Girlguiding Greater Manchester West
Girlguiding Greater Manchester West
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Commonwealth Award - Swinton & Worsley Ranger Unit

If you’re looking for an excuse to get to know the sunny Seychelles or the UK’s distant antipodes then this is the badge for you, states the info page on the Senior Section website. Claire Mayle gives us an insight into the Commonwealth Award. I can’t say that our Rangers got the opportunity to get to know the sunny Seychelles much more than pin-pointing it on a map; however who needs sun when instead we spent our summer meetings outside, kitted out in wellies and raincoats frantically digging plants into our new community garden before the next downpour?! 

The beauty of this award is that there is no time limit, although we’re extremely proud that we managed to complete it within a year. The award consists of compulsory challenges, which include learning about the history of guiding, the Commonwealth nations, and completing a community-focused project. There are also further challenges to complete from a choice of topics which reflect the octants from the Senior Section Look Wider programme such as ‘out of doors’ and ‘fit for life’. The girls found that the work they had done for their Look Wider octants could count toward this award, which was great. To complete the award we worked with the local parish community over summer 2012 to create a garden on waste ground, (for which Bents Garden Centre kindly donated the plants) and to clean and tidy the church grounds where the unit meets.  

Comments from the girls about completing the award: ‘It was great to get outside and give something back to the church where we meet. The feedback from parishers about the plants in the garden have been really nice.’ ‘It’s an honour to receive the Commonwealth award; I wear it with pride now whenever we wear our Ranger tops.’ ‘It was a good award to fit around other things we were doing in the programme, there was no pressure to complete the different tasks’ For more information about the award go to the Senior Section website www.girlguiding.org.uk/seniorsection/whatcanido/awardsandqualifications/commonwealthaward.html  
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