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Cultural changes

Discussion in 'Question & Answers' started by badgemad4, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Just for fun!

    Volunteers who've been involved for more than ten years, what are some of the biggest changes/cultural shifts you've seen in Guiding?

    Looking for inspiration for the weekly discussions I have been looking over some older threads. It's interesting to see what were once "hot" topics are now barely mentioned, mainly because of social/culture shifts. Even from my own time in Guiding (on my 8th year as a volunteer) I've seen some changes in what's discussed. Examples include members being able to attend pride, having tattoos on show and units being able to use social media. Brownies camping still seems to be a divider though!

    I'm guessing that there are similar echos across time. What are some shifts that have been seen, or some topics that used to be controversial but are now the norm?
     
  2. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    I think a lot boils down to the rise of social media, people have so many more outlets to let fly with their opinions on so many issues, what gets raised on here seems pretty tame. The rise of Pride is significant, not because we have more leaders involved but because it gets more attention. Girlguiding attends most of the large events around the Country..
    The most significant change I've noticed and still does rankle locally is the 'politicisation' of Guiding. Guides Speaking out is one thing but not to the distraction of all else that we do...or that's how it appeared at one time. The message seems to have got through and other aspects of Guiding are getting more airtime now, but at one point we appeared to be a lobbying party for various causes...
     
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  3. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Asked my Grandma, she said the fuss/detail that used to be around what undergarments and socks/hosiery were worn with uniform would be seen as bizarre today for most units!
     
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  4. browniebeth

    browniebeth Brownie Leader Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    I agree with this. I've been volunteering just shy of 10 years so not sure I can comment though, but my observation from recent past has been exactly this. I don't recall lobbying parliament, attending select party conferences occuring when I was a guide (although maybe I was just not aware of it). It concerns me that by doing such things we risk jeopardising our neutral position - attend all or none. I think there's a real difference between educating about the work of parliament and marching in the streets, undertaking research about girls attitudes but without tapping into the resource at their fingertips.

    I also think that the role of CEO has changed radically. I don't recall Denise King being so public as the incumbent, who, from the get go ruffled feathers with her "ultimate feminist" guff.
     
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  5. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    Well, I wouldn't like to lay the blame at anyone in particular and we are or should be volunteer led. I think we have been ahead of the game in many ways and I don't object to many of the causes, but we do so much and I would like other aspects to get the recognition they deserve, particularly for TSS members who excel at their own particular pursuits.

    Sent from my SGP712 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  6. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    I find the politicization is on the verge of being a problem for me - and will be if it goes any further - because my work as a civil servant requires me to be seen to be neutral on relation to all party politics and political issues. If Guiding continues to involve itself in political campaigning then it may soon reach a stage where I and others have to choose between hobby, and work - and I couldn't afford to choose hobby . . .
     
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  7. growlywench

    growlywench Veteran (100+ posts)

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    'should' being the relevant word there, Quack!! I don't appreciate the politicisation either, and without a shadow of a doubt, it stems in part from the current CEO's personal interests. I do think things have begun to settle slightly, however, as her grasp of what guiding is actually about seems to finally be growing. Perhaps that's what happens when you don't get head hunted within a couple of years of starting a job, and realise you are going to have to stay.
     
  8. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I'm not sure how much I like the fact that we are now all 'volunteers' for a 'charity'.

    When I was first involved with Guiding we were 'members' of a 'movement'. To me the name movement suggests just that - that we are moving forward, that we have energy and motion and achieve things.

    While I fully understand that using the word charity helps the general public understanding we are voluntary it just doesn't sound as dynamic as being part of a movement.
     
  9. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Asked another leader who is more *mature* than I am, and has helped for over twenty years. She said volunteering with Guiding has become a bit more open, there used to be less Guiders with a unit and helping was more by "invitation only" than who is willing to help.

    I think there are still elements of this but not to the same extent.
     
  10. Willow

    Willow Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Great question!

    Not so much in the last ten years, but over the last 20+...

