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Guiding for all

#1
I got talking to a Guide Guider recently and she mentioned that they have run an international trip for Guides who can afford it.

When I asked about fundraising she said that if they want to they can fundraise but it's not compulsory.

This made me so sad. :-(

International trips are almost always £400+. At schools if there's a school trip they always make sure that families that can't afford are subsidised in some way.

Please restore my faith in humanity and tell me that most unit's expect a minimum percentage fundraised per Guide for trips over a certain cost?

Not highlighting families that are unable to pay and also ensuring that Guides that attend these trips and all worked equally as hard to get there.

Do you ensure that Guiding is for all?
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#2
There is no expectation. If a unit is running an international trip the unit leaders responsibility is to ensure that it is economically viable, ie there are enough participants willing to cover the costs. Whether that is via participating in unit fundraising or by private means, that is up to the unit leaders to decide. I don't many units that would suggest and run an international that didn't include some form of fundraising so such as bag packing, whereby those attending and doing the work get a greater proportion than those not participating.

The subsidies have to come from somewhere and again it comes down to what each unit/Districts resources are. Some areas may have funds to subsidise individual girls, some may only subsidise selected trips from a County or Region. It is unfair for a 'wealthy' unit to run trips which exclude their less fortunate members but there are always situations where girls cannot attend everything no matter what the background is. It is hard on families with two or three girls involved. The secret is to provide a range of events so all girls get the opportunity to do something. If more expensive events are planned then giving notice and budget planning is essential.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#3
Whilst I try to ensure that basic Guiding is affordable (subs are termly but can be paid in weekly instalments, we offer to source nearly new uniform if parents wish, all outings run on unit meeting nights are covered by the subs/unit funds) - fact is that Guiding is a charity and cannot be entirely free of cost. So we cannot actually make Guiding available to all, nevertheless we try to ensure the basics are affordable and offer good value for money.

International trips, whilst a lovely extra for those who get the chance of them, are a luxury and are not part of most unit programmes. They automatically come with a high cost. And although some leaders are able to offer the time to arrange bag packing sessions, ceilidh dances, coffee mornings and other such fundraisers to help spread the cost, not all are in a position to do so, and it would be as an extra. How much can we realistically ask of our volunteer leaders? How many extra evenings and weekends, in addition to the hours of planning the trip itself requires?

So no, there is no requirement whatsoever for the girls to do any fundraising towards international trips, nor for the unit leaders to lay on opportunities for fundraising.
 

Kochanski

Veteran (100+ posts)
#4
Our Guides put it like this: the cost of the trip will be X. We have planned a number of fundraising events and, if you participate in some way in each of them (records are kept and options are given, including for those who can't physically be there to still help by donating buns etc) you will share the proceeds. We estimate that this will bring the cost per girldown to Y.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#5
Our Guides put it like this: the cost of the trip will be X. We have planned a number of fundraising events and, if you participate in some way in each of them (records are kept and options are given, including for those who can't physically be there to still help by donating buns etc) you will share the proceeds. We estimate that this will bring the cost per girldown to Y.
That is a common model, but does depend on the Leaders being able to spare the time to organise and hold these fundraising events.
 

kingfisherblue

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
yt03, may I just correct you please? Schools do not always make sure that trips are subsidised for those who cannot afford them. I've never heard of any school in my area doing that. I am on Income Support as a carer, and my children received free school meals and a uniform grant (which covered the cost of the blazer). The school received a Pupil Premium for them. Two of my three children went on international trips with the school, and at no point was I offered any financial help or subsidy. They went to different schools, so it wasn't just at one school.

I did, on both occasions, ask whether we would receive any help towards the cost as they were Pupil Premium pupils, but on both occasions, I was told that this was not possible. I did without to make sure that my children could attend.

My son's school did a fundraiser so that they could purchase bottled drinks and snacks for everyone on the trip, to prevent anyone having to buy over priced items from their spending money. The snacks and drinks were available to all pupils, even if they did not participate in the bag pack (my son did attend - he understood the importance of supporting the fundraiser and was able to do a shift).

So, moving on, some Guides will miss out both at school and in Guiding because their parents are not financially able to contribute a sufficient amount. However, if the leaders can arrange fundraisers, attendign them can help to reduce costs. There are also, of course, grants available for those who can afford the time to apply (although there is no guarnatee of success).
 

