Guide/Scout Leaders help!!!-What do I do?

(8 Posts)
birdboo Mon 14-Jul-14 23:20:10

I really cant settle over this and I'm hoping someone will know what to do. I'm not sure if this should be in here or in chat? It's just going around and around in my head. Here goes..

I started in a new Guide unit this summer term, there are 6-9 Guides at any one meeting with a leadership of about 3, plus me. One Unit Guider, two Unit helpers and me as the assistant. One helper is male the other is uming over starting leadership. I did not know this at the time and came into the unit as the assistant. Not too much of a problem but I was lead to believe at the other female was the number two and warranted. All three of them are extremely close and often meet up outside of Guides. I have no contact details even though I've asked for them only a email address, not even a mobile number should I need it. When it came to planning the term a letter was conveniently left out of my email address so I don't even get those. So I was missed out of the district meetings and the unit planning.

On top of this the girls are often left with one activity a night that I would struggle to give to a Brownie. One week they were given a A4 piece of paper and a few felt tips to make a placemat which was supposedly going to take the whole meeting time of and hour and a half. Needless to say that the Guides got bored whilst they were doing this the two unit helpers were playing with a paper aeroplane over the heads of the Guides. This is along with slagging the church were we meet off, constant negative comments about the Guides work and fellow Guiders. Tonight I had to see them bitching about me (!) and a member of the Trefoil Guild (that one was so horrible I feel ashamed) Even talking about a Brownie Guider was met with a bitchy comment. I was discussing meeting with some Girl Scouts local to my BIL in the US and was asked why was I even bothering to meet them?!?!

I have raised this issues with the Division Commissioner but nothing has happened. I really don't know where to go next or what to do. None of them seem to be there for the Guiding just because they have to be and are friends. I'm not even sure I want to return in September.

arewethereyetmum78 Mon 14-Jul-14 23:29:23

Is there another local Brownie or Guide unit you could help with instead? I'm a Brownie leader and we really struggle to get anyone to help us on a regular basis. I know our area only has 1 guide unit and 6 feeder Brownie units so what about starting your own unit with a like minded friend?

Don't let this experience put you off

JennyWren Mon 14-Jul-14 23:32:54

First of all, please let me reassure you that we're not all like that! But you certainly don't seem to have found yourself in the right place just now.

The Div Comm has responsibility for several Districts, so the best thing to do initially is to find your District Commissioner. Do you know who that is? It is probably the person who did your recruitment checks - and if not, that person, or the Division Commissioner, will be able to tell you who she is. She'll be much closer to the ground and she'll know where is likely to be a better fit for you. Give her a call, and be honest - you feel surplus to requirements given the fact that there are three other adults and only 9 Guides on a typical night, and you don't feel that you've gelled with the existing team - you'd like to move. If she's worth her salt she'll ask questions and you can talk about your concerns about programme planning and all the negativity, but I'd suggest that you see that as a separate issue - there will be a good fit for you somewhere, and it is the DC's problem to work with the other leaders. Just because they volunteer doesn't mean that you have to like them smile.

Is this your first unit, or are have you been a Guider before? In my District I'd have plenty of units delighted to have you on the team - I don't suppose you're in Oxfordshire are you?????

MaudantWit Mon 14-Jul-14 23:42:41

Jenny's advice is spot-on. I hope you can find somewhere where you feel happier and more valued.

birdboo Mon 14-Jul-14 23:43:16

Thank you thanks I'm due 10 year service award in October, that makes me feel old, and DH is also a fellowship member. I should really know what to but I feel like the Guides should know what a proper unit is like?

I'm in Hull and in my district there is a surplus of Guiders, there are two units with the same number of Guides. The District Commissioner asked the Division Commissioner to go to the unit to ask me what I thought because she had her own reservations.

17leftfeet Mon 14-Jul-14 23:53:09

When I joined my current unit I didn't get on with the other 2 leaders at all

And it didn't help that they were sisters

I felt they treated the girls as much younger than they were, they never joined in with district or joint unit events and organised everything -the girls got no say in unit planning at all

Fortunately after speaking to the DC, she spoke to them and they actually decided they would like to change sections and opened a new rainbow unit

We are all volunteers, units will have their own personalities -but there will be a unit that opens you with open arms

BackforGood Mon 14-Jul-14 23:54:01

Well, if you've a surplus of guiders, my suggestion is you join the Scouts Association and try to reduce the waiting lists there wink
Always looking for willing, organised Leaders.

JennyWren Tue 15-Jul-14 00:39:40

Go back to your Div Comm and ask for some feedback, then - there are obviously concerns, so follow up. It is absolutely OK to be (gently) pushy on this. Ask what her conclusions were. Does she think the unit is OK to carry on as it is? If so, be clear that you want to move. If not, what is she planning to do? Do you like the sound of the intervention? Do you think there is a place for you, with those changes going through? If yes - great. If not, be clear that you want to move.

Do you know where your district boundaries are? Could you travel to a neighbouring district, even if that falls into a different division? Where I live, we have neighbouring villages in different divisions, so it can be hard to know which units are busy/quiet/need leaders/are over-'staffed'. I drive 20 minutes to Guides rather than five because I moved house but stayed with my old unit - I figured that if I'm in the car anyway it doesn't make that much difference, plus the unit would have folded as we're short of leaders there but my new 'home' district is well-supplied with leaders. Try going on Join Us to see if there are any units that take your fancy, and ask if you can visit.

The commissioners are probably, like me, overworked and struggling to do everything on top of working, family, and running their own unit. I am open with the leaders in our district that they should be a squeaky wheel if they have an issue - I encourage it. Otherwise I prioritise as best I can, and don't always get it right. I'm currently being harangued because of mess in the guide hall, that I have never seen because they are in there the day before us and they clear it up... They've never told me and now they're blowing their top. I'm not a mind reader - I could have looked into it before they got this het up about it, but no-one told me, and now I have a hot situation to calm down. So something else is getting shelved (again) while I deal with that, and I'm awake at gone midnight doing Guiding admin mumsnetting smile

So push back - be a squeaky wheel. Guiding may not be a shampoo commercial, but you're worth it grin

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