‘Join the Journey’: Girl Guides Scatter 140 Postcards around Europe

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey in Paris and New York, you can read a summary here. For 60 Postcards in Australia – click here

I’m taking a step back from the Aus experience this week, as I would like to share a reader’s story. GirlGuiding leader Katriona, got in touch with me recently about a European adventure she enjoyed along with a group of Girl Guides. I was thrilled to hear that they had taken on a postcard mission as they went and I was flabbergasted when she told me the scope of it: 11 girls, 8 countries, 8 days and 140 postcards were going with them. 140? Crikey. Read the girls’ story, written by Katriona, here….

Join the Journey – The Background

One of the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Senior Section (girls aged 14-25) within GirlGuiding in the UK this year, was the Senior Section Spectacular, Join the Journey. Join the Journey is a jailbreak style trip, which saw the Senior Section groups from across Scotland travel from Edinburgh on the 1st August to meet in Cologne, Germany, on the 6th August for the ‘Catch Us in Cologne’ event. Myself and two other GirlGuiding leaders, Sarah and Ceri, led a group of 11 girls (aged 14-18) on the adventure…

The group with the Viennese policeman they left a postcard with

The group with a Viennese policeman they left a postcard with

140 Postcards

Having read Rachel’s book, “60 postcards”, thanks to chancing upon a review of it online, I urged fellow leader, Sarah, to read it and discussed the potential of doing a similar type of postcard activity during our upcoming trip around Europe. We agreed that it would be a good opportunity and asked all those going in our group to bring ten postcards of their local area with them, as we were coming from many places across Scotland. This gave us a massive 140 postcards! Plenty of scope to leave them in unusual places during trip with that many to choose from!

The Handwritten Message

All the postcards had the same message on them,

“Hello!
Congratulations!  You have found our postcard. We are a group of girl guides from Scotland and are taking part in Join the Journey for Senior Section Spectacular 2016. On this journey we are travelling from Edinburgh, Scotland to Cologne, Germany via 8 countries. Please get in touch with us to let us know who you are & where you found this postcard”

The postcards had our group e-mail address on them so for finders to contact us. We left them throughout our trip where we visited Edinburgh in Scotland, Copenhagen in Denmark, Malmo in Sweden, Krakow in Poland, Budapest in Hungary, Vienna in Austria, Cologne in Germany and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. We left them in many places including airports, train stations, trams, hostels, on mopeds and in public places! We also handed them out to people we met during the trip, which resulted in some wonderful conversations with interesting people (locals, other travellers and also fellow members of the GirlGuiding and Scouting movements).

The Responses

We were only half way through our trip when we received our first response and were delighted when more came in. So far we have had six responses to our postcards:

1. Timon and Daniel (from the Netherlands) – postcard given to them by us in Budapest, as a thank you for taking our group’s photo when we were visiting the local spa. (The spa is a must-visit if you are in Budapest!)

2. Sander (from the Netherlands) – postcard found on a train, travelling through Austria.

3. Sebastien (from Lille) – postcard found in Budapest and Sebastien is leaving the postcard in a new country.

4. Christopher (from Connecticut) – postcard found in Amsterdam.

5. Christian and Sabine (Marseille) – postcard found in Vienna.

6. Marina – postcard found in Vienna.

The Adventure Continues

It was a fantastic experience leaving the postcards during our amazing adventure around Europe but it also was so wonderful to see the joy and intrigue on people’s faces when we gave them a postcard as a thank you. We were all very excited, awaiting people getting in touch with us when they found one. When we were in Heroes Square in Budapest and received our first response from Timon and Daniel, it really built the excitement of the “60 postcard” idea and the girls were keen for others to get in touch too.

The positive response to our “60 postcards” adventure was not only shared by the girls but also their families and friends back home, who were just as excited to hear about who has found our postcards.

Looking to the future I hope that it has inspired the girls to continue the idea on future trips they undertake with family or friends. I know that I am going to do it again at some point over the coming year though maybe not with 140 postcards this time!

Katriona

*****

A huge thanks to Katriona and team for keeping the handwritten postcard project alive and for sharing their story. Girls – please keep in touch to let me know how you’re doing and if any more magic comes from the project. You never know when a response may come!

I will be back to the Aus tales next week.

Happy Tuesday all,

Rachael

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One thought on “‘Join the Journey’: Girl Guides Scatter 140 Postcards around Europe

  1. Hello! I was wandering around Edinburgh on Saturday revisiting scenes of my student days over 30 years ago. In a small back street I found a recycling hub with a bookcase outside inviting passers by to help themselves to a book. Your book jumped into my hand as I had studied French at university and had done voluntary work in the same street. I started reading it this morning having recycled the book I had finished to an Edinburgh Marie Curie shop. Luckily I had a long train journey home this afternoon as I could not put your book down. I’ve finished it and am missing it already so excited about the blog now. Thank you so much for allowing me to read about an amazing lady and her family. Your mum lives on and your story is incredibly inspiring. So much of your experience resonates. Thank you so much. I will be sharing your work. Sue

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