Our baby hare

News / May 8th, 2024

Our baby hare …

We can’t wait for you to meet Artemis, our baby hare.  But why Artemis?

ARTEMIS, in Greek mythology, was the Olympian goddess of hunting, also childbirth and the protector of girls up to the age of marriage.  She wouldn’t permit young hares to be sacrificed.  Hares look up and leap forward, just as Girlguiding moves with the times, staying relevant to girls of today.  Today, ARTEMIS is a NASA project to put the first woman and first person of colour on the moon.  Girlguiding is inclusive and champions young women with the strapline “Girls can do anything.”

Once we’d decided to have a baby hare for the Keech Hospice  Short Tail Trail, and raise £1,500 for Keech Hospice, our County Commissioner, Amanda Barker, told her place of work what we were doing, and the name we had chosen.  Smith Myers have a product called ARTEMIS.  Smith Myers’ ARTEMIS suite of Search and Rescue SAR systems are saving lives around the world, having recently been selected for several major UK, European and North American SAR and Coast Guard.  They very kindly donated £200 towards our fundraising.

And more recently featured in the news with the headline: Bedford tech companies receive Royal recognition with Kings awards.  Biggleswade-based, Smith Myers, the global leader in cellular communications solutions, has been honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise – Excellence in Innovation 2024.

The idea this time round was to involve as many Bedfordshire Girlguiding members in the painting of the hare as possible.  We arranged an event at Wrest Park in record time.  We had Rainbows, Brownies and Guides from all over the county come along for a couple of hours to paint Artemis and take part in other related activities.  Rainbows listened to the story of the Hare and the Tortoise, decorated hare masks and made tortoises.  Brownies did astronaut training and let off rockets.  Guides made a bionic hand, did binary coding and another space related activity called interstellar engineers. 

Some of the members that came along on the day also completed the Wrest Park Quest and had lots of fun.

We collected the name of all those who participated on the day, so we can create a memory in Word Art for each participant, and a master to be kept with Artemis when she comes home.

We had varying visitors on the day.  Jenny Spouge volunteered to lead the painting, Karen Fryc, our PR lady, was there with her camera capturing it all ‘on film’.  After lunch we had a visit from Sarah Phillips, our contact at Keech Hospice.  And a representative from Wrest Park also popped in to see what we were up to.

The results were fantastic.  We were all delighted.  There was some detail that needed to be added, before she could have her 2 coats of varnish added.  Wrest Park very kindly offered to look after her overnight, so she was fully dry before she had to be transported.  The deadline for delivery was so she was with Keech before the baby hare and tortoise photo shoot on the 17th May.

I bet you’d like to know what will happen next, and when you will be able to meet her.

We are going to run a competition over social media during June, that we hope lots of girls with their leaders, plus their families and any other followers we have, will take part in.  It will be a sort of ‘treasure hunt’, based on the famous Masquerade picture book which inspired armchair treasure hunts.  In the real book, for those who worked out the 15 clues and properly interpreted it, the message tells the reader that the treasure is buried in Ampthill Park in Bedfordshire, near the park’s cross-shaped monument to Catherine of Aragon.  A very local connection.

The Short Tail Trail will showcase 90 hares and tortoises across Luton landmarks from 6th July to 12th September, that is 10 weeks over the summer.  In line with this, like before, we are creating a Challenge Pack and a Badge.  All proceeds from the sale of badges will go towards our target of the £1,500 we need to raise for Keech Hospice.

When the trail completes, we will be given a date when we can collect Artemis, then she will be available to go on tour around the county, visiting your units, districts, divisions and events, for a donation towards our £1,500 target.  Then she will make her way home to live at Mollivers.

#HopOnBoard and share in the excitement by keeping up to date with the latest news on The Short Tail Trail social media channels, using @ShortTailTrail and @Bedguides. And if you visit Artemis, or any of the sculptures on the trail, don’t forget to #TakeAShelfie!