Two Guides from the 1st Carisbrooke (Princess Beatrice Own) Unit and an Island Brownie Leader have been selected to represent the UK  at an event in Austria in 2023.

Following a selection process (INTOPS) on the Island the Guides attended a further selection weekend where they were up against Guides from the other 15 counties and Islands within the South-West Region.

Both Guides were thrilled to be selected and are now busy fundraising to cover the costs of their adventure. A grand raffle, with sponsored prizes, is in progress so please support the Guides if you can. Contact any Girlguiding Unit-they have tickets for sale for the raffle which will be drawn on 11th December.

Other fundraisers will follow including a sponsored swim so look out for more events as these girls are certainly making a great effort to raise the money.

Accompanying the UK Girlguiding group to Austria will be Island Brownie leader Harriet Townsend who had already been selected to lead an International Event prior to the pandemic. When that event was cancelled Harriet’s leadership skills were transferred to the Austrian Adventure and she is now excited that Island girls will be among those travelling.

The two Guides from the Island are Emily Stephens and Keira Wells.

Emily said, “I am 13 and I have been a Rainbow and Brownie. I joined Guides in East Cowes before moving house and then started with Carisbrooke Guides after the 1st lockdown.

I enjoy Guides as we complete different activities and it is a good way to meet new people and experience different opportunities. It is relaxed and fun and I have made some good friends. It makes me feel more confident.  I enjoy sports including swimming and running. Keira and I were chosen for INTOPS after attending a few selection weekends. I was excited to apply for this as I have always enjoyed travelling and visiting new places. It seemed like an amazing opportunity to do something completely different, especially after lockdown also it is a great way of being more independent.

Keira and I are both working hard to earn money. I have used my crochet hobby to sell Bees and various other items via craft stalls, friends, family and Gurnard Press. I have had to make a lot of toys and Christmas stockings and will continue to do so until we leave in August next year.

We are organising a sponsored swim in February 2023. Both Keira and I are going to swim the same distance as if we were swimming to the mainland. Medina pool have let us use a lane for this and we are opening a just giving page. We are also planning other mini raffles going forward.”

 Keira added “I am 13 years old and have been in Girlguiding as a Rainbow, continued through Brownies and will be leaving Guides in May as I would like to become a Ranger and continue my journey there.

To get into INTOPs I had to go through several selection meetings and camps.  I had to make myself stand out and prove to the leaders that I deserved to go. I made lunch for everyone including a yummy desert.

I have been making homemade dog biscuits and selling them. Emily and I have also been training to swim the equivalent of the IOW to Southampton in an hour tagging each other in. I have also been selling all my preloved clothes and toys at car boot sales and I have been working hard with Emily to source raffle prizes and write to lots of companies for raffle prizes.

I absolutely like earning badges, seeing my friends and making new ones at Guides. I love doing new things and camping. I am a dedicated member of Girlguiding and I am undertaking the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award at school.  I also do competitive swimming at Medina Pool, wrestle at Outcast Pro Wrestling, do Gymnastics at Little Rockets Gymnastics, attend Police Cadets and I am currently learning to dance for a competition at school. 

I am so excited about travelling to Austria, especially where I get to experience this with my good friend   Emily. It will be amazing to leave the UK, especially after lockdown, and see a part of the World that I have not been to.”

 Linda Stone Island Commissioner said, “Girlguiding nationally offers these international trips on a regular basis I am thrilled that Island members have been selected.”