Guides are a difficult age group, as you basically begin with a girl who is still a child, and by the time they leave they have gone through puberty and almost at the beginnings of adult hood.
In Guides, you are really beginning to encourage them being able to make their own decisions about the programme and organising themselves. But it is far from easy!
There are a few things we have found that have helped with that, and Patrol Boxes is the main one!
In their patrol boxes they now have
– Their Patrol Scrapbook
-A pencil case with some pencils, pens, a pair of scissors and colouring pencils
-A document wallet which contains
-A copy of the Guide Promise and Law
-A Term Plan
-A copy of the Unit Guidelines
-A Go For It/Badge Planning sheet
-A Patrol X-tra folder (these are actually cheaper than the G-File!)
-A spiral bound notebook
All of these things means the Patrols have ownership of their own box, plans and know exactly where to find everything. It also means that when they try to get us to do the work for them (or they forget) we can encourage them to go back to their Patrol Box and find their planning sheet to see what they need to remember for next time. When they ask what dates we are doing somehting we can tell them to look at the term plan. And if they are stuck on how to work together as a Patrol, there are lots of great activties in Patrol X-tra. We’ve also encouraged the patrols to use the G-File to look at what makes a good leader and how to work as a team when picking their Leaders and Seconds.
The notebook is also great so they can write a list or make a note and rip it out of the book to take home with them!
We have found these simple things to really help our patrols function well, although we do still need to sometimes help mediate in arguments about what activities they want to do or make sure they are staying on task when it comes to planning things – otherwise we get a bunch of Guides finding themselves bored and grumpy with nothing to do at their next meeting.
You download our planning sheet by clicking on the link below. I created this based on one I found on an old Girlguiding website a few years ago, which I haven’t been able to find since.
Hope this helps any Guide leaders out there. 🙂