On the 22nd February, 1916 1st Stone Guides was officially registered at Guide Headquarters in London and 100 years later the unit is still going strong.

The unit celebrated their very special birthday at St Michael’s church last month. The evening included a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday as the girls paraded into church with their flag and some of the girls wore uniforms from previous decades. The evening included an inspiring talk by Anna West, Assistant Leader with 1st Stone Guides, who attended the World Scout Jamboree in Japan last summer.

The Guide company originally met at St John’s congregational church. During the war years the girls helped the war efforts by collecting waste paper in a hand carts and sending homemade Christmas cards and knitted socks to the troops. In spite of the war they still found time to go on camps, often for a week at a time. They slept on straw from the farm and had lots of exciting times. The uniforms in those days consisted of large hats, respectable length skirts and black stockings. The Second World War saw all the guide units in Stone close apart from Stone Guides and again the girls helped out with the war efforts.

Over the decades thousands of girls have enjoyed all that guiding has to offer and the present day members are no exception.  Guide, Millie says “I have enjoyed meeting new people on camp” and Freya says “I just love Guides”. The girls are looking forward to a year of celebrations. They are taking part in the guiding musical show, A Handful of Songs. They are taking part in the County Guide Challenge, ‘Wipeout Or Win’ as well as participating in the Stone Carnival.

The celebrations will culminate in an afternoon tea party for former 1st Stone Guides, friends and supporters of Guiding on the 2nd July.

The unit is presently run by two of Stone’s youngest leaders, Clare Taylor and Anna West. Clare was herself a former 1st Stone Guide. Anna is currently in her first year of teaching at John Wheeldon Primary School in Stafford. Both of them are passionate about Guiding and enabling girls to achieve their potential and have fun into the bargain!

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