Ballarat Guide spreading rainbows

April 5, 2020

Ref: article published in The Courier by Melanie Whelan  on 5 April, 2020. Photo by Lachlan Bence

Girl’s rainbow path adds sunshine amid COVID-19 isolation

-> read the full article by The Courier that covers the story of Maddy Plevko, a local Girl Guide, who has chalked a trail almost two kilometres long with rainbows and hopscotch to brighten people’s days.

Girl Guides Ballarat chalk paintingsWhen Tanya White went for her lunchtime run in Canadian on Monday she found rainbows, fish and hearts speckled for almost two kilometres along the track.

Chalk rainbows and positive messages have been brightening up neighbourhoods across the nation as school breaks set in amid isolation.

People along the Canadian Creek track were talking about the Rainbow Girl who had left pictures to brighten people’s afternoons and hopscotch grid for children to play on.

Ms White had heard about the decorations – they were drawn by her seven-year-old niece Madeline Plevko, partly as a way to keep the community connected.

Madeline’s extended family is speckled about Canadian and even though they live within about three kilometers of each other, they remain separated during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I loved it,” an emotional Ms White told The Courier. “At this time I don’t get to see them or be with them, but this way I am sort of seeing them.

“It’s pretty cool when other kids are playing on the hopscotch she made, or the kids from school found out and have been adding to it all different pictures.”

For Madeline, the drawings started in line with the Rainbow Trail trend where children make chalk drawings for others to find on their walks from a safe, social distance.

She kept drawing, and drawing and drawing on the neighbourhood trail.

“I’m just happy I make other people happy,” Madeline said.

To serve my community

Girl Guide Ballarat at home

The Girl Guide Promise includes a component of providing service to the community. During this period of social distancing the Guides have taken on challenges to write letters and draw pictures for those who are isolated and to acknowledge those who are helping to keep them safe.

Maddy and her Guiding friends have also contributed to the “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” community activity by joining hundreds of families who have put teddy bears in their front windows for children to find when walking for exercise.  There is a special facebook group and map that keeps track of houses decorated with bears.

Virtual Guiding

Maddy meets online each week with the Delacombe Junior Girl Guides. Several local Guide units implemented a Virtual Guiding program in mid March and continued throughout the school holidays. These sessions are a great opportunity for the girls to see each other on a weekly basis, present any tasks they have been working on, and enjoy some online activities together.  Other Guide groups have mailed resources to their girls or engaged on secure social media platforms. Girl Guides Victoria have implemented GGTV – a weekly video series for youth members created by girls, for girls. Each episode includes elements of STEM, Arts, Outdoors, Life Skills and Service.

Via many different methods, Guiding is continuing in Ballarat.



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