District craft evening - who said Girlguiding was just for girls?!

I've never been a great fan of festive food - I don't like Christmas dinner, I really don't like mince pies and I despise Christmas pudding.  I also don't like hot cross buns.  However, advent calendars, chocolate selection boxes and Easter eggs?  Yes please!  When I was in Marks and Spencer the other day I saw they had Belgian chocolate and toffee fudge 'hot cross buns'.  Yes, that is more like it!  All their varieties of hot cross bun are on offer, two packs of 4 for £2.50.  They're also suitable for home freezing, and knowing that they won't be around for ever, I have a little stockpile growing in my freezer!  They are utterly delicious, lightly toasted, and accompanied with a cup of tea.

Last weekend we had our district Easter fair - organised by our local Friends of Guiding group, we had 67 cake entries!  There were different categories for the different age groups, and the adults' category is always fiercely contested!  I don't have any photos, as there were so many people in the hall, but the long tables of cake taking up an entire wall were a pleasant sight indeed.  Lots of money was raised to go towards the refurbishment of the Guide hall.

 Every month or so our Girlguiding district has a meeting, involving leaders from the six units in our area.  Sometimes we discuss important stuff (waiting lists, gift aid, news from County meetings, fundraising) and other times we discuss other sorts of important stuff, such as sharing craft ideas and cake recipes.  This month we had one of the latter sort of meetings, a craft air and share - the idea being that a few leaders would demonstrate a craft they had done with their unit so other leaders could do it with theirs.  It was also an ideal opportunity to eat some of the cake left over from the Easter fair (which raised over £400 in profit!), catch up with what units have been doing, and start to plan a district trip for the autumn term.

I really like my district, the leaders have been so friendly and welcoming to me since I moved down here last summer.  District meetings are never short or boring, normally because so much time is spent chatting!

We were taught three crafts, the first I don't have a photo of, it's a rabbit made from a rolled then folded flannel, with ribbon tied round the ears for a bow, pompoms for a nose and tail, and googly eyes.  There was also a creme egg in the middle, but that has, erm, been eaten, and the rabbit looks a tad forlorn without it!

The second craft was a lovely flower, made from a toilet roll cut from both ends almost to the middle to make petals, then folded back.  A garden cane pushed through the toilet roll forms the stem, paper leaves added, and tissue paper put in the centre of the toilet roll to cover the top of the garden cane.  My photo does not do it justice, I'm sure the Brownies could make theirs much more colourful!

The third craft was my favourite.  Again, a toilet roll is needed (the possibilities for toilet rolls are pretty much limitless!), a cupcake case is cut into quarters to make the feathers for the front, and another case is cut into half to make the wings.  Add a beak and some eyes, and there you have an owl!  Simple, straightforward, sweet.

It was our last meeting of term at Brownies last week, and we had a few girls leaving us.  Brown Owl and I were each given some wine, chocolates and an owl-shaped Easter egg, plus a few cards.  As is my tradition, I always make a cake when girls make their promise and when they leave: girls cut the cake like they would at a wedding, and make a Brownie wish.  I like the kind of circle-of-Brownies imagery.  So these girls leaving cut the cake and screamed (apparently screaming makes the wish come true, not heard that one before!) and each Brownie took a slice home.  The girls, and their parents, came to say thank you and goodbye to us leaders, one Brownie by now in floods of tears, so sad was she to be leaving.  That's always sad to see, but at least we know how much she enjoyed her time with us!  Much as I love being given bars of chocolate and wine, it's cards like these that show how worthwhile my volunteering is:


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