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Guiders' staff room - tea, wine, chat and optional dancing around the toadstool

(806 Posts)
MadBadandDangerousToKnow Tue 03-Mar-09 21:57:13

Thought it might be nice to have a place to swap ideas and experiences. Shall we do introductions first?

My name's MadBad and I've been a Brownie guider for about 5 years.

MyNightWithMaud Tue 31-Mar-15 21:49:00

That what I was going to do, Groovee, but Tywysoges (what does that mean, by the way?) talked me out of it.

Groovee Tue 31-Mar-15 21:46:53

I would send out an email or text saying due to lack of interest due to no returned forms that it was now cancelled for your unit.

I've given up sending forms home, the fill consent forms at drop off in the hall. Works perfectly for us.

MyNightWithMaud Tue 31-Mar-15 21:46:39

Yes, I understand the difficulty of holding down a job and doing the parent thing, but one of the most disorganised of our parent group holds down a very high powered job so I don't really buy her " oh, what am I like? I'm such a ditz" routine.

TywysogesGymraeg Tue 31-Mar-15 21:28:41

Bless you! Perhaps I'm just not do stressed! We have a pretty good bunch of parents on the whole. I know the ones who are disorganised (always late with forms etc) and do what I can to chivvy them along. I know what its like to be holding down a sometimes more than full time job and do the Mum thing. Its not easy to remember everything. I had a good friend who used to remind me what was due and when for my DDs (kids in same classes!)

MyNightWithMaud Tue 31-Mar-15 20:02:43

Well, you're a kinder, more patient person than me so I have done as you suggest.

The event is free (or, at least, not paid for by parents) which may be why they've been so lackadaisical. Having to pay normally focusses the mind! We have to submit a spreadsheet with contact details, dietary requirements etc; it doesn't seem unreasonable for the organisers to have that.

TywysogesGymraeg Tue 31-Mar-15 19:13:38

Yes I would. Group texts take seconds - its only one text. Its like getting blood out of a stone sometimes - getting forms from parents.

Have any of them paid deposit? We usually ask for that before we ask for firms. When is the event? Im not sure the event organisers should be allowed the girls' firms anyway. I think the info is confidential.

MyNightWithMaud Tue 31-Mar-15 17:57:13

Really? After several email exchanges saying in bold that I need to have the form today? To be frank, I'm sufficiently peed off that, if anything, I'd be tempted to text to say that if they can't spare 10 minutes to email/drop off a form, I can't spare a day to take their child out.

TywysogesGymraeg Tue 31-Mar-15 17:53:03

I would phone or text the parents to double check. They don't always realise the importance of forms.

MyNightWithMaud Tue 31-Mar-15 17:45:58

Can I pose a Brownie AIBU? We have an exciting county event coming up, for which info/consent forms were supposed to be returned a week ago. A few girls indicated they wanted to come, but none have returned the form and I have to send the information (spreadsheet with home contact details etc) back to the organisers tonight. AIBU to take the line that if they haven't (despite several reminders) returned the forms, they're probably not seriously intending to come and so I should send back a nil return?

TywysogesGymraeg Tue 31-Mar-15 09:58:17

Doing a sleepover doesn't necessarily mean "going away". At least once a year we sleepover in the hall where we meet on a Friday night, get the bus to the cheap children's cinema on Saturday morning, have a Pizza Hut lunch and bus home by about 2pm. Total cost about �15 (we usuallly make a surplus on that).

redskybynight Tue 31-Mar-15 09:48:18

I aim to do one residential (weekend traditional style pack holiday) a year. I do find it a lot of work although the girls love it!! I'd be happy to do a second residential if there was something appropriate organised at division/county level but hasn't been anything for a little while.

I am toying with the idea of a sleepover (so just one night) in the winter, but it feels like if we're doing that we might as well do the weekend!

Maryann1975 Mon 30-Mar-15 23:10:07

Momb, I took over my unit about 18 months ago. In that time we have been on a division sleepover and that's it. I did want to take them away last autumn, but my other leaders and I are all so busy, shift work, our own children, working full time, doesn't leave lots of spare weekends for brownie sleepovers.
It's a shame as the girls love it, but i need an eighth day in the week to fit in residential trips. I'm hopeful to fit something in during the summer term, we will have to see how it goes though.

MyNightWithMaud Fri 27-Mar-15 08:08:21

Groovee - I understand. My health issues make overnights difficult so I can understand how much more difficult it must be for you.

