Thanks to a £750 Leader Award Grant from the Jack Petchey Foundation, 80 guides from the Lewisham East District were treated to an educational trip to London Zoo. As all of the units come from urban areas, this trip offered them a unique experience to see and learn about wildlife.
Preparation for the trip began days before, as every Guide was asked to decide which animal they most wanted to see and mark it on a map of the zoo. When the Guides arrived on the day, they began following their animal maps. They started in the Land of the Lions, the zoo’s newest exhibit where they have recreated scenes from the Gir Forest– the home of Asiatic lions. They continued on seeing flamingos, llamas, monkeys and tigers.
After lunch, they made their way to the Aquarium where each group researched a creature of their choice to find out why it is endangered, what London Zoo is doing to help them and what the Guides themselves can do to help too. They presented their findings as an interview which they filmed as part of their Animal Active badge- watch out David Attenborough!
After visiting everyone’s favourite animals, the Guides still had time to visit the rainforest exhibition, where they experienced what it feels like to be in a rainforest. Finally they visited the Nightlife exhibit where they were lucky enough to see a new bat being introduced into the cave.
By going to the zoo, the Guides got to see animals from all over the world in their habitats. The Guides have become more aware of the issues relating to conservation and many of them have decided to support conversation projects. Some Guides have also continued their enthusiasm and gained a badge called Growing Up Wild, a Girlguiding, London and South East Region (LASER) initiative to explore different themes related to the outdoors.
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