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Constructive Criticism Only Please

Wren

Mod
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#1
Still thinking about taking on the role of YL Guider when my role as DC has finished and I have been working on a document that I could send out to new and current YLs in my division should I agree to take it on.

I would appreciate constructive criticism please. Some of the documents have been obtained and tweaked from this forum, Smartie and Cerys80 are contributors to mention a couple, so I hope you don't mind me playing around with what you have uploaded. The main part of the info has been taken from the SS website, but is designed to give a bit more info via email/hard copy to enable the girls to know what they can do.

Thank you!
 

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LFC_dragonfly

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
Hi Wren

I've been working on something similar to give out to all the YL's and Rangers in my Division. I wasn't intending to include any bits about YL survival/advice, and was just looking to do the bits about the awards, but thinking about it, and knowing that a few of the Guiders in my area aren't as pro-active with their YL's as they could be, this might be a good idea!

I'd been trying not to make mine too wordy or long, and summarising things quite a lot, but having seen yours, it's not too bad, and as it is supposed to be a guide that you read as and when you need it, that is probably more useful to more info rather than less.

I like it! My only suggestion would be to maybe include Look Wider a bit earlier on in the booklet, seeing as it IS the main part of the SS programme.
 

Squirrel-Nutkin

The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
#3
excellent

I particularly liked the DO and DON'Ts list and the bit about the young leader qualification

can I make a suggestion? could you send this to gguk (without your name bits obviously) to add to the members area so that other districts/divisions around uk can download/use it?
 

Wren

Mod
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#4
Hi Wren

I've been working on something similar to give out to all the YL's and Rangers in my Division. I wasn't intending to include any bits about YL survival/advice, and was just looking to do the bits about the awards, but thinking about it, and knowing that a few of the Guiders in my area aren't as pro-active with their YL's as they could be, this might be a good idea!

I'd been trying not to make mine too wordy or long, and summarising things quite a lot, but having seen yours, it's not too bad, and as it is supposed to be a guide that you read as and when you need it, that is probably more useful to more info rather than less.

I like it! My only suggestion would be to maybe include Look Wider a bit earlier on in the booklet, seeing as it IS the main part of the SS programme.
See, I was worried it was too wordy. You don't think so? I know that most of it is repeating the website, but apart from a little tweaking (spelling mistakes etc) I thought it was the best way to describe the awards etc.

My copy is in a word format and I've put it into pdf to pop on here. I can send you mine, if you'd like to send me yours and perhaps we could combine ideas?

~PS It looks like I've accepted the role already, doesn't it?! lol ~
 

Wren

Mod
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#5
excellent

I particularly liked the DO and DON'Ts list and the bit about the young leader qualification

can I make a suggestion? could you send this to gguk (without your name bits obviously) to add to the members area so that other districts/divisions around uk can download/use it?
Thanks - will try to do so once it's finished :)
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#6
See, I would possibly say it was a bit too wordy (Coming from someone with a really short attention span) I've flicked through it and started to read it, but kinda left it and will go back to it in a little bit

Also it would make sense to have Look Wider before Cheif Guides challenge, as you have to complete LW to complete Chief Guides... saying 'Look wider' doesn't make sense on its own.
 

Squirrel-Nutkin

The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
#7
but if its a reference or refer back to type leaflet the amount of words is ok


if its designed as a really brief introduction, I'd then say needed more summarisation
 

Wren

Mod
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#8
Fab - as you can see from my comment to Dawny, I thought it was too wordy. Maybe I'll cut it down a bit. The order of the pages was done purely as the order in which you go down the information on the GGUK webpage.

Will have a play later and put an updated version up to see what people think.

Thanks for feedback :)
 

jennthedeadfunkyranger

Guide Guider
GuiderPlus
#9
I agree that the main issue is that it is a bit long and wordy - it looks great, and is a brilliant resource, but I think a lot would give up on reading it, and therefore miss really important points.

How about having a summary page (or 2 pages) with info about each thing, with a reference to the longer section so that those who are interested can flick to it, and those who aren't can go straight onto the next item?

On the whole, though, it looks great. I started as a YL with no info at all. We had a YL Guider (who now runs Guides with my mum, but didn't then), but I never had any info from her (though from what I gather there was meetings but I didn't get the info for some reason), someone else took over, had lots of promises but then after one meeting where 2 of us turned up, and from the same unit, nothing happened, and I only knew about SS opportunities as I went to a very active Ranger unit, where both leaders were on hte county exec so stuff came to us direct rather than being filtered down. I assume the case is the same for most SS. My YL only knows about stuff available to her as a YL as I've told her, and we have a pretty good YL Guider, too.
 

Smartie

Mod and wearer of many hats!!
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#11
I can agree with some of the others above about the wordiness - but at the same time, it isn't meant to be something that is read in one go, so i wouldn't summarise it much, because it will be a 'dip in, dip out' file rather than sitting and reading it like a novel!

I would possibly think of adding maybe a list of useful links - so to gguk's website, but also to a few good websites for songs/games, maybe to BOGUK? To your county website etc.

