GPYes - Have Adventures Explore Skills Builder Stage 5

>>  Friday, January 11, 2019

The Rangers have always enjoyed a penny walk and ask to do it every year.  We tend to go out close to Bonfire Night, it makes for a good Autumnal walk with chips at the end.

The problem this year was that a plain old, if good fun, penny walk does not fit into the new guiding programme and with us meeting so few nights a year we don't have any to 'waste' on non programme activities if any of the girls are to even get close to completing an award.

But I did find that the Have Adventures Explore skills builder stage 5 has an activity called G.P.Yes!

The aim of the activity is to get technological , use GPS to navigate the way and know longitude from latitude. 

I gave then a briefing about latitude and longitude and how to find and follow co-ordinates on google maps.
I had set up a walk around the village using GPS co-ordinates.  Initially they had to find out the co-ordinates of their start point and then follow provided co-ordinates to different roads or places of interest.  The first initial of each place gave them letters to solve an anagram of the name of their finish point and they needed to give the co-ordinates of the finish point. 

Which, just like the penny walks of every year gone by, was the chip shop.

The Rangers really got into it and enjoyed it just as much as the penny walk.

They got a tick on the programme.

But the real value of these nights is the way these walks tend to break the girls into different pairs or groups, they do it naturally and the conversations they have are worth their weight in gold.  From the back, staying well out of the way, I overhear them talking about school worries or similar.  The older girls saying what their experiences have been with something like the school buses or tutors or any myriad of worries the younger ones might have.  Talking about finding Saturday jobs or peer pressures.  The walks bring out supportive conversations in a way that we don't get in the unit meeting place.  It is so very good for them.


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None of it counts!

>>  Saturday, January 05, 2019

I had an extended conversation over Christmas with my brother about his walking experiences in foreign climes.  Now I will give him his dues, he has done some hard and fulfilling things but as I added into the conversation about things I had done this year I got a real sense of understanding about why I never feel validated and my total lack of confidence with anything I do. 

He pointed out that walking in this country is a waste of time and not worth it. That people that walk in groups aren't doing it properly.  That basically what I have done and do is not creditable.

So for the record, just to cheer myself up, here are some of the things that don't count:

High up in the hills





10th in age group



















High on a mountain, and going higher.
















Signing up for virtual challenges and completing them.



















Over coming park run nerves and joining in.




















Finishing races (starting is the hardest bit, those nerves!)










More park runs













High hills on hot days

















Long walks of fast miles
















And even higher mountains.


It's been a hard year with Cog's illness and the fact I have been getting out and doing stuff at all is a feat in itself, but it makes me feel good and I am proud.

These things were all challenges and every one of them will be a lasting memory of happy days, good friendships and achievements.


They do all in fact count as does everything we all do every day.

On a run this week, a short run, nothing special, I saw 2 red kites, a buzzard and a barn owl - that made that run a worth while outing - it all counts!





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