Food and Rangers

>>  Thursday, January 17, 2019

A lot of Guiding is linked to food, it's an internal and ongoing joke.  Especially with Rangers.  Ranger leaders say anything with food engages them and it is true.

But it worries me that we could be alienating so many girls that sometimes just need to get away from all things food related because it is so hard for them to be around it.

So much of 'normal' life is about food.  Parties, celebrations, meet ups - just try and think of how many occasions you say to someone "we should meet for coffee" it's an immediate anxiety moment for someone with anorexia.  "Let's catch up over tea and cake"  "We are all going out for a meal, want to come?" "let's meet for lunch?" "let's go for a walk in that park, there's a cafe there" it's normal and it is constant.

The only times friends not in lessons together catch up at school tends to be lunch time, lunch.

So if every Ranger meeting includes a food orientated activity or there are always hot chocolate and biscuits on the go, the pressure is on for those struggling with food already.

Sometimes I will mention to other Ranger Leaders that a break from food is important and I regularly get the response "oh I know my girls" - they don't, really they don't.  You can live in a house with someone for years and not know they have an eating disorder, it is a sly, deceitful creature that can hide behind a mask of smiles and confidence.

Beat (UK eating disorder charity) says:

How can you tell if someone has an eating disorder?
You cannot tell if someone has an eating disorder just by looking at them. While it is true that some sufferers of anorexia are severely emaciated, some are not, and the majority of eating disorder sufferers do not have anorexia. Those suffering from bulimia may be within the normal weight range or may be overweight, while those with binge eating disorder are often overweight.

Just sometimes let's try to do stuff that doesn't involve food both in Rangers and in normal life and give those girls that need it a break.

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GPYes - Have Adventures Explore Skills Builder Stage 5

>>  Friday, January 11, 2019

The Rangers have always enjoyed a penny walk and ask to do it every year.  We tend to go out close to Bonfire Night, it makes for a good Autumnal walk with chips at the end.

The problem this year was that a plain old, if good fun, penny walk does not fit into the new guiding programme and with us meeting so few nights a year we don't have any to 'waste' on non programme activities if any of the girls are to even get close to completing an award.

But I did find that the Have Adventures Explore skills builder stage 5 has an activity called G.P.Yes!

The aim of the activity is to get technological , use GPS to navigate the way and know longitude from latitude. 

I gave then a briefing about latitude and longitude and how to find and follow co-ordinates on google maps.
I had set up a walk around the village using GPS co-ordinates.  Initially they had to find out the co-ordinates of their start point and then follow provided co-ordinates to different roads or places of interest.  The first initial of each place gave them letters to solve an anagram of the name of their finish point and they needed to give the co-ordinates of the finish point. 

Which, just like the penny walks of every year gone by, was the chip shop.

The Rangers really got into it and enjoyed it just as much as the penny walk.

They got a tick on the programme.

But the real value of these nights is the way these walks tend to break the girls into different pairs or groups, they do it naturally and the conversations they have are worth their weight in gold.  From the back, staying well out of the way, I overhear them talking about school worries or similar.  The older girls saying what their experiences have been with something like the school buses or tutors or any myriad of worries the younger ones might have.  Talking about finding Saturday jobs or peer pressures.  The walks bring out supportive conversations in a way that we don't get in the unit meeting place.  It is so very good for them.


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