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

(624 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.

Minisoksmakehardwork Mon 15-Dec-14 18:48:50

Spoke to mum at our last meeting. Sadly it seems the prompt for this being raised was an email from brown owl inviting the girl to brownies earlier in the day!! We know we passed the names of upcoming brownie age girls to brown owl twice in the few weeks preceding.

Anyway, we've spoken to mum and said we genuinely feel she is more than ready for brownies. She is one of our older and more capable girls all round and whilst it would be a shame to lose her, she would get more out of brownies than we could currently give her. Mum also let slip that one of the girls she has made friends with (different schools) isn't due to go up for another few months and her daughter would miss her... We did suggest if she waited, there may not be a place at brownies if there were other girls already on the waiting list to start at that time.

we've given her until we have a Xmas trip to have a think and let us know. In the meantime we are planning how best to manage our parents and keep brown owl on the ball smile

In good news, we've roped in a couple more volunteers. One is a mum who can help every other week when her husband isn't working. She's been helping us out so I brazenly suggested she join in on a regular basis. She's going to let me know ahead the weeks she can help smile

Another is a friend of mine whose recently got back in touch. We drifted apart for a while. She wants to go down the whole assistant/unit leader route so is going to work out where she can help as an occasional helper to start with and then see if her employer will be willing to be flexible on our meeting night if she can make up her hours elsewhere.

Groovee Mon 15-Dec-14 12:26:03

Could you speak to your DC about it. I will keep girls in brownies, but it does depend on the child and we have a little unit.

But if you have a large unit and it's not possible then maybe she can try brownies out x

BramwellBrown Wed 10-Dec-14 20:19:30

*looks not looked, sadly its still very much an ongoing issue

BramwellBrown Wed 10-Dec-14 20:17:35

We email new parents when offering them a place and ask then if they have any questions, one of the leaders also chats to them for 5-10 minutes at the start of the first meeting then once a year we have a parents evening where they are invited to stay at the meeting, watch a slideshow of what we've been up to and chat to any of the leaders (we also have a raffle, guess the name of the bear and sell cakes and tea and coffee at it to raise funds for the unit).

This doesn't always work though as there will always be one parent who just assumes you'll change things for them no matter how many times you explain how things work, like one mum I have at the moment who keeps asking to send her 3 year old son with us whenever we have a trip/party/something special planned because 'he'd really love it and his sister could look after him' hmm she always looked so shocked when I say no.

Minisoksmakehardwork Wed 10-Dec-14 19:53:57

Need some helpful advice. I've just been informed by my AL that one of our mums has asked if her daughter can stay with rainbows until she's 7.5. She was due to move up in January and this is the absolute first we've heard of this. Of course, this would make us 1 over and we're a very big unit as it is. We've shut our waiting list until September as we're due to lose 10+ girls this year and would bring us down to a much more manageable size!!

She's quoting website at us. But I want to politely say this should have been brought to our attention much sooner than the day before the last meeting of term. Especially if she felt her dd wasn't ready/there were other issues. I suspect it may be a 'waiting for friend' case as brown owl can be a wee bit sharp (I took rainbows off her hands and have known her a very long time, old school, bark worse than bite but you have to get to know her).

The girls and parents are all told at the beginning of their last term with us that they will be invited to join brownies soon so really September, or even October half term, was the point to mention this to us. I'm considering putting together a unit handbook with this information available and suggested time scales for informing us of these wishes.

How do the rest of you manage parental expectations with such short meetings? Is it worth having a 'parent information evening' where we can explain what we do and they can ask any questions and us have the dedicated time to answer them?

Groovee Wed 03-Dec-14 20:22:23

Congratulations Quelle.

My dd is in SS and she says popcorn is a must. They meet once a fortnight, use a facebook page and they plan the following term on the last day of the term.

The idea at the start is that it's a chilled place to get away from exam stress etc.

quellerosiel Wed 03-Dec-14 00:38:13

Renewed my promise this evening, guess that makes it official then! Anybody got any tips for senior section? There's a group in my area in need of "direction" and I'm diving in to see if I can help. TIA!

Groovee Sun 30-Nov-14 19:19:48

That's us finished for the year. A lot of the school do concerts on a Wednesday, so often they are missing weeks for it. So the parents enjoy an early finish.

Looking forward to having some chill out but next term is mainly planned. Science badge, Scottish Country dancing badge and Brownie Traditions.

BramwellBrown Thu 27-Nov-14 17:30:42

Oh, so you're only doing a little bit then eh quell? wink

I'm doing Rainbows mostly but have been helping out at the odd Brownie and Guide outing to make up ratios, which I have secretly discovered I quite enjoy hate and cannot be persuaded to do on a more regular basis (just in case the DC reads this, that is not an offer to reopen the other guide unit, I have grown wise to your plots and it is not going to work)

My training is going slowly, I've done some training days but still waiting for a mentor, which has been over a year now.