    • There is a more professional/consistent approach to many things now: an online Manual makes it easier for all to check things, the online print centre helps to make sure that posters, leaflets and badges follow the branding guidelines. The new recruitment checklists look great in helping to ensure that there is a uniform start for all new volunteers. I know that we still have byelaws, guidelines are not always followed etc but it feels like there is less variation by unit/District/Division/County.
    • There is more of a focus on PR (and I think the political discussions above are part of this). Girlguiding seems to be in the news much more (and generally in a positive way). It feels more contemporary, fresher, more responsive to the current needs of girls and young women, more appealing and more exciting - e.g. events like Wellies and Wristbands and the Big Gig, as well as the new programme.
    • Much greater youth involvement and participation in decision making at a national level.
    • As pointed out above, there has been a shift from 'member' to 'volunteer'. When I started most leaders in my District had both been involved for a very long time and stayed for a very long time. Now there are more people who start helping when their daughter enters a section and perhaps stay until she leaves that section or the next.
    • This goes hand in hand with a loss of many of the traditional elements. There is nothing about the history of Guiding in the LQ. The motto has been quietly dropped, and the left handshake is no longer as widely used (as mentioned in an earlier discussion). Lots of little things - we tend not to sign off 'Yours in Guiding', for example. In some ways, I think this can make it more welcoming: there are fewer special Guiding things to surprise newcomers, or to make them feel like outsiders, it feels less 'different' (and in some cases, frankly, less twee!). But at the same time traditions bind us together, make things different and special, and help people more involved.
    • Many more national/regional events and camps. Fewer Unit ones?
    • Fewer heated discussions about the Promise!
    • Uniform discussions remain fairly consistent ;-)
     
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  11. bagu

    bagu Veteran (100+ posts)

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    15-20 or so years ago I can remember the most-heated discussions being over:
    a) Guides being allowed to wear jeans!
    b) how radical it felt to camp with any sort of tent other than the traditional ridge. Those debates seem a long time ago now.
    c) why Guide section numbers were falling so much - which linked to (as well as the launch of a new Guide programme in 2000 and events such as the Big Gig)-
    d) should we just join with the Scouts as they now were taking girls.
    The whole Scout/Guide/what-is-purpose of our separate existence as a separate movement debates don't seem to happen so much now... Yet I do remember a time when it seemed to be quite a common belief that Guiding would either just be taken over by Scouting, or die out of its own accord because the girls would all just choose to join Scouts...
    We do though focus much more on "girls" as a distinct group and our role in supporting girls. "Girls in the lead", the change of our name to "Girlguiding" from Guide Association, "Girls speak out", campaigning on issues that affect girls - none of this was really in focus 20 years ago - I think this have evolved since the Scout Association became a mixed organisation - because we in Guiding have had to really look at and work out what makes us distinctive in our own right.
     
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  12. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I wonder if the change is in part because there are more roles that might not require being a member? I'm not saying I agree with it but it also saves some confusion and getting too wordy (see leadership team where not every one is a "leader") or making it seem like their are "tiers" to volunteering?
     
  13. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    Linked to this I was discussing uniform with someone, what are some of the "nicknames" that uniform has had over the years?

    I remember some leaders when I was small referring to a uniform as "Andy Pandy Shirt" (the JB one??). And the AC shirt/tunic definitely had some kind of nameā€¦
     
  14. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    We called the blue and white stripes, the nurses get up and the AC shirt were Tesco stripes....nothing compared to the air hostess hats we wore pre-JB...

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  15. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    You mean the deckchair, toothpaste, or half-sucked rock shirt?
     
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  16. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    I guess the big change for many over the last 20 years is networking. In the past the sources for programme ideas and info on how to run unit, was trainings and reference books. We had to use the handbooks, the books on camping and outdoor skills, plus our own imaginations. Now, there are online forums and online resources. Unofficial challenge badges were invented, and there is less use of the handbooks.

    As a result, there are fewer offline resources - fewer reference books than there used to be, fewer trainings being held (in my area at least) and handbooks are used far less. Which risks creating a two-tier set-up - where those who have access to the online resources have a wealth of material available (if, perhaps sometimes, too much), whereas those who don't have online access are denied much of this. And lack of online access can be a conscious choice, or can equally not be (no broadband available in location, cannot afford computer/smartphone, have not learned how to use computer, literacy/language issues etc).
     

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