Emotional trip to Russia for Guide Gemma

The girls in Minsk
The girls in Minsk
Have your say

An overseas trip has provided a great insight into lifestyles and cultures for Girl Guide Gemma Overson.

The 17-year-old was one of just eight girls from the county chosen to take part in the educational trip to Minsk, in Belarus, where she got to camp with Minsk Guides, stay with a Russian family and take in some of the country’s sights.

“When we arrived we were greeted by the Belarussian guide leaders with lots of food for our journey to camp – they were very generous to us all,” said Gemma, of Wingland, Sutton Bridge.

“The next day someone had kindly set up our tents before our arrival – they were just so kind and welcoming. Our host families, too, always tried to provide us with the best and make our stay enjoyable.

“When it came to leaving it was quite emotional – I left a small amount of money and a thank you letter under my pillow. They earn so little and gave us so much, it was the least we could do.

“We exchanged gifts, too, and tears were shed at the airport and I know will keep in close contact.”

Gemma, an A-level student at Lynn’s King Edward VII Academy, had to raise £1,000 to secure her place on the trip which is now part of an annual tradition dating back to 1992, when it was established to strengthen relationships with units in Belarus.