Playing The Game - Inclusion

>>  Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Chief Guide said 'If it's not fun, it's not Guiding'.  I didn't know until recently that she said it, I've been saying it for many years.  Brownies don't go to a night to be shouted at, or do book work they get plenty enough of that at school.  Much the same as Rangers don't deserve to be spoken down to or mocked, but that is a separate post to be written.

At a Brownie night I watched our Young Leaders playing 'port and starboard' with the girls.  It was turning into a never ending game and I said to the YLs 'if you get them out if they go wrong or are last then it has a natural ending'.

"But the girls don't like being out, they get bored" said the confident YL.  Only a few nights later I read this in an old book:

"So often in the children's party type game, the smallest or weakest child is 'out' first and then is compelled to sit and watch the stronger or more skillful at play.  The Founder would have none of this.  The whole object of a game, in his scheme, was to bring the weaker players up to scratch, not to show off the few who were already efficient in running or jumping or observing or whatever the game may entail.  So he devised games where the weak player instead of being out received a chalk mark or an armlet while continuing in play; the winner, of course, being the one who ended up scathless.  It sounds so simple, yet who of us has not suffered agonies of self consciousness and boredom in our youth of being first 'out' in musical chairs at a party?  Even in Brownie packs, I am sorry to say, I have sometimes seen the little newcomers sitting miserably round walls, longing for the game to end so they may have another go."

Our clever Young Leader was right.  They are so good at being in tune with what is fun, what the girls actually want to do. 

100 years on and the same principles still stand firm.  It is a totally different world of computer games, TVs, social media, fast excitement and yet the simple needs of the child are still much the same.

They want to play, they want to have fun, they want to keep moving. 

Clever Young Leader.  She's going far.


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