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.

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Sitting Vollyball – Brownies

It was first week back after Easter holidays and we got started using our new paralympic sports equipment given away by Sainsbury’s. It was a brillaint kit, especially so since it was free!

When I suggested blind football as an option the girls looked worried. Brown Owl came in with the suggestion that we try sitting vollyball this week so we divided them into three teams and set up the net. We didn’t have a ball pump for the vollyball in the set so we used one of our own balls. The girls found it difficult to stay on their bottoms at first. When one team won their last point from a girl lifting herself twice as tall as the others by resting on her knees I decided to make a point of staying on bottoms.

Robin has some experince playing vollyball at a high level so she was explaining how to hit the ball. But it made it a little more difficult as the girls couldn’t hit the ball over the net. After a few rounds Robin and I decided to wander in and join the teams. Only then did I realise how high the net was. Lowing it made the rallies run a little longer but some girls were still having difficulties.

After a while of this we offered to the girls if they wanted to play regular vollyball standing up. Which they literally jumped at. We divided the other team into 2 to join in the game and had everyone playing. Even us! Though there wasn;t much to do at the back of the court because the girls couldn’t hit it that far. But us leaders joining in gives a much closer feeling of being a unit, rather than leaders and Brownies. We should deffo involve ourselves more often.