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Question? How Do You Manage Waiting to Join and Waiting to Transfer Lists Simultaneously?


Brownie Leader
Staff member
I've had to set up a waiting list for joining our Brownies, but I am struggling to get my head around managing 2 waiting lists, so I'd be interested to know how other Brownie/Guide/TSS leaders manage it!

As far as I can see, waiting to transfer should take priority, so if I've got a never-ending waiting to transfer list from Rainbows, my "waiting patiently to join" list have essentially got no hope of ever getting a place...which doesn't seem particularly fair, but what can I do if they won't consider going elsewhere?! :confused:

We have an unusually young pack at the moment, which means potentially I could have as few as 8 places across this academic year and similar the year after, but come 2017 will lose 17 in one go...!

So how do you all manage the lists?!

Thank you!
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Brownie Leader and Ranger Assistant
In my unit, we ignore the guidelines and offer spaces solely on date put on the list. So this means a girl who couldn't go to Rainbows for whatever reason doesn't get penalised for that, and supposedly has the same chance as a Rainbow. In practice though, the Rainbows get put on the Brownie list as soon as they have a membership number, so are often at the top of the list by date anyway.

If you are to follow the Girlguiding guidelines, then it is a bit different. If a girl will have no chance of getting in, then you need to make this clear to the parent. If the parent really won't consider their daughter going to another unit, then that is their choice, but you need to make sure they are properly informed of their chance of getting a space.


The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
actually its really hard to truely manage lists and also follow the guidelines laid down by GG (for guidelines give priority to oldest and so your current position could change at any time if an older girl joins your waiting list, although to be fair the older girls joining will in turn be moving onto the next section sooner than younger intakes)

but its fairly easy to estimate the time the girls reaching age for next section might move up and all you can really do is say something along the lines of "I have xxx girls reaching age to move onto rainbows/guides over next xxx months and so am hoping that if they have a place in the next section up that I'll have a place for your daughter and hopefully that may be available around xxxx. I will of course let you know when I have firmer details of girls movements and available spaces. If in the meantime you need to contact me or clarify the waiting list situation please note my contact details are xxxx"


Veteran (100+ posts)
GG have issues new guidelines (saw this on FB, don't ask me to find again!) that now say that existing members (so rainbows, brownies and guides) take priority, then sisters of current members, then older girls. So according to them, a just turned 7 year old rainbow (who could stay in rainbows an extra term or two) who's just gone on the list jumps over a 8.5 year old who's been on the list a year, and a younger sister who's now 7.5 and been on the list for 3 years (as mum out her name down when older sister joined).

Which to me doesn't seem strictly fair. Hence why I'm going to keep running my list in a loose 'first on, first gets, if 7 or older'. If parents of rainbows don't contact me until their daughter is 7.5 and being polity asked to leave, it's not my fault, or the fault of the 8 year old who's been waiting for a year for a space or the younger sister who I've know about for years (one of the girls on my waiting list was put on aged 3, when her then 7 year old sister joined). First come first served might not be entirely fair either, but it's easier to explain than 'well, Flossie got a space after a month as she's a rainbow, but your daughter still has to wait another 3 terms until she's 9 because I've just found out about two other just 7 year old rainbows and that Fanny has a sister who's turning 7 next month...'


Brownie Leader x 3
I have a similar problem, I am now up to next summer with one in one out from my waiting to join and transfer list and I know there are about another 8 rainbows that aren't on the list yet. After that there is a whole year before anymore are due to leave. I prefer to go with the length of time on list with some common sense thrown in. Join us will tell you when they registered and transfer will tell you how long they have been waiting so with a little maths you can figure out an order, if that's the way you choose to do it. All you can do is decide on your system and keep parents as informed as possible. I now have one asking if her daughter can join somewhere else and then transfer to us when we have a space!


Brown Owl (x2)
I have a list in order of date added (in excel) and I estimate what term each girl will be joining, then try my best to accommodate them. I've just increased the size of the Brownie unit, and am willing to go over my max number if necessary to try and accommodate girls.

Recently I've had an enquiry through Go! which was more suitable for Guides due to her age, and had me emailing around all the local units to ascertain what their waiting lists were like so that she could choose a unit she could get into reasonably quickly.

I know from experience how frustrating it can be, as my oldest daughter was told "goodbye" from Rainbows the minute she turned 7, and didn't get into the Brownie unit until she was 9. That's one of the units I now run, and I don't want that to happen to anyone else.


Brownie Leader x 3
I hate the idea of girls having to wait a long time to get in, until this year we had an open door policy and this is the first time we have had to ask girls to wait. That is why I am trying to plan so far ahead and find a solution before we get to the point where I have to tell parents that the wait is a year long.


Veteran (100+ posts)
Unfortunately the wait to get into my unit is usually six months minimum for a rainbow, sometimes up to a year and if you're on my waiting to join list in join us unless you are really lucky you stand little chance of getting in as the policy locally follows girlguiding guidelines that Rainbows get priority and before I can clear my waiting to transfer list of rainbows there are another lot ready to be added.

Really we need more units but don't have the meeting places for them or the volunteers to run them!

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2


I hate the idea of girls having to wait a long time to get in, until this year we had an open door policy and this is the first time we have had to ask girls to wait. That is why I am trying to plan so far ahead and find a solution before we get to the point where I have to tell parents that the wait is a year long.
I appreciate that, but we can only do what we can with the resources we have, which means that, sadly, many areas have to say to parents that unless more volunteers come forward to either increase the staffing of the existing units, or open new ones, that their girls will have to take a place in the queue.


Veteran (100+ posts)
The way I have been handling both list for Brownies is. Rainbows on transfer list only considered when they actually turn 7, they get places on age basis the term they turn 7 in age order. If I then have extra spaces the join us girls then offered a place. If girls have been on either waiting list a while they are the ones first offered a space. If they have to wait a while a regularly ask if they still wish a place and suggest other units with spaces. I have also increased numbers up to 30 at times to accommodate all girls. This was difficult and we run a double parent rota to support this. It did mean less girls had to wait and we then didn't lose a lot of girls who wanted to be with friends once our numbers back down. We ran with over 24 girls for over 2 years.