Also, i wonder whether it might be appropriate to add in an extra page about guiding - A brief summation of its aims perhaps (as some girls won't really know this even having gone through units, and other may have come straight in at YL level), and also, a quick little diagram about structure - as you enclose the commissioners details, but don't really explain what they are. This is a really common thing, but something that confused me when i first 'moved up' and had no idea what half of the 'jargon' meant.

Also, perhaps you could use a little more colour? For me, little bits of colour really grab my attention and interest me. I know you won't want to use too much, because of printing costs and the like? A pretty cover/first page would also be good if only because then it will look more inviting when it is first given out?

Now that sounds like a lot of criticism, but i don't want it to. I think on the whole it looks really great, and provides plenty of information. I also think having a PDF copy could be a real asset - as more young women get tablet computers/kindles/smartphones and the like having a copy they can access on there (but without needing to be connected to the internet!) i can see it being really useful, rather than doing the 'now, where did i put that file i was given two years ago?' thing.

But well done, its looking god :)
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#12
Good factual information, but I tended to read the first paragraph or so then skim the rest, because it was all text. Could you look at using pictures, clipart or even just coloured borders to break up the page, or perhaps a short summary at the top of a page (factbox-type thing) and more detail below?
 

morris minor

Veteran (100+ posts)
#13
Looks good. I agree with Smartie about including a 'guiding' page. (who people are and where everyone fits in the communication network)
Useful links are good too. :)
 

LFC_dragonfly

Veteran (100+ posts)
#14
See, I was worried it was too wordy. You don't think so? I know that most of it is repeating the website, but apart from a little tweaking (spelling mistakes etc) I thought it was the best way to describe the awards etc.

My copy is in a word format and I've put it into pdf to pop on here. I can send you mine, if you'd like to send me yours and perhaps we could combine ideas?

~PS It looks like I've accepted the role already, doesn't it?! lol ~
Yes, I'll send you what I've done on mine so far (it's definately not finished!). Combining sounds good, as it looks like we are aiming to do the same thing. Will have a look at it when I get home from work this afternoon. :)

And yes, yes it does!!
 
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Cazbly

Darth Vader (12,500+ posts)
#15
If you are brave enough to let me have a word copy, I will look at reducing text length without losing meaning and suggest pictures - that is where my strengths lie.
 

RMT

Guide Leader
GuiderPlus
#16
I think this is very useful but perhaps the order needs changings, I think like someone else said the look wider needs moving up and perhaps the QG after the CG,

Perhaps to make the wording look shorter could you have a reference page, so a short paragraph on each opportunity and then refer it to a page if they want more information, that way they can glance through and if they like the sound of one go and have a read on that topic.

Perhaps a list of SS units in your area incase they dont know about them.

Looks really good, would love to see it after I have two guides who would like to become YL's next year.
 

FPG

Veteran (100+ posts)
#17
Just reading through it and gonna note down a few things:

- YLQ can be completed any time up to the age of 18. I might mention this and that they don't have to do ALQ until they're 18 if they don't want to - or even at all. Maybe explain that if they choose not to at 18 they become a Unit Helper or a Leader/Leader in training - free choice (not that they'll be shown the door). I don't think you made it clear that YLQ is optional. I'd be inclined to spell it out so they know exactly where they stand. Useful, enjoyable, shiny badge, but not required.

- it might help to explain Look Wider on the page before the CGC, because CGC is a part of it and otherwise they might get confused by reference to phases and octants suddenly appearing? (can't remember if Look Wider is on the opening spider chart either)

- on the permit page, you refer to checking the latest edition of "Key Information" - am I being dense, but what is this? I like that you've mentioned how SS permit is transferable to full camp & hol scheme. I would possibly include a brief sentence explaining what c&H scheme is and also a note to say that you can continue using your SS permit until you turn 26 and are no longer SS (ie it doesn't expire at 18/when you complete ALQ and are eligible to do c&H scheme)?

- just gotten further down and seen c&h is explained in your 'other qualifications' bit, so maybe in the main SS permit text where you refer to the modules being transferable you could just note that c&h is explained separately further along?

- I also see LW is explained. I would be inclined to put it together with CGC, or if you want to keep them separate include within your CGC text a note that LW is explained at the end or whatever. When I joined SS, LW was the first thing I worked on and the main thing I focussed on for the first couple of years. LW is a good thing to hang all the other things off - eg YL activities fitting into the leadership octant, international opps to the international octant, etc.

That was the way I accessed all the other stuff - because I wanted to find things for my LW I got involved in all these other things, some of them being guiding things, some not. I think it's better to start with LW and take on things to achieve it, rather than getting to the end of SS and looking back and ticking stuff off - nowhere near as rewarding. I know this is for YLs, but I guess what I'm thinking is that LW should have a bit more prominence, it's the central column of SS.

- are you planning to include a page on 4? It's in the spider chart but I don't think I read a page about it? Ditto D of E? Even if it's just a page explaining how to access it via GGUK rather than via school or the possibility of joining GGUK expeditions if everyone at school drops out!

