At 10 minutes past 10 o'clock on the 10th of April 2010, I welcomed 2X 1000 girl guides and their leaders to Mount Annan Botanic Garden. Today is the 100th day of the 100th year since Girl Guiding started (in 1910 presumably), and 10 million guides are celebrating around the world.
Mount Annan Botanic Garden is perfect for this kind of community event. Carols in the Garden also drew about 2000, and the Mount Annan Challenge Walk last month attracted nearly 3000 I think.
Although these numbers don't rival the Domain yet (which gets up to 30,000 or so to summer events), the size of Mount Annan, the facilities, the easy access and...the vibe!....will mean we get plenty more of these larger events. The staff of course, like those in Sydney and Mount Tomah, are fantastic and many were out today guiding guides.
The opening this morning drew politicians of all persuasions, some for their first visit to the Gardens. Minister Peter Primrose (a frequent visitor) used the opportunity to launch Youth Week and to highlight how much volunteering is part of girl guiding.
This afternoon Barry O'Farrell will preside over a cake cutting and the finale for the day. Some of the older Guides will stay on afterwards to camp overnight in Mount Annan Botanic Garden - not something that many botanic gardens around the world can boast about.
Along with more traditional activities like rope climbing, wall climbing, and lighting and extinguish fires, the Guides will also plant some trees as part of a bush regeneration project. So they will get a little botany along the way. As I said in my short remarks, botanic gardens are all about plants (or 'plants, stupid'), but also about having fun and learning.
If you want to find out more about WAGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) see their website.