Avoiding checking out too soon

If you’re like me, you may have noticed the girls in your unit have had a little more trouble sitting still lately. Maybe they’re just a little more chatty than normal. You may have even had to remind yourself to focus in meetings, or go that extra mile to plan something awesome for your next get-together. It’s quite possible you’re all just experiencing spring fever.

Yes, the weather is warmer, the flowers are out and the Guiding year is almost over. While you’re a dedicated Guider, you’re also only human and you’ve probably started to fantasize about your summer plans. I’ve found that in the last two months of the Guiding year I sometimes have to remind myself to get those extra craft supplies, to plan every detail of the meeting, to keep the finances organized. I will admit that a small part of me starts to ‘check out,’ to start thinking about next year and forget to be fully present in the last few meetings.

May31_CheckOutSTEM

Guest ‘Broadway’ Allye teaches the 115th Toronto Bilingual Brownie Unit about her job in coding and how to build websites.

I think this can be a totally normal reaction to the end of the year, but I suggest you use the momentum of the year to really make those last few meetings extraordinary. To help you with this, I’ve made a little list of ideas. I’d like to encourage all Guiders to add to this list through Facebook comments and blog comments. I love reading all the great ideas I find from other Guiders on the internet.

  • Get together with your co-Guiders if you can! Plan those last few meetings, decide what your goals are for the end of the year. How can you make each girl feel empowered when they leave that last meeting? How can you keep them excited for next year?
  • Invite someone in! It’s not too late to invite a guest for a meeting. Is there a parent with a cool job who could come in for a Q and A? Have you had a police officer or firefighter or other strong female role model come in for a chat? What about an MP or other leader in your community?
  • Do a meeting outside! Use that beautiful fresh air, get some sidewalk chalk, learn a new game. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood with a list of animals you could find. The days are longer which means you might be able to do a whole meeting in daylight now.
  • Do one last badge as a group. Find a badge you could complete together as a unit, such as a cycling badge or one that has the girls do just a little bit of research into the past.
  • Visit a local museum or community centre and learn about the resources in your area. Last fall I took my unit to a farmer’s market that meets in the area and we learned about sustainability. All the vendors were super nice and gave the girls samples.
  • Do a girls’ meeting where they plan the agenda. Have your unit sit down for some team building and decide what they want to do for a whole meeting. I did this with Sparks and we had a PJ party.
  • Get together with another unit. This can be great if you have girls moving to the next branch so they can see what’s in store for them next year. It may make the difference in a girl coming back in the fall, you never know.

Lastly, give yourself a pat on the back! You made it through an awesome year, changed the lives of the girls you lead and made an impact. I like to try and organize a dinner for my fellow Guiders after the year is done to say thank you and congratulate ourselves. Way to go ladies and have an awesome summer!

Guest post by Guider Chelsea Kennedy. Chelsea is in her fourth year as a Guider, currently in Toronto, and has a seriously nerdy passion for history and knitting. Check out her previous blog post, Our bilingual unit adventure.

Do you have a unique way to wrap-up your Guiding year? Share your story: ggcblog(at)girlguides.ca

 

 

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