left my unit without either a Cooks or Outdoor Cooks badge. And I hope all my girls are confident enough to make bread.
I have photos of my 30 years guiding which are sometimes on display if Barbara organizes a history event in the church.
Here’s a challenge for all of you – can you write to the Creake News with recollections of your days as a South Creake Guide? I am sure many of you will remember things I have forgotten or never even knew about.
A fond farewell from South Creake Guides
19th June 2014
On Saturday June 14th, with rain threatening all morning, the Guides and Rangers held a wayside cake stall with tombola, bric-a-brac and craft items. We are currently fundraising towards our summer sporting activities as part of our sporting challenge badge. We would like to a say a very big thank you to everyone who supported our stall, it was a lovely friendly event and we raised £145. As ever Josie, Aunty June, Patty and Biddy came along as extra adult help we don’t quite know how we would manage all our events without their help. Guides Rangers and their mums helped and cooked for us, did you see Millie’s focaccia??? It looked so professional and she says she will make more for prizes at our bingo!
Do please come and join us at our Bingo in Burnham Market Village Hall (whilst the Ostrich is closed) on Friday July 4th at 7-30pm. Paul Hart has once again agreed to be our caller and bring his marvelous machine with him!
Thank you all for supporting us
1st South Creake Girl Guides
1st South Creake Guides is a thriving Guide unit, open to any girl aged 10yrs to 14 yrs of age who wishes to join. We meet weekly and follow the 5 point programme of The Girl Guide Association – which means we have lots of fun while learning about ourselves, helping others and developing skills for life.
We meet on a Friday evening during term time and nearly every term we manage to fit in a sleepover, weekend away or a camp! We always have a theme for these residential events and will often try new crafts, health and beauty themes, basic camping skills and even advanced camping! This term we are working on the Olympia Challenge and the Traditions of Guiding Badges. We will also be able to gain the holiday badge and craft badge at our weekend holidays as well as Go For It take Your Toothbrush and Go For It Flights of Fancy! We love to be busy and not just chat!
We get to chose which items of uniform we wear out of Guide Wear Collection or can be easily identified by our 1st South Creake Royal Blue tops.
Our Guider is called Alirae Bunkle and she says you might like to know a bit about the history of South Creake Guides. Our Unit was first Registered with Guide HQ in London in 1955! That means we are over 50 years old (and to celebrate being 50 in 2005 we went to one of the World Centres in Switzerland for a weeks’ holiday – it was fab!) During this time there have only been 2 Guiders in Charge – Miss Elizabeth Sands who started the Unit and ran it until she was 60yrs old and Alirae who joined as a 10 year old and has never left since! (and Alirae is no where near 60 years old yet so she says we have her for a bit longer yet!)
So, if you are a girl who likes a challenge, whether or not you have been a Rainbow or Brownie, and you are 10-14 yrs old, why not come and join us?
Further details are available from Alirae on 01485-528687
1st South Creake Rangers, for girls aged 14 to 25 yrs old, is also run by Alirae and we don’t meet weekly but get together for special events during a term, sometimes at weekends and often help as extra staff at the Guide Camps and Holidays. We work on a Senior Section Programme which really helps us to get ready for life after school and learn a lot more about who we are and what really matters to us, whilst enjoying ourselves in a relaxed atmosphere! If you are interested in joining us give Alirae a ring.
Happy Birthday Guiding!
As you may have read in various newspaper reports, Girl Guiding is now heading into it’s centenary year. The first group of girls wanting to become ‘Scouts’ crashed the Crystal Palace Rally for Boy Scouts in September 1909. Baden-Powell, recognising that these young ladies had a valid request but feeling their activities should be separate to those of the Boy Scouts, asked his sister Agnes to oversee what was to be named the Girl Guides (named after a group of Mafeking Guides BP had worked with and had the utmost respect for). And so Girl Guiding began, formally, in 1910.
We are entering a year of celebrations to mark our very special year.
As part of the start of these celebrations, you will remember that last time, I told you all about our programme plans for doing the Time Traveler badge while we were away at the windmill for camp this year. You will be very pleased to know that all the Guides passed their badges, and their Holiday Badges, Party Planner Badges, Agility Badges and Go-For-It Blast From The Past!!!
The girls were superb all week; it was a pleasure to be away with them and the team of adults, put together especially for this camp, worked brilliantly. I never mind giving up a week’s annual leave for the Guides but when everything runs as smoothly as this camp did, it is nothing but a pure pleasure to be away with them.
As part of their activities we had a fabulous evening with Stephen Wiltshire and his team of coastguards, at their headquarters in Wells. Ellie particularly enjoyed being strapped into their roll-up stretcher! Of course, if you happen to be in Wells you just have to have chips on the quay first, followed by ice cream! What a gorgeous evening out. We also walked to the beach at Burnham Overy and the girls enjoyed doing the clauses of their agility badge on the sand and in the shallows of one of the little channels – we were blessed with very good weather for most of the week. I felt the open evening for parents, campfire and BBQ, went well and have had some lovely letters of thanks since the event. It was a very special evening as Rachel was presented with her Baden-Powell Award, the highest award a Guide can achieve, and June Ringwood was presented with her 50 year Thanks Badge for 50 years of continuous service to South Creake Guides. What a marvelous commitment June has shown and I hope many of you reading this will, at this point, be smiling and thinking of fun things you did with June over the years! Have you ever been on a lion hunt with her at campfire and spoken ‘sodawaterbottle’?
The siblings were able to sleep over at the windmill after the campfire, as I felt it was important to allow as many people as possible to experience wonders of this magnificent building. Again, our thanks have to go to the Burnham Market Craft Fair team for giving us the grant that allowed us to afford to be able to go to the windmill.
Autumn term has begun now and we have welcomed 2 new guides into our small company and 2 guides have gone up to rangers, so we remain quite a stable unit. More next time of our antics this term!
Alirae Bunkle, Guide Guider – 1st South Creake Guides.
Summer 2009 News-letter
You must read these articles and think Alirae’s favourite word is busy – and yet we have had another really busy term! We have had 2 new Guides join us at the beginning of this term. The girls all completed last term’s WAGGGS challenge to ‘Change The World’ and supported the Homeless Charity Shelter and the WWF in doing so. This term they have moved on to their Fitness Go-For-It and have started work on their Time Traveler Badge which will be completed during their summer camp, this year at Burnham Overy Windmill, very kindly made possible for us by a grant from the Burnham Market Craft Fair team. As the windmill could double as a Tardis, and the Time Traveler Badge has been devised by a group of Irish Guiders to support our journey into what will be Girl Guidings’ Centenary Year, it seemed a very appropriate theme for the holiday.
Let’s see if this stirs any memories for former Guides out there – the girls will start the week as Recruits, then become Tenderfoot Guides, progress to Second Class Guides after completing the appropriate challenges and hopefully will end the week all as First Class Guides! I even have some of the old badges to show the girls in the box I inherited from Miss Elizabeth Sands and know she would be thrilled we have chosen this as a theme for this year’s camp.
If any of you have memories of what you had to do to progress through the ranks do write in and tell us!
The girls also want to do their Party Planner Badge (one of the new syllabus badges not around in Elizabeth’s day) so our camp fire has become a special party this time with the girls devising lovely invitations for our honoured guests and planning a BBQ menu so all can be well fed before the challenge of joining in with our energetic camp fire activities! Let’s hope the weather is kind to us so we can round the evening off with toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate!
The monthly Soup Lunches remain a popular event in the village calendar and for the summer months we changed to Ploughman’s with a cold pudding but will revert to soup and crumbles in October – there is no Soup Lunch in September so we don’t clash with another annual village event.
Alirae Bunkle, Guide Guider – 1st South Creake Guides.
Autumn 2008 News-letter
What a busy Autumn Term the Guides had – we welcomed 4 new guides at the start of term and one Guide transferred to us when one of the Fakenham Guide Units closed in early December.
The girls all completed their Traditions of Guiding Badge and Annual Challenge Badges which I told you about last time but, just after I had written the piece for the last magazine I heard about the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) Olympia badge especially designed by the Chinese Guide Association to mark the Beijing 08 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Enjoying rising to a good challenge the girls all agreed they were up to the task of tackling this badge as well as the ones we already had planned! So last term’s programme ended up being one of the most diverse and interesting I have ever delivered. Topics covered ranged from how to fold a flag and hoist Colours, whistle signals, horseshoe formations and knotting for the traditions badge, as well as learning lots of facts about how Guiding began and what our predecessor Guides had to do to become a First Class Guide! To making lanyards and sewing mascot felt mice at our Craft Weekend at Wols Cottage, Brancaster and a whole weekend of Christmas Crafts at Froggits in October. Friday nights also saw us learning the history of the Olympic Games, the Paralympics and mascots over the years, how world and Olympic records are made and registered to studying athletes who inspired the girls both in the Beijing Games and previous games, winter and summer! We all tried to learn the Olympic Hymn and put our learning of 2 verses of The National Anthem to good use when we paraded at the Burnham’s Remembrance Sunday service. We were all touched by how similar the ideals of the Olympic movement are to those of The Guide Association and agreed that there are many, enjoyable ways to further a young persons talents and education outside the class room.
And of course, we began Soup lunches again! Many of you had asked were we ever going to do them again and, in adopting the Memorial Pavilion as our chosen charity for 2009, it seemed an ideal way to raise money for both them and us in a way that you and we all enjoy. If you have never been to one please come and join us for a hearty 2 course lunch for £4 at North Creake Village Hall on the first Saturday of each month (Except December for we don’t wish to clash with St Mary’s Church Fete) at 12 noon.
We are hosting Thinking Day this year on behalf of Smithdon and Brothercross District, on Sunday February 22nd and you would be very welcome to join us for a service of discovery and thanksgiving in Burnham Thorpe Church at 2-30pm.
Helen Wakeman turned 18 in October and has joined me as Assistant Guider until she goes away to University so, as part of her Adult Leadership Scheme (to become a qualified Guider) she is running the programme this term and is doing a Guide Association national challenge with the girls called ‘How Will You Change The World?’ The girls have chosen 2 charities to support and learn more about, one at home, Shelter, for homeless people with activities designed to give the girls an insight into the issues surrounding homelessness, and the other abroad, The World Wide Fund for Nature WWF. We will have a stall at each soup lunch specifically to support these causes and at the end of the year I will try to remember to tell you how much we raised for each cause. More about the activities the girls undertook in the next news letter!
Alirae Bunkle, Guide Guider – 1st South Creake Guides.