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Weekly Discussion: Life After Death

Discussion in 'General Guiding' started by badgemad4, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    **Firstly I wish to apologise for any offence at the use of the term “Guiding death”, I know that it’s always had a mixed reception and some found it upsetting however it was the term used.**

    A few years ago a phrase was used colloquially to describe the young membership age cut off- “Guiding death”.
    It seemed to have sprung from members feeling that the change from TSS to adult was abrupt/not supported/less opportunities/the “loss” of no longer being a young member (I was a new YL when the term was at its peak, so someone who “was there” please correct me!!).


    Is the feeling behind the term “Guiding death” still relevant- or have things improved?
    What should we be providing as opportunities for adult members?
    Do we need to better think about transition materials for the top section?
    How can we prevent a similar feeling when the TSS split happens?
     
  2. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I’d say in the last few years there seems to be a bit more “social” things for leaders, and TG seems to have rebranded itself/have a bit more appeal for “younger” members (there are a few “young” guilds round these parts that have opened over the past 5-10 years).

    For transition materials, it would be useful to have a guidance document ready for the new Ranger section and for the new 18-25 offer so leaders can have a talk with individuals. But I don’t think that there needs to be a Move on Up style resource.
     
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  3. floss

    floss Veteran (100+ posts) GuiderPlus

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    Trefoil Guild has definitely rebranded itself and is open to anyone over 18. I'm a Lone Trefoil so don't go to meetings (which suits me) but it meant I got to go to Russia with TOPAZ 2017, only the second time I have been abroad with Guiding. I joined trefoil because I wanted to do badges! and am workingtowards my Silver Voyage award.
     
  4. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    In some localities there may have been improvement - but in others there is no noticeable change. A lot of opportunities are still offered only to the 14-26 age group. When you ask why this is, they usually either can't or don't give a reason why they are applying age discrimination rather than being open to seeking the most suitable applicant for the opportunity whatever age the most suitable applicant turns out to be.

    Trefoil Guild hasn't actually changed, but is seeking to market what it has always been - a club for over-18s who wish to stay connected to Guiding. Perhaps in some localities it is achieving that? But - it's not fully a part of Guiding, it has separate administration and a separate membership subscription.
     
  5. Trinny

    Trinny Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I don't think there has been much change - as Fenris said, and as almost every discussion mentions, things vary a lot locally. It's one of the reasons that I think the new offer for 18-25 should be centrally run, and not left to counties/regions.
    I was part of the 18-25 workshop and I felt like it only highlighted the issue for this age range, which is that this is not a section where age ranges are appropriate! What's the difference between a 24yr old mum and a 30yr old mum in terms of their volunteering capacity? What's the difference between two marketing managers, or two campfire experts, or two Brown Owls? It is totally arbitrary. It is much more about life stage - students, working full time, parents etc. So I think we need to improve how we get adults into volunteering more generally, let's not worry about exactly where in the mid-20s you are!

    If I ran the world, I would make a volunteering portal, where all the events you can volunteer for can be easily found, and in what roles. I would also make a quiz, where you answer questions about how much time you have, how often, and what skills you have, and it would give you several volunteering roles suited to you. I would create How to Lead or How to Volunteer guides that would be suitable for 18-25s, but if you change the design a bit, it would be suitable to everyone. It really isn't rocket science. Yes they are young, but they are adults, and yes they may need a bit of guidance and development - but don't we all?
     
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  6. browniebeth

    browniebeth Brownie Leader Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    Got to confess, BadgeMad, when I saw the title of this thread I thought "blummin' heck these weekly discussions have taken a bit of a turn!!"

    I think there is definitely still a concept of "Guiding Death" in terms of having to complete the youth awards before 26. There's certainly fewer opportunities for those beyond that age group, or less well-publicised opportunities. Ultimately we are a youth organisation, and at some point we have to accept that we are no longer "youth". But we're also a network of remarkable women - young or old - the friends we make often stick around, and the memories from the shared opportunities last a lifetime. It's natural for people to want to continue that as they get older.

    I agree with Trinny about having a portal type opportunities hub, but I think this portal could be "ageless" post 18. Some areas already run adult only weekends or big international trips etc, I'd like to see things like that advertised. It could also be a hub for finding out about training opportunities, somewhere to coordinate staff teams for events, do an emergency "help, got no volunteers for X event, can you help?!", discounts etc.

