Wednesday, 5 June 2013

'That Talk'

In recent years especially, there seems to have been a growing problem of girls who have outgrown Guides - not leaving.

(Yes, I know it seems strange that on one hand we rush to announce how many girls we have joining across the country, and here I am saying that there are some who should be encouraged to consider leaving!)

In the past, those who had got all they were going to get out of Guides simply stopped attending, and their parents accepted that if it wasn't fun for them anymore, there was no point in them going to the meetings. Now we seem to have a situation where, for some reason, the girls don't feel they can 'just leave'. Instead they reluctantly keep coming, and their boredom results in them undertaking low-level (and not so low-level) disruption.

On the one hand, some would say we should encourage these girls to stay, if they're still coming most weeks then they must be getting something out of it, etc.

Reality is, that even if they are getting 'something' out of it, we have to consider what the others in the unit are getting out of it. It's no fun if you never have time to play that fun new game because, once again, half the night's been wasted waiting for the backchat and nonsense to stop so the Leaders could give out the basic instructions. Or trying to enjoy the Patrol activity when 2 or 3 of the group are playing music on their phones instead of taking part in it. You'd like the activities, if you actually got the chance to do them, but since you don't, you're not sure if you'll stick Guides much longer . . .

Not to mention the degree of grinding down which turns once enthusiastic leaders into adults who dread what will happen this week, and starts them asking themselves why they do it at all.

Often, if you have 'that talk' with the troublesome ones, and outline the options they have, it makes such a difference. Those who want to leave know they can, and they will still get to join SS if they want to when the time comes. Those who have been led astray but at heart want to stay know they have the choice of leaving if they want to take it, or staying subject to taking part in the unit's activities. They can tackle challenges like Baden-Powell or Commonwealth Award - if they think they've got the stickability! Those who have been affected by it see that it is being dealt with, the troublemakers haven't 'got away with it' and the whole atmosphere improves for everyone.

Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet for the good of the majority . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment