Opening ceremony marks the begining of the WAGGGS 34th World Conference
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11 Juillet 2011
The 34th World Conference was officially opened yesterday evening in spectacular style at the dizzying heights of the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.
In true Scottish tradition the ceremony began with the iconic sound of the bagpipes played by a young Guide, Kirsty Crawford. She was then joined by agile climbers, who scaled the rock face unfurling bright pink and blue banners, while nimble young dancers dressed in coloured t-shirts, representing the different WAGGGS Regions, darted in the aisles.
A warm welcome speech was given by Girlguiding UK’s Chief Guide, Gill Slocombe who talked about what a great honour it is for Girlguiding UK to be hosting this world conference. Her thoughts were echoed by Jasmine, one of the girls involved in the original bid campaign to host the conference and she told everyone just how excited she was to see everyone here in the UK.
First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, then gave his address. He told the crowd how he was “honoured, humbled and moved” to open the World Conference. Mr Salmond spoke about his personal experiences of Guiding, and of the debt Scotland owes to its youth organizations, stating that Scotland has “no more greater affinity than for the Guiding Movement”.
Then Margaret Treloar, World Board Chairman, congratulated the new Full Members of WAGGGS. She thanked the six Members for the energy and enthusiasm they have put into changing young women’s lives every day. With great pride the delegates came on to the stage to receive their certificates to a roaring round of applause.
The ceremony ended with more music and performances, and the place was alive with sound, colour and excitement. Without question, this opening ceremony marked an exhilarating start to what promises to be a fantastic conference.
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) holds a World Conference every three years to look at the organisation's strategy of development going forward. This year’s World Conference was attended by almost 700 Delegates representing the movement from around the world.
The Conference provides an opportunity for all Guiding Member Organisations to put forward their views on the vision and activities of the World Association, contribute to the future direction of the Guiding movement and develop networks and partnerships that serve to empower, broaden the horizons and inspire all 10 million girls and young women involved.