Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas to all!

Hope you and yours have a lovely break.

Button Christmas tree instructions and original attribution can be found here:

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Planning with the girls

We've tried all kinds of planning with the girls:
*pow wow - the classic brownie way but can lead to a few dominant girls taking over. This is how we last surveyed them, and wrote down everything.
*fill in a (short) form

This term, mostly because we ran out of time, we emailed the parents and asked them to ask their girls one thing they would like to do.

We got 9 replies (out of 25) so not the ideal way to take all opinions on board but enough to get us started.

Here's what they wanted:
A - origami and cooking
B  - more badges, cooking and a brownie holiday
C - 3D origami animals
D - calendar
E - rock climbing
F - arts and crafts
G - onesie challenge
H - Making clay models, Circle time about friendship (what makes a good friend etc), A local visit, e.g library, museum,park
I - Star Wars or Birds of the feathered variety particularly Swans.

Across the next two terms we have fitted in all of that, except the calendar, but that request was from a younger Brownie and we can do that in the autumn term. We have no new girls this January and just three at Easter so if we recheck at the end of summer term, everyone will be having a say.

Actually, we haven't specifically planned cooking either though there will inevitably be some. Our new venue doesn't yet have a cooker so we need to play it by ear a little until then.

So, we're pretty much ready for 2016, just need to print off a few things like sign in lists and so on and we're good to go!

Sunday, 13 December 2015


December is running away with me so just a bullet point list of what we've been up to:

1. Had our final meeting of the year, some Christmassy crafts (a lovely wreath designed by one leader and some free styling pipe cleaner decorations) followed by a promise ceremony for five girls and badge presentations for the term for everyone. A wonderful evening, tinged with a little sadness that it is the last one in our temporary venue of the Scout hut where so many of the brothers of our Brownies attend. We move to a new permanent home in the New Year and I am sure I will have lots to say then!

2. Leaders night out - the Brownie, Guide and Senior Section leaders try to go out the first week after we break up for a meal each Christmas, sometimes the YLs come too but not this time due to exams. Great night out down the pub :-)

3. We had the division carol service today, run by our district (we take it in turns, so every five years it is our go!) and we had somewhere between 140 and 180 people attend. We collected money and food for the food bank, and everyone attending got a couple of sweeties and a card about volunteering, all in a white paper bag decorated Christmas style by our Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Senior Section. Last time our district organised it, we planned a one hour service and it was all over in 30 minutes! This year we got it more on target at 55 mins. :-)

4. Our waiting list continues to grow, we now have more girls on there than in the pack! Many are too young, either Rainbows or even younger, but we do have a lot who are seven and waiting. We have appealed for leaders to start another unit in a number of ways, with no success so far but we live in hope. In the meantime, we have to be frank with parents, it takes about two years to get to the top of the list, we can supply details of nearby units with spaces or you need to step up and volunteer if you're not happy to wait. I've actually head anecdotally of a couple of parents on that list defending us when others complain, saying they aren't willing to do it so their daughter just has to wait.

5. Speaking of daughters, I'm very proud of mine who was presented with the Chief Guide's Challenge Badge at the Christmas service. It's the second highest award you can earn in Guiding, second only to being a Queen's Guide (the equivalent of which is Queen's Scout, Eagle Scout or earning a Girl Scout Gold Award, so one level down from all of those) and I am very proud of her for earning it. I shan't share a picture of her being presented with it as she would be mortified, but the pic on this post is the badge itself.

Have a lovely rest of 2015 and see you in 2016!
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