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Senior Section Patrol

We had a Senior Section unit several years ago attached to our Guide unit, but it closed down due to lack of numbers. I now have 2/3 girls just old enough to join SS but don't want to start the unit back up until numbers increase. I was wondering if anyone knows if you can create a SS patrol within the Guide unit and how easily it is to do so?!
The girls don't want to leave Guiding, and want to stay with our unit as we're a small rural unit which they enjoy being part of and aren't keen on larger groups!


Veteran (100+ posts)
Sounds like a great idea and could come under the heading 'flexible Guiding'. With no parents willing to take over the Rainbow unit I started, but unable to run it myself (oh look, a Guider who's saying no!) , I am thinking that I might be able to have the girls in one corner of my Brownie meetings. This would only be a few as several have turned 7. I just don't want to see it close after all the effort of starting it. Has anyone tried this and got any advice for running mixed ages together?


Veteran (100+ posts)
You could see about them being registered as lone TSS members that meet at the same time and location as your unit. Or have the unit changed to a joint section one (but might not be ideal especially if you are interested in reopening the TSS unit later).

How long will it take for enough girls for the unit to reopen? Depending on the maturity and interest of it's only for a term or so you could have them working on Move on Up or the Commonwealth Award or a particular project as a small patrol (any final badges or challenges just for Guides they'd like to tackle?). But obviously this isn't ideal across several terms.

It might be worth you putting a plan in place to cover the following:
*How and when the unit would reopen? A year, a term? Is it going to run at a different time to Guides?
*If it is alongside Guides- how can you make sure they stay distinct? You would need to make sure it was clear that they weren't just continuing to stay in Guides- they would leave their patrols, not have a PL/S, be able to take part in any Guide specific events nationally or locally, do any Guide badges, and wear TSS uniform rather than keep wearing their Guide ones. Would you have them doing the same activities but slightly different for their separate section programmes or allow them to each do their own thing? If you went with the latter, what if they want to do "clashing" activities (say the Guides want a music night but the TSS have planned to do mindfulness)? At first it might be easy when they are all a similar age to do crossover activities but even with the coming age changes their interests naturally develop away from those of Guide age. If you have a limited meeting space what would you do if the older TSS had booked a lady from the local sexual health clinic to give them a talk or another meeting subject you might not want the Guides privy to? Consider that they might want to be able to talk away from younger girls and might not want to have to check their conversation content- or that it might not seem appealing at 17 to be doing the same thing as when they were 12.
*In the meantime, how would them being TSS members would work alongside the Guide unit. Would they pay the same subs when they aren't earning the same badges or doing the exact same activities?
*How can you make sure the unit wouldn't close again? Is it the nature of the area that there will never be that many members in the unit or would you need to recruit more than just former Guides? Was it just because of numbers it closed last time?
*Who else is able to help you with a "new" unit, can your existing team do it or is it just a bit too much extra to ask of them? Could you go it on your own- and would you want to (safe guarding and time)?

Consider that your request to start/reopen a unit may be rejected- I've seen this happen more than twice now in areas that arguably needed them. If this happens what do you do with the girls that stayed on?

I've been in a unit before that did a "senior patrol" but in that instance the Guides were not yet TSS age. It worked but took more effort than it first seemed on the surface- and this was without figuring out how to fit the Look Wider programme alongside the Guide one! Also sorry for the long post- I was once almost in your shoes but was turned down (but for goodish reasons).


Veteran (100+ posts)
I have had a 'Granger' patrol where some girls were finishing BP and others doing Look Wider. Basically, get them a Look Wider book and do things. Cooking usually goes down well! Unofficial challenge badges are good as they give something concrete to do, then fterwards you can slot them into phase 1s. pm me if you want to know more