The Term 2/3 Kiwi Challenge has really expanded Wakari Pippins’ experience of Guiding. For them it included two outings, community action, doing activities with their big sisters in Guiding and lots of hard work with a badge to mark their achievement. The Pippin and Guide Leaders are incredibly happy to report that all of these were highlights for us. It is so good when all the time and work put into planning comes together so well.
Two outings were planned. The first outing was a night visit to a natural kiwi habitat in the hope of spotting a kiwi and the second to the Otago Museum where we combined searching for the kiwi (in case they proved elusive at night) and some Maoritanga badge activities. The girls liked the concept of the kiwi as a Taonga.
For our night visit both units headed out to the Orokonui Eco-sanctuary in the shadow of Mihiwaka, just north of Dunedin. We feel very privileged to be able to go there, especially as the after dark tours normally have a minimum age of 10 years. The weather was gorgeous: cool, clear and calm. First we headed out into the deepening dusk and walked to the kaka soft release aviary. The wild birds come back to visit the aviary birds and open feeding station in the evening.
Then we went back to the stunning visitors’ centre with Sophie, Bas and Tahu, the eco-sanctuary educators. They are friendly, knowledgeable and just awesome at presenting information in interesting ways, respectful of both the girl’s level of knowledge, including Maoritanga and natural history. This part was fun, especially the re-enactment of how the kiwi lost its wings.
Once it was completely dark we walked in the sanctuary again. A Pippin parent commented on how special it was for her to be out walking with her daughter in the bush in complete darkness. We were shown night active insects including spiders, glow-worms and centipedes and looked for eels in the pond areas all while we searched for kiwi. One group even saw a Takahe. Just before we left we heard Kiwi calling as we all stood on the balcony of the visitors’ centre looking out over the sanctuary and Blueskin Bay beyond.
The Pippins really enjoy getting badges so their leader has created a syllabus for them to work toward, and a sticker chart for them to track their own progress. Once they had filled in every box on the kiwi, including the gift box for the fundraiser, they were presented with the beautiful NZ Kiwi badge (available as a general purchase badge at the Guide E-shop). Some of the Guides liked this idea much more than the record books they use at Guides. Maybe you can never be too old for a sticker chart?
The fundraising was hugely successful. The girls contributed to a huge poster. The Pippins drew pictures of kiwi and their habitat including a huge tree with some of their learning written on the trunk. The Guides contribution was some of the threats that Kiwi face, and that the eco-sanctuary protects them from. We took this poster to the local supermarket that generously made space for us in their foyer – thank you Fresh Choice – and asked the shoppers very politely if they would help us complete our coin trail. The results were astounding and we were able to donate $276.70 to the eco-sanctuary to help with their Kiwi programme. On presenting the donation, the eco-sanctuary staff admired the poster so much they wanted to keep it for display there.
One of the most special parts was the way the girls all worked together. The Pippins were so excited at the idea of going in a trip with the Guides, and loved spending time with them. Both groups got so much out of it. Some of our Guides showed unexpected talent at nurturing the younger girls, taking their hands and walking with them.
We would also like to express our gratitude to Tahu and her team at the eco-sanctuary. As well as our awesome time there, they came to both our units for pre and post visits, talking with the girls, sharing their passion for the natural environment and making the experience so much fun with drama, costumes, practical activities and even transforming us with face-paint. They were so generous with their time and their special energy.
Wakari Guides Burns District,
Cromwell Wins Community Awards
Cromwell GirlGuiding has been made the Winner of Central Otago Trustpower Community Awards in Education and Child/Youth Development. It is presented in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the Central Otago Community. The award came with a $500 prize.
After a 10-year absence, GirlGuiding started again in Cromwell three years ago. There are now 64 girls involved across all units and 10 leaders.
The main focus of the past year was fundraising for 16 girls and 4 leaders to attend Jamboree raising $12,000. Fundraising events included digging and selling sheep manure, cutting and selling firewood, cake stalls, running a duck race and marshalling a sports event.
The judges stated that “thanks to the commitment of the leaders these girls have been trying their hands at raft making, swimming, biking, solar cooking, collecting rubbish and more. This wide range of activities must certainly be helping these girls to become confident and focused with a wide range of skills”.
Central Otago Lakes District Co-ordinator
Halfway Bush Brownies Community Action Month
Halfway Bush Brownies helped out at the Family Works Presbyterian Support food bank in June. The girls (along with 3 helpful brothers and 5 parent helps) had a great time packaging food parcels and stocking 100s of cans for the Food Bank. The unit is going to make it an annual service event and are also planning on helping in the community garden in the fourth term.
The girls also made an ABC picture book in Action Month which we donated to the Dunedin School of Dentistry for their waiting room. The girls worked hard and had a great time for Action Month!
Wakari Pippins help at the beach
The Wakari Pippins held an overnight adventure at Brighton Beach - south of Dunedin. As part of Girl Guide Action Month they did a beach clean-up - well tried but found the beach was extra clean (which is wonderful really but didn’t help the girls collect much rubbish) and then took part in a public flax-planting activity up on the Brighton Domain to help stop erosion of the banks. We had 16 girls and four adults take part in all. When we finished we asked the girls to perform their Pippin Shout which raised applause from those present.
Leader, Wakari Pippins
What has Otago been up to in 2013?
Why not tell us what you have been doing in your unit so far this year?
I know you have been out camping, doing Community Service and generally having a lot of GirlGuiding Adventures - lets show everyone what we have been doing!
Forward any stories or photos on to your Leader, District Co-ordinator, Regional Co-ordinator or the Southern Zone Office so they can be published here.