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Over 60 members of Girlguiding Isle of Wight recently spent a weekend at Foxlease in the New Forest – one of Girlguiding’s national training centres.

Foxlease is ideal for outdoor activities including campfires, camping, identifying trees and bird watching. Other indoor pursuits were also undertaken including archery and there was a chance of team building, conservation work, nature walks, skills development and nature wellbeing sessions.

All the girls and their leaders entered enthusiastically into this weekend in the heart of the New Forest. Girls were encouraged to recognise species of trees and birds and were taught outdoor skills such as bushcraft and how to light a campfire safely. Some Guides climbed trees (in a harness) and some were thrilled to make their Guide Promise up near the high branches.

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This weekend came under the ‘Caring for Nature/Connecting to Nature/Generation Green’ scheme, a national Girlguiding/YHA initiative that encourages young people to see the natural world around them and introduces some to the great outside for the first time, especially those who live in built-up areas.

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One of the Island’s leaders Kerry Hiscock had, prior to the event, trained as a specialist in campfire building and camp cooking in readiness to instruct Guides and Brownies.

Kerry, who is a leader at the Island’s Forest School, said:

“This was a great opportunity for girls to learn about nature in all its forms. They have all learnt new skills as well as having a fun time. Many badges will be achieved by attending this event.”

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