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Weekly Discussion: When the going gets tough…

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
…be kind to your self!

It’s that time of year when it can all seem a bit much, and with resolutions being made for the new year it seems a good time for this thread!

What are your tips and stories for resilience and coping with balancing some of the pressures associated with volunteering?


For reference there was an article in a recent issue of the magazine that covered similar topics.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
Mine would be:

  • Unless waiting for something important don’t have the unit email notifications on alert.
  • Assign a set time for Guiding admin and a time period or check list with yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking for help with “smaller” tasks that might just ease things a little. Your UH might not want to take the ALQ but might be willing to be responsible for collecting subs at the start of a busy new term freeing you up for other tasks.
  • Plan as much as you can in advance. Create a skeleton plan for the year ahead (annual events, programme essentials, then start to get in other ideas). If you break up for the holidays, after the last meeting wash your uniform and put it away so it’s ready to go. Clear out the folder/bag/case you use to take to meetings (if you do). Basically any task that might slowly get forgotten or dreaded!
These might not work for everyone but I’ve found them helpful.
 

Trinny

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
  • Don’t be afraid of asking for help with “smaller” tasks that might just ease things a little. Your UH might not want to take the ALQ but might be willing to be responsible for collecting subs at the start of a busy new term freeing you up for other tasks.
That's such a good idea. I have two YLs and an adult helper but I still find that they only really 'assist', and in particular I find the start and end of meetings very stressful as there are usually several parents wanting to chat/pay/tell me about a badge, while I'm trying to catch Flossie's dad in the car park as she's left without her coat... I usually ask for help as/when because they are reluctant to take responsibility for something regularly, but this would be a good middle ground.

My tip for coping is don't be afraid of laissez-faire guiding! For me, this means:
  • Girls taking responsibility for organising badge sign offs and letting me know when they've completed badges/need support, instead of me telling them
  • Girls tidy up totally at the end of meetings, including washing up, drying up, sweeping etc, so I can leave promptly too!
  • Girl-run activities. If I'm having a busy/difficult time, we might run 2 'Adventure Nights' in a term (instead of 1), where the girls get into their colour groups and pick and run an activity from their colour section of the Adventure book. By the time they've come to a decision, got the equipment out, do the thing, put it away again and then the Sixers have run a game, that's a meeting done and I can just mildly supervise. Plus, it's decision making, working in small groups etc...
  • Being inspired and spontaneous. For example, this term I was walking to the meeting and wanted to jump in the big pile of leaves on my way, so I collected the Brownies and we came straight back out and collected leaves. Then, went inside and did free range crafts - stick whatever leaves to whatever else we have in the cupboard and make some kind of collage.
Lazy? Yes. But for a couple of weeks or half a term, this tactic can be really useful and it does give the girls a lot of freedom to decide and lead themselves.