A Pathfinder Guider Job Description

Pathfinder image girl guide store

Photo source: Girl Guide store website

Recently I was asked to come up with a Pathfinder Guider job description, specifically what kind of person it would take. I think this is a bit like asking what kind of parent makes the best parent – it’s hard to pinpoint because there are so many ways to go about it.  But I put my thinking cap on and came up with some ideas that describe some of what I do as a Pathfinder Guider.

Like all levels of Guiding, you have to truly enjoy the age group. Many people find teens to be intimidating but mostly they are really just oversized Brownies with a bit of attitude. ☺ Much of this is really applicable to any level of Guiding, anyway.

A Pathfinder leader is someone who will:

  • Teach by example. The girls will be watching so you better practice what you preach.
  • Let the girls plan. Organizing meetings, camps, activities and ceremonies are all within a Pathfinder’s ability.
  • Let the girls do it. In fact, insist that they make the attempt.
  • Let the girls fail. Experience is a better teacher than we are.
  • Be encouraging.
  • Make the meeting place a safe space to talk. Teen girls have lots to discuss and sometimes what they have to say is not for the faint of heart.
  • Listen and guide the topics to find the teaching moments.
  • Be able to step away from “leading” and let the girls step up to it.
  • Add some adventure. These girls may be able to do more than you. Can you keep up?
  • Know when to offer a hand, opinion, or guidance.
  • Be silly or stern when appropriate.
  • Bring ideas and enthusiasm to every meeting.
  • Be in awe of what girls this age can accomplish.
  • Be prepared for some amazing growth and change. You will witness a girl go from childhood to the brink of adulthood in her three years.
  • Be spontaneous and take some calculated risks.
  • Provide a safe environment.
  • Change with the girls. The group will change every year. Some groups require a more formal meeting to keep on track. Sometimes you have a loud, outspoken group. Sometimes you have one that is very quiet.

By Kathleen Spilek, 1st Woodlawn Pathfinder and 1st Woodlawn Trex.

Note: This blog was originally a response to a question posted on Brownies Meet blog https://www.facebook.com/BrowniesMeet/posts/546879628663924


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5 Responses to A Pathfinder Guider Job Description

  1. Anonymous says:

    thanks – I’m about to venture forth to do just that – be a Pathfinder Guider. Good advice

  2. Jenna says:

    A pathfinder Guider is a funny combination between a chaperone and a sometimes-leader. While there’s a lot you can tell a pathfinder guider to do, I think the most valuable thing you can do is make the distinction between a pathfinder guider and a guide/brownie/spark guider clear. When you lead the younger groups you plan meetings, gather supplies, make example crafts, it’s a whole lot of prep. But as a pathfinder (or ranger) leader you’re not expected to provide activites for the girls, you’re expected to help and watch as they make their own ideas a reality.

    Provide options, know when to step back.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bahaha did that for a year. Never going back.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wrote this to keep the description as uncomplicated as possible. Each group will be so completely different that it’s hard to draw lines. I think it applies for all ages with a few modifications made for a younger group.

    Thank you for letting me be part of the blog experience.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Being a Pathfinder Guider is one of the best experiences I’ve had in life. They keep us on our toes! 🙂

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