The Greater London Kent County Brooch is awarded at the discretion of the County Commissioner, to women who have given outstanding service to Guiding in the County. The current County Commissioner, Anita Munns, attended the Crofton District Fun Day on 8th July to present the County Brooch to Tina Wheeler, who was rendered totally speechless with surprise.
Tina first came to Crofton District in September 1982, following three years as an adult leader in Putney. After a few years out of uniform, doing Morris dancing amongst other things, she joined Drymen, which was then a joint Ranger/Venture Scout unit, becoming a qualified Ranger Leader in 1993. Somewhat reluctantly, she was persuaded by Jon Henderson (Venture Scouter) and her husband (Quartermaster in a completely different Scout Group) to take over the Guide Unit at St John’s Church, only agreeing if two other helpers could be found. Ably assisted by Karen Morbin and Jane Penn, and later Jo Patterson, that is where she has stayed for nearly eighteen years. She gained her camp licence in 2001, her large scale licence in 2004, and her Trainers’ qualification in 2013.
It is true to say that Guiding has been a huge part of Tina’s life; she and Phil discussed Scouting and Guiding on their first date 35 years ago and haven’t stopped. Nevertheless, she modestly feels that the most significant thing about her service is its length, and the fact that she has successfully avoided being a commissioner…
Despite giving up running the Guide Company at St John’s Church, Tina plans to continue as a trainer, and has also joined a local Trefoil Guild, so will undoubtedly pop up in all sorts of “Guiding” places in the future. She is thrilled to have received the recognition, but it hasn’t been entirely altruistic – she has had the most tremendous fun playing the great game of Guiding, and feels privileged to have enjoyed the company of some amazing young people. After all, in the words of an old Guiding friend - “if it ain’t fun, it ain’t Guiding!”
Congratulations Tina, from all your friends in church and Guiding.