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End of Winter! by Chris Mitchell, Luxemburg

At this joint party, we ate lensebulli (lentil soup with sausages), Thuringer sausages, Cremant (champagne). gluhwein and Grompelkuchlche (potato cake).  The fire was very hot and embers were flying in the air.

It had rained for hours and drizzled right up to the time it was lit but it went up in flames very quickly.

Winter is officially over.

Trefoil in Austria from Frances

Having read many accounts of Trefoil Guild around the world, I decided it was time to put pen to paper and tell you about Austria. I can also now cross something off my ‘to do list’.

We’ve lived near Salzburg now for 2 years having moved here during the Christmas 2014 holidays from Brussels. My husband is a teacher and having spent just over 8 years in Brussels his contract was about to end, so it was time to look for other opportunities and move on. It was very sad to leave Belgium, our daughters arrived as toddlers and were now 10 and 11 year olds, with many friends, activities and happy memories. Both my daughters and I had been involved in Guiding in Brussels; I was a Brownie leader and had also run Rainbows for a short while as well. I have been involved in Guiding since I was a Brownie, a few years ago now!

We live in a small Austrian village about 30km from Salzburg, on a lake. The village has a small international school, where my husband teaches and our daughters attend. It’s very different from their old school of 3000+ students and now there are approx. 150 students. Integrating into life here was and is quite a challenge as neither my husband nor I speak German. The school employs mainly teaching couples or single people, therefore a ‘trailing spouse’ is a rarity. I have found a local fitness class in the next village, although I am significantly younger than the other participants, they are incredibly fit, I assume from spending a lifetime on the mountains. After the class we all usually go for a coffee, which is very nice. I would like to say that I join in with the conversation, but although I try to listen and work out the subject of their conversation; it’s very difficult but they speak Austrian German and then the local dialect which makes it almost impossible to understand! Last winter I was invited to go sledging with one lady who was 82 and her friend of a similar age, she wanted to practice her French with me. The walk up the mountain was very pleasant, but when we got to the sledging part well, they vanished into the distance within seconds. Quite a frightening but exhilarating experience!

I also attend a Pilates class in German, I am now quite proud to say that I can usually listen to the spoken instructions and do the exercise rather than having to watch and follow the teacher. Hence I know the German for left, right, the other side, vertebrae by vertebrae, lay down, just to name a few. When the weather is nice, I often walk 600m up the local mountain, its good exercise, the views are fantastic from the top and the hut sells a wonderful hot chocolate!

Since Christmas the snow has arrived and we now have a good covering in the valley and on the mountains. The tracks have been laid for cross country skiing so I have been practicing the very basic skills I have been able to pick up. Its fantastic exercise but going downhill and stopping is another matter altogether.

Since arriving in Austria my daughters have been registered as Lone Guides, we have completed a number of interest badges and ¨Go For Its¨. When we visit my Mum in the UK we try to attend Guides so that my daughters can participate in meetings, but that all depends on school holidays. I have now started working on my Voyage Award and we’re all looking forward to meeting other Guides at Challenge 17 in the summer.

Bronze Voyage Award

Congratulations to Kerri Rodgers in Bahrain who has recently completed her
Bronze Voyage Award!

World Thinking Day 2017

If you haven't already looked, follow the link to the WAGGS Thinking Day page.  The theme this year is growth.

Pinoso 2017 Agenda

The members in Pinoso have been busy planning their agenda for the year.  This includes;

Thinking Day with food from different countries,
Visit to chocolate factory,
Visit to Pinoso Industrial Factory,
Pamper Day,
Spanish cookery lesson,
Visit to Moroccan tea garden,
Christmas Fair.

What a varied agenda, and yes, they all involve eating!

What are your plans for the year?


Photos from Portugal

Please see some photos sent from Portugal by one of our members, who has lived there for over 50 years.

1st Oporto Guides closed in 1988 but the flag is still kept in St. James church and brought out on special occasions.  This one was to mark the 600th anniversary of the Treaty of Windsor, with marks British and Portuges Friendship.

Malta Guild and Venture Abroad

Venture Abroad met the Island of Malta Guild 29/9/16

We returned back to the hotel and had a little rest, since we needed all of our energy for later. We were awaiting the arrival of the Malta Trefoil Guild, a branch of Trefoil Guilds in Foreign Countries. Together, we had a brilliant evening of Guiding, friendship and conversation – Margaret B took over the role of ‘hostess’ and made sure that everyone circulated between each other! Many of the British group had a lot of questions about life here in Malta, and so we learnt a lot from each other. Their oldest member, Laura, is 92 years old and was running the Malta Guide depot until recently. A true inspiration for us all – thank you for your company!


Please come and join us on our new TGIFC FB page called TGIFC!

We have 31 members already from around the world!

New Member in Portugal

Please welcome a new member, Mary Kendall.

Bridges of Friendship

Benelux and France have created a Bridges of Friendship challenge badge.  The cloth badge is available to buy, download instructions available, and any photos can be shared with other members around the globe! 

For more details, please email

Trefoil Promise

Please welcome Tracy to TGIFC of Benelux and France County, who made her promise yesterday.

Pinoso Guild

The Pinoso Guild recently visited Murcia where they donated the Brownie ties and Rainbow bags they had made.

Moira's cakes

Moira from Gibraltar has been working towards her Gold Voyage Award. She's been baking and decorating amazing looking cakes.
She also did 60 hours service with three different events; she organised a Hindu night for over 50 Brownies as part of the cultural badge, and a bingo with a difference - no money prizes but baskets of gifts donated by the local businesses and good unwanted gifts from our members which made an amazing £750 through fundraising.

Pinoso Guild

Please meet the ladies from Pinoso in Spain.  They have been very busy making book bags for a localish Brownie unit, and their own flag.  As a reward, they treated themselves to a pamper day and lunch.  Is there a flag challenge coming?.....

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