Evenings like this is why I run Brownies

I haven’t much time at the moment, which is why this blog has is very intermittent recently. It is strange that I have less time as last year I completed loads of Look Wider octant challenges, so I should have that time available now, but I’ve dedicated that extra time to drawing and writing my graphic novel. I’m rebuilding my drawing skills and am regularly adding illustrations to instagram. I’m writing my ideas and plans and they’re changing each week as I find new inspirations. If I ever create something concrete I will post it here!

Anyway, my post today is slightly linked to my first paragraph. I’ve mentioned to a few people recently just how many hours a week are required to run a Brownie unit. You could do it on less I suppose, but I want this unit to be really, really good! I want these Brownies to learn and grow and remember Guiding as a positive influence on their childhood. So those people who I spoke to suggested I give it up. I cannot give it up for many reasons. Last night at Brownies though sums up exactly why I run Brownies.

We had an animal handler, Jungle Jo, join us to show the Brownies a range of exotic animals. She was great with the girls and us leaders could really sit back and enjoy the evening with the Brownies.

The reason this was especially great was that two weeks earlier I’d spoken to one of our older girls, she brought up the fact she couldn’t attend this meeting because she doesn’t like animals. She is a lovely girl, been with us since 7 and is now a sixer soon to leave us. She has always stood with me on outings whenever dogs are nearby as she is clearly scared of them too. I asked her to consider coming as she didn’t need to touch anything. Her Mum appeared who insisted she would definitely be attending!

So last night I reminded her she didn’t have to touch anything she didn’t want to and could sit behind her friend if that helped. After some reservations at first, she was touching and holding all sorts of creatures. I could see how proud of herself she was for doing it, she kept looking at me afterwards too as if to check I’d seen her! It was great, she came up to me after the evening to tell me all about who weird it was but she clearly enjoyed meeting them.

All the girls had a fantastic evening, everyone touched some of the creatures, including a couple other nervous girls, and some held everything that came their way.

Jungle Jo brought a cockroach, a stick insect, a frog, two lizards, a millipede, a tarantula and a snake. I held a frog! (Which James would’ve hated!) The frog couldn’t be handled much as it could be unpredictable, which he was when he jumped up my arm!

tarantula Brownie

The tarantula couldn’t be handled much either, so Jo asked who would like to hold her. Maybe 5 arms went up and Jo picked a tiny new Brownie who has only attended about 4 weeks but she is clearly enthusiastic for Brownies,  and willing to try anything. While she held the spider Jo explained how humans are born with 2 fears – loud noises and falling – and fearing spiders was something they were taught. She explained you’re more likely to be bit by a hamster than a spider. After this she asked who would like to hold the tarantula next and over half, maybe three quarter, hands went up! You wouldn’t believe how many primary school kids wanted to hold a giant spider!

Everything about the evening was positive, girls become braver, learned a lot, and they went out of the meeting beaming telling their parents what they’d seen!

We had http://www.junglejo.co.uk join us and I would strongly recommend her!