Chloe’s joy at sampling Lesotho life
Girlguide reflects on trip
A Gargunnock Girlguide has returned home after a 16-day volunteering trip in Africa.
Chloe Bruce (18) travelled to Lesotho, southern Africa, this summer to take part in an once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Chloe — a first year student at Stirling University where she’s studying Primary teaching — was one of nine Girlguiding Scotland members from across the country who took part in the trip.
The group, aged 14 to 19, worked alongside members of the Lesotho Girl Guides Association on training and activities for guides and their leaders — including sessions on positive body image laid on for a camp of 150 girls.
As well as volunteering, the group explored Lesotho’s mountainous surroundings and spent time pony trekking in the Highlands, camping alongside Lesotho Girl Guides and enjoying adventurous activities such as archery and canoeing.
The group even had the honour of meeting Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho and speaking to her about their experiences in guiding.
To prepare for her trip Chloe, who is a Young Leader with the 1st Gargunnock Guides, carried out a number of fundraisers including creating a ‘Lochs of Scotland’ quiz with help from her grandmother and selling entries around Gargunnock.
She also learnt key phrases in Sesotho, the national language of Lesotho, and hand-sewed flower broaches to give as a gift to the Lesotho Girl Guides she would be staying with and volunteering alongside.
Chloe said: “Travelling to Lesotho was a truly unforgettable experience. It took 27 hours of travel to reach our destination but from the moment we stepped off the plane we were made to feel so welcome. I really enjoyed getting to know Girl Guides from Lesotho and volunteering alongside them.
“Even though we are from such different places and cultures we found we had so much in common and we made such strong friendships throughout the trip. It was especially interesting to deliver the education sessions and compare how our different cultures view issues around body image.
“It showed us all that there is no one idea of what is beautiful and encouraged us to be confident in who we are.
“Going on this adventure has given me the confidence to push myself beyond my comfort zone and try new things.
“I know now that I can go somewhere totally new and make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime.”
Adventure Chloe and some of the youngsters she met on her trip