Brownies have ab-zorbing day at Ally Pally

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A group of Brownies from Clitheroe and District Girlguiding joined thousands of fellow Girlguiding members in London to kick off celebrations for 100 years of The Senior Section.

St Michael and St John’s Brownies and Grindleton Brownies joined more than 5,000 girls and young women aged five to 25 at Alexandra Palace for a huge girl-only festival.

The two-day event, called Spark, saw the girls step out of their comfort zone and take on adventurous activities such as bouldering, bungee trampolining, yoga and zorbing.

Abigail (nine) said: “I enjoyed going to Alexandra Palace. It was fun. The activities were great. I enjoyed zorbing the most because it was new to me and exciting.”

Tabitha (10) said: “I enjoyed doing yoga as I have never done it before and it was awesome. It made me feel very calm.”

Open to all girls and young women aged 14 to 25, The Senior Section offers a host of amazing opportunities to older girls in guiding – from international travel and adventure to advocacy and leadership skills.

Over the past 100 years, Senior Section members have witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, swum the Channel, attended the UN Convention on the Status of Women, and represented Great Britain at the Olympics.

Celebrations will continue across the UK until October, taking in mountain marathons in Scotland, a carnival fiesta in the Midlands and a democracy festival in London.

A special steering group of Senior Section members have been involved at every stage of planning for the year – consulting widely with girls in guiding, and making decisions in everything from event design and activities to logistics.

Gill Slocombe, Girlguiding’s Chief Guide, said: “The Girlguiding adventure continues for young women right up to the age of 25, and this spectacular year of celebration is a great chance to shine a spotlight on the incredible achievements of our Senior Section members.

“These inspiring young women have been at the forefront of planning and leading an unforgettable year of adventure, challenge and excitement for their peers.

“Girlguiding’s Senior Section has evolved over the last 100 years as the lives of girls have changed. But vitally, in an increasingly complex world, Girlguiding continues to offer a safe space for young women to develop confidence, find their voice and reach their potential.”

The Senior Section enables girls and young women aged 14 to 25 to be involved with Girlguiding in a flexible way, with each young woman choosing her own level of commitment; from attending a Senior Section group to training as a Young Leader with Girlguiding’s younger sections, Rainbows (five to seven year olds), Brownies (seven to 10) and Guides (10 to 14). A new Senior Section group has recently been launched in Clitheroe, and is open to young women aged 14 to 25 and is seeking new members.

Many members opt to become inspiring mentors to their peers – delivering sessions on body confidence and healthy relationships to younger girls in a safe, girl-only space.

Senior Section members also drive Girlguiding’s advocacy and campaigning work, speaking out on issues affecting girls at the highest levels of government.

For more information about how to get involved with Girlguiding, the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, visit www.girlguiding.org.uk.

Imogen and Libby-Jane inside a zorb. (s)