Tenth birthday for Rainbows

10th Anniversary celebrations at Battle Rainbows. 7/10/13
10th Anniversary celebrations at Battle Rainbows. 7/10/13

BATTLE’S first ever Rainbow pack marked its tenth birthday by inviting back past members for a special celebration.

Fifty people packed into the Guide Hut in North Trade Road to swap stories with Rainbows past and present.

The 1st Battle Rainbows was started by Deborah Latter in October 2003.

When Deb, her husband and two-year-old daughter Grace moved to Battle in 1995, Deb became ‘Snowy Owl’ - one of the names given to a Brownie leader - to ‘Brown Owl’ Vikki Cook.

When Grace was seven, she joined another unit, the 1st Battle Brownies.

Deb helped at the unit when Grace was nearly 10 and preparing to move on to Guides and younger sister Fleur was five.

Because she was too young to join the group, Fleur was made an honorary Rainbow, which caters for girls aged five to seven.

No Rainbow pack existed in Battle at the time and then District Commissioner Monia Butler, who travelled from Hertfordshire to join in Monday’s celebrations, suggested Deb might like to open a unit.

The pack originally met in St Mary’s Church Hall, but since 2007 have been based at the Guide Hut.

Ninety girls have passed through the doors since Fleur became Battle’s first Rainbow and the flourishing pack now has 15 girls, plus a waiting list.

A number of leaders have helped Deb over the years and since 2008 Heidi Waterhouse, known by leader name Pink, has helped to look after the girls.

Deb (Violet) said: “Being a Guide leader is somewhere between being a parent and a teacher - we guide the girls.

“One of the commonly held misconceptions is that it’s a paid job. Even now people think I’m paid and are surprised to learn we are volunteers and Girlguiding is a charity.”

Speaking about the last 10 years she said: “It’s been wonderful, the girls are the reason I do it and I have enjoyed it enormously.”

Rainbows are the youngest members of the Girlguiding family, celebrating their 25th birthday last year. The Brownies celebrate their 100th birthday next year with special events all over the country.