“Ok ladies, it’s time to go in for the ceremony now. Your parents are waiting for us. We need to be quiet and respectful of each other receiving our awards, and above all, remember our motto: “These things are supposed to be hokey anyway!”
As I lead the girls into the last advancement ceremony that I would be MC for in our little town (I was moving three weeks after), many Guiders said the last line with me. They’ve heard me say it a time or two before.
Every year, as we plan our end-of-year, town-wide advancement, I find that some Guiders are reluctant to participate. What if they make a mistake? What if they don’t know when to come up to the front? What if they give the wrong girl the wrong pin, in front of everybody? What if they forget to give a girl her pin?
And I say to them all, “It will be ok. We will make it work.” This year, I skipped over a name on the program, and forgot to advance one little Spark. No worries, we called her up in between advancing the 1st Brownies and 2nd Brownies. She got her pin, her parents got their pictures.
Another year, a Brownie puked (this is a theme in most events that I plan. Someone ALWAYS seems to puke). No worries, the caretaker will come, and we will just have a short intermission.
The thing to remember about Advancement ceremonies, Enrollment ceremonies, or any awards ceremony, is that none of it is broadcast live. Yes there are cameras, but they can choose the best pictures to use. Video can be edited. And the girls won’t remember the bloopers anyway.
These awards are about the girls, and they don’t really care if you stumble up the aisle. All they care about is finding their parents in the audience to wave to them.
The parents want to see their little girl get her new pin, her flowers (we do a flower ceremony, presenting a carnation of the colour of the branch that they are going to), and her certificate.
And, I find that the more ‘uptight’ we are walking into the ceremony, the more worried we are about being ‘perfect,’ the more likely we are to make a mistake. The more relaxed we are, the more we expect that there will be little boo-boos, the less likely they are to happen.
Remember to have fun, relax, and it will all go smoothly!
By guest blogger Leslie Potvin. Over the years, Leslie has been a Brownie, Guide, and Pathfinder leader. Today she is a Member-at-Large, and we are all very proud of her for receiving the Medal of Merit last spring. Check out her personal blog: Mighty Chicken Ranch!