Guides in Paris 2023

>>  Monday, August 28, 2023

It's been 8 years since I did an international trip with Guiding and this summer we went to Paris again. It was a county trip, on a similar format to the one I'd been on before and I was responsible for only a handful of Guides (of the 150 that we took), so apart from the obvious worries of responsibility it was really quite stress free. 

It was a very early start on the first day and a full day's travelling, but it all went smoothly.  

The next morning we headed into Paris and climbed the stairs to the second level of the Eiffel tower. Security was much tighter than any time I'd been before and it actually made for a much more pleasant experience underneath the tower.  

It was really lovely seeing guides every which way I turned, even these ones that were completely ignoring the view and concentrating on the best wi-fi spot. 

After we had a  headcount (A very common happening!) and a picnic we headed to the river bank for a boat tour.


The Eiffel tower was in her glory, whilst poor Notre Dame is still looking rather sad for herself. 

After the boat tour we had a coach tour and went around the Arc de Triompe a number of times!

And Guides took over the supermarket on the way back to our base. 

After a pool swim and the campfire in the evening you'd have thought we were all rather exhausted but the guides still needed nagging to bed for the big day the next day!

So the girls I had this time were much younger than the ones I took last time and we weren't confident to leave them conmpletely to their own devices, this made for a different Disney experience to the time I brought Rangers, but I think it was actually more fun and I did more rides - including the Indianna Jones 360 loop! 

The park was at capacity but the queues were considerably shorter than UK theme parks.

Whilst I was enjoying myself immensely, I still couldn't shake off the deep feelings of guilt that Disney is totally about excess, fun, and an awful lot of environmental damage whilst a huge proportion of the world doesn't even have access to clean water.

These were not feelings I shared with anyone, no one wants a Debbie-Downer when the parade of happiness is passing by!

Back to base for the last night disco and packing ready for a long day of travelling again

This was a great trip, well run by the main leader Guiders. 

These international trips, or any Guiding residentials, offer so many development opportunities for the girls - making new friends, independence, new cultures, and they usual come at must cheaper prices than anything schools offer because we are all volunteers that run them. I used my work holiday and paid the same as the girls to take them away - and I would do it all over again! 


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