Barbara Fraser Tilley reviews plans for an upcoming trip to Europe with Girl Guides

Girl Guides embark on European adventure

‘Life-changing’ trip for local group three years in the making

T

hree years of planning is about to bear fruit for seven local Girl Guides and two leaders, as they embark on an opportunity of international proportions.

The nine headed to Europe Sunday to begin 16 whirlwind days exploring London, Paris and Amsterdam.

Highlights are to include a ride on the London Eye, castle tours, a visit to Stonehenge and a day at Disneyland Paris. A visit to London’s Pax Lodge – one of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ four World Centres – is also on the itinerary.

The 2½-week adventure is an experience most people don’t connect with the Girl Guide movement, said Barbara Fraser Tilley, one of the trip’s leaders, in a pre-departure interview.

While leadership, confidence and skill-building are a significant component of Guiding, for the majority, the words ‘Girl Guide’ evoke images of cookies and campfires.

But with 39 years of Guiding behind her, Fraser Tilley can attest that the organization offers so much more, including such life-changing opportunities as the trip to Europe.

“People have this image of Girl Guides as cookies, crafts, singing… and badges,” Fraser Tilley said. “But the program is much broader than that. It includes a lot of interesting international issues.”

For her daughter, Elizabeth, involvement in Girl Guides also led to an opportunity to perform in the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics.

For the current trip, Fraser Tilley and co-leader Heather McKinnon are traveling with Guides Julia Battie, Elizabeth Tilley, Meghann McKinnon, Mikaela Pawlikowski, Danica Penner, Samantha Rushowic and Bailey Woodridge.

Planning has included extensive fundraising – including cookie sales – to cover the participants’ costs, which total about $4,000 each.

Elizabeth Tilley, who just finished Grade 10 at Elgin Park Secondary, looks forward “to going to new places I haven’t seen before.”

“I think it’ll give me a different, broader view of what our world is like, instead of our local bubble,” she said.

“You just need to go out and see things and find new perspective.”

Tilley, 16, is particularly interested in London, where she hopes the group will be able to see the premiere of the new Harry Potter movie.

For Fraser Tilley, who teaches at Newton Elementary, the inspiration for getting the ball rolling for the trip is rooted in her own international Guiding experience.

In 1984, she was selected to lead a group of four Guides from B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick to the Switzerland World Centre, Our Chalet.

She had such a memorable time exploring Switzerland and Germany with the group that she made it a personal goal to one day provide a similar opportunity for other girls.

Kids who get the chance to travel benefit from broadened horizons, she said.

“It really rejigs their thinking.”

Shortly after their July 19 return, a number of the Guides will participate in a provincial camp taking place in Agassiz.

Two thousand girls and Guiders are expected to participate in the sixth Spirit of Adventure Rendezvous (SOAR). The week-long camp offers opportunities to take part in activities ranging from cooking and campfire sing-a-longs, to scuba diving and geocaching.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read