Thinking Day 2021- Save the Date!
With international travel not practical for the moment and region international trips for 2021 now definitely cancelled, the county international team have been turning their thoughts to ways of bringing international guiding to Hampshire West.
We are planning a virtual trip round the world, which we hope will help go some way to compensating for the lack of travel opportunities. This all day zoom event and will take place on Saturday 27th February 2021 – the timing of which will hopefully mean that it complements rather than conflicts with any local Thinking Day plans. The event will be aimed at Guides and Senior Section members. It will work along similar lines to the recent county sleepovers but watch out for a few international visitors… more details and booking information in the December newsletter.
Provisionally, we are also exploring the possibility of a shorter event for Brownies and Rainbows on the same day.
County International Team
We are here to support you to offer an exciting international experience for your girls. For some, that will mean taking part in trips to events outside the UK but for others, it may mean including international activities in your unit programme. We can help with all of that. Please feel free to contact:
Angela – International Adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sue – Support with fundraising for international trips (email@example.com)
Rowena – Selection for county or region international trips (INTOPS) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Caitlin and Rachel – International ideas for your unit programme (email@example.com)
Corinne – International network (firstname.lastname@example.org)
County International Network
Want to know more about travelling internationally through Guiding? We have a network of adults who, between them, have experience of just about every kind of international opportunity you can think of – from working at one of the world centres, taking part in a WAGGGS World conference or participation in Girlguiding’s national GOLD (Guiding Overseas Linked with Development) scheme through to leading unit trips to various destinations or participating in a region international event following selection through the INTOPS process. We can arrange for one of them to come and speak to a group of girls or leaders or to chat to you one-to-one to help you with your own plans. If you are interested, please contact Corrine.
INTOPS stands for International Opportunities. There are many ways in which members of Girlguiding can go away internationally but INTOPS generally refers to the annual selection process for the international trips run by South West Region. These trips are led by leaders from the Region and involve a group of girls drawn from counties from all over the South West.
Selection for girls normally takes place in two stages. The first is a county weekend and the second a region weekend. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. The weekends are a fun experience in their own right and there are lots of interesting activities to have a go at. Places on region trips are then offered to those who appear most likely to benefit from them. We’re not necessarily looking for the brightest member with all the badges. More important qualities are being a team player, having a sense of humour, good communication skills, adaptability and open mind, being willing to have a go at anything (with a smile) and enthusiasm for Guiding. Finance shouldn’t be seen as a barrier as grants are available to help with fundraising.
INTOPS is normally open to Guides, Young Leaders and Rangers who will be aged 14-17 at the time of travel although there are occasionally opportunities for younger girls. Region also runs an INTOPS weekend for adults interested in being part of the leadership team.
Trips – and so the INTOPS process – are currently on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic but normally, the process kicks off in the spring to select participants for trips the following two summers (in other words, girls can expect to have between 1 and 2 years’ notice before travel).
There are also opportunities to apply for a national selection process to take part in the GOLD (Guiding Overseas Linked with Development) scheme.
Please contact Rowena for more information.
If you’re interested in taking your own unit – or a group from your district/division away internationally, you’ll find details of all the requirements on the Girlguiding website. Please contact Angela as early as possible in your planning process – and before you make any firm commitments - so we can make sure you are up to date with any changes. If you haven’t led an international trip before, you will need to work towards module 9 of the Going Away Scheme (Travelling Abroad). Please contact Outdoor Qualification Coordinator for advice on this.
If you are interested in opening your trip up to girls from other parts of the county, you will need the approval of the County Executive. Angela can provide you with a short form to complete for this purpose. We do this to make sure that we don’t offer too many competing trips in a single year. The County Executive team also needs to assure themselves that the trip is financially viable and have visibility of your risk assessment.
Finance shouldn’t be seen as a barrier to participating in international trips as there are plenty of grants available to support you. There are also lots of other fun ways of fundraising to help with costs. Please contact Sue for advice.
International Guiding in your unit
There are all sorts of fun ways of giving your girls a taste of international guiding without leaving your unit meeting place. Catlin and Rachel are both happy to point you in the right direction or even come along to a unit meeting to run activities with your girls.