    I think we have to remember that Guiding just does not happen without a strong adult contingent, and different things will suit different ages, characters, lifestyles. Whether you're 19 or 69, it doesn't really matter.

    I have good friends who are considerably older than me, so I'd like to know about things we can all do, but I accept that some people only want to socialise with those of a similar age..so what's on offer has to work for everyone, but not necessarily every event or opportunity for everyone.
     
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  7. Kochanski

    Kochanski Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I think the reason lots of opportunities are aimed at that age group is a feeling that we need to offer them something big to hold onto them long enough for them to become the next leaders.

    I'd definitely like to earn badges - I was working on a few BOGUK ones but that seems to have faded away (very sadly). BTW, I'm 45. It's not me. My camp blanket *needs* them.

    Beware of saying things like "if I ruled the world I'd have a portal and online questionnaire" because you may find yourself landed with that job!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  8. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    I think in some ways the new Senior Section scenario could help this. I think so many opportunites are aimed at the under 26's, crossing the threshold is a shock to some. I think having a more tailored programme encouraging people to explore all the various opportunities that volunteers have is much better.

    Around us so many disappear off to university or college at 18, they then move away and are never seen again until they start a family. If we could find a way that they can stay involved without necessarily committing to a unit each week, but using their enthusiasm to expand their skills and make a contribution. Things such as helping at events, being part of a media team or other co-ordinator roles.

    My advice to girls going off to Uni etc is not necessarily get involved in local units but to join the climbing club, or the canoeing club or something, go have fun and learn a skill, get qualifications that they can bring back to Guiding and share.

    This myth of 'Guiding death' is self perpetuating...there is no shame in being a leader and the only reward being the enjoyment of girls in your care. There are plenty of challenges available to leaders of all ages, planning more adventurous activities and trips, taking on more demanding roles, becoming mentors or trainers. All of these are available to leaders of all ages so there should be no exclusion based on age, just enthisiasm and ability.

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  9. Trinny

    Trinny Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I am fine with that! I volunteered to be a lead volunteer for programme renewal but got sent to a half day 18-25 workshop and that was all, I haven't heard anything since then. But like you said, it's probably because I'm about to be made world leader :p
     
  10. Willow

    Willow Veteran (100+ posts)

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    As others have said, Guiding is a youth organisation, and those of us over 26 are here in a supporting role (in the sense of programme, awards, etc.)

    However... there are two areas which I think could be looked at:

    1. Acknowledging and making use of the expertise of ALL adults. There was a big chunk of time when many programme renewal discussions/workshops etc were aimed at 14-25 year olds, because they were the people directly affected. But those of us who were a bit older might have had experience of more than one previous programme to bring to the table, which is v valuable - and, of course, we can contribute what we need to make it work for the girls. I like the way this programme renewal is open to everyone.

    2. 'Small' Awards and challenges for Leaders, designed to enhance the knowledge and skills which they bring to their Unit. People might not have time to become a Trainer or to take on a more demanding role - but they might like to develop their campcraft, traditional Guiding skills, ability to use an axe... and a series of short, staged skill badges would be (I think!) a lovely way to recognise this. Encouraging people to develop these skills would also extend what they can offer to their girls. I would also like to see badges for different areas of the programme - for example, Have Adventures - Finding Your Way, which Leaders can gain after finding out about an area (personal research, online discussion, attending a training) and then using that knowledge to run or facilitate related activities in the Unit. Again, this would improve and widen the girls' experience, and provide a gentle nudge to do a bite-size piece of training/keeping up to date.
     
  11. Tregi

    Tregi Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I think a range of skills badges would be good-apart from catering, first aid and going away with there is not a huge range that leaders can access or develop their skills. I know there are other ones for boating, walking etc, but not if you are not an outdoor pursuits type of person. There are none to show singing skills, craft skills, games skills, and I'm not talking about the "average" skills, but going on courses and developing skills, leading others in using them, and passing them on to girls and leaders. As a District or division, they would be then seen to have those skills, so other leaders b would know who to ask for specialist assistance rather than either being expected to know who is good at what!!!! Also, catering and first aid can only be done at residentials, more than 1 night. That puts all Rainbow leaders out, and other leaders who can't do residentials. Lots of units cook and do first aid within their meetings, why can't there be a range that are separate to the residential ones?

