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What’s going on here then?

Every week until Christmas, Midweek will visit one of the groups listed on our events page. This week, Julia Mahony visits the Carterton Pippins, run by three generations of Girl Guiding leaders from one family.

A Wairarapa wonder is the feeling of stepping back into a simpler time, when a pair of scissors and a glue stick train little fingers in traditional crafts.

At Carterton Pippins on a Thursday evening, a group of adorable girls aged 5-7 dance, play running games, use skipping ropes and work towards badges, at the start of their Girl Guides adventure.

The group, with about 10 girls, learn a combination of traditional crafts and baking, with skills to help them in today’s modern life. Last week, the girls gained their Dog Safety Badge, with two large dogs visiting their base in St Mark’s Church hall.

The girls discussed caring for dogs, before heading outside to carefully pat the hairy visitors and listen to their owner talk about canine behaviour.

Carterton is Wairarapa’s hub of Girl Guiding, thanks to long-serving leaders who have given countless local girls useful skills, exciting projects and the sense of belonging to a group.

Dale Collie runs Pippins with her daughter Debbie Fryer and her granddaughter Jessie Fryer, assisted by Girl Guide graduate Honor Norris-Baber. Carterton’s Sharon Aston runs Carterton Girl Guides for older girls. Masterton is the only other town with a Brownies group – so Carterton has members from all over Wairarapa.

“We try to be outside as much as possible,” Debbie said. The girls and leaders use the shade of majestic trees in the church grounds in summer. In the peaceful, cool hall, tactile resouces cover the art tables and when it’s time to gather together, the girls sit on a comfortable rug placed on the hard floorboards.

Dale said she likes the way the Girl Guides movement has evolved: “They don’t have to darn a sock, like I had to – it’s never stagnant now.”

Pippins are encouraged to plan their own sessions. “So we may have a week with horses as the theme, as little girls love horses,” Debbie said.

The girls were keen to say what they love about Pippins – “lots of painting”, “art”, “baking” and “colouring”.

“Pippins is really nice and everyone loves it here,” one Pippin said. “We take care of each other,” her little friend added.

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