I lead a team of volunteers and between us we run several of the Rainbow, Brownie and Guide units that would normally meet in Consett.

I say normally but obviously due to the pandemic we have, like all other groups, had to change what we do in the last year.

Initially we stopped all meetings in March 2020 and hoped that we would be able to start again soon, after Easter we optimistically hoped. Obviously not. As the lockdowns lengthened we started to meet on Zoom. We wondered how many girls would want to join in, and also what activities we would be able to do.

We have tried everything and anything and nothing is a silly idea. We have done virtual camps where we’ve had Brownies sleeping in all sorts of places (with sisters holding their parents mattress hostage to have an extra day in their front room camp) and several cook-a-longs with older girls helping out making tea for the whole family. We travelled the world to visit place in the Commonwealth and made stir-fry for Chinese New Year. Not every girl has joined in, but the option is there, and we usually have a full screen of eager faces to see what we are doing that week.

It’s not ideal, and there have been technical issues galore. The phrase “You’re on mute” gets uttered at least 5 times a meeting and almost every pet has made at least one cameo on screen to say hi. We make it work as best we can and if in doubt a game of Pictionary!

Every unit in the district has dealt with the restrictions differently and restarting will be different for each unit. Regardless of what is happening now whenever normal arrives, however different, we will still be Guiding.

If you are interested in getting involved with Guiding in the future please visit our website at girlguiding.org.uk. Images are a brownie during lockdown joining in a virtual meetings and a mixed group meeting pre-pandemic which we hope to do in the near future.

Victoria, Consett Brown Owl.

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