Possum

Elanora Girl Guides


Annual Report - 2018

District Report

What another successful year we have had at Elanora Girl Guides

We kicked off the year with our annual participation in the Narrabeen Australia Day Big Breakfast at Lake Park. Since we took over the running of the raffle, a few years ago now, it just gets better each year. I am amazed how the regular businesses always support us with a donation of a prize or voucher, and the wonders of Facebook, when a post requesting prizes from locals just oozes with support. The 12 participating organisations receive a share of the profits so it is to our benefit to make as much money from the raffle as we can. Plus we have such fun being involved, and the girls gain valuable experience in dealing with the public, making change and being on display. We always find new girls who are interested in joining - just by seeing us in action and wanting to do it too. Win - win!

I would like to publicly congratulate Possum (Felina) for reaching her 15 Year Service Award which was presented at the Northern Sydney AGM in February. She has put in a mammoth effort over those years and shows no signs of slowing down - lucky for us!

Anzac Day is another very special event we are all involved in as a District. It is super special to be asked to be involved and an honour we don't take lightly. I personally love seeing the younger girls who gain an extra element of understanding when they participate in the March. The special feeling when we walk on the road being escorted by the Police, and the pomp and ceremony of the Pipe Band. Then being able to say we were there in support of the servicemen and women - marching tall and proud is such an honour. Watching the little ones try and keep time in the march, and sit still during the ceremony are always moments I cherish and why I do this role. It is a very rewarding experience - especially Anzac Day.

Elanora Girl Guides is in a very unique position to other Girl Guide Districts. Our hall is owned by the Department of Education, and we pay a very nominal $110 yearly rental fee. Whilst the ultimate responsibility of the hall maintenance is that of the School, we, as good tenants, do most of the work required, such as renovating the kitchen last year, including the ceiling, and painting the entire inside of the hall. This year we held two working bees around the grounds - as we are in a fire hazard area, is essential to clear the bush debris from around the hall, tidy our firepits, and clear the gutters and the drains. We clean after every use, and ensure that everything is in it's place. This year saw the school allowing their special groups such as dance and music groups. We have not had to accommodate other users and whilst there have been some teething problems, we hope they respect our lovely meeting place.

Other District's are able to hire out their halls for fundraising. But we are not allowed to sub-lease the hall. We see this as a blessing, as we do not have to worry about hiring agreements, insurance, cleaning, damage, collecting rent etc. However, this also means we do not have this income.

We have a number of necessary payments that must be covered to even open our doors. That is the membership fees, uniform, First Aid Course Fees and other Training costs to get leaders to qualification. This figure is roughly $1000. Which is why we have to rely on term donations from families and fundraising. Our finances are tracking along nicely thanks to a few fundraising activities and we were also lucky enough to receive a $500 grant from Cr Rory Amon.

In 2018, as we have done every other year, we sold copious amounts of Girl Guide biscuits. With the help of our amazing supporter Karla, at Elanora Newsagency, we sold out of our initial order, plus got extra boxes from Guide House. Our efforts raised $843 (with two outstanding boxed to be paid in 2019)

Another favourite fundraising activity is our Bingo afternoon... which was held in Term 3. I must say our Leaders put in a stellar effort with the theme "Something starting with your first letter of your name". I myself went as Queen Elizabeth (Quokka), Roo as a Roman, Possum as a pirate, Cassowary as a Rubix Cube, Wattle as Where's Wally, Silvana as Spiderwoman, and our wonderful monotreme team, Platy and Echidna as themselves! What simple fun we had! The girls and their friends really enjoyed the games, and everyone bought a plate of afternoon tea to share. We didn't raise a stack of money, but had a lot of fun and took home a few prizes!

We do like to encourage girls and Leaders to participate in State and National events. This year we were able to support Roo (Helen) and Possum (Felina) to be able to attend and assist at the Sydney Jamboree held in October with over 1000 participants. Possum was one of five sub-camp Leaders and from all reports, ran an excellent sub-camp.

