Discussion in 'General Guiding' started by Spittal Belle, Oct 15, 2017.
As we used to have for members with special needs?
Does a good leader need that writing down ? Isn't that our role to ensure each girl does her best and the challenges are appropriate to a girls abilities and skills ? That will include the gifted, able and less able...surely our role is to encourage all to meet and exceed expectations.
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You would hope so Quack but given some of the comments on Facebook sometimes, I do wonder.
So often I see 'we did the entire interest badge at one meeting' that I can't help but wonder how it could be challenging if the lot could be done in an hour - and whether they all did the same activities regardless of ability/prior experience, meaning that although some might have found challenge several found none whatsoever?
As a reasonably new leader I've found it very helpful to use an interest badge to help give the term a bit of structure. I tend to mix badges clauses in with other activities so by the end of term they have their badge.
If we won't be doing interest badges or Go For It's during meeting , what exactly will we be doing ??
I'm generally excited about the new program but really hope there will be the flexibility to do our own thing. I'd hate the idea of a prescribed programme where all we're allowed to do is follow the activity cards .
We will be doing a lot of what some of us have always being doing. A mix of girl led activities, skills trainings, challenges, team activities and games. The themes may vary but when you add in things such as the activity cards which you may follow a particular theme for a two or three weeks, maybe learn some associated skills, then there is a programme.
For instance we did the wartime activity for Guides, one group needed to know first aid, one group needed to make a cup of tea, one group build a shelter...it chaos because because my young Guides didn't have those skills. But it led to three weeks of activities learning them...
We did the agility badge in one meeting!
My understanding was that there is going to be individual interest badges done at the appropriate individuals skill level, and then badges similar but aimed at the whole unit (skills builder).
Been to our local shop this afternoon, and the lady who runs it is terrified she is going to be left with hundreds of pounds of books etc that no one wants when the new programme is rolled out.
That’s what I’m hoping for.
Transitions. Wasn't sure whether to make this a separate thread, but as it relies so heavily on the new resources, I thought I'd add it here. I'd love to hear if your unit has started transitioning (or at least, preparing to transition), or what you have planned!
This week I started the transition process and gave out badge books to my 3 new starters, but didn't give them an adventure book. They're all just 7, so they won't finish the 3 wedges in time, so I didn't give an adventure book. Instead, I stuck a printed "record your Brownie pink wedge progress" chart (which I got from either here or the Brownie Support Group in FB) for them to use. I think I'll only get 1 new starter after Easter so I'll do the same for her (but might not even start her on an adventure wedge, as we only start them after they've made their promise, and then it may only be one or two weeks to go).
I've also planned this term with my current badge stock in mind, so hopefully we will only have to buy 8 badges (and even fewer than that if I do a swap with the local shop!).
Oh, one more thing I did - I used washi tape and stuck the appropriate YCW word on the taster pack, so when the girls choose an activity they know which bit it counts for. Hopefully then it'll also be easy to backdate any activities (if allowed), so we can easily say "well that activity was actually an Express Yourself UMA so you've done one of those already".
We have stopped giving out G Files to our new Guides - instead we put one copy in each patrol box, for shared use. We'd found that we weren't really using them enough to justify giving them out to everyone, and then giving out a new style handbook in September as well. We have still given out a home-made badge book, though - we get those printed locally. We probably have enough in stock to last us until the new official one is released, but if not we won't buy any more - we'll just give girls access online during a meeting on my iPad if they don't have internet access at home, and print off the ones they want to work on.
Alongside our term programme we also have a year planner, which is a table with the programme zones and other things we want to make sure that we cover over the course of the year. We populate that with our chosen activities each term so we can see where there are holes - it prompts us to remember to include a craft, some outdoors stuff, etc. every once in a while and points out if we're light in any particular area over time. I have adapted that to specify the new programme themes (be well, know myself, skills for my future, take action, have adventures, express myself). At our PLC at the end of next term I am going to show it to the PLs and show them how we've put this term's activities into the grid. We'll then give them a copy of the programme for that term and ask them to add them into the grid. Hopefully it will help them to see how what we do fits into the new programme framework. We'll then put it onto our noticeboard and they can explain it to their patrols (with our support) the following meeting.
