Learning to Lead for Brownies

>>  Wednesday, December 28, 2016

There was a training day happening in my area and I been feeling a bit out of the Guiding loop recently, not seeing many people, so I volunteered to go and help out for the day.  Not being a trainer I offered my services as car park attendant (I love the hi-vis work!), tea maker and general clearerupper.  Many hands make light work and offers of help like that are rarely going to be turned down.

So my cold day started as a meet and greet.  You see the relief on parent's faces as they see the uniform and know they have arrived at the right place and you see the smile on the Brownie's faces as I wave and grin at them.  I think it makes for a happy start to the day.

 I then moved straight on to gluing bits and pieces for the trainers.

There were the trainers there, some peer-educators (Senior Section girls trained  to deliver specific training courses), myself as a spare hand and the leaders that had come with the brownies and were also receiving training alongside them.  In total there were 17 adults for 30 girls.

That is a lot of guiding leaders giving up their spare time voluntarily for a few girls I thought.  (It's only an hour a week Leaders always joke - this was a 7 hour day!!)

I was deliberating over whether it was worth that many adults giving up time for so few girls, but this training was for the older brownies the ones that were sixers and seconders, they have a level of responsibility in the unit themselves.  It was to help them 'do their job' and to help their leaders let them do it.

As a leader it can sometimes be hard to 'let go of the reins' and let the girls do it themselves.  And we are an organisation that is girl lead.

The training given (by the volunteer trainers) was very much like work training sessions I have been on for management and team building trainings.  The exercises seemed quite similar.

As the girls worked through the day on different exercises, making things in teams, learning about their different leadership styles I could see them growing.

They learnt about communication, democracy, inclusion.

By the end of the day in groups of 6, with other brownies they had never met before, they chose a theme, planned a meeting night around it, set a time table, budgeted and wrote lists of what they needed.

And they stood up and presented it to the adults there.  It was a huge achievement.

I think they wouldn't have believed at the start of the day they were capable of it.

I wish their parents could see this sort of thing as it unfolds, they would be so proud.

I've been having a hard time at work myself recently with a new manager that has not had any training himself in leadership skills.

 I was thinking whilst watching these girls develop, if they only carry through a small bit of what they learnt here beyond Guiding and into their later lives they could transform the lives of people like myself working for people without these skills.  If every one of those 30 brownies has 10 people working for them, that's 300 people  touched right there.  When I think about the benefits of this long term that's when I know the time is worth giving up and know we are doing the right thing developing these children now for the future.


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