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

(901 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.

rivierliedje Thu 27-Aug-15 16:18:28

Sounds good groovee.
I'm a bit nervous about starting up again. I've changed units because of work scheduling, so I'll be new to the girls and it's my first time as guider in charge.
Looking forward to it though!

Groovee Thu 27-Aug-15 07:02:56

First night back last night. New brownies started. Was good to be back. Only had one new one cry when her dad picked her up!

MrsLeighHalfpenny Mon 17-Aug-15 23:13:38

Went last year. It was a brilliant weekend - really good. Have fun x

Auradora12 Mon 17-Aug-15 18:24:50

Hi I am just introducing myself. I am a Guide Guider, Rainbow Guider and DC. DD is one of my Guides and drives me nuts trying to help with the planning, but is also handy for asking if something is good or bad! Next 10 days are going to get busy as I am taking the girls to Wellies and Wristbands for the first time. Anyone else going?

MyNightWithMaud Mon 10-Aug-15 22:44:29

I saw that thread, Becles. I couldn't post on it but was silently cheering you on.

Becles Sat 08-Aug-15 09:39:39

Woohoo how exciting

We are planning the term and sixes this week and day after I'm doing a mass DBS check at the unit allocation after work event for people we've gulled into thinking it's only an hour a weekhmm. DC has faithfully promised that at least one is mine...all mine...all all minewine

A not of hysteria there I thinkgrin

Groovee Sat 08-Aug-15 00:43:26

We're back to brownies soon! New leader found, we've got the secret that one leader is having our first unit baby! So exciting. And 3 new brownies starting from rainbows.

Groovee Fri 07-Aug-15 23:43:05

hmm Having been the leader on the end of a fuming parent after pack holiday, hopefully the parent will listen to the leaders side.

Becles Fri 07-Aug-15 20:37:15
Minisoksmakehardwork Fri 17-Jul-15 07:10:32

Yay! We reached the end of term!! (I do love my rainbows really). We sang happy birthday to 6 girls (a 7th was absent), enrolled 3 and POG for 3. I'd allowed plenty of time and in one of those weird situations, we got through it all quite quickly so had 10 minutes to kill.

So now comes clearing out the badge box and planning ahead to next term. I've enough ideas to fill a year or 2!

MyNightWithMaud Mon 13-Jul-15 20:55:11


Flagging here too. I can only sympathise about the difficulty in getting consent forms and the like back in good time for trips. I agree completely about not wanting girls to miss out because their parents are too (frankly) useless to get a form back in time - my worst offenders are parents who hold down high-powered jobs yet do a "silly me, I'm too scatty to fill in a form" routine as deadlines approach - but that means I've accepted late applications so many times that nobody now takes the deadlines seriously. So I've shot myself in the foot there.

For parents who are in a difficult financial situation (the ones who can't pay rather than the ones who are just disorganised), I will accept subs or trips payments late and, if they're willing to talk to me about it, on a "pay what you can" basis (making up the difference from pack funds). We always have drinks available at meetings, but gave up having fruit because buying it and preparing it was too time-consuming (and previously we had ditched having biscuits because they seemed incompatible with our healthy lifestyles aims). We do have quite a lot of cooking activities, though.

Becles Tue 07-Jul-15 22:49:16


End of term next week and starting to flag. A couple of weeks to rest then autumn term planning as the leaders are all going to have a full on schedule until Christmas.

Groovee Sat 04-Jul-15 10:41:54

I've been on holiday. Before leaving I took the time to email the leaving brownies all the info they needed for guides.

One mum emailed saying her daughter's friend wanted to join guides. Gave her the join us link telling her to pass it on.

She then emailed wanting me to donut all for her. Ignored email and went on holiday as I wanted some quality family time. Received a text from mum's work mate asking if I could respond to the email. I sent a snotty text back saying mum would have to wait because I was being a mum and wife and she'd have to wait.

Got a text of another friend warning me my name was mud while the rest of the office were in stitches that I didn't seem to get that as a guider I should be on call 24/7. One guy tried to point out that I volunteer for brownies and have the right to a holiday!

Can mum not read the brownie out of office... No emails can be answered before August! I need a break for my own sanity at the moment.

Minisoksmakehardwork Thu 02-Jul-15 21:06:47

Had a lovely night tonight. It's was our district it's a knock out competition. It's our normal meeting night so the cost was met for all girls by the unit but was sad some of the girls didn't come - several were not looking forward to sports day type races. However, of the girls who did come, every one of them took part. Even the girl who had earlier been in tears because she didn't want to race! I'm hoping that by taking the pressure off her and telling her she could be our teams official cheerer it helped her want to join in. All the girls came away with certificate and we won overall for rainbows.

Just a thought for those of you with girls who may not be able to afford all the trips, we had a girl whose financial circumstances became dire. She stopped coming and her mum admitted she could no longer afford subs.

One of our leaders at the time was a governor at the school so approached them as discretely as possible. The governing body agreed that as the girl was then eligible for fsm and pupil premium money, it could be used to pay for the girls subs and any trips she wanted to go on for the rest of her time in rainbows (just over a school year). The cheque was raised to our unit directly by the school.

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 01-Jul-15 15:44:02

Oh I totally get that. I have a guider who refuses to accept coins. (For similar reasons she does her banking via ATM outside of bank hours, so will only take notes.) we all do stuff differently.
I just don't like the idea of kids missing out (and I know you don't either) so it always makes me try and come up with a workaround. Hard though. We have definitely ended up subbing for disorganization (and then the parents pay back later) as well as for financial need. I was just trying to work out how I would cope with throwing to do everything in cash, and failing lol.
Hopefully mum will realize that deadlines are real now, and be more timely in future?

momb Tue 30-Jun-15 14:26:52

I'm sorry to have confused you madwoman, although that wasn't really the point of my post. The unit runs via DD/bank transfer and trips run on cash because we are rural and closest bank is 24 miles away plus I don't get home from work until 6.30 except on Brownie night so I keep things the way they work for me and the bulk of the parents, as we do have a cashpoint in the village.

