Each year Girlguiding UK works with other Guide and Girl Scout organisations to develop and support the movement across the world through Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD). At the beginning of October 2016, I attended Go for GOLD, a weekend camp with 70 other ladies wanting to learn more about and apply for a place on a GOLD trip.
The 2016 Go for GOLD weekend was held in Pontyclun, Wales. Basically, when I packed for the weekend, that’s all I knew. Go for GOLD weekends are designed to be a bit of a surprise to see how you handle the things you might not expect. I’d found someone through facebook to share a tent with, I’d booked train tickets from London and looked up the weather – rain, obviously. That’s literally all I could plan for!
I waited for my train with anticipation. It turns out you stand out like a sore thumb with a huge rucksack in uniform and bumped into someone else to share the journey with. Each time we made a change to a connecting train we met others on their way to Go for GOLD and eventually took up the majority of one carriage with all our kit!
We were ferried to the camp site in a mini bus arriving in darkness with rumbling tummies and headed into the hall for dinner.
And because it’s all got to be kept as a surprise, that’s basically all I can tell you!
Whilst sitting at work in December I had an email pop up on my phone, subject ‘GOLD 2017 Selection Outcome’. I’m very pleased to say it was the outcome I wanted and I’ll be off to Estonia in September 2017!!
So far I only have a few details but know that I’ll be working with my team of 5 others to grow Guiding in Estonia, delivering programmes to encourage more young ladies, equivalent to the current senior section, training as leaders to facilitate more Guide units. I’ll find out more at my first briefing in early March.
As for the Go for GOLD weekend, like all Guiding activities I learnt loads and made many new friends, some of whom I’ll see again soon. The weekend isn’t only about GOLD trips though, it’s a great way to push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone and learn more about opportunities through Guiding. You make your application to GOLD during the weekend once you’ve heard more about it so definitely go for it – Go for GOLD!
Assistant Leader at 6th Tonbridge Guides