After 103 years in South Canterbury, Girl Guiding is still going strong. Past Times takes a look at its history in the area.
More than 100 years ago the first girl guides group, then known as Girl Peace Scouts, was formed in Timaru at St Mary's Church. The programme gave girls the chance to enjoy outdoor activities and camping, which remains at the heart of the organisation.
Today, there are 98 girls in the Timaru district involved in the various units, including pippins, from age 5 to 7, brownies, from age 8 to 9, and guides, from age 9 to high school age. Girls can remain in the guides unit until age 14. There is also a ranger unit for girls' in year 9 and over.
The movement is also strong outside Timaru, with guides groups also at Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Waimate.
The regional archives, housed in the Women's Wellness Centre building, contain uniforms, programmes, pictures and other items spanning the organisation's history in the area.
President of Girl Guiding New Zealand Sonia Faulkner visited Timaru at the weekend, presenting awards of high achievement to local brownies, guides, rangers and leaders.
Regional co-ordinator Annette Bray said although numbers were not as strong as they used to be they had grown over the past 12 months.
"It comes down to the leaders. We've got some really awesome leaders, meaning awesome programmes."
Activities were held in the weekends, such as orienteering and inline skating. The programme also included rock climbing and swimming.
Girls enjoyed the friendship and leadership opportunities in the organisation, Mrs Bray said.
"It's all about the fun and adventure."
- The Timaru Herald