Spark 2016 - The Senior Section Spectacular

>>  Monday, February 22, 2016

My Rangers were not interested on going to the large event for the Senior Section centenary celebration at Alexandra Palace but because of a last minute offer of a spare seat on a coach I went down without them. I've never been to the Ally Pally before and I was just as interested in going to see the building as going to the event.

I was initially disappointed in the 'decoration' by Guiding, it was not evident that we were celebrating the centenary, no banners or balloons, no big 100 signs.  In fact the only 100 evidence I saw all day was the obligatory girls in the number 100 shape photo.

 This was a mixed aged event so Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section girls could go.  This is what put my unit off from attending.  To a certain extent I agreed with them.

There were 3700 girls on the Saturday (when I went) and 2700 on the Sunday.

 The activities were in zones related to the Senior Section octants and the activities in each zone reflected that.

Some were simple 'me in mind' sort of activities, there was a lot of crafty/glittery tables that were filled by Rainbows, but there were a lot of more interesting things too and things to try out.  There was also an area specifically for Senior Section only that I am assured had interesting activities.  The security staff  would not allow me to go see them though, I was unimpressed by that.

 So I appeased myself with watching the activities in the main area,

 The zorbs had been separated to Senior Section and Guides in one area and Brownies and Guides in another which made sense.

But mostly I felt this was a multi-sectional event with little emphasis on the centenary itself.

But all the girls there seemed engaged and happy.  And it's their opinion that matters not mine.

As it was winding down and we were preparing to leave, I stopped a couple of 'random' Rangers who weren't with any leaders at the time. I explained I was a ranger leader, that I had nothing to do with organising of the event and I didn't know their leaders so their truly honest answer was safe. I asked them what they thought of the day and if it was value for money?  They said:
'Yes, it was amazing, really worth it, we loved it all, your Rangers really missed out'
'What, even with the little ones around?!'
'Yes, the senior section only area was brilliant'

 So there you go. Those that went had fun. This makes me happy. Well done the volunteers, perfectly pitched at the girls and at not the perceptions of a random leader.

What I really like about these sorts of events (centenary or not) is the happiness of everyone, the way the girls mix so well, the way leaders can let them roam alone with confidence knowing there are other leaders everywhere.  (I had girls come up to me asking for help or directions - they know they can ask other leaders and it's safe and ok)

I like the way entire groups can 'abandon' their bags without worry.

I also liked how there was no litter, no problems, just fun.

And after a day with no responsibility whatsoever, of simply watching girls having fun, drinking tea and eating waffles I was absolutely shattered!!!!!!!!! (I did manage to hula hoop for a short while - I'm not sure that's a good enough excuse though!)


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