9. Jump right in

Part 9 of my series on developing great leadership skills based on Girlguiding’s article here:

12 steps to becoming a great leader

“To keep young members on their toes, try to give them at least one brand new experience to enjoy each term. It can be as small or as big as you like – whether it’s a fun sports event, a food–tasting session or an international trip – all activities are enriching in their own way.”

This is a thought provoking topic! Are we giving our girls new experiences?

It is a difficult one to judge, what we think may be a new experience for the girls could turn out to be a little run of the mill. When we invited in a yoga teacher for a session, one parent commented how much her daughters enjoy yoga. Plus kids have so many opportunities to try out archery, climbing and pedal karts that a day at an activity centre may nor be as exciting as I would’ve found it.

This won’t be for every girl, but here are some of the experiences we have offered which have been quite unique:

Watching the Paralympic athletics. I cannot say another group will ever have this opportunity with us! In 2012 we took a group of Brownies to watch the events in the stadium, while some may have seen other events that year I think this is the only activity we will never be able to repeat! (Although taking the Brownies to another sporting event could be a good idea.)

Spy night. There was a lot of buzz following this themed evening in our unit. The Brownies and leaders dressed up, everyone had code names (I was Alpha Snake) and the Brownies took on four tasks, including a laser room, to claim the four clues to the whereabouts of their Easter eggs. I think these are the rare activities the Brownies cannot experience elsewhere.

Kidzania. This summer we’re hoping to take the Brownies to this interactive indoor city for kids. I know for some they will have visited before but as Brownies we haven’t, and I know some parents want their girls to go but cannot personally take them. I hope this will be an exciting new activity.

Visiting the Police Station. I think this has been the best unit meeting trip we’ve had. The police officers were so accommodating. The Brownies were very excited to see the  vehicles, handcuffs, cells, and all aspects behind the scenes.

2013 in reflection

We had so many unforgettable adventures this year, and by that I mean just James and I. I won’t even be going into my Brownie experiences in this post. Here are a few highlights.

2013

During 2013 we finally took the plunge and purchased Merlin passes, including discount on food we have saved £387.00 after visiting Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park – Fright Nights, Alton Towers – Scarefest, Chessington, The Dungeons in London and Blackpool, the Blackpool Aquarium, Blackpool Madame Tussards, Blackpool Tower, Ballroom and Circus and the London Eye! We still have three months left too.

We also learned that city breaks are not for us, but we look back on Rome with fond memories. We visited some of the great monuments in Roman history and learned an awful lot too.

The Merlin pass took us into London but we also attended some great shows. Derren Brown was a different kind of event altogether and Jimmy Carr had us in stitches. It was strange to enter Brixton Academy for a seated show, and also quite nostalgic of my teenage days to be back at one of my regular gig venues.

Our most recent adventure was to Center Parcs where we took on archery, paintballing and segways, three exciting experiences. Another new experience this year was car drifting, this was a James only activity as playing around in cars isn’t really my thing but I’d be interested in giving it at go next time.

How will 2014 compare with this? We don’t know yet but we will give it our best try!