Saturday, 26 September 2009

We lost a Brownie!

Ok, we didn't lose her in a crowded place or anything...but one of our Brownies is leaving, not to move home or go to another pack or to Guides, just because she wants to.

Rationally, it shouldn't bother me. In the 5 years our pack has been running, we've had 4 girls leave before now for reasons other than moving, changing nights or going to Guides:
one whose family was going through a terrible time and while we tried to make Brownies an escape she just wanted to be at home, within reach of a parent;
one who had special needs and we worked hard with but she just didn't click and feel happy (she did return as a Guide though);
one who was one of those much too cool for school girls and we just didn't fit her image...
...and then there was the big sister of the girl who has left us.

Something about that family, we just don't manage to keep them all the way through, though this one did last longer with us than her sister.

Over 5 years, we've had approximately 60 girls in the unit. So we're doing ok.

But I hate it when they leave because they feel they've just outgrown us. It makes me second guess what we are doing, are we doing enough for the older ones (though this girl wasn't even one of the older ones, she was about 9th oldest out of the 24)? I think we are, or we'd lose more I suppose. If 90% of your girls continue in Guiding to at least the end of Brownies if not beyond, then that's pretty successful, right?


Jen on the Edge said...

Given your percentages and how many girls you've kept, I'd say you're doing just fine. Having seen you in action, I *know* you're doing just fine!

Kelloggsville said...

We often loose a handful of year 4/5's every year - 1 or 2. It's like 1 "too cool for school" takes a couple with her! They are always about 9 years old. Those that stay see it through to the end and usually into Guides but I am convinced that there is a hole in our program that means the 9 year olds aren't engaged as they should be, we aren't touching the right places for them. I've been pondering this for years but I can't see the wood for the trees. Would love advice on it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with guides, not brownies. But I always end up feeling it is my fault somehow when I lose girls...even though I know logically it's not! Most of mine are just too busy with dancing/swimming/tennis/homework etc and something has to give, sometimes that thing is guiding. Often though it peer pressure once they hit their teens. It is only natural to question if it is your unit, but it happens to all of us!

Working Mum said...

You will be doing a great job. I just think it isn't for everyone. My god daughter joined Brownies but left after a while because it didn't suit her. I'm hoping my daughter will continue into Brownies and Guides, but who knows? You leaders do a fantastic job and shouldn't beat yourself up when it doesn't work out for some. Hopefully they'll find something else that does suit them (my god daughter is a dancer now) and the girls that love Brownies will keep coming.

TopChamp said...

Nah - you're fab and the girls love it. That girl will find something else she can do and your unit will carry on with all the other girls who do love it who you do entertain and who do keep coming back. They're living proof of your success.

I had a dodgy one last week. Girl said Brownies was boring and there was nothing she liked about it so I said 'so why do you keep coming then? Can you really not think of even 1 thing you like?' and she came up with her friends as a positive. I asked her what she'd like to do and she had no suggestions... so we'll see how that situation goes.

Tawny said...

I know the feeling, with the Guides too, I have had two not come back after the Summer. No explanation, no reason nothing. The worst thing is, one of them only lives 2 doors up and her mum can't even be arsed to let me know!

You do a fab job, your retention percentage shows that. Have no fear matey :)

Anonymous said...

Guiding will never suit everyone and the positive is at least she tried it before making that decision; she could have just dismissed it and would then never have had the experiences you have given her in the time she was with you.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to call in and say hi because I read a comment you left for Exmoor Jane - I too was in USA at that time, on honeymoon and we drove across country and up the west coast into Canada in order to fly home. It was my new husband's complete lack of compassion that made me realise the marriage was an absolute mistake and it didn't last. I have also been a guider. Just wanted to say hi and connect!

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