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Question? Marking Long Service Awards

browniebeth

Brownie Leader
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#1
I wondered whether people could share how they have marked their long service in guiding, or the long service of others they have been involved in.

I'm interested to see how these milestones are marked across the country - big presentations, local events, unit presentations, gifts. Who presented it? District Commissioners, Division Commissioners, County Commissioners....Did you know what was planned in advance/ were you involved? Or was it a surprise?

I am curious :) I don't have a huge amount of experience of seeing long service awards presented, but to get things started...

My 5 years was presented at a Division AGM (no district). I didn't have any involvement in it, this was "how it was done" in my area at the time. I'm now thinking about my 10 years which is due in the next few months.

I once attended a 20 year presentation that was in a unit setting, leaders in the district were invited and there was a cake. The main event was presented by the Division Commissioner.

I saw a 40 year award presented at a big division event once too. The lady was thoroughly embarrassed and received a large bouquet with her badge and certificate given by the Division Commissioner in front of all the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rainbows and Leaders in the Division.

Anyone else want to share? :)
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
Oooh, interesting subject!

My five years was presented at the end of a usual unit meeting. I didn’t know it had arrived but it was obviously expected! As I was a student at the time I was offered the chance to receive it at home or at uni, and I opted for uni as that’s where I was Guiding the most at the time and we agreed it was good for the girls to see. The div comm presented.

Other five year service awards that I have seen have been similar, at the end of a meeting in a sort of surprise manner rather than as a part of a ceremony or meeting.

I’ve only seen one ten year and it was presented at a camp. I’ve known a few be presented at meetings at the leaders request and it was presented by the div comm.

How the bigger (40 and 50 year) ones have been presented has changed a few times over the past ten years. Sometimes it’s at the annual county day, sometimes at a separate evening do, sometimes both.

Things like flowers and cards seem to be organised by the units rather than a standard. I think someone said that there used to be a flower fund but it tapered off…
 

Lynz

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
My five year was at a division "thank you" event - all volunteers in the division were invited regardless of whether they were being awarded anything and refreshments were laid on with various presentations (LQ, long services of all durations, camp license etc) to those who were due them.

By the time I got my ten year one, county had started a county-wide awards/ celebration evening, where all awards from BP/ YLQ/ LQ up to 50yr+ are presented, and you're invited to attend (with a guest) if you're due an award.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#4
How would you like them presented ? I know some people may like a large public event but others may prefer it in their unit or even not not at all. Not everyone wants to be be reminded how long they have been doing it..

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Jenefer

Regular (50+ posts)
#5
Twenty Years was presented at a District barbeque for leaders. Thirty Years was a suprise, I knew it was due but not when. It was during a Brownie meeting, Brown Owl took some girls into the kitchen while I played a game with the rest. Suddenly, the door opened and in walked Brown Owl, the DC, "Mr Tawny" and 2nd daughter. We had cake and there was a card from the girls. I enjoyed it and it was good to share with the Brownies and family.
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#6
My 5 year was during the division thinking day event- apart from I missed it as I had taken a Rainbow to the loo!

I’m due my 10 next month, but I know I’ll have to wait until November and the AGM to receive it.


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Kochanski

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
I've had 10 years (awarded at a district WTD event, so in front of girls) and 20 - awarded at division AGM. I'm not big on fuss so, now that I'm due my 30, I think I'll e-mail county and say I'd much prefer to have it presented in my unit. Hadn't really thought about having an option but if I don't express a preference I suppose they'll go on doing what they always do.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#8
In my County the higher awards (20+) are presented at the County annual review - for those who are not at review/other awards it's up to Commissioners to present locally.

As to how it should be done - ask the recipient, ideally ahead of time. Do not consider a surprise presentation unless at least 3 close friends of the recipient are convinced it would be appreciated and none disagree!

But it equally shouldn't be pushed through a letterbox or thrust in someone's hands in a car park (yes, have seen both happen).
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#9
But it equally shouldn't be pushed through a letterbox or thrust in someone's hands in a car park (yes, have seen both happen).
I agree not perfect, but there are two sides to every situation and if someone doesn't want a fuss or refuses to go to events where such things could be passed on with due respect, then that is the option. The Commissioners are volunteers too and they only have so much time and opportunities to be able to get it right..

Long Service awards are one of those things that make even long standing leaders behave like children, "I'm due for my 20/30/40 award and it's 1/2/3 months overdue"...or GO can't even get it right. If Counties had to react instantly to every single award becoming due, the everyday business of Counties would never get done, so many will hold annual events to award long service, with cut off dates so everyone is treated equally. Likewise they can only go on the information on GO, so making sure dates are correct and notifying Counties where there is an error. Amendments now need to be done at HQ so it all takes a little longer...

It's not that service to Guiding is not important and recognising it is important but it can detract from the business of Guiding and making sure people's commitment is recognised not just every 5 or 10 years but all the time and all our volunteers feel valued.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#10
I agree not perfect, but there are two sides to every situation and if someone doesn't want a fuss or refuses to go to events where such things could be passed on with due respect, then that is the option. The Commissioners are volunteers too and they only have so much time and opportunities to be able to get it right..

Long Service awards are one of those things that make even long standing leaders behave like children, "I'm due for my 20/30/40 award and it's 1/2/3 months overdue"...or GO can't even get it right. If Counties had to react instantly to every single award becoming due, the everyday business of Counties would never get done, so many will hold annual events to award long service, with cut off dates so everyone is treated equally. Likewise they can only go on the information on GO, so making sure dates are correct and notifying Counties where there is an error. Amendments now need to be done at HQ so it all takes a little longer...

It's not that service to Guiding is not important and recognising it is important but it can detract from the business of Guiding and making sure people's commitment is recognised not just every 5 or 10 years but all the time and all our volunteers feel valued.
Most District Commissioners have at most 1 or 2 per year to present - fewer if some are presented at an annual County event. Where someone hasn't attended the County review event I don't think it unreasonable to expect the DC to contact the recipient, confirm their wishes 're handover, and arrange a mutually agreed plan.
 

chopperchick

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#11
Like most, I've seen a variety ........ at county / district Thinking Day or Annual events etc, and at the unit. In an ideal world the "presenter" would fully investigate whether "recipient" would appreciate the all-singing, all-dancing event with visitors & flowers & fuss & attention, presented along with every other long-serving volunteer, or whether they'd rather have a low-key unit event, or perhaps even just handed over in an envelope. That way you'll always have happy leaders, no-one unnecessarily embarrassed. Sadly, we're all human, so will inevitably get it wrong occasionally.

I think that if you as an individual have particularly strong feelings about how / where / when you would (and as importantly, would NOT) want LS awards presented, then make those thoughts known to the usual organisers. There's so many variables - your anniversary is officially the 13th July in the middle of the summer holidays but we don't have a district / county event until next February or May, some folk would happily have the presentation first night back in August / September fairly low-key at the unit; others would like to wait for the big event in Feb / May; others would prefer to get the award in July exactly when due even if it's in an envelope. Others would be delighted to get the presentation at camp on 13th July.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#12
I'd like to add to, students and those who have recently moved house/are registered in more than one county. Sometimes if the main role is still attached to another area it hasn't flagged up on the commissioners radar, or its not something that they are expecting. Not being contacted straight as its due isn't a snub, its just that they don't know yet!