Brownies take a walk on the wild side at exclusive Chester Zoo sleepover

Date published: 14 October 2014

Thousands of Brownies from all over the North West of England travelled to Chester Zoo for a birthday party that included a unique after-hours experience, enchanting lantern-lit walk and girl-only sleepover at the zoo.

Hundreds of local girls from across the borough, all aged 7-10, joined a four thousand strong crowd at the zoo to celebrate The Big Brownie Birthday over the weekend.

The young adventurers entered the zoo after the gates had been closed to the public during a Brownie-only event.

The girls explored the zoo after hours when they got the chance to come face-to-face with some of the zoo’s 11,000 animals.

Millie Thompson, 8-year-old Brownie, from 41st Rochdale Brownies, said: “It was so much fun. We got to sleep at the zoo and I was excited to see the animals. We even got to go on a lantern walk at night time and I made my own lantern to carry – it was so cool.”

Maisie Harrison, aged 8 from 43rd Rochdale Brownies, said: “It was amazing seeing all the animals up close with so many Brownies from everywhere. Best day ever to be a Brownie.”

Once the girls had explored the zoo, it was time to join a specially organised lantern walk where girls watched in amazement as animal lanterns came alive in a magical light display to celebrate The Big Brownie Birthday. At the end of the lantern walk, Brownies were asked to hang their Brownie Wish on a specially prepared wishing tree to share what they would wish for if they were a Brownie in 100 years’ time.

Sarah Barnes, Event Organiser, said: “It’s been a fantastic year of celebrations for The Big Brownie Birthday, and Wild Encounters has been a huge a success. We’ve been able to give so many Brownies the opportunity to stay away from home for the first time and in such a unique location.”

Wild Encounters at Chester Zoo was held to mark the 100th birthday of the Brownies in 2014, which has seen girls all over the North West celebrate by tackling challenges big and small – from carrying out acts of kindness to rafting, rock-climbing and zip wiring and raising awareness of issues affecting girls in the UK and worldwide.

Suzanne Spencer, Event Organiser, said: “Wild Encounters has been a once in a lifetime opportunity for so many people. For the Brownies who got to take part, and attempt a world record, to the volunteers who helped to make it happen, we’ll never forget it. It’s been such a unique way to celebrate 100 years of Brownies.”

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