A few years ago, I decided to start sending out mail to my Brownies and Guides at the beginning of August in preparation for the next Guiding year. There were many reasons that led me to come up with this idea and it’s been so successful that I’ve been doing it ever since.
We lose contact with the girls over the summer and with all the fun they have, I wanted to get them excited to come back for another year or welcome them into their new branch and of course give them the details of our Welcome Back party! It had also occurred to me that outside of meetings, most of my contact was with their parents, via email, Facebook and phone. I thought this would be a fun way to communicate with the girls. I’ve used pretty stationery from the dollar store, a typed letter with a photo of the girl from the previous year and the GGC postcard.
I’m often asked what I put in the letters and truly it varies from year to year. I always make sure to personalize them with the girl’s name, remind them a new year is almost here with new adventures in Brownies or Guides, include the details of the Welcome Back party and their iMIS number. We’re a Francophone unit, so here is a translated example:
We hope you’re having a great summer and are looking forward to beginning a new adventure in Brownies! We are going to kick off the year with a Minions Picnic on September 7 from 5:30 – 7:30 at 123 Party Street. Please RSVP with Papillon by August 31. Your memory CD will be available for pick-up at the party. If your parents have not registered you yet, please remind them to do so soon using your iMis number 123456789. We can’t wait to see you again.
Papillon and Lune Bleue”
Our Welcome Back parties are always a hit and get the girls excited for a new year. We pick a fun theme and find some fun games, snacks and crafts to do (hello Pinterest!). We often watch the memory CD from the previous year to get them talking about what they’d like to do this year. Last year, the Brownies had a Frozen party where we made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches (all from scratch) and the Guides had a luxury spa night making soap and lip gloss. This year we’ve planned a Minion Picnic where we’re making Banana Boats and a minion hat craft, and the Guides are having a dinner party with gourmet s’mores.
Guest post by Kari-Anne McKellar. Kari-Anne started in Guiding 23 years ago as a Guide and was hooked. She is currently a Guider in three units – 1st Cornwall French Brownies, 1st Cornwall French Guides and 1st Cornwall French Pathfinders.