Edinburgh Zoo meet-up brought fun and friendship of guiding alive

Kateri Wilson-Whalley blogs about why being leader of the Scottish Senior Section Lones is ‘zoo’ much fun…

As leader for the Scottish Senior Section Lone unit, it’s not often I get the chance to meet the amazing young women that are part of our group.

We are for girls and young women aged 14 – 25 who can’t meet up regularly with a local Senior Section unit for whatever reason, be it living somewhere remote or other commitments.

We mainly stay in touch and complete challenges through Facebook, email and newsletters. We meet up a few times each year too, as it’s a great way to get to know each other and really feel a part of something.

We decided to kick off this guiding year with a trip to Edinburgh Zoo. About a quarter of us were able to make the day. We are spread across the whole of Scotland so the number at our meet-ups varies – but whether two or 22 people turn up, we always have a great day.

We have a few travelling mascots – penguins, puffer fish, pink flamingos, a platypus… OK, a lot of travelling mascots! Essentially any animal whose name begins with ‘p’ is welcome, so we themed our day around that letter.

We went on an animal hunt, enjoyed a quiz from the Zoo’s website, did a photo challenge and made enrichment boxes with toys and other engaging activities for some of the animals. And as the penguin parade didn’t happen, we did our own! One of our members even made her Promise on the bridge in the penguin enclosure.

Our meet ups are a huge laugh and remind me why personal circumstances needn’t be a barrier to fun, friendship and antics in guiding!

Can’t get to regular unit meetings because of other commitments, disability, transport difficulties or living somewhere remote? Find out more about being a part of Scottish guiding through the Lones scheme.