We also try to encourage our older girls to continue building their experiences and offer subsidies to attend State events. After assistance from Senior Guides at Bingo, we were able to encourage Natalya and Jessica from the Senior Guides to attend the Zoo Sleepout with payment of the camp fee. We were very proud of Natalya who won a prize for extra effort in fundraising for the Zoo.

I'd also like to make note here that we also have funds available for those experiencing hardship should any of our families need help to continue guides and/or to stretch to get to events that may seem out of reach financially.

We are also extremely proud of Junior Guide, Hayley who was awarded her Junior BP Award this year. She put in the hard work and now has her name on a plaque along with all the other girls who have gained this award at Elanora Girl Guides. Congratulations Hayley!

We were also very pleased when one of our Senior Guides, Jessica decided to be a Junior Leader. She is building on her leadership skills by helping out with the Pre-Junior Unit. She is a welcome extra pair of hands and the girls really like to see "Otter" each week. She has also decided to challenge herself by signing up to complete her Queens Guide Award. This is the peak achievement award and will take Jessica a few years to complete. She has chosen Service as her focus which will see her complete 90 hours of volunteer work (outside of all guide units) as a major part of her award. As the first propsective Queens Guide in over 20 years, we are all cheering Jess on and watch as she completes some amazing activities.

We also had our special yearly events such as Father's Day Putt Putt, singing at the Seaside Nursing Home and our Christmas Party (at Waterworks) where we all come together as one big group. It is always a lovely thing to see the older girls mentor the younger girls, gaining confidence in their experience and showing them what it is to be a great Girl Guide.

We must be doing something right as most of our units are nearly full most of the time. However we always plan to have room for the younger girls to progress into the next age group. At the end of the year, a group of the older Guides asked that we give them opportunity to move to Senior Guides a little earlier than normal. They agreed they had been involved in our District for a very long time and they felt they were ready. We granted their request and look forward to watching their guiding journey and growth in Senior Guides.

We have had the luxury of having lots of leaders for a few years now. However this year saw us farewell Gecko (Silvana) whose work commitments became too much and something had to give. But to our amazement and absolute gratitude, Linda Pearce, mum of Julia wanted to join and train as a Leader in the Guide Unit. Yippppeeee!

But at the end of the year, we became aware that Platypus (Lucy) and Echidna (Kelly) would be finishing up at the end of Term One 2019. We'd like to thank them for 6 amazing years of leading our lovely little PJs, and we will be sad to see them go. So many girls have gone through the PJ Unit. Many of them have gone onto Junior Guides after learning so much with the monotreme team. Lucy and Kelly always gave up their time to go to every single event we held. They would always give up their time to help at Australia Day, they proudly marched at Anzac Day and they were super-sliders at Manly Waterworks. Lucy's stamp will always be on our hall, as she graciously gave up her 2nd-hand kitchen and even got it installed for free! They will never be far from our thoughts and will always bring a smile to our faces as we remember some of the fabulous times we've had.

So we have started planning for some movements of our Leaders to suit their timetables and their preferences. So watch out for some exciting changes next year!

We have had a terrific year as shown by selected photos on this report and each of the Unit reports. I also produced a photo book of the past 5 years as a wonderful end-of-year gift for each of the Leaders. The books were very well received at our annual dinner to celebrate and remember the wonderful year we had. A copy of the book is in the foyer for everyone to check out (and even order a copy if you want one - just let me know!)

My three wishes for 2019:
  • Seeing lots of happy, healthy girls moving into and through our unit
  • Finding and supporting new Leaders - or at least some extra pairs of hands to regularly help our qualified leaders
  • Have even more fun!

Kylie Llewellyn (Quokka).


Supporting Anzac Day is one of our regular events

Leader Helen Rooney showing off her camping skills at Jamboree 2018


Bingo fundraising afternoon was such a success!

Running the raffle at Australia Day is our regular fun thing


Who doesn't love a good campfire?

Getting up before dawn for volunteering at the City to Surf is so worth it!