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How much time does a Rainbows pack take up?

(7 Posts)
xalala Fri 01-Jul-11 15:21:06


My local Rainbows pack will close down unless they can find someone to take over before the end of term. I've said I will, and am going to meet them all this evening (I'm not currently involved in Guiding - not since I left the Guides 20-odd years ago).

Can anyone clue me in on things like how much of my time it will take up, outside of meetings? What sort of activities would they expect to do? Do they eg go on camp etc (bit young I'd think!)? What will I need to do in terms of qualifications for leading, how long will that take? Sorry for all the questions, it's all been chucked at me on very short notice - ie last Saturday, first meeting is tonight!


xalala Fri 01-Jul-11 15:22:35

Should probably have said, I have a 4yo who will start rainbows next September so I'm keen it doesn't close down! grin

lizzieloubee1 Sat 02-Jul-11 17:26:52

The best to go ask is, a forum for Guiding leaders smile

They are all lovely, and will answer your quesions.

Indith Sat 02-Jul-11 17:43:03

Well done you!

Ok, well you will have other leaders helping you so you can delegate!

Don't worry about your qualification, you will do it all just by running the unit really, there will be some training sessions to go on but most are valuable anyway. You will be able to attend trainings where you basically spend the day making different things and trying out ideas and you;ll come home with a whole load of new activities to do.

Rainbows don't camp but can go on sleepovers. You will need an additional qualification for that. Don't worry about it yet, baby steps!

The meeting itself will be an hour to an hour and a quarter ish. Rainbows have different badges they can do called roundabouts. To do a roudabout you do several different activities based on a theme. We used to do one a year and base a whole term around the theme. There are also other badges that all ages can do with a variety of themes and activities that can be adapted to the age group. The leaders will have access to all those resources, most areas have communal copies of things like that. YOu also get challange badges and things coming out all the time, often based around a specific event or written bya team going abroad who sell the badges to raise money and write activities you can get your girls to do to earn the badge.

Planning time varies, it gets easier the longer you do it! Crafts can take a long time to plan as you have to prepare templates etc, the key is to keep it simple so they can do most of it themselves. Generally in one meeting you will do warm up games perhaps based on the theme of the night, an activity (craft, baking, sciencey) and then perhaps a follow on activity to take it deeper or a fun game or a bit of a sing song befor ehome. Obviously everyone does diffferent things but I'd say that is pretty common as a set up.

On top of that you have accounts. Accounts need to be kept and checked and signed off yearly. There is a specific spreadsheet written for it. You don't have to use it but it is very good. So long as you enter all new income or expense as soon as you get home rom the meeting then it shouldn't go wrong and shouldn't take any time.

Guiding does tend to take over your life, but in a good and enjoyable way. Running a unit isn't too bad in terms of time really but if you get more involved. Weekend things, fundraisers, fairs, helping out with something else, more training then you can spend a lot of time doing it!

xalala Sat 02-Jul-11 20:40:43

Thanks Indith, that's brilliant. The meeting went well - and more or less followed the format you mentioned grin but getting info out of the district commisioner who is currently running the pack is like getting blood from a stone - she keeps telling me that "we can do all that over the summer", but I don't get back from holiday till mid-August, so that only leaves me 3 or so weeks to get a plan together...

There's one other helper (not sure whether she's AL or not yet), plus 2 senior section girls - they are running the meeting next week so hopefully I'll have more of a chance to speak to the DC and other helper...

Re crafts, fortunately I know the lady who plans and organises all the crafts for a local playgroup that I help out at, and have already warned her that I might be nicking some of them grin

tudorrose Sat 02-Jul-11 20:52:36

Three of my friends and me are in the process of setting up our own Rainbows unit, as we all had daughters on the waiting lists round here with no hope off geting in as they are so long.

To be honest it is already taking over our lives at the moment as we are starting completely from scratch, but we will be ready to open in September.

It is hard work, our meetings will follow the same sort of format too, and we have been working with another local unit, but we can honestly say we are all enjoying it so far and are really excited about September!

We are all renewing/making our promise on Monday and I am nervous!

Oh and our District Commisioner is exactly the same, very hard to contact or get help from. Our local Rainbow leaders from various differernt units have been amazing help though.

Indith Sun 03-Jul-11 10:05:52

Unfortunately the DC is not always the best person for the job but the one who can be beaten into saying yes! You will get a mentor though while you are working towards your leadership qualification who may provide some help. Once you area ll signed up and have access to the members area of the Guiding website then you'll be able to get more resources. I love the "Right Here Right Now" resource, hopefully someone in your area will have a copy as I think it was discontinued, I'm not sure you can get the badges for it anymore. Anyway, it covers loads of issues about bullying and personal image, human rights, voting and so on and has some great activities that get even the little ones engaged and thinking about it.

Def beat someone into having a proper planning meeting before you go on holiday. YOu will want to get all your leaders together and get the term plan done then get all your leaders to pick a meeting or 2 each to run that term so you don't have all the planning to do yourself. To get ready for the start of term you will want to make sure that all the details of girls are up to date, one of the leaders will have to help youwith this as it is all online and you won't have access yet. Have a letter to hand out, perhaps post it over the summer with your contact details, the date you are starting back, what subs will be for the term and how it is to be paid (in an envelope, clearly marked with the name of the child.) Do not accept it in any other way. Have a box for them to put it in instead of hounding you as you'll have a million girls and other parents hanging off you. Next to the box have a pile of envelopes and a pen. Then you'll want your register ready.

If you've got new starters you want a little letter for them explaining how things work and how to order uniform. You may also want the official welcome packs but they are expensive and I don't know many units who use them!

Don't forget to ask the leaders about Census. This will be payable next term and is what we pay per member to HQ. It is a LOT of money (around £15 each). Some units cover it in the termly subs, some units get the parents to pay it on top. You need to know how they do it so you can decide if you are going to stick to that, put subs up or whatever and so you know you have enough money in the bank to cover it. I say this now because knowing Guiding, everyone will assume you know and not mention it until it is due next term!

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