• Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread

Weekly Discussion: One step more towards independence

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
Or helping girls make the move from one section to the next.

Moving section for some girls is easy all the way through. Maybe they've been desperate to join in with the "big girls" after a visit to the unit, are the last in their friendship group to make the move or they are just emotionally more ready for the next section. When they get there they quickly settle in and Guiding life goes on.
Other girls have slight hiccups or require a bit of extra support, maybe they have gone to the unit that isn't the natural "feeder" one or its later than they have been used to but they get there. And for some moving is a very big step filled with change. Some who struggle will then decide to leave Guiding.

Some times we can predict the girls that will struggle and sometimes we can't but there do seem to be somethings that as leaders we can do.
We have already discussed retention in Guiding
Weekly Discussion: Retention from Rainbows to TSS and this won't be relevant for all of us as some haven't had the below section locally or don't have the next section/not all girls can make the next section Weekly Discussion: There will be no stopping in Yellow or Blue Land

What are your tips, stories and more for supporting the move to the next section when it is "guaranteed", when a girl has moved up to you or is in the process of preparing to move up?
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#2
  • Don't talk about 'if you join Brownies/Guides/Rangers', talk about 'when you join Brownies/Guides/Rangers'. Helps to make it seem like the natural progression it is.
  • At District events, point out the Leaders from the next section, so your girls get to know them by sight.
  • If possible, arrange for Leaders from the next section to help out on outings, or on a night when you are shorthanded - means the girls get to meet the Leaders of the next unit on neutral ground. You can reciprocate.
  • Avoid section silos for District events where you can - if your events are for 5-8, 9-12 and 12+ then it means the girls are meeting the younger ones from the next section. (Also allows the Leaders from the different sections to meet up too).
  • Within the District, arrange that, once or twice a year, each of the Brownie, Guide or Ranger units in the District has a night when they invite the girls who will be old enough to move up soon, to one of their meetings.
  • Utilise the opportunities the new programme offers - could you hold a District Day where you cover the camp Skills Builder for each section, for example, at a local campsite, field or park ? The girls could move around in groups according to the level they are working on, and rotate round the activities.
 

Willow

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
  • Don't talk about 'if you join Brownies/Guides/Rangers', talk about 'when you join Brownies/Guides/Rangers'. Helps to make it seem like the natural progression it is.
  • At District events, point out the Leaders from the next section, so your girls get to know them by sight.
  • If possible, arrange for Leaders from the next section to help out on outings, or on a night when you are shorthanded - means the girls get to meet the Leaders of the next unit on neutral ground. You can reciprocate.
  • Avoid section silos for District events where you can - if your events are for 5-8, 9-12 and 12+ then it means the girls are meeting the younger ones from the next section. (Also allows the Leaders from the different sections to meet up too).
  • Within the District, arrange that, once or twice a year, each of the Brownie, Guide or Ranger units in the District has a night when they invite the girls who will be old enough to move up soon, to one of their meetings.
  • Utilise the opportunities the new programme offers - could you hold a District Day where you cover the camp Skills Builder for each section, for example, at a local campsite, field or park ? The girls could move around in groups according to the level they are working on, and rotate round the activities.
A District Skills Builder day sounds like a brilliant idea - I'm going to suggest that! Thank you :)
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#4
Personally:
(Note I do Brownies where there is no specific feeder Rainbow unit but about half the girls have attended a Rainbow unit. There are two local Guide units with one linked to us).

R-B has worked well so far by just saying what its similar to them when we explain how we do things at Brownies. Such as when we have a pow wow it's like Rainbow chat, the promise is similar etc.I think the new programme will help with having a shared language. If we had a natural feeder unit we'd have organised visits.
B-G the Guide unit allows girls to visit them, which helps them by having met the leaders, get used to different dynamics/ more independence and their future fellow Guides. We also offer girls an extra term at Brownies if they think it would be beneficial as a standard , anything after this is at the discretion of the leadership team. A bored girl is a disruptive one and we don't want girls coming just because it fits in with the parents routine but she doesn't want to be there.

I think avoiding too late transitions or "cold" transitions (no previous contact with the unit or much preparation) can make transferring harder than it needs to be. The way sections are set up they more or less avoid key life changes, most Rainbows will have had a few months at school, Brownies aren't too close to SATS (not sure if these are used outside of England?) and when most change schools, and the move to Rangers is before they start CGSEs etc. In my experience if girls are too close to these it can be overwhelming for them or that it makes a nice "natural end point" from continuing with Guiding, especially if they don't know anything about the new unit.

Even if you can't arrange a visit, are some girls from the next section up happy to come and run some activities or chat to the oldest girls? Can you run some activities based around finding about the next section or have some materials to look at?

I also think that to some extent we need to avoid feeding the myth that with the right action by leaders all girls would stay in Guiding. Some girls personality and motivations just don't fit with Guiding, not everywhere has the choice of alternatives units to progress on to and other activities can take precedence especially as they get older. I had a great Brownie that would have made a great sixer and I know she would have flourished as she went on. Mum was also great. But she was offered the chance to join a county junior sports team, and every day has some sort of practice. She is a very social and busy girl, lone Guiding wouldn't have fitted into her life or be right for what she got out of Guiding.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#5
Personally:
(Note I do Brownies where there is no specific feeder Rainbow unit but about half the girls have attended a Rainbow unit. There are two local Guide units with one linked to us).

R-B has worked well so far by just saying what its similar to them when we explain how we do things at Brownies. Such as when we have a pow wow it's like Rainbow chat, the promise is similar etc.I think the new programme will help with having a shared language. If we had a natural feeder unit we'd have organised visits.
B-G the Guide unit allows girls to visit them, which helps them by having met the leaders, get used to different dynamics/ more independence and their future fellow Guides. We also offer girls an extra term at Brownies if they think it would be beneficial as a standard , anything after this is at the discretion of the leadership team. A bored girl is a disruptive one and we don't want girls coming just because it fits in with the parents routine but she doesn't want to be there.

I think avoiding too late transitions or "cold" transitions (no previous contact with the unit or much preparation) can make transferring harder than it needs to be. The way sections are set up they more or less avoid key life changes, most Rainbows will have had a few months at school, Brownies aren't too close to SATS (not sure if these are used outside of England?) and when most change schools, and the move to Rangers is before they start CGSEs etc. In my experience if girls are too close to these it can be overwhelming for them or that it makes a nice "natural end point" from continuing with Guiding, especially if they don't know anything about the new unit.

Even if you can't arrange a visit, are some girls from the next section up happy to come and run some activities or chat to the oldest girls? Can you run some activities based around finding about the next section or have some materials to look at?

I also think that to some extent we need to avoid feeding the myth that with the right action by leaders all girls would stay in Guiding. Some girls personality and motivations just don't fit with Guiding, not everywhere has the choice of alternatives units to progress on to and other activities can take precedence especially as they get older. I had a great Brownie that would have made a great sixer and I know she would have flourished as she went on. Mum was also great. But she was offered the chance to join a county junior sports team, and every day has some sort of practice. She is a very social and busy girl, lone Guiding wouldn't have fitted into her life or be right for what she got out of Guiding.
Nobody has a specific feeder unit. There may happen to be a unit which meets in the same premises, or have the same number, but all Rainbows/Brownies/Guides should have equal status when transitioning, with no preference for those from one unit over those from another. We should seek to have good links with all the units in our area, not just the immediate neighbours.
 

Jenefer

Regular (50+ posts)
#6
Nobody has a specific feeder unit. There may happen to be a unit which meets in the same premises, or have the same number, but all Rainbows/Brownies/Guides should have equal status when transitioning, with no preference for those from one unit over those from another. We should seek to have good links with all the units in our area, not just the immediate neighbours.
I agree but a lot of parents seem to want their daughter to attend the Brownie unit that meets in the same hall as the Rainbows. We are a Brownie unit on our own and have space. The units with Rainbows are oversubscribed but parents are reluctant to make the short journey to us, saying they want Flossie to stay with her friends. The Rainbow leaders do suggest us but many parents prefer to wait for a place to become available.