Betty Brownie

Brownie Guider
#7
I was at a District meeting this week where people were complaining about how much money was in the district account (not that much IMO) and why couldn’t we just spend it. The DC said we have a number of girls going on internationals this year and would like to keep money aside should girls need any help. Some Guiders muttered ‘tough, fundraise’. I thought it was a shame they had that attitude. I fundraiser hard to go on an international when I was younger. I got a very small amount from my District, about £20, a tiny fraction of the cost but it made me feel supported and encouraged and on my return I visited lots of local units to talk about my trip.

The bottom line is no, these trips aren’t for everyone, but if a girl really wants to attend I’d like to think we can encourage and support them to do so. However, as for unit trips I think the leader needs to judge her girls and make an appropriate decision. It would be sad (and I’m not sure if this is what the OP is saying) if a unit said we’re going on an international and if you can afford it great, if you can’t tough.
 
#8
yt03, may I just correct you please? Schools do not always make sure that trips are subsidised for those who cannot afford them. I've never heard of any school in my area doing that. I am on Income Support as a carer, and my children received free school meals and a uniform grant (which covered the cost of the blazer). The school received a Pupil Premium for them. Two of my three children went on international trips with the school, and at no point was I offered any financial help or subsidy. They went to different schools, so it wasn't just at one school.

I did, on both occasions, ask whether we would receive any help towards the cost as they were Pupil Premium pupils, but on both occasions, I was told that this was not possible. I did without to make sure that my children could attend.

My son's school did a fundraiser so that they could purchase bottled drinks and snacks for everyone on the trip, to prevent anyone having to buy over priced items from their spending money. The snacks and drinks were available to all pupils, even if they did not participate in the bag pack (my son did attend - he understood the importance of supporting the fundraiser and was able to do a shift).

So, moving on, some Guides will miss out both at school and in Guiding because their parents are not financially able to contribute a sufficient amount. However, if the leaders can arrange fundraisers, attendign them can help to reduce costs. There are also, of course, grants available for those who can afford the time to apply (although there is no guarnatee of success).
Hello,
Thank you for your correction! I was always under the impression that every school offered some sort of financial support with trips as I clearly remember at school that every child attended a trip one year.

So sad that this isn't the case.
 
#9
Thanks for everyone's ideas and input.
It's very helpful.

I don't think the expectation of organising fundraising activities has to be put on the trip organisers for international.

I was just very surprised that fundraising hadn't been explored at all.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#10
I wouldn't say it has never been explored..it is an intrinsic part of organising an event... It is simply a case of it is not the priority for all events, after all if the trip leaders do not organise the fundraising.. Who will? I

Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#11
Thanks for everyone's ideas and input.
It's very helpful.

I don't think the expectation of organising fundraising activities has to be put on the trip organisers for international.

I was just very surprised that fundraising hadn't been explored at all.
The problem is, it the organisers aren't able to organise it (and given how much work there is in organising an international trip, it isn't surprising that many aren't) then the obvious people to organise it are the participants and their families. They are the ones with the vested interest. They are the ones who are best placed to explain what the educational value of this trip will be, why any sponsorship will be money well spent, and provide evidence that it isn't 'just a jolly'.

If not those organising the trip (who may have their own fees to find) nor the participants and their families, who could it be?
 

Trinny

Veteran (100+ posts)
#12
When I went on an international, I was told I had to fundraiser a third of the cost by the organisers. But I was at the public school so I was at school 8am-8pm every day, and 8-2pm on Saturday. I had holiday jobs and saved up and I wanted to use that instead of fundraising because I could afford it and I didn't think it was fair for members of the public to give me money to go on a jolly. And internationals are almost always a jolly, unless it's a Gold trip or similar.

As an adult, I support fundraising events if I want to go, but I wouldn't feel like I had to support someone going on a trip.
 

mustbemad

Veteran (100+ posts)
#13
Years ago my daughter went on an international and was told that she had to fundraise half the cost. The reason given was that this would make sure the trip wasn't accessible only to those who could afford to pay the whole amount themselves. However, this relies on less well-off girls knowing they will have some support with fundraising, otherwise I don't think a really hard-up family would take the risk - they could end up having to pay more than they expected. Something else that is not often considered is that it can be harder to fundraise in small rural communities. My daughter just about managed to raise the amount she needed - but one girl on her trip who lived in a highly populated and thriving guiding area raised enough to cover half the cost of the trip and buy all the kit she needed in a single bag-pack at a large supermarket.

I think it would be better if more effort was put into keeping the cost of trips as low as possible, as this doesn't always seem to be the highest priority.
 

Burghilly

Veteran (100+ posts)
#14
Maybe a little o/t but given that some of these trips to amazing global destinations can cost anything up to £3000 per girl - are they worth it?

