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Weekly Discussion: Supporting TSS/Ranger leaders

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
The new programme means changes for all of us volunteers. But the leaders who may potentially have the most change are TSS/Ranger leaders, infact what they “signed up for” might be about to change…

Compared to other sections TSS has the least formal structure, especially for the official programme. Nearly any activity is likely to fall under one of the octants, and to some extent members are a little more independent than the younger ones. For the first time in several decades there is going to be a more defined programme to follow and a smaller age range.

For some TSS Leaders the appeal of the section was self sufficiency of the members, being an older age group, and being able to plan their own programme. The change in ethos of the section might encourage new first time members of Guiding to be a regular occurrence, whereas currently most TSS members have come through. Most units I know have members naturally fall away as they move to uni, become employed, move house etc- for the first time some units may encounter similar issues as younger section leaders do.

How can we:
  • Best support our fellow leaders through this time
  • What challenges do we think may occur
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
I think in my area we need to look at the new demand that there will be for spaces, and the risk of loosing members. Our current set up wouldn’t be able to cope with if all 14 YOs choose to move up, simply because of a lack of units. We might have to consider trying to reopen closed units, or joint Guide/Ranger units.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
Since I posted this question there have been some changes not yet announced. I think the two main issues some areas might encounter is the age that Guides move up and the new requirements for transferring to adulthood in Guiding.

The 18-30 offer hasn't been fully defined yet so its hard to tell those who will be turning 18 over this transition year what the plans are. How things like the social membership will work hasn't been outlined yet and I hope it is well before July 2019, as well as the coming new ways to volunteer. It sounds like it might be very fiddly with Go and activities covered, people will need time to prepare for this and not have it at the start of the school holidays when many 18 YOs are waiting for exam results, preparing for the next stage in their lives and often travelling.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#4
I think in our part of the world the biggest impact will be potential new members or smaller units springing up as Young Leaders will become more isolated and unable to participate in the programme unless they become a Ranger. In recent years most 14 year olds have chosen to be YL's as a way of continuing in Guiding but not having to travel to a SS unit or because they didn't click with the leaders, so many did things as YL's but had the option to join in events and activities as SS members. This will be more restricted and they will need to be both to get many of the opportunities to do stuff for themselves.
 

Trinny

Veteran (100+ posts)
#5
Sorry to revive an old thread, but our region is now advertising for an 18-30s volunteer to "help shape the new offer". So I'm a quite concerned that we are only 10 months away from July and there still aren't the people in place to deliver this.

Further, I was part of a working group about this issue last summer, and several of the suggestions made in that group still haven't been delivered (or even mentioned ever again). For example, it was suggested that the aim of 18-30s should be to "help and equip you to volunteer", so we needed some e-learning about how to lead (maybe examples of crowd control in a unit, or accounts help). An up to date calendar could be created of all the camps etc in the country, so you could volunteer for something not in your region (as a lot of people won't have a consistent home town). Innovate (or similar) should be restarted. It is quite frankly crap that all that has been done so far demonstrably is to create a double page spread in the magazine listing the current options.

The real issue seems to be that GG have to offer something for 18-26 as that is still considered 'youth' by WAGGGS, BYC etc. To not offer something would require a change to the constitution or something and trustees would have to vote on that, but it would look pretty bad. But there really isn't the inclination to actually offer anything, for fear that these young people might have so much fun they will forget to volunteer with the younger sections.

So in answer to the question "how can we support Senior Section leaders?", I say we should actually tell them what's going on!
 

Willow

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
SUGGESTION:

1. Have Bronze, Silver and Gold Olave Awards for the 18-30 age group, consisting of personal challenges (some of which could also be done in small groups, if desired) linked to the six themes, potentially with a Girlguiding focus (e.g. Trinny's e-learning examples above). Write it, make it simple, customisable and flexible, publicise it widely. Make these awards, together with the Queen's Guide and Commonwealth Awards (+ DofE etc) the offering for the 18-26/18-30 young women (in addition to Unit Leadership etc).

2. Then put all these fantastic flexible Guiding, membership & contributing to future plans opportunities open to EVERYONE over the age of 18. As Trinny says, have a national opportunities database which is kept up-to-date and is easy to use (like the badge finder on the Girlguiding website). There are many, many leaders, members and volunteers out there who have both a number of years of experience behind us and potentially a lot more ahead - but are over the hill in Guiding terms (!) - who could contribute greatly, especially if given flexible opportunities to do so - don't cut them off!
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#7
I don't know how your Region have packaged the offer as such or intend too but our region have just appointed someone to lead the 18-30 group. I wouldn't say it is to 'shape' the offer, more to sell it, decide how the region can support or promote opportunities etc. It is such a wide role and I think in these early days a key role, as there will be some level of 'shaping' as it is the chance to implement the initial ideas and adapt, review and trial variations as necessary.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#8
SUGGESTION:

1. Have Bronze, Silver and Gold Olave Awards for the 18-30 age group, consisting of personal challenges (some of which could also be done in small groups, if desired) linked to the six themes, potentially with a Girlguiding focus (e.g. Trinny's e-learning examples above). Write it, make it simple, customisable and flexible, publicise it widely. Make these awards, together with the Queen's Guide and Commonwealth Awards (+ DofE etc) the offering for the 18-26/18-30 young women (in addition to Unit Leadership etc).

2. Then put all these fantastic flexible Guiding, membership & contributing to future plans opportunities open to EVERYONE over the age of 18. As Trinny says, have a national opportunities database which is kept up-to-date and is easy to use (like the badge finder on the Girlguiding website). There are many, many leaders, members and volunteers out there who have both a number of years of experience behind us and potentially a lot more ahead - but are over the hill in Guiding terms (!) - who could contribute greatly, especially if given flexible opportunities to do so - don't cut them off!
Why Olave, rather than Agnes?
 

Willow

Veteran (100+ posts)
#9
Why Olave, rather than Agnes?
I was thinking about the Australian Olave Award, but Agnes would be great, too! - something linked to, but distinct from Rainbow/Brownie/Guide/Ranger Gold Award.

(Or we could have an Agnes Award for the 30+ to work towards - would love that!)
 

Kochanski

Veteran (100+ posts)
#10
(Or we could have an Agnes Award for the 30+ to work towards - would love that!)[/QUOTE]

Yes please! I'm one of those 'over the hill people' Willow mentioned but enjoyed the old BOGUK 'interest badges for grown ups' and would definitely be up for an adult challenge, or series of challenges.
 

floss

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#11
Join trefoil guild (a Lone one if you don't want to go to meetings) and do Voyage award. I've done bronze and am nearly finished silver (well, have been for past 4 years.....)