Tag Archives: first aid

Rainbows do First Aid


When I asked my Rainbows what they’d like to do in the autumn term, one thing they asked for was first aid.

Great idea, girls! Especially as one of the activities in the Roundabout we’re doing involves learning about the emergency services. I set aside a meeting in November for first aid funtimes.

I asked around a few charities to see if anyone could visit and teach us (as I’m sure the Rainbows would listen to them better and learn more), but had no luck, so I kept it simple with things I’m comfortable teaching.

We started with a Rainbow chat about emergencies and calling 999. This turned into a big sharing session about people they know who have been injured – in a few minutes we heard everything from grazed knees to heart attacks to one Rainbow’s cousin who swallowed a battery (and pooed it out).

Everyone loves a good injury story, but I thought we’d better not spend the whole hour telling them, so we moved on. We did a quiz about emergencies and first aid. We played a game where the Rainbows had to listen to a story and run when ‘their word’ was spoken. Then we practised putting bandages on dolls and cuddly toys, which was definitely what the Rainbows had been looking forward to.

I’m not sure if the Rainbows learned anything really useful, but it gave them a reminder of things they already know, and anything that gets them used to thinking about and talking about first aid can’t do any harm.

It was a bit of a strange evening, as my Unit Helpers couldn’t make it, so it was just me, a (lifesaving) mum helper, and a Guide who showed up early and was willingly roped into helping. They put up with our slightly crazy ways.

One sad thing: the Rainbow who first asked to do first aid and really wanted to do it, missed it. Her sister’s a Brownie, Brownies was cancelled that evening, and their parents thought that Rainbows was cancelled too. Sadface. I said we can do more next term. By that time, I might have found someone proper to come and teach us.

First aid part 3

First Aid badge

As a follow-up to our two first aid weeks last term (1 and 2), our Nurse and Former Guide Leader came back to test the Guides for their badge.  This is one of the very few badges we regularly do, the others being Camper and Camper Advanced.

This meeting was much more hands-on for the girls and the leaders than the previous first aid sessions.  The Guides split into four groups (randomly rather than with just their friends, for a change) and Nurse put a leader in each corner and assigned us one thing to practise/test: chest compressions, recovery position, slings and bandages, and first aid kit contents.  The groups rotated around the stations, spending 10-15 minutes on each, and Nurse floated around all of them with questions and advice.

I was on the recovery position, a relief as it’s the thing I feel most confident explaining.  Most of the Guides knew basically what they needed to do, though not without a bit of giggling and self-consciousness, which is fair enough, as it is hard to conjour up what you’d actually feel if you were dealing with an unconscious person, especially someone you know.  They all had no trouble remembering the gory details about what could block the airways, bless ’em.

Nurse and I made sure everyone knew when to put someone in the recovery position (unconscious and breathing), and what its basic purpose was (keep the airways open, stop the casualty from rolling over), and asked them questions like “What would you do once you’ve put them in the recovery position?”, “What information would you need to give to the 999/112 phone operator?”, and “What would you do if they stopped breathing?”.

That took up the whole evening, and at the end Nurse declared that they had (of course) all earned their badge.  Hurrah!

First aid part 2

The nurse who is a once-and-hopefully-future Guider came back for a second week and ran a meeting for the Guides about the “other bits” of first aid: bleeding, choking, burns, fits, fractures, sprains, and so on.  Again, this was nice and easy for the leaders – all we had to do was a bit of watching and helping.  Queen’s Guide Buddy and I sat in a corner and did some planning for our exploration.

The Guides were very good and patient through a meeting that involved quite a lot of sitting and listening, with a few quiz sheets and a bit of practical bandaging and sling-tying.  It’s definitely the air of authority and unfamiliarity that our nurse friend has – they’d never listen to their usual leaders for so long at a stretch!  To be fair, they were genuinely interested, and quite a few of them wanted to share first aid situations that they’d been in.  Next week we’ll make it up to them with an evening of games and activities in the dark.

First aid part 1

This week, a nurse and former Guider came to do some first aid with the Guides.  This is a lady whom Unit Leader recruited into guiding many years ago, who was heavily involved for many years but has stepped out of it for the last ten years or so.  She came to the BIG GIG with us, so I wonder if Unit Leader is trying to re-recruit her…

What all this means is that she knows her stuff, knows how Guides work, and was quite happy to take charge of the meeting, so the rest of us didn’t have to do much except a bit of watching and helping.  Lovely!  The girls liked seeing a new face – they listen more when it’s someone they don’t know! – and they covered responses to finding a casualty, the recovery position and chest compressions, and did some quiz sheets about this and about healthy lifestyles.  She is coming back next week to cover “the rest of first aid” – I’m looking forward to it.

Lots of music and no first aid

My list of “unexpected things I’ve done through guiding” is long and growing.  Some things that spring to mind are being a fairy in Santa’s grotto and doing catering at a wedding and an anniversary party.

Last weekend I added another to the list.  A leader in my District works with a gentleman who helps to organise a music festival where people (mainly children and teenagers) take part in masterclasses and perform in a concert at the end of the weekend.  This year, the venue demanded that they have trained first aiders present, so he called on his Guider colleague, and she called on other leaders to help.

Between three of us we covered the weekend, and very pleasant it was too.  We spent the time sitting in the foyer, reading, knitting and chatting with the people going past.  Save the Children volunteers provided us with refreshments, and we had the chance to wander around the beautiful grounds of the venue.  Fortunately no first aid was needed, not even a plaster, but we received thanks and a kind donation for being there.

I attended the final concert and I was very impressed by the talented performers.  It reminded me of my teenage days playing in orchestras and I feel inspired to pick up my cello a bit more often.  I was even more impressed by the organising committee, who work very hard all year round to make this happen, simply because they love music and want to foster that love in young people.  Hurrah for volunteers!