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Question? Supporting my YLs

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
Hi,

I've just taken over a unit, which has at least 3 YLs which is an achievement seeing as the Guide numbers there have fallen to 4 (see my other posts about my growing the unit ideas)!

I'm really keen to make sure my YLs get the most out the unit and are involved in growing our unit. However, I've not been LinC before now, and I've not had YLs in the units I've been in apart from when I was one myself!

I'm having a chat with them by themselves at the start of the meeting this week to see what they think, but I'm also keen to hear what you gals have found works for your unit.

Interestingly, the YLs have been with the unit since its larger days, and the girls themselves have done things (one has an SS license indoor, and another outdoor I believe). So I dont want the motivation to drop.

The ideas I have had first of all is:
1) Let them redesign the unit noticeboard. I have purchased the Guide section scrapbooking kit to do so. This needs doing and is quite a fun task (I wouldnt have minded doing it myself tbh but I thought it would be a nice task to pass to them)...
2) I have the 'Becoming a Guide' booklets from here, and I thought that they could sort of mentor any new starts we have through the booklet and encourage them to think of cool ways to make their promise?
3) Get them to run some of the games/ sports on the sports night coming up....


I also have my assistant leader to consider, who is considering doing her LQ soon, and I need to make sure there's sufficient activities for her to achieve that so I don't want to give up everything to the YLs....

Oh and any ideas on how to support the YLs generally would help, I've just become County Senior Section advisor so I'm keen to connect to them in the YLs more generally....
 

culcheth1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
YLs are part of your Leadership Team - once they have completed the Young Leaders qualification it will count towards their ALQ. A copy of the YL qualification will give you ideas of the type of things they need to complete.

Ensure that they are invited to all planning meetings and encourage them to plan/deliver an activity of their own with the Guides.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#3
I would be careful of how you use any 'recruit' materials - in the Guide section there is no specific recruit training and no such thing as pre-Promise challenges, each individual is meant to make their Promise when they feel ready to - so it is usually several months before they have done the hard thinking to really understand what they are taking on and are ready to make the commitment - sometimes several years. If you use a booklet, then they can feel pressure to make their Promise once they have completed the booklet, whether they feel ready or not.

Because YLs are members of the leadership team, it's important that they are involved in the planning and running of unit activities, they can also help with some of the backroom work of the unit. They can work on the YL Qualification, and once they are turned 16 have the option of starting to work on the Adult Leadership Qualification. They should also receive support from the local YL Guider or Adviser, whichever you have in your area.
 

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#4
Hi,

That's the thing, I really want to make sure I support them being a YL as best as possible, whilst also appreciating that they have school pressures etc and dont overload them.

I should expand further though. There is an additional complication that there is a senior section unit officially meeting at the same time as the Guides. I got the impression that the YL role and the senior section as a unit have combined and currently they just join in with the Guides.

Last week was our first week back, and the first for me as a leader there (in fact all the adult leaders have changed). My DC, who is also my friend having being guiding at the same unit with her, came along to support me, and had highlighted the extraordinarily long list of YLs at the unit (7 on Go!). Our plan was to see who out this 7 were actually turning up. Then on arrival, I asked them how they saw themselves and what they wanted to be, a YL, senior section, or both.

Out the three, one was a definite 'YL'. One was a definite 'both', and one was unsure, didn't know really, and I think hadn't really thought about any other way than being a YL.Only the first however had heard about the YLQ, and none of them have started it or the LQ.

As it was the first week back, and I hadn't been sure who was coming, we just had a whole night together and that was fine. But, I'm saving the first 20-30mins to take them aside this week to concentrate on them whilst the AL runs the Guides.

Firstly, I want to really get them to decide if they want to be YL every week, or rota it around. Basically, I want them to know about the SS activities as technically they are down to do that. If they want to be YLs, I want them to give them the option of doing their YLQ/ LQ if they want to.

I know I should have already involved them in the planning session for the term, but I've only just taken over, and only got the paper records given to me 2 days before Guides, and GO switched over a week before...and I'd planned the term by them with my AL :s So I didnt know they existed then! Obviously I will involve them in planning future events/ terms, but for now I need to integrate them this term. So any idea as to how I can do that would be great.

I would normally consider opening up/ changing my term's programme...but I'm under added pressure that I've been brought in to save a dying unit, and the programme has to be extra special this term and has had many hours of deliberation. Add to that the fact that I have parents demanding to see the programme and monitoring it to check its good enough!!! :O However, i have decided that the YLs can plan and run the Paralympics inspired sports evening so they wont be bored this term!

As regards to recruit materials, I appreciate that there should not be a requirement to do a challenge before a promise, and I'm not making it a requirement. However, what I would say is that resources such as becoming a Guide can help a girl, and I find that especially the 10/11 year olds can respond well to added mentoring and support.

