Experiences about Guiding's best opportunities - international camps this summer!
Read the experiences by clicking on them below, and check out some of our photos from the Gallery or on Facebook!
by Gaby Meli
This was my 3rd time travelling with the Marsascala Girl Guides, and it just keeps getting better… New experiences, new friends, new stories; so my opinion is, if you want to feel real guiding spirit, attend an international Camp or Jamboree!
This year we travelled to Windsor, UK to be part of WINGS 2014. It was a one week camp but we also took the opportunity to stay a couple of extra days in London. On the first day, just one day before the camp started, we were welcomed by a group of Newbury Guides, which were our hosts for the night and were also going to accompany us during the whole camp. They were kind enough to organise a little welcoming party for us in their hall which was followed by a number of team building activities. They were a wonderful group and we managed to become great friends with them throughout the whole experience
The following day we were off to start our adventure! We packed our rucksacks and walked to the place where we were supposed to get picked up by a coach. This turned out to be an hour long wait in the pouring rain, which as you can imagine turned out to be quite a disaster as we arrived to camp with all the clothes on our body and in our rucksacks soaked! However, we made the best out of a bad situation and it was sorted as soon as the sun came out. This day consisted mostly of tent pitching and settling in, and ended with an amazing opening ceremony followed by a huge party for all 8000 participants from 45 different countries!
Throughout the rest of the camp, we participated in countless activities. We participated in adventurous activities such as archery, shooting, rafting, dragon boating, abseiling, rock climbing, caving and high ropes. These were the highlights of the week, and for many, they were a means of conquering fears and doing something they never did before. Apart from adventurous activities we also learnt life skills and also some circus skills. These were very enjoyable as we learnt how to walk on stilts, ride a unicycle and various other fun tricks J We also took part in community service where we were taken outside camp to a local cemetery where we helped out in clearing grass and weeds from the graves. This was definitely a new and unforgettable experience for us as in Malta this cannot be done! In the duration of the camp we also took part in activities such as wheelchair races in order to raise awareness about the difficulties people in wheelchairs go through everyday which we take for granted, and we also had a very interesting wide game about the explorers of the world!
Obviously, you cannot go to an international camp and not try out new things from different countries such as food games, songs etc., make new friends and swap badges with Guides & Scouts from different countries. We also had the opportunity to perform traditional Maltese songs in front of an international audience; the crowd went wild for our enthusiasm and outstanding voices!! :P
These are only a few activities from the fun filled program that WINGS 2014 offered, but it is impossible to mention everything! After camp, we spent a few days in London were we managed to visit many cultural places and we also got to ride on the London Eye. Our group also visited Pax Lodge, one of the WAGGGS world centres, which was an amazing experience and is definitely a place where any Girl Guide can feel at home!
by Shazel Borg
Our international experience started off with a 4 hour wait at Heathrow airport and ended with not such a pleasant flight back home. Thus, it was definitely worth it. This was my second time attending an international camp, my first being the Centenary Camp held at Leeds, four years ago. I got the opportunity to form part of the participants, yet I still managed to sneak in with the adults every now and than.
The first person we met when we arrived at Buddens Scout Centre, Dorset, was Ryan, a scout participating at Goose 2014 just like us. The camp, with participants from 5 different countries was divided in Subcamps, ours being the Blue subcamp. We arrived a day before the actual activities and camp started so we got to pitch our tents without any rush. We could sleep a bit earlier, even though we didn’t. The next 5 days were loaded, everyday with a different zone to visit. Starting with Water, to Challenge, Adventure, World and Speed all offering different activities. We rode in hovercrafts and on quadbikes, we did the zipwire and the high ropes, we got to do a woggle, bungee trampolining, tree climbing, zorbs, rafting and so many more. I fell in the lake, Demi fell in a bush full of thorns and my sister Gayle bumped into a pole breaking down one of the hovercrafts. Good times that we will not forget!
After a long day of activities we all looked forward for the evenings were participants had a disco tent and the chill out zone and the adults had the adult hub were leaders from all the camp got together. Our leaders definitely did not let us starve and Tesco loved us while we were there. We all miss the cart in the kitchen tent named snacks :p
Our last day at camp was, in my opinion, one of the best. We had to pitch down our tents a night earlier because a storm was coming and we needed our tents to be dry. We ended up sleeping in a huge white tent and our leaders had to pitch a tent in the white tent because we had to follow their rules, this being that adults can't sleep in the same tents as the participants.
We definitely broke the 7 to 11 rule during the last night at camp as we danced and laughed our guts out singing along. They all loved the Maltese group and asked us to organise a leader’s camp, inviting them over.
A whole week at camp was not enough, we stayed three more days in Bournemouth were we shopped till we dropped, laughed and danced at the 80's mania at the Pavillion and we finally ate pizza. We went to a 6D cinema were we all came out covered in white spots because of the snow effect and if we could we would have slept over at Thorpe park! Dave, the guy we did tree climbing with while at camp also came to visit us together with Kyran and his cute little dog on our last day at Bournemouth.
We got along with so many other scouts from the camp, we got our camp necker signed and still hope, to this day, that we get to see them some time again.