Girl Guide leader marks anniversary

A Girl Guide leader from Norfolk is helping to mark the organisation's 100th anniversary with a series of events.

A Girl Guide leader from Norfolk is helping to mark the organisation's 100th anniversary with a series of events.

Elaine Shields, 62, a Rainbow leader in Thorpe St Andrew, has been with the Girl Guides since she was seven-years-old, and in tribute to the organisation is helping with a number of the events being organised to mark its 100th year.

She will be celebrating the centenary by joining four others from Norwich on a trip for Guide, Brownie and Rainbow leaders to Switzerland in February to the Guiding world centre in Adelboden.

'The trip to Switzerland is a national event, part of the centenary is for individuals to have a mountain top moment, so the four of us from Norwich are doing that and taking a trip to the world centre.'

She is also helping to organise a pink and sparkly princess party for 600 Rainbows at the Anglia Training Centre in Coltishall in May and a Seaside Sparkle spectacular for Norfolk's 5,000 members at Great Yarmouth in September.

Ms Shields said: 'The hope is to get all members of the Guides together for the event and take over the town centre basically.

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'We will also be holding a grand finale in the town with fireworks and entertainment.'

Ms Shields, 62, has been with the Girl Guiding organisation since she was seven-years-old when she joined the Middlesex branch of the Brownies in 1962

She went on to be a Guide and Ranger and became a Brownie Leader. During the years she has been a Ranger Leader, lived in America and ran a Girl Scout Troop and lived in Switzerland and started a Rainbow Guide Unit.

Six years ago moved to Thorpe St Andrew in Norwich and joined as Rainbow Leader for the village Rainbow group.

She said: 'I was a guide in 1970 and celebrated the Diamond Jubilee. I wondered then if I would still be in guiding at the Centenary and I am, quite a personal achievement although not a unique one by any means.'

Speaking about why the Guides has such a lasting appeal, she said: 'The Guides organisation is about having a go at anything.

'We also move with the times and keep abreast of what the girls want.

'Our motto is girls in the lead and that is what we let them do.'

The centenary year was officially launched in September last year.

Girls and young women from Anglia joined over 550,000 girls and women for the launch celebrations.

For more information on centenary events taking place in Norfolk, visit