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Weekly Discussion: Mind the gap. Balancing activities for Rangers/TSS.


Veteran (100+ posts)
One given reason for the splitting of 14-25 is the different demands of the ages. There might be some commonalities but a 14 is likely to be living a very different life to a 24 YO.

But even with the new Ranger section (14-18) there is still some split both in what they are currently experiencing and what might be deemed appropriate for them to learn about. 14 year olds fresh from Guides may want to continue with the format they are used to, and to take part in games. Older members might not mind sometimes doing this but may wish to do more life skill and discussion based meetings.

Others before me have posted and discussed about how the fourth section should not just be a safe place to blow off steam, there should still be some educational benefit from attendance and membership. But a talk from say a local safer nights out team, might be appropriate for the 17/8 YOs might be seen as too much for the 14/5s. Similarly a bullying night could seem slightly irrelevant to the very oldest.

So how can/ should we balance the needs without compromising for either group?


I think the gap is similar to what we have in the Guide section in my area - half the unit in p6/7 and half in high school s1/2. Discussions on concerns of the older Guides can offer useful insights 'in advance' for those who are about to reach the age of facing those concerns and there can be a lot of value in it. Just a case of the Leaders kerping an eye on the direvtion discussion takes, and adding contributions if discussion is starting to derail or someone is going too far for the younger ones. The older Guides aren't as keen on games as the younger ones are, so there wouldn't be much pressure from them to do many games in Senior Section, though the occasional fitness or dance or sport activity wouldn't go amiss.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I have a unit of 4 members, two 14, one 17 and one 24 and they all work together really well. The wide age range means they all bring different experiences to the table. When they are having discussions, they have very different points of view and help each other to see them. My 17 year old is applying for uni and the two 14 year olds are discussing subject choices with her and getting advice, shes passing on her experience of interviews and the 24 year old is popping in with job advice and how to deal with colleagues.

Between them, they've learnt so much life stuff without me having had to give them a "lesson" or even a session on it. Most of them are (Young) leaders and they constantly discuss how to deal with young people and new activity ideas.

I think bullying is a topic which applies to everyone, people get bullied in the workplace, building confidence is never a bad thing.

And peer learning about starting to have freedom and going out for the night is the best way for them to learn.

My members plan their own meetings (took us a while to get there but thats ok), we have a range of meetings from a Harry Potter night to blow off steam after exams to an indepth discssion where they planned their own island for parliament week, discussing marriage, taxes, schooling, government, transport etc. But its all lead by them.

I think you need to get them involved in the planning, and just suggest topics when they need a hand