Sunday, 24 January 2010

Scrapbooking

Currently we have two scrapbooks in the unit.

One goes home every week with a different Brownie and she adds a page about herself and what she enjoys about Brownies. This has been such a great success, the girls love doing it, compete fiercely to be the one taking home the scrapbook that week, and always do a beautiful job.

We started the scrapbook in September and the idea was to have a page by every Brownie during the Centenary Year. That way, future girls in the unit can look back and see what the Brownies in the centenary year were like. However, the girls have enjoyed doing this so much, we may continue the scrapbook on beyond October.

The second scrapbook is my record of the centenary year with the unit: every meeting, every trip, every residential, from Sept 2009 to 20th Oct 2010.
So far, I have recorded:
I'm nearly up to date, all I haven't done is the most recent meeting, Dance Night with the YLs plus home made ice cream sundaes.
I'm enjoying it so much, even ordering extra embellishments out of my own pocket - can't expect the Brownies to pay because I want ribbon and raised stickers on the page!
Here's a few of the pages with the girls' faces blanked, I can't show most as they refer to names etc.
I know it all looks very amateur but I am getting better as I go along!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Looks like we're doing this again.

*sigh*

I really can't be trusted to keep to my word!

Letters went out onthis week so we'll find out uptake when we meet again next week.

Friday, 15 January 2010

And in a packed programme tonight...

Yay, another 18/20 Brownies battled through the snow for this week's meeting (the two missing were a different two to last week!) and we worked on World Guiding again:
  • went over the meaning of the World Badge
  • talked to them about the 4 World Centres
  • made a Friendship Circle of dolls and decorated them with uniforms from Japan, US, Canada and Australia (I didn't make a template and admit I nearly called a halt to this activity after the first few attempts, including my own, ended up with missing heads, arms or legs! However, the other 3 leaders, and a few of the girls, worked out what to do so we used theirs as templates for the others)
  • Had a running game that involved collecting facts about each of the 4 World Centres
  • Held a quiz about WAGGGS and what it meant
  • Sang a song about Brownies around the world.
With all that in one meeting, is it any wonder I forgot to present one girl with her Second badge! Oops!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Not going but not downhearted

I spoke to the other leaders and we've decided not to go to the Midlands Carnival. We appreciate Midlands Guiding working so hard to come up with an alternative, but because it's so different to what we signed up for, and the massive increase in cost that meant we'd have to ask parents for money rather than cover from unit funds, mean we've decided to ask for a refund of our deposit.

I'd love to hear from anyone that does go though!

In the meantime, our girls won't miss out. We have a panto trip soon with our sister Rainbow and Guide units, a regional version of a national event for Thinking Day, a weekend in London with our Senior Section unit, a special Brownies Take Over The Tracks that we have set up just for the Brownies in our district and a county family picnic for all sections, all between now and June. There's also a district event for all sections in the works for September and a fantastic division event for everyone for the 20:10 20/10 2010 wrap up to the Centenary Year in October.

Plus the normal meetings of course.

Oh, and we're going to use the money we get back from the Carnival deposit to hire a very special visitor to our joint meeting with the Rainbows in March. More details after the event.

First meeting back went well, we had 18/20 girls there, 1 was in South Africa and the other snowed in so couldn't make it. We'll see them both next week. We've only got 20 girls this term as we have 4 new girls starting at Easter but nobody due to leave now till July, so we're keeping their places for them. 18-20 is actually an ideal size for our unit I think, it lets us get to know the girls that much better, it just seems calmer than 24. But I can never say no till we hit 24, I can't make a girl miss out on Brownies just because we'd prefer calm! So we'll enjoy this term and steel ourselves for the chaos again from Easter.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Midlands Carnival

One of the Guiding events we were planning on taking part in in 2010 is the Midlands Carnival, more than 20,000 members of Guiding were going to parade through the centre of Birmingham and have fun in Centenary Square. Sadly, building work has put paid to that idea, despite a booking of more than two years standing. The Midlands team came up with an alternative, to use the NEC (a massive conference centre) and while this did not sound as much fun as parading in a city centre, it seemed a good compromise to let everyone take part.

Sadly, the NEC has let Girlguiding Midlands down too, and has said they can't accommodate us either, it took them quite a long time to decline during which time GG Midlands thought we had a booking and started to spread the word.

Still, they are not to be thwarted and have come up with another idea: take over Drayton Manor Theme Park instead.

I'm divided about it.

I realise that GG Midlands were caught between a rock and a hard place because the original and then the second venue let us down. And I think my girls would like a theme park trip, we've done Girlguiding day at Legoland before and that was a big hit. I like that it will be only GG in there too, makes it more secure.

However, we have to rebook by Feb (I think?) We had budgeted the carnival at £7 a head including the £2 charge, the train to Birmingham and a souvenir. We were able to cover the £210 for Brownies, young leaders and leaders to go from Brownie funds so there was going to be no charge to families.

Even at the heavily reduced £8 a head admission (and that is a fantastic admission price for a park that normally costs over £20 a head), the trip is likely to become around £18 a head as we would now have to use a coach. That's £540 for everyone to go instead of £210. I don't feel I can ask parents for £18 or even £11 (deducting the £7 we would have paid) at the same time as I am asking them for £20 subs and £18 census when they have also just paid £8 for going to a pantomime.

I need to talk it over with the other Brownie leaders, we may yet make it work, but my instinct is we may have to let this one go.

I am not cross or disappointed with Girlguiding Midlands, I do appreciate this has been a nightmare for them and well done them for coming up with a solution. It's just a shame that the solution increased our costs by about 150%.

Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year

It's 2010! Welcome to 100 years of Guiding!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
For the sake of auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For the sake of auld lang syne.

So here we are in twenty-ten
In Guiding's 100th year.
Let's raise a glass to one and all
And give a hearty cheer!

(Thanks to Hilary from Guiding_UK for the last verse!)
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