Lastly, I double checked, we don't have a county YL advisor or Guider role. The closest thing is the SS adviser, and that's me. :S
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#5
Okay, so what you have at the moment is almost a SS unit, but there is blurring about whether they are an SS unit, or just an unworkably large number of YLs. Because, even in a very large Guide unit, 7 YLs would be too many!

Is there a possibility of the SS group meeting separately - possibly in a side room, or in a corner of the hall - and doing their own thing? Ideally with at least one of the leaders focussing on them? Being realistic, you could only really have a maximum of 2 YLs at a time and them still have a reasonable turn at taking charge of things, especially if they wanted to work towards YL, and in due course ALQ qualifications - you could have pairs doing week about if need be.

I would suggest using this term as a settling-down term, where you work through a planned programme, build the Guide unit up, and sort out what the SS members want, and what you can offer them. That way you can have a new year-new start. It will also give you a chance to talk to those who opt to be YLs about what they want their role to be - and what skills they have to offer. Although you have the term already planned, there will be parts of it which you could hand over to them to plan.
 

culcheth1

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
Remember that YLs should have that role as their "Main Role" on GO - the Unit they are working with as a YL will be charged census for them............ just something to bear in mind. You don't want to have 7 YLs against one Unit if they are not really all fulfilling the role.
 

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
Remember that YLs should have that role as their "Main Role" on GO - the Unit they are working with as a YL will be charged census for them............ just something to bear in mind. You don't want to have 7 YLs against one Unit if they are not really all fulfilling the role.
Indeed, this is my concern. I'm attempting to arrange a leader to some in for the Senior section specifically for this problem, so that we can have the senior section break away with their own identity. There is certainly room for them. BUT, I dont want the girls who want to be YLs feel unsupported, so at the same time I am trying to find a a way to work with them as well...
 

guidingbear

Assistant guide guider
#8
I attened a 'grow a young leader' training which was very helpful. If you are the County SS advisor perhaps you could arrange for one? It was targeted at anyone who had a young leader attached to their unit.
 

chopperchick

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#9
Indeed, this is my concern. I'm attempting to arrange a leader to some in for the Senior section specifically for this problem, so that we can have the senior section break away with their own identity. There is certainly room for them. BUT, I dont want the girls who want to be YLs feel unsupported, so at the same time I am trying to find a a way to work with them as well...
You know the saying "too much of a good thing" ..... :)
I suppose if something other than "just" a YL, i.e. the other SS opportunities, was a new idea to many of them then you might have to run for a few weeks, even months, with a few more YL than is sensible for the average unit until they decide what they want to do. Obviously, they can do any combination of the options in theory ....... but in practice seven YL at one, small, guide unit are not going to get the real level of opportunities / exposure that they should. Are there any other local units (other sections) where they could be the YL - and then they come along to your SS unit meeting?
 

LittleMe88

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#10
I attened a 'grow a young leader' training which was very helpful. If you are the County SS advisor perhaps you could arrange for one? It was targeted at anyone who had a young leader attached to their unit.
What kind of things were covered in the Grow a YL training you went to? I have been thinking about the lack of such trainings in my county but not been sure what to cover/do?
 

guidingbear

Assistant guide guider
#12
The shock for us was that we as leaders were responsible for helping them with their YLQ - we thought it was done at SS, and discovered that it wasn't. We don't have a local YL coordinator either. I'm trying really hard at district level too. I just hope I get some results!

Maybe try talking to your county training team, or the region training team. I would imagine it was a standard template?
 

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#13
Thanks for all your help ladies, and those links were great culcheth...there was a useful guide for unit leaders with LiTs in their unit. It looks like I will have 3 'core' YLs, one of whom will likely leave next year when she goes uni. I'm going to try and get one to help each week on a rota I think, and the other 2 work on SS stuff or plan their YL/ LQ work. I've managed to sort a half leader for them as well whoop whoop which takes the pressure off me to be in 2 places at once.
My Guides is only temporarily small... I'm on a mission! Looks like I've managed to arrange for 6 Brownies to come up over the term so that would already grow us to 10, and I have a hopeful recruitment event this Sunday :) Plus, I've just found out about a Brownie unit with no Guide unit anymore up the road...so potentially I have 2 feeder units :D
 

dawn

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#14
The shock for us was that we as leaders were responsible for helping them with their YLQ - we thought it was done at SS, and discovered that it wasn't. We don't have a local YL coordinator either. I'm trying really hard at district level too. I just hope I get some results!

Maybe try talking to your county training team, or the region training team. I would imagine it was a standard template?
Hi I am a Trainer in Midlands and we are putting together a mini-training pack for YLs and the Leaders.

Which County/region are you from as what you attending might help us with our pack?

I am alsodoing a training session on 17th at Worcester County with YLs and Leaders working on the YLQ
 

Diamond

Veteran (100+ posts)
#15
This is in some ways a nice problem to have.
However it does show that the old rule that units could only have 2 YLs made sense. As this could not have happened then.
I actually miss some rules it made life easier if things were black and white.