>> Friday, August 29, 2014
London residential with our Brownie unit.
When I did a bit of research I found a Ranger unit that had already made up a challenge pack.
The even chose their place to eat the evening meal and booked it.
I only had to take care of the mainline train tickets, tube tickets, accommodation, mountains of paper work, consent forms, health forms, first aid kits, kit lists, letters to parents etc. Oh and taking the 'Going Away' qualification as I don't have my own license!
I'd read about it some time ago) This is on top of an electricity sub-station. So it made a great coffee stop with another 150 points for an electric company in the bag.
Jolly nice toilets nearby too, in Selfridges! Everytime we went into a store we split up at the door into 3s and nobody questioned us at all. I was a bit worried about it as I know some stores don't like 'groups' in them.
In fact the only time I got moaned at on our 'cut cost' weekend was at Green Park tube station toilets where I encouraged the girls to go through the 50p barrier in twos. The toilet assistant was very unhappy about it. Fortunately I had my purse and a £1 in hand at that point as I was feeding the machine money and I pointed out to her that the money I put in overall covered the cost of the girls as I was feeding the non-change giving machine £1s. She knew my sort though!
A 'jail' was 50 points but I declared a Policeman counted. The girls approached everyone they saw for a photo and the police were a lovely accommodating lot. At one point (because of NottingHill Carnival) there was a policemen posted every 50 yards . They earned a lot of points on that street.
It is so good for them to be given a tube map and told 'off you go, we'll follow'. They gain amazing confidence so quickly.
The next time they could be crossing London alone to get to an interview, these kind of trips give them the confidence to tackle that.
Even at the evening meal I said 'You have £20 each, think about it as you order.' There is no 'can I have?' they just have to work it out and order as the waiter comes round. Simple budgeting.
Guides can get special permission to go inside the gates of Buckingham Palace to watch it. They waited with growing excitement, and sang songs and played games, amusing the crowds forming.
I was really sorry for them when the clouds opened wide and the Police barked "Cancelled". Gutted.
Our contingency plan was Tate Modern but the rain was so heavy and so hard, even getting to the tube station seemed impossible.
At least 2 of the girls didn't have coats with them, at least 4 chose not to wear coats. They were drenched. But hey, that's the Senior Section! As a Leader I simply said "Did you not read the weather forecast?!" and offered them my umbrella. With Brownies it would have been an issue, with Rangers it's a shrug and a motion towards a coffee shop to warm up.
The Monopoly Challenge was really good fun and a really cheap way to have a great time in London. They passed the challenge but more importantly they learnt a lot about travel skills, planning, budgeting, confidence, team work and even more importantly they did it whilst having a great time.