My post was specifically about parents who love what we do with girls who want to participate but don't have the organisation/courtesy to reply. Yes, the girl I've taken off the list can afford camp. I have girls in the unit who are from very poor farm labourer/seasonal worker families which is why the bulk of our trips are very inexpensive. Cash works well for them too: I take subs in small cash amounts where necessary. It's just disappointing that the girl misses out because the mother believes that once again she can pop things through my door the day before we are due to leave or that she can approach me at the end of a meeting, weeks after the deadline, to charm/cajole me into agreeing to take her daughter anyway. This time I can't. I was really down because by not bending the deadline again for her the daughter misses out: not because I believe that I'm being unreasonable in any way, but because I just don't like to see any of them miss out.

madwomanbackintheattic Mon 29-Jun-15 00:30:42

sorry, not your other point licorice, but the point above re paying for trips

madwomanbackintheattic Mon 29-Jun-15 00:29:46

We have had years where we have had an obviously hungry girl in the mix, and a couple probably borderline, and have run more healthy eating type evenings or snacks as a result (as well as all the good stuff like international food on Thinking Day, etc etc).

It's our compromise - it does link in to your other thoughts though - are you certain that the girl missing the money has £15 to spare? We have a policy that no child will miss out because of funding, so we do frequently end up diverting funds - but I would be calling the parents directly for clarification. Email and texts don't work with some of our parents - we have to call or speak face to face.

I couldn't run a cash-only unit though - how on earth does that work? Even as a parent I never have cash, but cheques are fine (unless you have bounced them with me before lol) As everything has to go through the bank, and we pay for everything by cheque, it's not a huge deal?

LicoriceComfit Sun 28-Jun-15 09:59:49

Hi all, I am a leader in training with Brownies.

I was reading a thread in chat about poverty, and my eyes have been opened - I am a little shocked that such poverty still exists in the UK, and that I have been too busy to notice.

We recently had a movie night and the girls had bowls of popcorn. Some were eating more than their share, one eating the spilled stuff off the ground. Now I realise these kids might well have been genuinely hungry. I feel so sad.

So, my question is, as Guiders what can we do, without singling out specific kids? As a mum I know brownies is good value, though it can be costly with uniform, fees etc if you are only scraping by.

Would it be thoughtful and helpful to start the new session under a guise of healthy eating, and bring along a fruit bowl each week and say they were all welcome to help themselves?

I wouldn't mind funding it, and anything left over I would use at home.

Or is that just not our place?

momb Thu 25-Jun-15 23:23:32

I am heartsore.
I had to cancel an amazing trip for November as the requisite numbers did not return slips/deposits by the required date (we were 2 girls short to make it viable). In the month since then 5 different people have approached me and said if the trip goes ahead their daughter would like to attend. If they had replied in time we'd all be going. I have a full time job, children of my own and am now busy planning a division camp so was not in a position to compromise. I just feel that I have to draw a line somewhere having been taken advantage of so much (too flexible, adding in last minute girls the night before B Holiday etc).
So, this camp. We run on cash. The camp is super-cheap: £15 for everything including an archery session. One girl has returned the slip but not the deposit and the balance is now due. I've emailed and texted and the mother hasn't replied. I've given her place to someone from another unit. I'm feeling a little sick.
I'm a Mum too. I so empathise with the whole 'disorganised need chasing' thing. But I do chase, I do send emails when things are due. It's just this one Mum: wants to pay by cheque when we run trips on cash, sends in forms with her daughter but not payment, ignores email and text messages.
The girl is a delight and gets so much from Guiding. So desperate and keen to come to camp. Honestly. Heartsore.

MargolottaOfUberwold Tue 23-Jun-15 15:13:50

haha sadly no!

DH has wrestling boots though, which he is thinking he will attach a label to saying "property of covetous the clown"

Becles Tue 23-Jun-15 07:57:38


Do you know anyone with big feet willing to part with an old shoe?

MargolottaOfUberwold Mon 22-Jun-15 20:37:22

planning on doing circus murder mystery with the brownies next week

have any of you done something similar

am slightly worried the littlies may be alarmed

also what on earth do I use as clown shoe prop?

madwomanbackintheattic Sun 21-Jun-15 01:51:08

Oh rhubarb, I wish I'd seen this a couple of weeks ago - I could have forwarded you a ton of Canadian stuff (def in the World Cup lol)

Definitely on countdown here... District camp (over 100 kids and leaders - I planned it but didn't go lol) - check. Leaders awards written and presented - check. Last badge order - check. Last unit meeting - check. Last leader meeting - check. Accounts - sooooooo close. Waiting for one more lot of expenses then I can close my books for summer.... Leaders end of year pot luck supper - check.

I have one more adult training session on Thursday, a fundraising plan to submit, a parent email about next year's jamboree and collecting the deposits to send, and then I'm packing up shop for the summer.

Good luck everybody! So close!

Pandsala Sun 21-Jun-15 01:37:15

thats how it all starts Truffles, back in 1992 my mum volunteered to help my Rainbows 'just til they can find someone permanent' she's still there, my little sister and I help at other units and DD(6) has already chosen her name for when she's a leader (hummingbird apparently)... grin welcome to the family.

Enjoy your rest Grovee, we've got a very busy month before summer holidays start here.

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