California Dreamin’

Poynton girl guide, Charlotte Jefferies, has enjoyed a two week summer camp in California after successfully raising £2,000 in a project organised by the UK’s Girlguiding Association.

Charlotte, who attends Withington Girls’ School, was one of 15 girls selected to be in the Cheshire Border contingent travelling to California this year. The girls were selected to represent the United Kingdom in the USA after a competitive assessment process last April which attracted over 50 applicants from across the county.

harlotte is pictured 6th from the left harlotte is pictured 6th from the left

With the opportunity to attend an international girl guide and girl scout camp in California during the Summer holidays, the year-9 pupil worked hard to raise the £2,000 necessary to cover the cost of her trip. She was rewarded with an exciting and varied itinerary, which included the opportunity to explore San Francisco with visits to Alcatraz prison, the city’s famous Chinatown area, the business district, Coit Tower and Union Square.  The girls also enjoyed a cycle ride over the Golden Gate Bridge where they stopped off to renew their guiding promises.

The group then moved on to their camp at Pleasanton where they spent a week with 400 girls from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other regions in the UK. As well as making friends and learning about other cultures, Charlotte also enjoyed new experiences. “I learnt how to zipline, how to glass blow, belly dance and many other things.”  said 14-year-old Charlotte.

For the past 14 months Charlotte – who is a senior section (aged 14+) girl guide and belongs to 3rd Poynton Guides and Rangers – had been busy bag packing in shops, babysitting and selling items. A sponsored walk raised £250, a concert at Dean Row Village Hall attracted 100 guests to raise £300 and her entrepreneurial skills helped her raise money by making and selling ready-made freezer meals for local people.

“Over the past two weeks, I have gained a great deal, including friends from all over the world, and experiences that would never have been possible had I not achieved this opportunity in the first place. I am so glad I went on this trip because I saw a totally new and different place and different world to what I am used to. It was incredibly exciting for all of us and we would all want to go again, and do absolutely nothing differently,” said Charlotte.

Charlotte’s trip was part of a Girlguiding initiative, INTOPs (International Opportunities) which sends girls from the UK to places all over the world. The aim is to represent themselves personally and the United Kingdom as members of the World Association of girl guides and girl scouts.

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