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  12. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    Does it put all Rainbow Leaders out? Being a Rainbow Leader does not bar you from participating in Brownie, Guide or Senior Section indoor holidays or camps. And it would give the skills and experience which could be transferred to a Rainbow sleepover . . .
     
  13. Tregi

    Tregi Veteran (100+ posts)

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    It does limit you if others don't know about your skills, or you never get chance to find out you are actually pretty good at cooking on and lighting fires for a week, or good at map reading and can lead a hike for 3-4 hours. If there were skills that all leaders were encouraged and supported to develop, then surely everyone will benefit.
    Other leaders may assume that doing rainbows means you only want to work and develop skills for that age range, and if you are not confident to rock up and speak to people you may not really know, they will never know you have those skills, whereas if you join a district with a set of skills that are linked on go to you, they will know to ask!!!!

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  14. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    Walking scheme alrady exists for all members over 18 and many regions/countries put on training or social walking events to encourage skills trainings. I take your point about people not knowing about other skills, but I think formal badges are not necessarily the best way to show real competence in an area. The best way is to get to know each other in a district/area and share skills and experiences...we are all so caught up in our own busyness we forget that we are part of a wider network that we can talk to and share with.
     
  15. Tregi

    Tregi Veteran (100+ posts)

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    I know that they do, but exactly the reason you mention, being busy and caught up in work, family, own units makes me think that it is even more important to be able to see peoples skills. If there were a badge for doing daft stuff I would have all the stages, nothing for craft or cooking and high levels for campfire leading. The problem is, if people don't know you are capable, if you aren't good at offering/not confident to blow your own trumpet, people don't know. If in go it could link you to people will skills thay were at a certain level, guaranteed level, it makes it easier to share!!!

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  16. Trinny

    Trinny Veteran (100+ posts)

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    The core of the issue in my view is that we're still not very good at flexible guiding. So if we have a 18-26 year old who wants to volunteer but can't make weekly meetings, she might get stuck with accounts or shopping for a unit, but that doesn't really develop her leadership skills. I think there are some easy things that could be done:
    -If you're near a university, invite any nearby female SSAGO members to your next training day, even if they're not a volunteer in your district. I think that would help in the general upskilling of volunteers, and most students can do Saturdays more easily than weeknights.
    -Some really good e-learning about leadership styles, leading different ages, a bit of the "stages of development" that used to be in the sectional training books (that said 7 years old like to share... 8 year olds are more independent...)
    -Keeping in contact with 18+ year olds! At the moment, if you make them 'inactive' they won't receive any emails. Perhaps you could forward them on, or at least let them know anything they might be interested in.
     
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  17. Willow

    Willow Veteran (100+ posts)

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    YES! True for a volunteer of any age.

    Yes to all of these as well. In fact, make all/most trainings open to all Girlguiding members. I live on the border of two Counties and within easy reach of several more. All 'my' County trainings seem to be about 1.5 - two hours away, when I suspect there are others a ten minute walk or short bus or train ride away...
     
  18. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

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    This is where District meetings (physical ones) can be so valuable. When District events are being planned it allows anyone to say "I could do the campfire if you like", or "I could help with the catering", in a way which isn't always so straightforward if 'the usual few' organise events.
     
  19. Quack

    Quack Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

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    NEE Region are about to start trialling a project so leaders can access a 'Region' calendar of all trainings going on so if a First Response training is being run by County A, their members will have the opportunity to apply then it will be opened to all. The idea is make better use of the Region trainers and training opportunities.
     
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  20. littlerainbow

    littlerainbow Rainbow Leader

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    From the Guiding website:

    The Going Away With Licence
    The first four modules equip Leaders with the Going Away With Licence. This qualifies you to take girls away overnight or for two nights or more if programme, catering and facilities are already provided. Modules 1 to 4 cover:

    • planning a successful residential event
    • administration of a residential event
    • managing safety and security away from home
    • making health and first aid arrangements.
    Rainbow Leaders have to do the First Aid module now.
     

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