We’ve just finished a good long run with a fantastic Junior Leader and we’re really going to miss her. Spotty Owl Carolyn is a Ranger who has been with us for four years and she is leaving us to go away to school. In our Unit, Carolyn was always ready to go with ideas, songs and games. She related well to the girls – but was still an authority figure that the girls (mostly) listened to. She was a great bridge between the just-want-to-have-fun girls and the maybe-a-little-too-concerned-about-program-Brown-Owl.
The thing is, I don’t know if we did the best job for HER. We were haphazard in incorporating her into the planning (we did much better in the later years) and mostly counted on her ability to do things on the fly. She came up with games and songs, managed the post-craft clean-up, led hikes, and held hands. But it just sort of happened – there wasn’t much formal planning. Some of that is the nature of mixing a group of adult Owls who work during the day with a younger Owl who has school and other activities. And some of it was that we knew Carolyn would just come through with whatever we asked.
Now that Spotty has to go away to school (!), we’ve invited a former Brownie who is in her last year of Pathfinders to be our next volunteer – and I’d like to do it right.
How does it work for Supervision Ratio?
- Girl members assisting as leaders in Units need to be considered in ratio calculations for regular meetings, etc.
- Ratio for Green Level Activities: Once they turn 16, Junior Leaders who are members of Guiding do count towards ratio for Green Level Activities as the third supervisor (you need a minimum of two adult members for Brownies). See Safe Guide Page 24 for full details.
- Ratio for Yellow Level Activities: Only adults are counted in supervision ratio for Yellow Level activities. When girls turn provincial age of majority (that’s 18 or 19, depending on the province) they can apply to be a full adult Member.
Resources for working with Girl Assistants or Junior Leaders
- Pathfinders are called Girl Assistants and Rangers are called Junior Leaders.
- Talk to the Junior Leader to find out what she is working on and discuss how your Unit plan might work with the Program she is trying to cover. You could also get a copy of the Pathfinder or Ranger book.
- Talk to her about how much she wants to be involved: Is having a quick discussion after each meeting enough? Does she check her e-mail regularly? Does she want to attend planning meetings? Would she prefer to just show up and do whatever is needed in meetings? Also, before you accept her into your Unit, decide what you need from her, too.
- Ranger Program Resources (this is what the girls get, but useful for the Guiders to see):
- Letter to Guiders about Rangers working as a Junior Leader
- Info about Rangers working in a unit (includes guidelines, and info about the Junior Leader Certificate)
- The GirlGuidesCANBlog recently posted: I was a Terrible Junior Leader – a post from the perspective of the Junior Leader.
- The document Guiding Unit Planner – a resource for multi-branch units from Alberta Girl Guides maps out how a program activity for younger girls might also count towards an older girl’s program too. Very cool.
Did you have a Junior Leader or Girl Assistant (or two or three) this year? How did it go? How did you incorporate them into the planning?
By Cara Hicks – Community Guider, Brown Owl and Blogger.
Read Cara’s previous guest blog posts for GirlGuidesCANBlog, including: Online Resources: Guiding in the Cloud and What I Would Tell a New Guider. And don’t forget to visit her personal blog: Brownie Meeting Ideas.
The Guiding year starts up again in approximately a month. What blog post would you write about? Pitch us your idea. Writing a short blog is easy and fun!