Ottery guiding duo prepare for China centenary trek

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China - Credit: Archant

Members of Ottery St Mary’s senior girl guiding section are about to embark on a memorable trip to mark the group’s 100th anniversary.

Sophie Chalmers and Rebecca Lang, from the Ottery St Mary and Sid Valley Senior Section, will form part of a 20-strong team to walk along the Great Wall of China at the end of September,.

The senior section started in 1916 and is the next stage on from guides for members aged between 14 and 25.

Rebecca, who has been a member of 1st Ottery St Mary’s Brownies, and Ottery Guides, seized the chance to join the trip.

The 19-year-old said: “It was the chance to get away and experience another culture - it is what girl guiding is all about.

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“It’s about making new friends and to experience their culture and show them a bit of ours.”

The 10-day trip will see the group trek 70 kilometres across China, taking in the sites of Tianenman Square and the Forbidden City.

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First, the group will walk from the hills of Huangyaguan to a mountain village, where they will stay with a host farmer family.

From the mountain village, they will journey to Gubeiko and Jinshanlin, stopping to look at fantastic views, but sticking as much to the Great Wall where possible.

For the final part of the trek, the group will travel through the Watchtower Panorama to Mutianyu and then back to Beijing.

“The trek will be physically demanding for some of us,” said Rebecca, “but it will be very rewarding for us all and is a brilliant way to celebrate the centenary.”

Ottery’s senior section was started five years ago by Sophie, as the nearest group for members wishing to continue as girl guides was in Exeter.

The section allows members to complete numerous awards, including the highest honour in girl guiding, the Queen’s Guide Awards.

Rebecca said: “It’s being part of something. I loved badges as a brownie and as a guide; that’s what the attraction was. For the awards in senior section, you have to put in a lot of effort.”

Rebecca is currently completing her Diamond Duke of Edinburgh award.

The Ottery St Mary and Sid Valley Senior Section meets at the Coleridge Pre-School The section is on the look out for new members and leaders in the local area. For more information, go to

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