We went around the world with guiding

100 Girlguiding members. Five countries. One big adventure.

Most people make do with a cake for their birthday. Not Girlguiding Staffordshire.

Instead, to celebrate their 100th birthday last year, they sent 100 members to every single guiding World Centre. 

Members of all ages and from right across the county formed five groups that each went to one of the five World Centres. The centres are run by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGSs) and bring together guiding members from around the world.  

Read on to follow Girlguiding Staffordshire’s journey. Prepare to be jealous. Because this is one big adventure.

Making friends at the Shanzu Guide Centre, Kenya

Did you know? Kusafiri - the World Centre in Africa - has no fixed site but instead changes location. The Shanzu Centre in Mombassa has hosted it in the past.

Sophie, Brownie and Rainbow Leader: “The best part was getting to know other Girlguiding members in our group and in Kenya - and being part of new adventures together. Despite our differences, the happiness and enjoyment shown by guiding members young and old was heart-warming.  

We spent a week redecorating the Shanzu Guide Centre for the girls who live there. We went on safari, visited the resting place of the Baden Powell's and got involved in dancing and campfires – one of our group even ate fire!"

Waterfall jumping at Our Cabaña, Mexico

Did you know? The World Centre Our Cabaña is based in Cuernavaca, which is known as the “City of Eternal Spring”.

Joanne, Senior Section Leader: “The event at Our Cabaña was about friendship and the trip certainly lived up to that. 

We had the most amazing experience waterfall jumping into fresh water pools. The water was cool and refreshing against the Mexican heat. The hardest part of the day was the steep walk back to the top of the waterfalls!”

Wizards and royalty at Pax Lodge in London

Did you know? The UK World Centre, Pax Lodge, is based in Hampstead in North London and is named after the Latin word for peace.

Gabrielle, 10, from 7th Lichfield Guides: “We visited Girlguiding HQ, went to Buckingham Palace, rode on a double decker bus and saw Big Ben. We took part in the flag raising ceremony and completed the Pax Lodge Challenge, this involved finding things around London.

Our final part of the trip was a visit to the Harry Potter Studios which was the highlights of the trip. This was something we all agreed to do in one of our pre-trip meet ups, which happened quite often before we went. We loved our mini adventure.”

Sweets and saris at Sangam, India

Did you know? Sangam World Centre is based in Pune and means ‘coming together’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit.

Susan, 1st Cheadle Guide Leader: “We were at Sangam for an event called Discovering Your Potential lll, which included a Community Action Project and building friendships. We also spent three days working in creches and schools teaching children crafts, games and English.

During our stay we climbed 3500 feet to the top of Tikona Fort and went to the vegetable market, sweet shop, sari shop and bangle alley. We all were sad to leave India, a colourful and vibrant country.”

Reaching dizzy heights at Our Chalet, Switzerland

Did you know? Our Chalet was the very first WAGGS World Centre, opening in 1932 in the Swiss Alps.

Alana, Ranger at Threapwood Rangers and Young Leader of 1st Tean Rainbows: “The day after arriving we hiked to Our Chalet - an exceptional start to the trip. 

We learnt how easy it is to make friends with others and how to work as a team in situations such as cooking and supporting others on high ropes. Learning the landscape of Switzerland was fascinating, walking through Chloren Gorge, travelling up to Jungfraujoch – one of the tallest mountains in Europe - and visiting the crystal clear blue lake of Blausee.”

Inspired to take on an international adventure of your own?

There's a huge range of global guiding opportunities for you to get involved with