Moving from Guides To Senior Section (Rangers)

>>  Sunday, March 16, 2014

The transfer from Rainbows to Brownies, then Brownies to Guides seems to happen almost seamlessly.

This is partly because parents are still very active in what is happening and partly because the leaders have strict head count numbers and need to keep moving girls through.

The Guide leaders are not as good at the whole 'moving on' thing.  They have less pressure on their numbers so hanging onto girls isn't so much of an issue and sometimes I think they are glad of the older girls being around as they use them as informal young leaders but I don't think this is good guiding.

There is a change in the program at Senior Section level, it is as different to Guides as any of the other sections.  The Ranger unit meetings tend to be more relaxed, there is an accepted flexibility around study leave, there is a bigger emphasis on self management.  The short of it is the Senior Section program is age appropriate.  Guide leaders that try to fudge the guide program to meet the needs of a 16 year old are doing that girl no favours at all.

There aren't always Ranger units in an area.  A good Guide leader will offer older girls the Senior Section program if they can and help them to run their own nights but separately to the guide meetings.

Perhaps they might move them on to do the Young Leader Qualification formally and with proper support.  I firmly believe that a girl that wants to do her Young Leader qualification with a Guide unit is better moving away from the Guide unit she went to if she can and attending another as a leader.  I have seen many girls in guides that seem to hold a foot in the 'am I a guide' or 'am I a leader' and it is not good for their development through the qualification, nor is it a good role model for the new young guides in the unit.

But mostly I know that the needs of a 10 year old that is  still in primary school and newly going into guides are totally different to a 15 year old.  The Guide leaders that try to run a unit that holds this width of ages is doing not justice to any of her girls.

On COGs division wide International trip to Switzerland this year, the leaders recognised the age group difference and allowed the older Senior Section girls much more freedom and flexibility than the younger Guides.  They were allowed to go down to the shops in groups without a leader whereas the Guides could not.  Interestingly, COG, despite being Senior Section found that the Rangers her 15+ age were put in with the Guides and it was the 16+s that were given the freedom.  She took it with dignity but it interested me to think that the 15 year olds were considered too young and yet to me as their unit leader those 15 year olds are as mature and capable as the 16 year olds.  I wonder if this says something about the way the Guide Leaders see them.  There is a massive mind shift and maturing that happens in these girls between year 9 and year 10 schooling. 

So why do so many Guide leaders not encourage a moving-on approach?

The rules are:

SectionMinimum joining ageNormal age for transfer to next section*Recommended time for a girl to spend in each section
Rainbow GuideFifth birthday (fourth birthday in Northern Ireland only).Between her seventh birthday and seven years six months.Two years (three years in Northern Ireland only).
Brownie GuideSeventh birthdayBetween her 10th and 11th birthdays.Three years
Guide10th birthdayBetween her 14th and 16th birthdays.Four years.
The Senior Section (including Rangers, Young Leaders and any other groups of members aged between 14 and 26)14th birthday26th birthday.

*The age of transfer is flexible. A girl moves on to the next section when she:
has reached the minimum age for entry into the new section
has found out about the new section and the unit to which she is moving
feels ready and happy to make the transfer.

** A young woman can be a member of The Senior Section until her 26th birthday.

The manual also points out:
Senior Section units can vary a lot − some will follow a structured programme, while others may meet only once a month and have a much more flexible structure. It's important for your daughter to find a unit she feels comfortable with. She should talk to her Guide Leader about what kind of unit would suit her.

I have been trying hard to encourage the Guide leaders to send their older Guides onto Rangers but over and over I hear "oh, my girls love it so much they don't want to leave."  I'm sure Rainbow Leaders have the same issue, but they have an encouraging approach to excite the girls to want to move onto Brownies.  The Guide Leaders just don't seem to use the same skills.  I think the Rainbow and Brownie leaders could teach the Guide leaders a trick or two here.

 As a parent and a leader I know there was a huge difference in the world of this new Guide

 and this new Ranger.

And both deserve appropriate guiding.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP