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Offering a District Pack Holiday (Kinda)


SGP Enthusiast
Hi all,

We're starting to plan our Pack Holiday for next year, and the one place I would really like to offer is quite expensive, and for a group of 20 it's far too cost prohibitive (Yes, we do fund raise, but don't get enough to make it a lot cheaper) 30 girls would ideally make it an 'acceptable' price for what would be on offer, but i'm in two minds about offering it to another unit.

So, there are 2 other Brownie groups in our district, one does their own residentials and is going to France next year, the other is a smaller group where the leaders have no Going Away with License. They have a very low number of girls who won't get the opportunity to go on pack holidays with their group and are a very small group.

My thoughts are (And this is where I would like your advice!)

1. Run a trip for just my Brownies to another centre where it's cheaper?

2. Run a trip to the larger centre and offer the spaces to the smaller unit who don't do residentials?

Now, i'd like to do 2, however this leaves me in a bit of a dilemma - I don't want it to seem like i'm trying to poach their girls. I have a waiting list of 15, they have a lot of spaces and they're 3 mins down the road, but I don't want it to seem as though i'm trying to prove my group is better by taking them away for the weekend as I don't have space. (Also, we've tried to persuade my waiting list to go there, but as they're all Rainbows then they're not actually waiting for a space at this moment!)

But am I going to make the girls expect a residential either with me or with their group each year which I don't think they will get? Obviously I'm only considering inviting them so I can take my girls to a specific place with bigger activities and buildings than the other options!

What are your thoughts? What would you do?


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
Talk to your DC and explain your dilemma...she may be able to act as 'go between' and phrase it to the smaller unit that you'd like to go to venue A but don't have sufficient numbers ...why don't they ask if they can join you ?

There are positives from their side too...their girls get a PH...their leaders get experience that may encourage them to do their qualification....Being seen as a unit that does stuff may encourage others to join their unit...

So long as the rules of engagement are laid out from the start there shouldn't be a problem. ie one year only, both units contribute to roles/jobs/activity planning etc, you have the same policies on last minute bookings/drop outs etc so no one unit/ individual is bearing the brunt of the task or gives the girls a preferential deal...


Beginner (10+ posts)
We did this for taking our Brownies to Deep Sea World. There are definitely pros and cons, but in the end the girls had a great experience that we otherwise wouldn't have been able to offer, and both the girls and leaders got to see other people in the Guiding world. As Quack says, make sure communication and expectations are clear from the start.


Veteran (100+ posts)
We had a small number of places tht we ofered to another unit. I explained that we didn't want to poach the girls, but had spare places to fill, and asked if they would like them. The other unit were fine about it. For four weeks beforehand, the girls attended both units, to get used to the leaders and to make friends with our girls - we didn't charge them, and made it clear that it was a short term arrangement, purely to help the girls get to know everyone (they didn't have a leader attending PH).

It worked well. We didn't have any wanting to transfer to us (we don't have spaces anyway, and I had explained that it wasn't an option). The girls had a great time.

I'd offer the places, especially of you have a good relationship with the other unit. Speak to the leaders and ask their opinion, making it clear that there are no places within your unit on offer, just on the pack holiday.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I regularly run joint holidays and camps because I was on my own and now have only a semi-retired assistant. To be able to offer residential events, I had to build a team and that meant bringing in other packs' Guiders, so they naturally wanted to bring some of their own girls. It works well and shows the girls there are other Brownies out there.


Brown Owl (x2)
I just ran a residential with my girls who meet on Mondays, and had spaces spare. It was going to be more cost effective to fill those places, so offered 8 places to the oldest girls at the Friday pack. They met me and the other leaders at the parent meeting (although some knew me as I'd run the unit previously, and knew my assistant leader as she'd only recently moved over from that unit.)

There was no expectation of them changing to our unit, and their leaders are not qualified to take away yet, so it was a good way to offer them the opportunity.


I would talk to the Leaders of the other unit and give them the chance to say yes or no. Maybe their thoughts are turning to residentials and they'd love the chance to learn more about how to plan and run them, and would like to be able to offer their girls the opportunity. Maybe they would feel It's not for them, or that the timing is right - but if you have offered and they decline then you don't need to worry about being the Joneses.
In my District, we have undertaken a number of District pack holidays or sleepovers. It gives the girls a chance to meet other Brownies and allows the leaders to share the workload and the experience. We plan the event as a team & all of the expectations are set out then. I've made some good friends through these joint events.


SGP Enthusiast
Just as an fyi, we have decided not to do this this year, but we're going to offer a district trip to a Science Museum instead this year.