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
: 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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