Planning a term is one of those things that I think gives all Girlguiding Leaders a feeling of dread at one point or another. I’ve seen some leaders just think of all the cool things they can do and organise it all. I’ve seen leaders tearing their hair out as girls suggest things that they don’t have time, money or the licenses to do. I’ve seen leaders want to make the whole thing as girl led as possible and the girls staring right back at them shrugging their shoulders saying they don’t care or ‘I don’t know’.
The first meeting of a new term at Senior Section is always one that I get a mixture of emotions for: excitement (What ideas are the girls going to bring?!), anxiety (how the heck are we doing to do that) and frustration (communicate with me puh-lease!).
We’ve now got into a nice wee groove in our third year with the first Ranger group and I realised that a ton of their great ideas they had last June were ones we couldn’t do in the Autumn term due to the nights already drawing in. So I’ve now realised that the Summer term is one where we need to try and do as much of their ‘Outdoor’ ideas as possible if they are only going to meet in the evenings. (We have discussed trips at weekends, but many of the girls work or have extracurricular activities. And now I work weekends too).
We started off this term by doing our term planning in the little patch of garden at our meeting place…and we had an unexpected visitor.
This cat is often hanging around on our way in and out of the hall, so I get that maybe it shouldn’t have been all that unexpected. He wasn’t too impressed that we hadn’t left any popcorn for him – or cupcakes that one of our Rangers had made for the group. So soon he was trampling over our ideas for activities…
Our big roll of Ikea paper has been one of the best investments I’ve made for our unit. Now about twice a year I roll out a chunk, make big clouds for each of the Look Wider octants and the girls get felt pens and fill the clouds with their ideas. The one in the picture the girls made in January – and I brought it back out so they could use it to plan this summer term.
In Scotland our summer term is shorter – especially as this year the summer holidays are starting a week earlier than usual. We have a very loooonnnnggg Autumn term starting in August.
I’m now trying to find ways to get our term plan done for the newer Ranger group. Only 3 of them showed up this week. They told me they definitely want the group to continue which is lovely (but also in my head I’m wondering how long I can sustain it for). We have continued challenges with a fight for space with a very large Guide unit that meets at the same time, and the fact that several of the girls seem to have their foot in both doors being ‘Young Leaders’ at Guides and ‘Rangers’. Trying to plan activities and where we will do them (and working out if they girls will come) is a bit stressful. I’m toughing it out until the summer, and plan to do a survey like this one that I got our original group to do. One of the questions I plan to ask is if they’d be willing to meet on a different night of the week. Because the current situation is less than ideal.
Anyway, hopefully our term plans will work out, I won’t have a breakdown and the weather will be good to us (Is that Mother Nature laughing at us already?)
We shall see!