I am also being really strict about ordering exactly only what I need from the depot - no spares, even if I later have to order more. It means a bit more organisation for me and waiting sometimes for the Guides, but I shouldn't have anything in stock that we can't use moving forward.
I am thinking that we'll move across to the new programme pretty much as soon as it is released. We might do one last GFI in the autumn, on the basis that I suspect that the resources won't all be available in time for our PiC/PLC planning at the end of the summer term, but I'm expecting to be an early adopter of the new system. In practice, I don't think that the Guides will notice much of the change in what we do on a weekly basis, except that the physical resources we give them will be new. We'll still be covering all the same skills and doing the same 'routine' activities of camp/sleepover/outdoors stuff/craft/games - it will just be that the way it fits together changes. Different combinations of activities will earn them a badge.
My hopes for the new scheme are that more girls will choose to do interest badges at home because they are more accessible - I've heard three activities per badge (instead of the current syllabi which can cover up to two pages!), that the skills builder activities will give us a more manageable way to teach key skills like first aid (currently the only programme resource for this is the interest badge, which is huge in scope - I'd love a more 'bite-sized chunk' approach to that, for example), and that there a good resource geared at patrols working independently. The GFIs have their downsides, but the girls love making their own choices and working together in patrols and I'd hate to lose that way of working. That is probably the only thing I haven't heard any news about - GUK have talked about unit activities, skills builders and interest badges, but there doesn't seem to be any indication as to where 'working in small groups' will fit in.
I have done some stocktaking and will look to sell off the spare badges in my badge box (which won't do the unit budgets any harm either). From here on in, investments will be strictly on the basis of what is required. (But tend to do that in the spring most years, as the annual subscription is always a burden hereabouts). Have also suggested within the District that we look to swap and share amongst our badge tins rather than buy.
I have tallied up each girl's progress on the current programme, compared it to where she ought to be by age, so that I can work to ensure each girl completes the stage she is at in the current programme, and collects the relevant badge for it, before the unit transitions onto the new programme, hopefully sometime early in the autumn. I can then work that into my programme planning for the next two terms, to ensure that as far as possible, we are all able to start on the new programme at the same time and aren't having to support too many of the girls with 'catch-up work' to finish off badges - and to ensure that I have the records in place to manage those who will be transitioning between systems in the unit. Again, it never harms to have a general idea for the unit of who is on schedule/ahead/behindhand, in order to keep the progress moving in the right direction anyway, it just becomes more relevant when there is a target date in view.
I have spent time looking at the announcements so far, and have drawn up a guide to the new programme based on what has been announced, and shared it with my unit teams. It has given me a much clearer idea of how the new programme will work, what the requirements will be for Gold Award etc. Getting my head around it has helped me to start thinking about how it might affect how we do things in the unit (the proportion of time we use Sixes/Patrols, the role of Sixers/PLs, managing the change to the new programme areas and making sure we are covering the topics).
I have spoken to the older Guides about BP, and two have expressed interest in working on it, so I'm planning to support them to fit in as much of it as they can over the next couple of terms. (My County allows girls to attend Adventures provided they have completed 8 of the 10 clauses and have the last two scheduled, which may prove valuable if places on Adventures become more scarce later this year/early next year).
When we took over the unit at the start of this academic year they weren’t following the adventure program, we have been following it though and if we are still running the unit in September will just go straight into the new program. We have started each girl on the adventure that matches the year of Brownies that they are in. Girls that started this term we are going to have on adventure, next terms starters won’t though as they simply won’t be likely to get through it.
We have been trying to get rid of our unit stock by selling it at a reduced price, which for the most part has worked.
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