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Changes to TSS

Discussion in 'General Guiding' started by badgemad4, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    With the new information on changes to TSS now live on the website I wondered what others (particularly TSS members and leaders) think of the changes, and what they want to put forward with the consultations.

    My opinion:
    It's great that there has been a generous transition period, and that the changes have been clearly marked, all based on feedback from members. I also like that the section is going to become more defined programme wise, and that there could potentially be a new name (would love to get rid of the clunky "TSS Member" phrasing).

    Sadly I have already seen disappointment from leaders who are worried about the future of their units, or members who cannot commit to leadership roles feeling like they might be edged out of Guiding- even one post from a Trefoil Guild member stating that they don't want a sudden influx of 19 YOs (not very friendly and the post was removed after a few people pointed that out).

    I wonder how this will impact the Guide units that tend to retain members until they are about 16? Hopefully this change will help get rid of the culture of unneeded retention (where it is because progression is not encouraged rather than because of member needs). I can imagine some units may suddenly have several UHs at their TSS units- but this could be a genuine chance to inspire young women into leadership roles they hadn't previously considered possible.

    I am also sure it will be explained in due course but I am a little confused over how it mentions QGA and Peer Education. Is it just that members 18-25 can still do them, in addition to TSS members- or that they will become an exclusive 18-25 opportunities?
     
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  2. Foxi

    Foxi Guide Guider

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    Hi Badgemad, I am trying to find the page with this info but can't find it. Please would it be possible to do a link to it?
     
  3. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    We're going on a journey

    Hopefully this works! :)

    This covers all coming changes, and there is a link to the TSS specific.
     
  4. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    First thought - other than in the case of girls with special needs, Guide units shouldn't have girls who are, or are approaching, 16. The Guide programme is designed to last for the 4 years from 10-14. 10-14 is already a wide enough age group as it is, covering the full span from still-very-much-child through to choosing-exam-subjects-for career teen, potentially 2 years off being a parent themselves.

    Second thought - so far this is just the proposals to be trialled. Nothing is set in stone, nothing is decided. Maybe the trials will go as expected and things will end up similar to some of what is in the pilot material. Maybe the results of the pilots will lead to wholesale changes to the plans, and to large areas of the proposals being changed or dropped altogether. So I'd encourage everyone to look at it calmly, not to panic about anything that is currently amongst the suggestions, but to feed back our own views, but especially the views of our unit members - especially if they don't exactly match our views. Because in many ways, their views are more important than ours.
     
  5. Foxi

    Foxi Guide Guider

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    Thanks Badgemad. At the moment it looks all positive. I do hope there is some scope for the Guides section to do something similar to the Go For Its as they learn so much from having to plan, do an activity and evaluate as a group.
     
  6. Sunny2nd

    Sunny2nd Guide and Ranger Leader GuiderPlus

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    I've found that most of the Rangers (TSS) do tend to naturally leave around the 18 mark - going away to uni etc. Hopefully Unis will be encouraged to host/support SSAGO or whatever the new 18+ age range is offering? We do have some who don't go away but they tend to naturally migrate to leader roles if they want to stay in Guiding.
     
  7. Trinny

    Trinny Veteran (100+ posts)

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    The changes to SS are completely understandable, and in my experience it's what everyone has been saying for years.
    The rest of the programme - we don't have many details but I think more of a progression would be good, maybe we can even get a badge matrix like the Girls Scouts of America/clear interest badge progression. It's interesting that the six themes are the same as the Look Wider themes (without leadership and international).
    I quite like the Brownie Adventures programme now, but I can understand why it's changing.

    Can't wait to get more details!
     
  8. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    It would be great if SSAGO actually covered all types of full-time students. For many years their focus seems to have been fully on University students, and College Students have been entirely neglected. If that doesn't change it will have implications.
     
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  9. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I think that's in part because of what some universities request for SSAGO club affiliation. When our club became affiliated the university had terms that meant we had to have a bank account that was through the student union, and non members of that university had to pay a fee to be an associate member of the SU.

    I did read somewhere since starting this thread that we may move to a system similar to Scout Network.
     