Becles - Thank you for the wine! I suppose I could run a holiday with another unit, but years ago when we did that I found that relatively few of our girls wanted to come because they didn't know the other leader and felt it wasn't their holiday: we used to get about a 70/30 split. What I really want is ALs who understand that if you give a commitment to be somewhere, it is a commitment, and just deciding you no longer fancy it isn't really a reason for cancelling. (I can't be more specific without outing myself and the unit). Sorry to sound grumpy. I'll put my smiley face back on now.

Groovee Fri 27-Mar-15 06:49:38

I say only as in the 4 years I've been running the pack, we have done pack holiday once and 1 sleepover for BBB. Not 1 a year. As I said before my disability and overnights is difficult.

MargolottaOfUberwold Fri 27-Mar-15 06:41:54

we went to the brownie only science museum night too, it was awesome!

Becles Fri 27-Mar-15 05:44:42

@Mynight The bane of a Guider's life.wine Could you possibly open it up to another unit? Have a 50/50 split or even for someone looking for experience?

MyNightWithMaud Thu 26-Mar-15 23:00:35

It's a long while since I co-ran a holiday with my friend who's since left guiding but you're right, being in charge of a smaller event is in sosme ways easier even when the buck stops with you.

Part of my difficulty now is that my volunteer team is shrinking and is also (dare I say it) a bit flakey. I've had a few incidents where we've planned non-residential events and at the last minute they've told me that, oh, by the way, they've changed their plans and won't be coming. It's bad enough scrabbling around for last minute help with an outing, it would be hellish for a residential.

momb Thu 26-Mar-15 22:53:17

Butlins or PGL are expensive and I think the high take up for our own holidays is that they are so relatively cheap: we can do a fri-sun evening holiday all incl for £45 and an overnight camp for £10.

momb Thu 26-Mar-15 22:51:42

tbh I find the ones we organise ourselves easier. Large scale events are so, well, large! We are lucky that the county's holiday house is in the next village so it's a popular choice. We have 25 signed up for the long weekend there in April. I rope in parents for one night or a couple of hours in the daytime and as it is so close we have good volunteer numbers.
We have, at least for the last few years, a very good take up for all trips.
Even the (I think it was) expensive trip to London had 9 girls. Highly recommended though: we went to the Brownies only Science Night at the Science museum and had a great night. If we'd been local I'm sure we'd have had a better turn out but 9 girls was actually about right to handle with train and tube.
Last year's BBB trip was a county day out by coach followed by a Division camp at a local site and we had 24/24 take up.

MyNightWithMaud Thu 26-Mar-15 22:28:14

I don't have a residential licence, so we do as many camps and sleepovers as are offered by the district/region. Last year, that was two events - 3 nights in all. To be honest, I'm not keen to do more. Our take-up is often low (6 for Butlins, for example), it's hugely disruptive to my family life and not great for my various health problems (I cope badly with sleep deprivation). I would feel more enthused if we had better take-up from the girls, but many already have such busy lives that they don't have time for any Brownie activities beyond the weekly meetings.

3 residential events in a year sounds like a lot to me, particularly if you're organising them yourself. I'm in awe.

Becles Thu 26-Mar-15 14:29:53

I like to offer two ops to stay away so that everyone has a chance to come. Last year was exceptional because of the BBB. We had a region PH to butlins, a BBB sleepover, a PH and a county sleepover.

This year a sleepover and another unit's PH only. We may do a sleepover near Christmas for someone to gain the license.

Plan for next year is a PH in Jan or Feb and another in May or June. We may slot in a sleepover if we have the energy.

momb Thu 26-Mar-15 14:11:33

So that's two local residentials a year? Why do you say 'only?' I suspect it's more than most units. We both doing quite well I think! I'm just trying to get a feel on how to move it forward now because my YD will be leaving so I can perhaps offer things that my own children wouldn't necessarily choose.

Groovee Thu 26-Mar-15 14:02:20

We've only had one pack holiday and one sleepover. It's hard for me to commit due to my disability.

momb Thu 26-Mar-15 13:50:27

Can I ask how many residentials you offer? We've had (or will have had) three this year: museum sleepover, two night holiday at local holiday house, one night camp. The girls are up for it and generally they are a fraction of the cost of school holidays (the weekend is coming in at £40 all incl.). We had 50% uptake on the museum which was £80 for one night.
I'm planning on taking module 8 next year so can offer longer camps...but then I keep looking at the DLP deals and wondering if it's worth doing the international module or if their won't be sufficient uptake to make it worthwhile.
What do you all do regularaly, and if you do offer more expensive trips, what uptake do you expect?
Thanks

Becles Tue 24-Mar-15 13:47:33

Going away risk assessment, not really an issue but I've now spent too long over thinking wine

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