Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Weekend At St Bartz

This weekend I have been fulfilling my duties as a fun and creative Girl Guide leader. Myself and the three other fantastic leaders who I 'work' with took 16 of our girls to St Bartz- a nearby retreat centre. It is actually a large converted church with lots of quirky features and leftovers from its church days.

There was lots of space for the girls to run around and play in.

It was a Christmas themed weekend so we did lots of craft activities relating to Christmas. We also made lots of things to sell at a fundraising fair on Tuesday which we hope will be successful!

Anyone for a chocolate reindeer? Really easy to make, just melt chocolate and then drip onto baking parchment, decorate with silver ball eyes, marshmallows or cherries for the nose, and matchmakers for the antlers. These chocolates were made mostly by me when all of the matchmakers had been snaffled by the girls. I was only left with one, can you spot it?

I took in my faithful gingerbread recipe which always produces good results. It was a bit hairy watching the guides' baking techniques but we got there in the end. We actually ended up with so many we could have half for our pudding with some Angel Delight and the other half were decorated ready for our stall at the fair.

Some quirky and individual decorations there.

Last weekend, when I went to Brighton on a shopping trip, I bought lots of felt in preparation for a Christmas stocking project. I had volunteered to design stockings that the girls could easily make so this is the idea I came up with. They are really quite a decent size and mostly involved cutting out. I took my sewing machine with me and when the girls had finished decorating and stitching on holly leaves, ribbons and bows and were settled in front of a movie, I quickly whizzed around the edges of the stocking, to make sure that everything was neat, catching a ribbon to hang them up with as I went round. This morning the girls came out of their bedrooms to find that the Christmas elves had been round and put little presents in their stockings under the tree (do you recognise it from when I was at university?).

There were quite a few decorations in the lounge part of the retreat, my Christmas tree and strings of paper snowflakes and paper chains that the girls made on Friday evening when they arrived. The snowflakes cast really lovely shadows on the walls.

Other fundraiser projects they did was to make cards (which I don't have any photos of but they were following this kind of idea), plum jam and tomato chutney. We actually ended up with quite a lot and they look lovely with the fabric and raffia decoration.

When we left the sun was going down casting a golden glow on the old building. A very creative and active weekend. Hopefully enjoyed by all!

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