Friday, 31 January 2014

Everything rolls on

No Guiding update this week, I missed my Brownies as I had an allergic reaction the day before and was still feeling weak that day from all the - shall we say evicting of the food? - overnight.

I hear they discussed careers, and wrote up a code of conduct for their sixes, and had fun. Just how it should be.

Normal service will be resumed.


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Wounded Brownies

We wounded our Brownies tonight - very messy but great fun. (No knives involved, just fake skin and fake blood). And then they learned how to apply pressure and bandage them. So fun AND practical. :-)
 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Big Brownie Birthday Challenge: Candles

As part of the Big Brownie Birthday Challenge, we are planning a little community outreach. It makes us more visible, but should also let our Brownies know that they are part of an organisation that has lasted a long time.

This week we delivered leaflets to 400 houses around our meeting place. Each six had roughly 100 leaflets, plus two adults to supervise, and posted the leaflets through the doors. My husband, unaware of what we were doing, said there was lots of giggling in the street and he wondered what it was, it was one of our very excited sixes!

The leaflets said who we are, talked about the Big Brownie Birthday, and asked any house with a Brownie or former Brownie to get in touch by the end of the month.

We will then decorate a candle holder for the people that contact us and each Brownie will have a few to deliver with her parents during the February half term.

And finally, we asked those people to light the candle for a specific hour, and we will go round and see them shining out, helping those former Brownies to be part of the birthday, and letting our girls see they are part of something so much bigger than just us.

That's the aim, cross your fingers for us!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Last minute meeting

I always used to have an emergency meeting in my bag for those times some theme wouldn't pan out.

I confess, I'd got out of the habit because we are lucky enough to have a big leadership team who divide up the term so we each just lead on a few nights. If someone needs a night off, we swap themes around and/or get a parent to help to ensure we have enough adults.

But this week, the leader running the night got a migraine less than an hour before the meeting. She called, sounded awful, and I am very sympathetic as I occasionally get those myself. She tried to talk me through what she planned to do but she couldn't even finish a sentence.

So, I knew we had 4 adults, with 1 of those in the hallway taking money and forms. So I texted the other 2 and we divided up the evening into 20 min slots each, with a longer than usual starting game preceding that, led by our YL.

And it all came together just fine! The first leader talked about the Guiding family and how we'd lost 4 girls to Guides but we had 4 former Rainbows joining us, and about the rules, and we let everyone know the new sixes, the new sixers, seconds and buddies. Then she talked about the badges they can earn and how they can do those at home.

Next leader took over and she briefly talked about the Big Brownie Birthday Challenge which we had planned at the end of last term with all the girls including the new ones. Then she got them up and moving with some fun games, new to us. The one I liked best was lining them up on one side of the hall then each girl had to get to the other side in a different way - run, skip, hop. The funniest were the girls who rolled across the hall full length, and the one who scooched on her bottom - taking so long that eventually some other girls took a limb each and carried her to the end in hysterics.

By the time it was my turn, there was only time to give out the Becoming a brownie book to the new girls, the Big Brownie Birthday badge to everyone, and receipts for the subs, census and events that had been paid for (the fourth guider had been beavering away writing them up in the background!) then teach Brownie Bells at the end and hand them back to their parents!

It showed us we can think in our feet, we can turn a meeting out of nothing in less than an hour, plus we still have the two ten minute games I was going to play, as fillers for next time that happens!

Next week, our big Thinking Day project begins - we're hoping it will be quite beautiful.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Parcel of goodies!

A parcel arrived of all the goodies ordered for this term from Girlguiding. 

Down the bottom, two Big Brownie Birthday camp blankets and a Big Brownie birthday hoodie for one of our leaders (I already have mine!).

Above it, some paperwork I've added to the pile so I remember to take it to the next meeting.

On top of that, to the left, the badges we will need: age 8, 9 and 10 badges for the girls who have birthdays this term, promise badges, Thinking Day badges. 

To be added to the pile, the already delivered Big Brownie Birthday badges (and removed already from the pile, Big Brownie Birthday Stay Away badges).

And to the right, the Girlguiding Midlands Nights Away scheme records for the 4 girls who just left us to go to Guides, I need to pass them on so they can continue to record their nights away.

Nearly ready to go! It's Big Brownie Birthday time!!!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Getting involved

The Big Brownie Birthday has begun, a celebration of 100 years of Brownies. The unit I am involved with has lots of fun plans for this year including a sleepover at a national museum, a pack holiday at a Girlguiding Training and Activity Centre, a county Brownie Revels and more!

Tens of Thousands of Brownies (and Rainbows and Guides and Senior Section) will be taking part and hopefully will be very visible in their communities, inspiring others to get involved.

I had an email through the blog just today from a mum saying she had put her daughters' names down for Brownies where she lives and been told that it is unlikely they will ever get a space. Instead of leaving it at that, she's keen to set up a new unit so that they can have their time in Guiding too.

I was thrilled to hear from her (sadly too far away from my own area to get her involved here) and here's the reply I sent, slightly modified to protect her anonymity:

That's exactly how I got started in Guiding, my daughter was not going to get a space at Brownies and I helped set up a new pack, so yes, it's very possible and I'm thrilled you're thinking of it! It's so rewarding and it certainly sounds like there is demand where you are (I only wish you were nearer me!)

The first step is to let someone local know you are interested. If you can talk to one of the Brownie Guiders I am sure they will give you contact details for your area's District Commissioner, someone who oversees a small area of a few Brownie, Rainbows and Guides units. If you aren't able to do it that way, then a more formal way is to go
through the Girlguiding website
:http://www.girlguiding.org.uk/join this is a central place where people can sign up, but it can take a few weeks to get a response.

I am sure they will be thrilled to have two willing volunteers. You will need to take something called the Adult Leadership Qualification but it is all module based and very easy to complete as you go, with a mentor to help. The qualification helps you understand the rules, safety, running an appropriate programme for the girls, so quite logical things. You also need to do First Aid training. 


I am really thrilled you want to give this a try and I wish you good luck. It's a lovely thing to give back to your community and so rewarding. You make great friends through it too. Your girls will benefit so much not just from being part of it but seeing what you achieve as part of it. 

If you want to ask anything else, feel free, and let me know how you get on?


If you want to get involved as a leader too, I do recommend starting with a local contact if you can, they can give you an idea of the picture where you are, if there are other people keen to start a unit... The Join link on the website is great but as we are all volunteers, people have up to three weeks to respond to your enquiry that way. You'll still need to go through the Join process anyway, but you'll do it with more awareness! Of course, if you don't have any local contacts, the great thing about the Join link is you can get your details to someone who can help, in the past that could be hard if you had no idea where to start.

Good luck to anyone thinking of starting a unit this year! 


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