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Starting Guides aged 12

Discussion in 'General Guiding' started by Burghilly, May 19, 2017.

  1. Burghilly

    Burghilly Veteran (100+ posts)

    Nov 25, 2015
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    My unit has currently expanded hugely and I've have 10 new girls start this term, all who are still at primary school Yr 5 /6. I also had another girl start who is 12 and will be starting 2nd year of secondary school in September.

    At the moment she seems very disinterested and I don't think her mum has given her much choice about coming to Guides. On her first evening her mum bought her one of our hoodies - even though I suggested her daughter try it for a few weeks. But the mum insisted said to daughter. 'I've bought the hoodie so you'll have to come now.'

    I have 2 other BP girls who are 13 but other than that we're a very young Unit and I'm aware this girl is very much 'in the middle' age wise.

    What do other leaders do with 12 year old new starters?

    I feel this is a bit of a tricky stage to join Guides - not yet qualified to start working towards a BP award but (understandably) not wanting to lumped in with all the just-turned-10's who've moved up from Brownies?
  2. badgemad4

    badgemad4 Veteran (100+ posts)

    Oct 26, 2011
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    Does she know anyone else in the unit that she could be put in the same patrol as, although we are suppose to all be friends it's nicer being with some people than others!

    It might be that she needs to like Guiding on her own terms/get past feelings of resignation. Are there any badges that she might like to do , or a project to work towards (like camp permit)? Are there any 12+ residentials/events going on locally?
  3. AngliaGuider

    AngliaGuider Beginner (10+ posts)

    Jul 19, 2016
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    Do you do many/most of your activities in Patrols? Are the other older Guides in a Patrol together or are they split? I would be looking to either make her a PL/PS and actively give her responsibility, or put her as part of an older Patrol. This is definitely the downside of the 2 years requirement of the BP Challenge, but just because she isn't able to do the challenge at the moment, she could still be doing similar things and planning activities for the unit or Patrol time.
  4. fenris

    fenris fenris GuiderPlus

    Mar 26, 2008
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    Firstly - don't forget she can start Commonwealth Award at 13 - much rarer than BP and thus more special. She could also become a Rainbow/Brownie Helper if that appealed, or try a Community Action badge. Main thing is - sit down and chat with her, let her know the options, and see what appeals.
    Burghilly likes this.
  5. chopperchick

    chopperchick Veteran (100+ posts) Staff Member Moderator GuiderPlus

    Jun 21, 2010
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    There's no reason she shouldn't have a successful, happy time in Guides even though she's joined a couple of years later than most.
    You may just need to think differently about what she does / how she progresses - because yes, she probably doesn't want to be lumped with the 10 year-olds.

    Doing BP is probably not the obvious choice, agreed. But, no reason she has to do it - or indeed any award (notwithstanding Fenris makes a good point about the Commonwealth award). She could still be doing the annual challenge awards - think of them as an achievement in their own right, not just as a stepping stone to BP. Concentrating on badges might be an option - or maybe something like DoE if that operates close to you.

    Remember that guiding should be a challenge to the individual - not just that they must complete Challenge badges :)

    Although if mother is forcing her to attend, then maybe that's the biggest challenge!!

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