Wallingford Girlguiding take Tess Howard back to her roots

Tess Howard - Wallingford Girl Guides
Boats, badges and build-your-own rockets – Tess Howard certainly had a busy time when she visited the Wallingford Girl Guides last Friday (2 August).

Having stormed onto the international scene with Great Britain over the last few months, Tess was invited by the group to their annual camping week in order to experience some of the tasks they undertake as Girl Guides and to share her experiences of playing for her country.

On arrival she was greeted by leader Jenny Fanstone and two Rangers who then took her on a boat trip to the ‘island’ where they were staying on the week, something that excited Tess as it reminded her of a similar experience when she was in the Guides at school.

Indeed, she said being on the island felt “like home.”

Tess then gave the youngsters a talk, describing her whirlwind journey from Cambridge City HC to junior international squads and then making her GB debut in last year’s Champions Trophy. Throughout this part of the talk she spoke about the ups and downs she’s experienced so far – including not getting into Cambridge University only to flourish at Durham – and described how studying and being an international hockey player keeps her life balanced.

Tess Howard - Wallingford Girl Guides 5

One of the key similarities between the Girl Guides and the England/GB women’s teams is that they each have a core set of values that they base everything around. As a result, Tess moved onto this next, giving each of the girls a piece of paper and asking them to write down what they thought the following meant to them:

We Are One – ‘Team work’; ‘we are a family’; ‘I’ve got your back’
We Take The Leap - ‘Try even if it’s impossible’; ‘We take risks’
We Are Humble - ‘Don’t brag’; ‘accept if you win or lose’; ‘remember where you come from’; ‘be kind to each other’; ‘celebrate all the milestone no matter how big or small’
We Bring The Fire - ‘We try really hard’; ‘take risks’; ‘put in 100%’; ‘no regrets’

Tess Howard - Wallingford Girl Guides 2

Tess went on to explain how ‘We Bring The Fire’ is her favourite. 

“We all have a fire inside of us, everyone has an individual strength and we have to push ourselves to the limit and find a way to get better,” she said.

Tess Howard - Wallingford Girl Guides 3

The session finished with the girls answering questions about what they can control in their lives and that you can only control your own choices and how you react, not other people. 

Tess explained: “Don’t let things you have no control over get in the way of your journey.”

The day wasn’t over there though as Tess was given a guided tour of the camp where the girls proudly showed off their impressive collections of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers badges. 

Tess Howard - Wallingford Girl Guides 4

Then it was time to split into teams and create their own rockets out of a plastic bottle, card and tape.

Tess Howard - Wallingford Girl Guides 6

Unfortunately Tess’ team didn’t win but it was a fun way to end what had been a great day for all involved.