LETTER: Fond farewell to Guides’ camp

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As a Guiding Ambassador, I attended the fond farewell to Little Trees the Guides’ camp at Pease Pottage which is closing to make way for the new cemetery for Crawley.

This Guides’ camp has been open for forty eight years and I was privileged to meet Ann Millar who had been a strong voice on the original committee who set up the camp site so long ago; although I believe a Mrs Little had been the driving force. In fact her own house was actually called Little Trees. Although it was sad to say goodbye to such a memorable camp which has seen generations of guides and leaders taking part in events over the years, there was a wonderful atmosphere of fun and camaraderie. An amazing array of activities were on hand including fire building, magic shows and craft activities. For me the highlight was the amazing owls brought in by an owl rescue centre called Owls About Town. They were tame enough to pet and were a delight to everyone. The owner, Andy Kendall, shared with me how he came to start such a venture following a traumatic time in the army.

I wish the guides well for their future at their new home in Tilgate Forest. As a Guiding Ambassador I hope the new venue will create a higher profile for this fantastic movement which offers girls such wonderful opportunities to grow and develop their own abilities and confidence.

As a councillor I would like to see the new cemetery retain the name Little Trees for posterity, thus keeping alive the history of its life as a Girl Guide’s camp site . So thank you to the Crawley Girl Guiding District Commissioner Caroline Hitchcock, for inviting me and introducing me to everyone; also a super big thank you to all the guides, leaders and helpers who helped to make the day so memorable. So Good Bye Little Trees - hello Tilgate.

Councillor Brenda Burgess (Con, Three Bridges, Crawley Borough Council

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