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Question? Pow-wows and planning

SophieLockyer

Beginner (10+ posts)
#1
I would be interested to know how different units do pow-wows. I have seen that some do them every week - our meeting time is 1 hour 15 mins, and the time seems to fly so quickly, the main pow-wows that we have had take up half the meeting after we make a circle etc... (historically the unit I have just taken over does one at the beginning of term to discuss what went on in the hols, and I have started one per term min to discuss what the girls would like to do)... I did try to search on here about them, but apparently pow and wow are too short to use as search words, so apologies if it is duplicated. In my previous unit we used them to discuss things from time to time, it would take about 15 mins or so, but then our meetings were longer (only 15 mins, but that seems to make all the difference).

So... any hints, tips, etc...

Secondly, how should planning be done? Again, historically the leaders in the unit have decided the whole programme. When I started in March, I had a pow-wow with the girls, and they suggested some things they would like to do this term. I think we have implemented about 6 or 7 of them into our programme this term (and funnily enough they seemed to coincide with out and about and wildlife explorer badges so we are doing both. I would like to know how much of the planning you do is decided by the unit team and how much is decided/chosen by the Brownies?

Thanks (sorry for long post!)
 

Amytiville

Regular (50+ posts)
#2
I'm fairly new and our Pow Wows are similar - we do do I suppose and informal pow wow every week (kind of a 5 min stand up). We tend to do big pow wows at the beginning and end of every term, or if we have something to decide upon.

Planning - at some point in the last few weeks I try and get the girls to think about what they would like to do and then look at their ideas in the planning meeting. They are usually fairly non-specific - so cooking / colouring. The programme is then agreed by the unit team in that we have a general focus of what we want to acheive and I tend to end up working the nitty gritty of it. This term we are doing the On Your Marks badges - I would have done one, but the Young leaders I have wanted to do all of them. We also purposely have not timetabled it as some of it we can only do outdoors and seemed a bit pointless writing stuff in that we woul dneed to change. So far it has worked out fine - we made the promise torches 2 weeks ago when it was raining and they are in their six boxes to use at our promise celebration next week and this week we did street theatre of the Brownie Story as it was very hot.

I have started an A5 note book that one girl takes home each week adn in that they are supposed to write about somehting they have enjoyed at Brownies and / or something they would like to do with their brownie friends. It has a small brownie bear clipped on to it. Some have just written about what they and the bear got up to, but in amongst all that they have named the bear on the front (one girl suggested a name in her writing adn the others and kept it on) and there have been some fabulous ideas that I am looking into. The trouble I have is that because it goes out each week, I have to grab a quick read in the meeting and remember.

It has taken a while for them to think about things though - and the down side is how cna they put somehting down that they ahve never heard of / considered etc. They decorated six boxes at the beginning of term using Brownie images cut out of the Guiding magazine and that has helped see what other girls get up to and generated more ideas along 'Why can't we ...'
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#3
Basically, you would do Pow Wows when there was something major or important which the girls should decide on. So could be once or twice a year, or perhaps as much as several times a year depending on what the unit is involved with, but not as often as weekly - it should be kept for big decisions, not just what game to play this week.

Some units find they work well because the girls are willing to participate in discussion and put forward views, others find they don't work as the girls aren't willing to express opinions and in that case it can be wise to collect suggestions then do a 'secret vote' (girls sit in a tight circle with their hands behind their backs, once the topic is announced they hold their hands together to vote yes, and apart to vote no, a leader can quickly walk round and count up the result).
 

browniebeth

Brownie Leader
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#4
We meet for the same time as you, but the first 15mins tend to be "arrival and setting up time". We tend to do pow-wows at the start of every term. We use them to do a sweep of "what I did in the holidays", then any major news like a pack holiday or trip coming up, or name for a new leader etc.

We tend to dedicate that first meeting to the girls going through all the resources and selecting things which they would like to do, I take them home with me and work out which things are the most popular, or which things would count towards a badge they wanted to do. Obviously, we can't do everything- last time they picked out 15 badges between them!!

So as far as planning goes, we do plan most of the term, but based around their ideas as much as possible. Obviously this method suits a small group, rather than 24 all fighting over a handful of resources- but even then it could still work if done in sixes.


My home unit, however, does a pow-wow news time every week, pretty much. But that unit is focused on traditions- toadstools, skipping, six songs etc, whereas we don't do any formal start like that. They also don't involve the girls in planning at all. So, it depends on the unit!
 

IvyN

Veteran (100+ posts)
#5
Last term, we knew we wanted to do Jubilee and Olympics stuff this term as well as things for our units 30th birthday, so we got three huge bits of paper, and titled each one and asked them to write down what ideas they had. A lot of it was "Food!" "disco!" but there were some really nice ideas.
 

dizzyg

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
I did one at the end of last term because I was stuck for programme ideas. I put them into groups and circulated the badge book, the groups that didn't have the badge book wrote down the types of things they'd like to do.

I found it really helpful as, while some of the ideas were a bit 'outlandish', I got a gauge for what they'd like to do. Most of them wanted animal based/outdoorsy things and hundreds of games. I've tried to incorporate the more manageable ideas into the programme.
 

OrangeOwl

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
I have a very rough 3 year programme which basically makes sure that we offer 4 or 5 interest badges a year and that they are spread out (so for example, we wouldn't do all the safety badges in one year) and that we cover world and communtiy aspects of the programme.
We pow wow at the first meeting of each term and the girls come up wioth ideas, then we go away and try and make their ideas fit into my broad plan and cover all the programme aspects over the course of the year; so basically we do whatever they want but we occasionally twist it so they get badges out of it too!
This term we had 2 sides of A4 of ideas, managed to amalgamate some, (so races/blindfolded games has grown to Disability Awareness badge for example), deferred a few to next term (Girls may be in the Lead but they can't make me I can't grow conkers in June!) and have ended up with a surprisingly cohesive outdoorsy term with lots of community activity and lots of mess.
We have a 1.5 hour meeting, so we talk for 15 mins, play a game, talk for 15 mons, play etc for the first meeting, and they get a full programme for the term with the newsletter at the second meeting. On a weekly basis we jhave 5 minute circle just to explain what we'll be doing/let anyone share news, and then we go do it!
 

Tawnyowl51

Veteran (100+ posts)
#8
we do a quick pow wow every week with one six's news, decisions about game and song, programme for the night and anything else.
Near the end of every term we also do a 'what would you like to do next term pow wow'
 

AyeBee

Beginner (10+ posts)
#9
I have started an A5 note book that one girl takes home each week adn in that they are supposed to write about somehting they have enjoyed at Brownies and / or something they would like to do with their brownie friends. It has a small brownie bear clipped on to it. Some have just written about what they and the bear got up to, but in amongst all that they have named the bear on the front (one girl suggested a name in her writing adn the others and kept it on) and there have been some fabulous ideas that I am looking into.
This is a brilliant idea, and since reading the post, I have found a Bear and made a bag out of an old brownie t-shirt, next stop, A5 notebook :)
Thanks for sharing, you are all a constant source of energy for me :)