Church of Scotland


Guide Ambassadors

Monday, 09 September 2019

Our Trip of a Lifetime to Switzerland 2019, by Rachel Muir, Iona McDade and Laurie McDade

Trip of a Lifetime

Our Trip to Switzerland 2019, by Rachel Muir, Iona McDade and Laurie McDade

2nd Dreghorn Guides

In June 2018 we attended a Girl Guiding Ayrshire North County event, where we heard about international opportunities we could apply to be part of.  

None of us thought we would be selected, however just days later we got the most exciting email. We had been selected to be ambassadors to stay for 8 days in one of the Guiding world centres, "Our Chalet" in Switzerland.  

Just 22 Guides and Rangers from North Ayrshire had been selected to attend with 7 leaders and it was so exciting that we had three of the places.

The start of our journey was to raise funds to support us getting on the trip.  

We held a bake sale in the Co-op, Dreghorn and they also supported with a raffle which all the community got behind.

We couldn’t have been ambassadors without the support and generosity of the people and local businesses of Dreghorn and Springside.  We also did bag packing in Tesco, Irvine. As well as raising funds we raised awareness of Girl Guiding opportunities for local girls.  Kelly Bennet our local Body Shop at Home consultant supported us with many fundraising events including a pamper night which was great fun.  

Our last fundraiser was a quiz sheet which got everyone’s minds working hard.  Our families also supported us with their time and additional expenses especially our mums.  It was a quick year of fundraising. 

Finally, it was time to head out on our adventure. On the 29th June 2019 we got on the bus and started the long exciting journey to Switzerland.  It was an amazing opportunity for us to represent our  guiding county, Ayrshire North and visit a country so beautiful like Switzerland.

We had the opportunity to stay at one of the 5 Guiding World Centres, "Our Chalet". During this time we met girls from all over the world (America, Canada, Isle of Harris and Ireland) and got to work with the international staff who work and volunteer there too. We swapped addresses, phone numbers and added each other on social media. We made new friends that we hope to have for life.  

We participated in many activities. We visited a local adventure park which was full of rope courses, zip slides, abseiling, rock climbing and a pendulum swing. We had amazing views as we zipped through the Swiss valleys. Rachel was the youngest of the girls to do the pendulum swing.  We decided she was very brave and a little crazy.  

A day trip from camp took us to Thun Castle. It was very beautiful and looked like a fairytale castle. We did lots of hiking and on one hike we visited the Woodcarvers cottage where we could buy personalised woggles for our neckie and lots of other things made from wood.  

Another day trip took as to Tummelbach falls which was a maze of caves carved from the rocks by glaciers and is now full of waterfalls.

Ionas favourite part was the adventure park and making new friends both locally and internationally.

Laurie's favourite part was the international evening at our Chalet where all groups had to perform something from their country and do the famous badge swap.

Rachel’s favourite part was the pendulum swing and whitewater rafting but also making new friends and learning about the different cultures.

Since returning home the "Our Chalet" 2019 group has met at the Blair Activity Centre where we had a BBQ, ceilidh and campfire with many other girl guides. Some had travelled all the way from Lesotho in Africa.

The adventures that Iona, Laurie and Rachel have had were amazing and they will continue to seek new opportunities.

We would like to thank everyone for their support during the fundraising efforts. Without this support we would not have had an experience of a lifetime.