Maybe you have never heard of Trefoil Guild even though you have probably heard of Guiding and Scouting, perhaps even being a member yourself at some point in your life. Trefoil is simply, ‘Guiding for Adults’. Whether you’re involved in guiding or not, Trefoil Guild is a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded people to share your next adventure - whatever that might be!
Trefoil Guild acts like a branch of Girlguiding and its members agree to support the guiding ethos - including the pledge to help other people. Many members pass on their skills and knowledge to local guiding units, from helping Brownies work towards a badge to preparing older girls for a camping adventure. Many members are unit leaders or helpers in Girlguiding units, and this is certainly true in our area.
But it’s not all about the girls - there are plenty of opportunities for members to try something new, take on a new personal challenge and escape the daily routine. The best thing is that what you do is up to you! Trefoil Guild offers members personal and social opportunities whilst supporting Guiding and Scouting.
There are 18 thriving Trefoil Guilds in the east of Hampshire which, in normal times, meet monthly for activities, talks or outings. Throughout the UK there are over 1,100 Trefoil Guilds with over 18,000 members - some meet every week, others less frequently, perhaps in the evening or in the afternoon.
For Trefoil Guilds in Hampshire East Guiding County, 2020 started so well, as Liz Daniels, our County Chair writes in her annual report. This was due to have been presented in March 2021 at our County Annual Meeting which is now sadly cancelled.
‘We began 2020 by holding a joint Thinking Day/Friendship Service in St John’s Church, Farlington. Thinking Day marks the joint birthdays of our Founders, Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his wife Olave when we give thanks and remember our fellow Guide and Scout members throughout the world. During the service everyone was given a paper chain with a member country of Guiding written on it and then, during the service, we linked them all together to make one very long chain to symbolise our worldwide Guiding family.
Candles were lit to remember those who had passed away during 2019 and the Hampshire East Singing Circle entertained us, both before and after the Service. Coffee and biscuits were served and then it all went horribly wrong, didn’t it?
Sadly, this was the first and last time that we were able to get together as a County in 2020.
Like everywhere else, all planned events were cancelled, initially after a lot of deliberation and soul searching, and so the year stretched ahead of us. However, in true Trefoil style everyone in Hampshire East just ‘got on with it’ and, like others, we learned how to use technology, we signed up for more Voyage Awards - or completed ongoing ones - completed Stars Challenges AND we cleaned out lots of cupboards.
County Newsletters were produced, using quirky items sent in by our members together with news of crafts produced, new skills learned and general updates for everyone. These continued until the summer when things began to look a little better and we were able to at least get out and meet some of our members, socially distanced of course.
Our PR Adviser, also produced E-newsletters which were distributed to our members as well as local mayors etc, just to keep Trefoil in the public eye.
In August we began to get a little more optimistic.
We now know what a mistake that was; and so, October saw planning begin for our County Christmas Party. It was a bold concept which would see every one of our 300+ members receiving an invitation and then a gift pack so that, wherever possible, we could all sit down on the same day and at the same time to enjoy a scone and a mince pie and know that all our friends around the County were doing the same. We just managed to get all packs put together and delivered in time for the party. This started with a Zoom gathering attended by an amazing 77 members and then continued with each guild organising activities for their own members to carry on the fun. Phew! It worked and we had some lovely comments afterwards, particularly from those who hadn’t been able to get out to meet others and who were delighted that we had thought of them.
Everyone in the County Team has played their part in getting us all through the year as successfully as possible and my thanks go to all of them, but especially to our secretary, who not only had to get used to the Zoom technology but also had to take several sets of meeting minutes No mean feat. Now we move on with hope and expectation’.
We’re looking forward to the time we can meet again in person. We not only miss our social activities and being together but our tea and cake too! We would also be pleased to welcome new members should you be interested in joining us. Just contact: firstname.lastname@example.org