Girl Guides tired of picking up trash

By Mike Dinsdale

Kaitaia Girl Guides leader Dawn Pearce, back, with from left, Laurel Wilson, 13, Myah Thomas, 5, Stevie Thomas, 7 and Nova Tomars, 7, and some of the trash they picked up from the field behind their base in one day.  Photo / Mike Dinsdale
Kaitaia Girl Guides leader Dawn Pearce, back, with from left, Laurel Wilson, 13, Myah Thomas, 5, Stevie Thomas, 7 and Nova Tomars, 7, and some of the trash they picked up from the field behind their base in one day. Photo / Mike Dinsdale

Members of Kaitaia's Girl Guide troop are doing their bit to keep the town tidy.

But they're not happy at having to constantly clean up bags and bags of trash — mainly empty beer bottles and cans — from behind their base.

Kaitaia Girl Guides, which has been running for almost 90 years, is based in the Children's Complex behind Te Ahu.

A part of their guiding principles is to help in the community and they want to keep their community clean and tidy, Kaitaia Girl Guides leader Dawn Pearce said.

The guides were tired of the field behind their centre being used as a drinking spot and those boozing there leaving their empties and other trash behind.

On one evening recently some of the girls, Ms Pearce and parents held a clean-up session in the field and were shocked at just how much rubbish they picked up — more than nine large rubbish sacks of trash.

Ms Pearce said the majority of the rubbish was empty alcohol bottles and cans. She said the area was also used by children who went swimming there and the rubbish was unsightly and potentially dangerous, especially glass bottles and beer cans.

Ms Pearce said the amount of trash was an eyesore and not a good look for the town when it was trying to attract tourists to the area.

"A lot of people hang out there, particularly a night, and drink alcohol, then leave their mess behind," she said.

"We have to keep picking up their rubbish, and we'd rather not. It's a real concern and most of the rubbish is recyclable."

Girl Guide Laurel Wilson, aged 13, said it was a shame to find such a mess behind their base.

"This is a lot of rubbish. They should clean up their own mess. We don't to have to clean all this up, but we will," she said.

She wanted others to be 'tidy Kiwis' to and take their rubbish with them and dispose of it properly.

Ms Pearce said the Kaitaia Girl Guides was celebrating its 90th birthday next year, but she was worried about its continued existence, with difficulty in attracting new members.
She said guiding provided lots of opportunities, training and mentoring for girls and taught them how to be leaders.

Ms Pearce, who has been with the Kaitaia group since 1978, said girls aged five to 17 can join the guides and the Kaitaia troop meets in Children's Complex behind Te Ahu from 3.30pm on Tuesdays.

- Northland Age

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