Tag Archives: meetings

Division Christmas do

After our last Rainbow meeting of term I went out for a meal with some of the other Rainbow, Brownie and Guide leaders who were there, which was lovely and a nice chance to get to know them a bit more outside of guiding.

A few days later I went to my first leaders’ meeting in my new place. I think it was the shortest one I’ve ever been to! Back in my old district we always seemed to have lots to discuss and catch up on, and our termly leaders’ meetings were rarely under 2 hours. At this one we only had a few short bits of business (introductions mostly for my benefit, a few awards achieved, the funeral of a Trefoil Guild member, and our Thinking Day event) and it was all over in half an hour, leaving more time for festive nibbles and mingling. I’m very impressed.

I chatted to most of the leaders there – some I already knew, others I didn’t, and others I’d heard of (“only good things I hope, ha ha”). Luckily in guiding it’s usually easy to get the conversation flowing. I got far with questions like:

  • Which group do you help with?
  • When/where do you meet?
  • How long have you been doing it?
  • How many girls do you have?
  • What have you been doing this term?
  • Are you planning any trips/holidays next year?
  • Are you looking forward to the Christmas holidays? (Ok, that one mostly goes without saying.)

What I’m about to write might not make sense outside the UK, but in my local area we don’t have districts, just a division. I can see the advantage – not so many meetings, a shorter chain of emails and paperwork hopefully more mingling between units, and one Commissioner (and her helpers) for the whole area rather than having to find several every few years when there might not be enough suitable people who haven’t already done it. On the other hand, it’s a lot of units and leaders for one Commissioner to be responsible for, and I’m in awe.

Anyway. It was a good evening, and I’m glad to have met more local leaders. I’ll see many of them at Thinking Day if not before.

A camp meeting and a night hike

Let’s flash back to last summer, when my Division combined a parents’ meeting for camp with a night hike.

We met in the village hall we normally use for our night hikes (because it works very well). First we had a meeting for the Guides and Senior Section coming on camp a few weeks later and their parents. It was a camp for a whole county, with a subcamp for each Division. The subcamp leader (and others where relevant) went through the usual sort of things: arrangements for sleeping, food, first aid, activities, kit required, etc etc. Afterwards, parents had the chance to speak to individual leaders, and the girls told a leader who they did/did not want to share a tent with. She wrote this down discreetly, of course! But it’s better to know this outright, rather than accidentally put together girls who really don’t want to share a confined space for a week.

After that, everyone left except leaders and girls who were going on the night hike, and other girls arrived who were hiking but not coming on camp. We originally meant it to be a chance for the girls on our subcamp to get to know each other, but only about 1/3 of them came, mostly from 2 or 3 units, so we opened it up to everyone.

Have I ever mentioned that I love a night hike?

Oh yes, last year. Well, I do. I love walking in the dark (as long as I know where I’m going), letting my mind and my senses open up, and showing the girls that they needn’t be afraid of being out in the dark.

It followed the same format as always. We set off from the village hall around 9:30pm, walked through the village, up a hill, along a ridge, admired the view, did a Promise ceremony, walked down a hill, through the village, and got back to the hall around midnight. The only thing different this year was the weather. It was moist and foggy so there wasn’t actually much view to admire, but we were lucky it wasn’t raining, as it had been for most of the day.

Back at the hall we enjoyed some lovely hot chocolate made by a leader who’d stayed there. The girls put their beds down, got into pyjamas, and settled down for chatter, games and nibbles. The leaders put out chairs and also settled down for chatter and nibbles. After an hour or two some of the girls (and adults) dropped off to sleep naturally, and we started shushing and settling the rest. I slept from about 2:00-6:30, which is better than some years!

In the morning we had cereal and toast for breakfast and the girls were collected at 8am. Another good night hike in the tried and tested way!

Hello Rainbows!

Last week I went to my first proper normal meeting with my new Rainbows.

I met 14 of the 20-ish Rainbows – right now I can remember about half their names, but we’ll see how well I’ve done next time when they change their hairstyles and shoes! I also met the unit helper, and some mothers who stay and help, so they’re really unit helpers too. And I saw my Commissioner again, who’s acting as the unit leader.

I’d forgotten how long an hour is with Rainbows! We played a game and decorated plant pots and planted bulbs, and we were still only halfway through! Then Commissioner read a story (I think it was about being kind, but I was sweeping up soil so didn’t catch most of it), the Rainbows talked about their Promise party next week (it’s Frozen themed, of course) and chose which activities to do. Or rather, they voted to do both activities and games rather than just playing games, and Commissioner suggested a couple of activities and they cheered. Decision-making is easy with Rainbows 😉

Then they voted on where to go on a trip at Easter. We’re going to a rare breeds farm. I’m pretty excited, love a good farm.

The Rainbows had a drink, and we played another round of “Duck, duck, goose” and sang a song they’d learned for their weather badge. It’s a good’un. It goes to the tune of If you’re happy and you know it and the verses are:

If it’s raining and you know it, stamp your feet [stamp stamp]
It it’s sunny and you know it, lick a lolly [lick, lick]
If it’s snowy and you know it, let’s go skiing [swoosh, swoosh]
If it’s windy and you know it, do a twirl [twirl around]

And then it was time for the goodbye song!

I’m in love with the hall where we meet. It’s in a modern building, it’s clean and light and there’s lots of space inside (not sure if there’s an outside, it was too dark to see), there are some break-out rooms and plenty of space to store crafts etc, and there’s a cupboard for tables and chairs and a big kitchen with lots of stuff. It’s 3 or 4 times the size of my dear old Guide hall…

Looking forward to the party next week! I’m debating whether to go in costume, or maybe just crack out the face paints.

Easter holiday bits and bobs

Guiding things what I did over the holidays:

  • Final signing-off-the-Queen’s-Guide-book meeting.  The book should be winging its way to the Chief Guide now!
  • Summer camp meeting for leaders on our division subcamp (within the larger county camp).
  • Bag packing – in a local supermarket raising money for our International Trip Guides and a bit for unit funds.  The girls (and their mothers and sisters, and leaders and a few other helpful Guides) were there for 9 hours over a weekend and raised over £1100, an excellent total.  We’ll repeat it in a couple of weeks, hopefully not catching too many of the same shoppers.
  • Refreshing the Guides’ display board with recent photos and nice bright backing paper.
  • And the most fun thing: a trip to a theme park with the Guides!  I’ll save that for another post.

Bag packing April 2015 (1) - Copy