Myself and another leader were talking and our district doesn't have a SS unit so we thought we might open one up early next year. However absolutely no idea about the SS programme etc. can anyone give us some pointers please?
Obvious answer, but have you checked out TSS website on GG? The Senior Section programme
I'm trying to get the girls to do the Look Wider Octants - at least doing all the taster sessions and we're going to make the fab Look Wider Beads bracelets so that the girls have a reminder that they have completed each part.
A warning - TSS are probably the most chatty, constantly on their phones and most difficult to get to commit to anything. That said they are lovely - great fun and like doing things that is completely different to school/college. (Think big rainbows!) Sometimes we just go out for a meal or similar.
We only meet every other week and don't meet at all if it is a heavy exam time. Just be prepared to be flexible.
Get in with the local Guide leaders, your relationship with them will influence how membership into the unit goes. You should be the fun that awaits after the end of Guides at age 14/15 -not an option that runs alongside before leaving Guides age 16. Keep a healthy flow of interested girls into the unit.
As already mentioned flexibility is key. TSS should have lots of self governance, at first you might need to be more involved but can slowly allow it to be more "girl run" as members develop. You may want to give members the chance to run an evening or activity under a rota or to take on responsibilities like treasurer, resource keeper, note taker. Start with small responsibilities then build up, and don't allow yourselves to become burdened. Have fun/silly evenings around exams that you organise.
Members should be doing activities inline with GG aims and objectives, working towards Look Wider as well as any awards. Basically there should be some purpose to coming rather than being a group of young women meeting up to go to the cinema one meeting then for pizza the next doing fun but random evenings with little educational or developmental gain. Try to develop suggestions/ requests. Rather than going for pizza have a go at making their own pizzas from scratch. To help with this you could use the different octants as headings for evenings, as it encourages variety and out of the box thinking.
Whilst there aren't some of the challenges as associated with younger sections, it's easy as TSS leader to find activities for members and them not being engaged or deciding not to turn up, or struggling to get subs leading to frustration on the leader end. Make sure it's clear what you all expect of each other (a unit charter might be useful). You may also find some members come and go with commitments and interests. Financially some members may be self financing, if the unit can afford it maybe go with pay as you go meetings (although this works best if you aren't committeed to rent).
Think of ways to make it engaging and welcoming for all ages across the section. You might find you have a "main" or "core" set of members age 14-17 with older members attending in uni holidays or having YLs not want to attend most weeks but they want to join you for trips and residentials.
Find a good means of communication. A private Facebook group, google hangout, Whatsapp, go with what works for members as well as more traditional email.