A mile stone for Girl Guiding the world over, the World Girl Guides and Scouts Association will be celebrating its centenary next week. Guides and scouts the world over are making elaborate preparations to commemorate the occasion, as are those here in Sri Lanka.
Camping being the most popular activity among the Lankan Guides, an international camp has been organised from April 22 to 27.
The 5 day camp is one of the most anticipated events out of a string of other events organised by the Girl Guides Association of Sri Lanka. One hundred Guides, including foreign delegates who have been invited to participate in the event, will camp at the Chinthana Training Centre, in Naimamadu, while discussing the future of Guiding. Introducing the element of adventure to the programme, the Guides will also take part in a trek, which will be carried out ‘Amazing Race’ esque, shares Thilini Atukorali, Event Chairperson and Director of Camp.
“We decided to have the event to improve the quality of guiding,” says Thilini, “We’ve also invited guides and guide leaders from 6 other countries, to make it more of an international event. Why we focused on camping, is because the association carried out research that showed 99% of the girls said they were here for camping,” she explains.
Elaborating on the line up of events; Thilini says four topics, which are relevant to local and international guiding, will be discussed at the camp. The topics include 'Camping Towards 2020', 'International Understanding' 'Through Camping', 'Camping With A Difference' and 'Taking Back Memories From Camp'.
Taking a break from the discussion, the Girl Guides will be divided into teams and will set off on an adventure trek that includes searching for clues along the trail which will lead them to their destination- being a village known as Wilpotta gamme, where the women folk have started their every own business venture.
The venture is lead by a determined Ms. Karunanathi, who has endeavoured to empower the women of her village, who have undergone much oppression from the men.
“She started the movement making crafts from coconut shells and indigenous materials, and they are doing quite well,” explains Thilini, “They have organised demonstrations and the girls will participate in making the crafts.” Joining in the event will be Girl Guides from several districts, including Jaffna.