To me the idea of having to afford or raise that kind of sum is just staggering. For certain countries even the injections alone can cost as much as £200 and I wonder how much fun it can be having to spend 9 to 12 months running fund raising events etc to try and get the money together.

Would international trips be better if they were closer and therefore cheaper? I had an amazing time on an International trip Inter railing and Youth Hostelling round Europe for 3 weeks - including a 4 night International Guide Camp when I was a Guide . Because it was nearer we could go for longer and even through it was 'only' Europe I had the most incredible time.

For some girls a long weekend trip to France would be the trip of a life time. I have several girls in my unit who have never been abroad!
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#15
I suppose some of it is offering a variety of different trips of differing values and to maybe have someone in the division having half an eye on all the fundraisers that are going on to ensure that there isn’t going to be unfair compassion fatigue.

For example I once Guided in an area that had a very affluent area next to a not so affluent one. Most of the parents from the affluent one could have paid the whole trip without needing to fundraise but wanted the girls to learn the value of working towards it themselves. They therefore had regular fundraisers for trips. The less affluent ones struggled because they couldn’t match the glossy fundraisers in appeal or found that they were very close in schedule.

Should the affluent units have graciously stepped to the side when it came to fundraisers and allowed the less affluent units the spotlight- or does that then deny the more affluent girls the chance to learn?

I think that while leaders should consider cost in their planning of a unit residential it should never become their obligation to have to make arrangements to fundraise. This especially becomes true for post 12 opportunities that aren’t with the unit but with another “level” of Guiding.
 

Trinny

Veteran (100+ posts)
#16
Should the affluent units have graciously stepped to the side when it came to fundraisers and allowed the less affluent units the spotlight- or does that then deny the more affluent girls the chance to learn?
Why do the less affluent girls not have to learn? Is it likely that they will have ever had the opportunity to deal with that amount of money, or organise large events?
Also, it's very unfair if one girl is told not to fundraise but another is, for the same cause. It should be up to the girl if she fundraises or not.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#17
I'm not sure anyone could say X unit can fundraise but Y unit can't. What I think we all need to consider is the amount and purposes that we do fundraise for...
Is a Brownie trip to EuroDisney more worthwhile than a YL going to the World Jamboree? To the public they are both Guiding International trips, both will be rewarding to the participants but clearly different levels of funds needed.

Our local Scouts do a lot of fundraising and have now got a minibus, funds to subsidise trips amongst a lot of group equipment. However I spotted when they cleaned out some cupboards they threw away perfectly useful resources that other units could enjoy. As charity trustees all of us have a responsibility to ensure that our resources are used for the benefit of our members, all of them, so if we are fundraising then we need to ensure all units get a bite of the cherry. It does take time and effort to organise fundraising, bag packs and grant applications don't just happen but maybe those more adept at it could run a session for others, or maybe the grants could be done at District level so the Brownies off to Disney could benefit as well as the YL off to the Jamboree..
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#18
For example I once Guided in an area that had a very affluent area next to a not so affluent one. Most of the parents from the affluent one could have paid the whole trip without needing to fundraise but wanted the girls to learn the value of working towards it themselves. They therefore had regular fundraisers for trips. The less affluent ones struggled because they couldn’t match the glossy fundraisers in appeal or found that they were very close in schedule.

Should the affluent units have graciously stepped to the side when it came to fundraisers and allowed the less affluent units the spotlight- or does that then deny the more affluent girls the chance to learn?
Most might have not needed to fundraise - but perhaps some either absolutely needed to, or had to scrimp not to have to fundraise. We also have to bear in mind that some families in well-off areas may be struggling to keep up appearances - living in a well-off area can simply mean a lot of money tied up in a heavily-mortgaged large house, and a high-repayment car loan - meaning that whilst they may appear to be well off, they may actually have comparatively little accessible money. Whereas someone in a small house in a less-well-off area may actually have more accessible money.

We can't always tell who might really appreciate the opportunity to fundraise for camp fees, and who wouldn't much mind whether the option was offered or not.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#19
I want to say at this point that I don’t think units should be told that they shouldn’t be allowed fundraise, or that they aren’t allowed to fundraise for certain events.

I do wonder sometimes though if we should be encouraged to collaborate more a bit like how Quack describes. Some units are “luckier” with connections and their volunteers skill sets, and seem to always be able to drum up support (with lots of hard work put in) whatever they are fundraising for. Others genuinely struggle, either with ideas to fundraise, organisations, or simply getting the public on board even if it’s for a cause you’d think could sell itself.