  10. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Changing the age group sounds like a good idea to me. To be honest, despite being a Guide leader I know next to nothing about the TSS. We only have 1 or 2 groups in our town and I'm not even aware of what sort of programme they follow. When I was a Guide there was very little in our area for Rangers (as they then were) so I stayed on at Guides till I was 16 as sort of Young Leader.

    Look forward to hearing about the SS relaunch. ( I've always thought it was an unfortunate name- you either shorten it to the SS who were a particularly nasty branch of the German army during the 2nd WW or TSS which is short for Toxic Shock Syndrome!)

    A clear idea of the 'brand' and what they will be doing would be great and I think will really help as a way to keep those older girls involved and challenged but still age relevant.
     
  11. guiderlinda

    guiderlinda Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Thanks for this - it doesn't really hit our girls because our Rainbow/Brownie/Guide meets at the village hall don't extend any further. We've tried to link to the group in town but generally everyone we're aware of that stays in Guiding is a young leader.

    Every so often we get someone back 10 years later, possibly with daughter in tow to be added to the joining list, but not as often as we'd like. I'll discuss this with the other leaders to make sure our feedback is heard nationally.

    Dare I suggest that Rangers would be a good name for a 14-18 group?
     
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  12. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I think Rangers would be a good name. At the moment I run Guides but could easily see myself being drawn to running a group for 14-18year olds too.

    Not everyone who wants to stay on in Guiding wants to be a Leader - some girls may just want to carry on guiding and doing guide activities, just a bit more challenging and at a level to suit their age.

    At the moment I see the Senior Section as a feeder to becoming a leader. While some girls may want to do this, others, especially those doing exams may just want to have guiding there as a welcome distraction from school work. Yes, leadership skill are important but I feel those who gradually come to leadership will make better leaders in the long term, than those who feel a leadership role is the only way they can stay on and be a part of Guiding.

    I also think there are a lot of Guides who are put off TSS because they think it's only about training to be a leader. I think many more would stay on or come back(!) if it became more about 'Guiding - but just for Older Girls'.
     
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  13. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    In my area, Senior Section is quite the opposite - it is doing activities and working towards Octants, and there isn't any 'training for Leader' about it.

    I think that one of the difficulties is that in the past Young Leader and Ranger were separate groupings. Individuals could choose to be both, but could equally choose one or the other. It meant that those who wished to train for Leadership could focus on that, those who wanted challenges for themselves could choose that path. Since they were lumped in together, though it was meant to increase choice, it has in some cases lessened it.
     
  14. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    It's great that we are discussing this on here but please remember to pass your thoughts on through the official website and channels too. If we don't let them know what we all think they won't know any better.
     
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  15. Glimfeather

    Glimfeather Beginner (10+ posts)

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    I'm another one that would choose Rangers as the name. I've always thought The Senior Section was awfully clunky. I've signed our (tiny) unit up as activity testers and intend to make sure we have our say on everything
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I have read these comments with interest, I am one of those Guiders who has "Guides" up to the age of 18! and have had for many years. I run 3 Units a week because i can't get anybody else to run one. ( not just me, the whole district- by 2018 we estimate that half our Units will be gone anyway because many of us are in our 60's) I'm also a Div Com and do D of E. I did run a senior section unit for about 3 years but a fourth night was just too much. I don't kick anybody out of Guides and do tell them where there are small Senior section Units in the city, some not too far away but they don't go. I don't hang on to them, if they want to go they can but if they want to stay I am not saying leave.I do give them the Senior section programme and they sit and work on it, although to put it bluntly they think the manual is terrible, as and when they feel like it. I run sessions specifically for them some weeks ( at their request) opting out of Guides and leaving the actual running to my other Leaders. As a Guide Unit we only do 2 GFI's a year and often do activities that the older girls want to attend/join in. They also want to act as Young leaders sometimes and not others, I'm okay with that. My girls tend to leave when they go off to University, some come back. I have 3 currently at University who the week they finish the term are straight back with what are we doing this week? I have another who was on the phone last night, she was coming home next week and wanted to know if I needed help with the Scout Post.

    In this District there are currently 5 of my older "Guides" in leadership roles, having come back after UNi. Without them the Units would close and there are several others acting as Leaders in different parts of the country. Only this week I had a phone call from a Unit leader in London, saying Cap I have to do this..... I can't think of a game, any suggestions. There are currently 6 of my "Guides" acting as Young leaders but they also come every week to Guides.

