We have just had a Remembrance Day enrollment. All the unit leaders were nervous about holding it on this day, but we realised that after finishing the program work in You in Guiding, our enrollment ceremony would be in early November, it seemed like the right thing to do. It also coincided with our unit meeting.
At our unit meeting before enrollment, we explained the theme to our Guides and talked about Remembrance Day. Each and every Guide was interested in the theme. During our preparation, we made poppies in little pots, wrote letters to veterans and coloured in small paper poppies.
We discussed the importance of the poppy, the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ and talked about what we normally see in a Remembrance Day ceremony. We all decided that we should hold a moments silence and sing the national anthem. The Guides even discussed if they should sing this in French or English (they voted on French because more knew that version since they sing that before hockey games.)
On the day of the ceremony we asked all parents to come forty minutes before we normally finish our unit meeting. This let us have one final practice and perfect our last few things. We turned the base of the flag pole into a giant poppy with sheets and then circled that with the poppies in pots we had made. We practiced the enrollment ceremony and marching into the room while singing the Guiding Law.
RoseAnna, our DC, had invited a veteran, Bob, to come and speak to the
girls. We introduced him to all the parents and girls, and he read a poem about why we wear a poppy. Then, we held a moments silence. We made sure we had the Last Post music and the Reveille. Everyone was very moved by our two minutes of silence, including me. Afterwards, each girl placed a poppy on the wreath before making their promise.
The ring of poppies that has now been donated to Meals on Wheels and our Remembrance wreath will be donated to the veterans at St Anne’s Hospital along with the letters the girls wrote the week before.
After the ceremony, I was so proud of each of our Guides. Many parents thanked us in person, or sent emails afterwards, for making their daughter’s enrollment part of something bigger
and holding a ceremony that incorporated Remembrance Day.
By Jo Povall, a Guider with the 1st Northern Lights Guide Unit.