Guide places can be a problem too. The nearest unit gave preference to those who had been in thir Brownies. We now have a good relationship with another unit who will take our girls.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
We don’t have any preference/priority for our WTJ list based on being in Rainbows/ a certain Rainbow unit. Those who were Rainbows don’t seem to come from the same or certain units, and some of the units that they went to are far out of division or up to half an hour away by car. The closest unit to us is still two villages over and have a choice of several Brownie units local to them on different nights. It’s not that we have anything against them but there is a limit to how many units we can realistically work with for transitions, especially when we might only have one girl a year moving from them. We can see them at joint events and offer girls the opportunity to visit us before joining.

Likewise we let parents know about the variety of Guide units in the area, but they all pick the one that meets after us in the same place.
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#8
I agree but a lot of parents seem to want their daughter to attend the Brownie unit that meets in the same hall as the Rainbows. We are a Brownie unit on our own and have space. The units with Rainbows are oversubscribed but parents are reluctant to make the short journey to us, saying they want Flossie to stay with her friends. The Rainbow leaders do suggest us but many parents prefer to wait for a place to become available.
Exactly this. I have parents who would prefer their daughter sits on our waiting list (and not attending Rainbows) for up to a year rather than travelling to the two nearest groups - each a 5 min drive in opposite direction who have space and could take instantly!!!
 

Squirrel-Nutkin

The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
#9
when girls leave say things like 'cant wait to see you at the next district event looking big and grown up in your brownie uniform and can show me some of the new badges you have done' :D [actually sad if girl moves to next section in another district as then rarely get to see them again... our district boundaries are quite close and this does happen couple of times a year - however just makes division events even more special]

also doing district events and seeing girls in all sections really helps, just talking about other sections, talking about the 'next' steps so that they are prepared and ready and understand what the next steps are [although lots of my mums were brownies themselves and it was 'rainbows' that was new to mums... not brownies.. so on many occasions transition from rainbows to brownies isn't an issue at all...] I make time at district events to also speak to girls I recognise in brownies and guides and try to talk to them in front of my rainbows, so the rainbows get to see how much someone has enjoyed the transition...

I do rainbows, and we also invite brownie leaders to come do a 'chat' with our girls a couple of times a year (and brownie leader stands in as back up helpers occasionally so are also then a familar face to the girls). The brownie units that my rainbows feed into do regular do 'parties' or special events that the older girls organise and plan and invite my older rainbows along to. I love going to these and seeing some of our old rainbows from a few years ago... I am the main feeder rainbow unit into 3 brownie units in our district and also feed into a couple in nearby districts... other rainbow unit in district leaders are same rainbows/brownies so girls often transition from rainbows to brownies at same venue with same leaders and 'transition' is more familiar for them

I would recommend talking about transitions and how to improve at district meetings, for getting everyone involved really helps. We've got fairly good retention in our district and I think leaders working with each other and district events have certainly helped with this. I also try to 'transition' girls to the brownie unit that is lowest in girl numbers, to help units equally and evenly...

Where leaders 'do' both sections helps too, as then a familiar face... or where one section follows on from another in same venue, as girls see older girls coming in and also see next section leaders so they become familiar faces

on an aside... have one girl who shows autistic traits/gets anxious about change and is anxious about moving to brownies and I will be popping into her new brownie unit a few times to be a familar face to help settle her in the next section. Sometimes extra support is needed, when 'caring for the individual'
 
Last edited:

turnip

Veteran (100+ posts)
#10
We have two brownie units that meet in the same place on different nights. One of them is the same night as rainbows. That one has a huge waiting list. The one on a different night has plenty of spaces for an immediate start. We still can’t get girls to move to the other night, even when the waiting list for the same night was up to a year! So I can well imagine the difficulties getting them to change venue as well.

It does help when girls move up with friends or where they already know some girls who have recently moved up. A bunch of 10 year olds running and shouting are scary to a just turned 7 year old. But those same 10 year olds are intimidated by a crowd of teenage Guides.

We do several joint events with the Guide unit that most of my Brownies go to, including a residential, so they get to know the Guide leader and some of the Guides. We write to the parents of the girls due to move up to let them know about the Guide unit we feed into and that there are other local units available if the night doesn’t suit.