    If someone wants to stay in Guiding we should accommodate it. I am forever asking my girls what do you want to do, how do you want to do it. If they don't want to go some where else I am not telling them to go.

    As for the changes, the current Senior Section programme is too complicated in my experience. The 3 different sections on each of the octants puts them off. I always remember being told that Seniors ( whilst we are on it what an awful name- makes them sound like Senior citizens)are just Rainbows with wheels. I don't quite agree with that but my lot just enjoy physical games, making things, eating and cooking. As one recently said when we were going through the Octant file some of the suggestions in here are more boring than the thought of doing my chemistry homework. We just want to have fun not do more school work.

    I think change is needed for both Guides and Senior section. I know Guiding seems to want to go down the advocacy, political line more and more but my girls come into it to have fun, make a mess, do crazy things they can't do in front of the boys and eat. They will do a bit about what is going on in the world, looking at local issues but they go to schools where this is pushed at them all the time, they just want to have fun, it's their one night off.
     
  17. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    :D:D
    Perfect! If I was 16 again I'd sign up for this!
     
  18. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    So it's effectively a joint Guide/Senior Section unit, you've just chosen not to register it as such. Curious to know how it works for the younger girls - how easy it is to cater for the 'just-tens', whether the 13-14s get to run their Patrols autonomously with so many former PLs around?
     
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  19. yorkie

    yorkie Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Yes I suppose it is Fenris. To respond to your other point which is very valid:-

    Each patrol picks their patrol leader at the beginning of each year so it is not unheard of for us to have a 10 year old as Patrol leader. In fact probably our best ever was a 10 year old ( both she and her seconder also 10 are currently leaders at a Brownie Unit and a Guide Unit and another member of the Patrol helps at 3 Units and they are all brilliant). We have tried picking Patrol leaders but for us it doesn't work and any way somewhere it says they should be allowed to pick. We also change our Patrols every year giving the girls a choice of two people they want to be in a Patrol with. It allows them some choice and us to manipulate things if things are not working although generally they stay where they are placed the first year. We usually have no more than 3 academic years in a patrol because by the 4th year the girls are beginning to want to be with their peers so the transition to Seniors tends to happen naturally- it's just a different programme.

    The Unit is run for the Guides and the Seniors join in when they want but have their own section of room and don't interfere with the Guides unless they are running something. For example last week everyone, seniors included ( their choice, after all it was food) made 2 different types of sweets/fudge and hot chocolate from scratch. The girls rotated round the tasks in their patrols and the Seniors were just part of that rotation. Next week the Guides have several things to finish whilst the Seniors are doing something completely different and then they are running a volley ball competition for the whole Unit. The following week everyone is going ice skating including the girls coming back from Uni. In January when we get back the Guides will be doing a GFI and the older girls working on their octants- some in the Unit some out ( don't have any poles for pole dancing in the Guide hall!).

    I don't know what it should be classed as but it works for us, I can't give anymore time to guiding- this week out every night- next week out every night not to mention the prep and shopping. Although one or two people have said they will run a Senior Unit it's never happened, basically I do the best I can.
     
  20. Pixielation

    Pixielation Brown Owl (x2)

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    My daughter has just moved from Guides to a Ranger unit, however it seems like it's combined with a guide unit (not the one she was in). She didn't actually want to leave guides because she loved it so much, but is now talking about how her Ranger unit is doing Guide things - slightly ironic! She's not been there long enough to know if they plan independently though, so I'll wait and see how their pow wow pans out.

    I would love her to have experienced the Rangers that I had when I was young. In Australia when I was going up Ranger Guides was 15 - 18, and Rangers was 19 - 25. We were a very active group, with a lot of outdoors activities, abseiling, camping, canoeing, etc. We had a lot of big regattas with other Ranger units. It was my favourite part of all my guiding as it was the most active. It also included a lot of staffing roles at national and international camps.

    I can understand the 19-25 year old age group dropping off though - I myself went to uni and only remotely interacted with my Ranger unit until I moved to New Zealand when I was 21, and I never really went back.

    I hope the new TSS does model itself on an active, fun and challenging framework that the girls really want to be part of.
     

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