- I might include an explanation of logging onto members' area and go of main site. All 14+ members can do this now and are encouraged to keep their own Go record up to date. So explaining that they need to ask their unit leader for their membership number and then use that to request a password. Maybe mention that their go record will be updated with their Guiding qualifications and things like that, signing up for the e-newsletters for the section they work with, familiarising themselves with the system for the future when they're running the world ;).

- tied into this I might also mention some of the 'other opportunities' you refer to at the beginning (non qualification based ones). Eg the 'volunteering opps' in the members' area - the task & finish groups are almost all now open to 14+ and lots of other things will be open to them, eg volunteering backstage at Big Gig at 18-25, and the only way to find out . So it's not all about qualifications (much as we all love them) - maybe examples of region events that are regulars that might interest them that are outside of being a YL and fun. Eg for Anglia things like Gig in a Field.

- maybe a few examples of the diff international opps and how to get involved. uk based camps vs overseas camps, world scout jamboree (14-18)/world scout moot (18-25), service, GOLD...

- this might just be me, but I'd be inclined to maybe round the whole thing off with a reminder that if any of these things interests them first port of call is the CD, which will have all the properly detailed info - not to rely on your summary if they want to start working on awards, but making sure they have access to the detailed syllabus and follow the correct procedures for registering on awards/qualifications. Emphasise that you are only summarising.

Not a criticism, just I know some people see the summaries of awards, eg Queen's Guide, and think that's it and start doing them without reading the full syllabus... and then have all kinds of headaches of not having started officially so none of it counting, doing things that don't fulfill the requirements, etc.


All in all I do like it, so I hope this doesn't come across as being critical, because it's not the intention. I like the tone (I know some of it is drawn from other sources, but the tone is consistent throughout) and even the font. It's not too text heavy (unlike my post) and the spacing/layout is good so it is easy to read. I think it's really helpful for all new SS members (YL or otherwise) to see an overview of everything, clearly explained, with clear pointers on how to access it.
 

FPG

Veteran (100+ posts)
#18
Could you possibly combine this "wordier" doc with a more "powerpointy" type thing? So that you've got a few shorter pages of visual overview - halfway between your words and the initial spider chart - where the wordier part can be dipped into if particular parts pique their interest based on summary.

So an extended visual chart of some description - explaining what x is /giving some examples (eg if it's an award: it's open to y age/people with aims of z, if it's international opportunities: you could do a, b or c). If there's space an illustration of the structure. Eg for LW an octant wheel showing the octants/phases/elements within phases.

So they can see at a glance all the things on your spider chart, but also in the same space can immediately see which apply to them (eg age/role restriction), what topics/areas they cover, time commitment (eg QG 3 years / LW open ended), maybe deadlines for completion (eg YLQ 18, QG 3 years/26) - I'm not sure, but enough to establish what it roughly is, whether it's likely to be suitable to them at this stage in their life, and make them want to go and read about it (even if it's only your summary to start with).

That way, if the thing most likely to appeal to them and be suitable for them is included on the penultimate page of your booklet it doesn't rely on them reading the entire booklet, but they'll be able to pick it up from the visual overview and flick directly to it. (So if it's a booklet each thing would reference the page of the booklet they'll find your summary on, and your summary will point them either to the CD or an adviser or both to get started).

Here's hoping some of that makes sense.
 

LittleMe88

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#19
When I did mine (didn't have as much detail as yours) I also did a sheet showing how to log on to the members area and access their own GO account in screen prints. This was to point them in the direction of the extra opportunities like Big Gig and Task and Finish groups.

Mine was as District SS advisor not as YL Guider so I also had info on additional roles such as UH, treasurer/secretary for dist, adviser, commissioner etc (as well as GOLD and the bits FPG has already mentioned) for those nearer the 26 end of the age range. This was mainly because I've been an adviser since 18 and was a jobshare commissioner for 2 years at 20. Really just to let them know there are roles other than running units.
 

Wren

Mod
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#20
No offence, FPG, but I will have to study your reply when I have more time as I just nipped on to check what had been said! You have a lot of points which I want to read properly so that I can make the appropriate adjustments so please don't think I'm complaining about your post - far from it!! There are a few points you have made that I have picked up on, in particular concerning phrases I have used. I have never been involved in the SS programme before so most of the 'technical' stuff is from the website. Something I decided to add without reading in detail, which is obviously wrong if you are picking up on things!

Smartie (and anyone else thinking it), this is why I posted it. I like criticism but I need it to be constructive, hence the title. nothing I have read here is unconstructive and is very helpful. Sometimes you end up working on something and you just cannot see the wood for the trees, if you get what I mean?

I am loving the idea of jumbling it up into a better order and to put a summary of what each award is, followed by a more detailed explanation for those who wish to do the award.

Finally, Caz, thank you. I may take you up on that offer once a few of the other issues have been amended.

Thank you one and all - I knew I could count on you!!