The Sea Watch Foundation staff members have recently visited Newcastle Emlyn GirlGuiding units of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. They were accompanied on this visit by their Education and Outreach Assistant, Natasha Hunt, their Sightings Officer, Chiara Bertulli, and two Research interns, Amy Summers and Andriana Michaeloudis.
GirlGuiding is a UK charity that enrols girls from the age of 5. With age, they can move on to following groups. The groups begin with Rainbows and are followed by Brownies, Guides, Rangers and can later stay on as young women. On joining the girls are part of an empowering community where they can have fun, form close friendships, expand their education and develop skills in a great variety of activities such as sports and arts and crafts.
The visit to each unit flew by, with each session full of activities, discussions, games, quizzes. Cetacean models, skeletons and baleen plates were brought for the girls to look at. The Sea Watch Foundation has previously visited local primary schools and youth groups such as scouts. In particular, their Adopt a Dolphin manager, Kirsten Hintner, has led many school visits and designed both fun and educational presentations for different age groups. These were a great at introducing the charity and the world of cetaceans to the girls. Each group played our educational games that were tailored to their age class. They all identified a diversity of sea creatures and learnt many facts about marine life and the dangers that threaten it, such as litter and how much time different forms persist in the environment. Guides had a go at our photo-identification research and were identifying individual bottlenose dolphins with our photo matching cards. They also did fantastic with our species matching cards and could identify over ten species of cetaceans by the end of the evening.
The visit to each unit began with the interactive presentations, packed with videos, pictures, games and audio recordings of whales, dolphins and porpoises. The presentation was certainly popular with the brownies, which took double the length of time than was expected! The brownies were not short on questions about cetaceans and were eager to learn more about these wonderful creatures. Each of three groups had the opportunity to look at our whale models, some of which are a narwhal, sperm whale and blue whale. The girls excitement with these whales can definitely be seen in the photo of the Rainbows. It’s a delight to say that the evening was a success from all the girls engagement in the world of majestic cetaceans and especially due to a few girls asking how they can become a marine biologist!
It was a pleasure to meet and discuss our work with all the girls and leaders at Newcastle Emlyn Girlguiding. We look forward to working with GirlGuiding again in the future.