Groovee Thu 27-Nov-14 15:02:20

Mad ask for some help from Division/County level otherwise you'll burn out too.

We had our last meeting of the year. One brownie isn't coming to the trip we are doing. Had booked in August and then mum let me know she wasn't coming, so sold the ticket to one of dd's friends. Then last night a brownie whined at me because she would rather go to her friends. If she pulls out I think I'm going to start charging for trips and if they miss the trip, the have to pay the full cost not just the cost we charged. I think the parents forget we don't get paid!

madwomanbackintheattic Wed 26-Nov-14 23:24:39

ah, Princess Pat. We aren't allowed to sing that here either (and we do have the possibility of First Nations members as we have a reserve just outside of town).
dragon.sleepdeprived.ca/songbook/songs4/S4_17.htm
Check out what the lovely Becky says about Princess Pat - this is a really good resource for anyone who hasn't come across dragonsleepdeprived before, btw!

I am exhausted. My fellow leader is mid- breakdown and won't be coming back, and yesterday I lost the contact guider from a different section (her visa expired and she had to leave the country). We have three other guiders in that unit (not mine, just me) and none of them will take on the main role. And I have another unit as well with only me. I cannot run three units, be the district trainer, the district treasurer (I run the books for 5 units) and do half of the DC job. I just can't.

Sorry to be a downer! Just venting...

quellerosiel Wed 26-Nov-14 23:11:01

Bramwell I'm brownies at the moment but my local senior section is without any input at the moment so will be taking that on at some point too. Hoping to open a guide unit where I do brownies eventually, we've had so many fall off the wagon so to speak. Only had my book a few weeks but going well so far! Hows it going for you?

BramwellBrown Mon 24-Nov-14 23:54:15

smile quell, I'm doing my ALQ at the moment too having been a young leader then a helper 10 years ago. What section are you working with?

quellerosiel Mon 24-Nov-14 23:37:37

Marking place here! Just started my ALQ after a long break from guiding, so lovely to be involved again :-)

Groovee Sat 15-Nov-14 11:13:45

Have started organising next term. Doing the Scottish Country dancing badge and hoping to do the scientist badge and get a scientist in too.

MaudantWit Wed 12-Nov-14 17:11:09

Several years ago, when I was putting together our campfire songbook, I left out several verses of We Are The Red Men because they seemed unacceptable by modern standards but, if I were reprinting the book now, I wouldn't include it at all. We haven't sung it for years - the Brownies prefer Edelweiss and Princess Pat.

BramwellBrown Tue 11-Nov-14 02:44:54

thanks tywy, only just seen this but its all sorted now anyway, turns out it was just a lack of communication.

I'd never thought of we are the red men as racist, its so obvious now its been pointed out. I loved that song as a Brownie but had forgotten it til just now.

trice Mon 10-Nov-14 22:33:19

I think the song makes it quite clear. The bows and arrows, the squaws the pow wows. I don't think there can be any excuse.

tywysogesgymraeg Mon 10-Nov-14 21:42:56

I doubt the girls make the association between "red men" and native Americans these days

trice Mon 10-Nov-14 21:25:40

"We like girl guides in a stew" and "we tie white men to a post eat their innards spread on toast". Etc etc.

I suggested we take that page out of the song book. Am I being terribly PO? Brown owl said it couldn't be offensive as we have no native Americans in the pack!

trice Mon 10-Nov-14 21:22:43

I am a helper at Brownies. We had a sausage sizzle and songs around the campfire last week. One of the songs was "We are the red men". I remember it from when I was a Brownie and the girls enjoyed singing it but I found it horrendously racist. There is a line "

tywysogesgymraeg Fri 07-Nov-14 13:48:32

PM me if you like. I'm a DC/Brownie Leader

MaudantWit Wed 05-Nov-14 23:48:20

You're welcome to PM me but might it be better to discuss on the thread, so we can put our heads together? Have you spoken to your DC?

BramwellBrown Wed 05-Nov-14 00:00:33

Is there a leader about who could PM me please so i could pick their brain about something that's worrying me? I'm worried about one of my girls, it might be nothing.

MaudantWit Mon 13-Oct-14 22:30:28

I'm glad you don't feel drubbed.

I would have expected some diversity of opinion but what struck me was how many people seemed to (wilfully?) misinterpret an attempt to secure equality for girls and young women as being about relegating boys into second place. I think our girls would be very much behind Girls Matter too.

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