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Starting University


Brownie and Rainbow Leader
Hi, I'm Charlie. I've been in Guiding for quite a few years now after joining as a Brownie when I was eight years old. I just started university but I'm still living at home. My Mum runs a Brownie unit which I have been working with since I was a pack leader. I still go to regular senior section meetings but I now have a lecture until 6pm on our Brownie meeting days which means I can no longer attend meetings. It's really got me down as I feel like I'm not involved any more. I have taken over the units administration, writing letters and doing registers, plus I still go on trips. However, I don't feel like I know the girls any more as we've had a few new members join in September which I haven't met yet. They're having a movie night on their next meeting and it's got me down that I can't be there. I'm going on a trip with the Brownies on Saturday as a leader but I'm not sure how it's going to go if I don't know the new girls. Please help as it's really got me down.

P.S. Sorry it's so long!


Regular (50+ posts)
Hello :)

The main thing that I would ask is, how long will your lectures stay like that for? I have only just finished my degree, and my lectures usually changed every term when my modules changed. You might not always have them until 6pm, and it wouldn't be so bad if it was just for this term.


Brownie and Rainbow Leader

I honestly don't know how long my lectures are going to stay like this I guess I'm a little worried that I'll no longer know the girls.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I was in the same position with rainbows where i had left and when i visited there were newbies.
What i found though that there is always some of the older ones who talk about you and the newbies sort of knew you already and when i went back, it wasnt too bad

Im sure you're lectures will change next term, i know mine do all the time!


Depending on your workload, you could talk to the Commissioner about offering occasional help to other units - an extra helper for outings, or helping other units on a one-off basis so a leader can have a night off. It can be a great way of picking up ideas from other people, getting to know other leaders in the District, and finding out about the other sections - you would be able to give the older Brownies some up-to-date gen on the fun things the local Guides get up to!


Veteran (100+ posts)
Firstly good luck with Uni - that'a big change even if you have managed to stay living at home.

how about writing to the Brownies and telling them what life is like for you now. Maybe they could look at doing the Computer badge with your support - one of the first parts is to send an email which they could send to you. We've set up a gmail account in the unit name so that all leaders can access & emails go to parents email addresses (Guides can include their own email accounts, but a copy still goes to the parent).

If they like doing the computer badge can you do others or provide suggestions on which badges they do next? Or could you have a "mail" system - other leaders collect in/hand out challenges or notes to & from you to the girls. When my daughter was away from home, she managed to stay with the Unit (& take her Camp licence) via email & skype - the Guides really enjoyed the challenge of using "modern" technology!! I often find that I don't have enough time to find out what badges they want to do - I know the noisy ones choices but not the quieter girls - by sending emails & notes individually the quieter ones really got to have more attention & the noisy ones still felt that they were being heard too.

It must be hard when you are coming in & hearing about what you have missed, so try to think about how you could give them more opportunities - it might take new ones a little while to get use to but maybe this time next year you'll be back at weekly meetings with a whole bunch of Brownies that have gained extra badges & skills because of the individual support you offered :)
I started my guiding when I started university; the local volunteering scheme found the unit and I started my leadership qualification. I'm now in my third year and I did have a big break but between that I acted like a helper for any activities outside the unit; especially with outside trips and things like that. The girls still knew who I was and now, my arrangements at university has changed so I am now back at the unit. As long as you maintain a relationship by popping in to say hello or going on trips/parades, it is really flexible. I worried too when I left but got straight back into it when I went back and still love it now :)