Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Time Capsule - to be opened in January 2032

We've survived Guiding's Centenary Year, so I think it's time to create a time capsule, of some of the things we learned from celebrating the big year. Unlike most time capsules, I'm not going to include a whole lot of artefacts, I'm going to include something which I feel is far more valuable - some advice on what not to do to celebrate Guiding's 125th Birthday!

Firstly, do not organise too many big events - or at least, be aware that you'll get very low attendances at each one if you do. The Guides will only attend so many events during the year, the parents will only pay for so many events, so the more you offer, the smaller the attendance at each . . . meantime the Guiders will be stretched thin, accompanying 5 girls to this event and three to that . . . so please hold a small number of special big events, well spaced out.

Secondly, please remember whose birthday it is (and whose it isn't). This time round it has been 25 years since the Guide section has had a 'special year', but only 2 years since the Rainbows, 6 years since the Brownies and 3 years since the Senior Section - yet there have been as many events for other sections as the Guides. The Guides have felt neglected. And the fact that it's the Centenary of Guiders hasn't been mentioned at all . . .

Thirdly, it needn't just apply to anniversaries - but if at all possible, DO NOT try to organise multi-section events -it just doesn't work. If you feel you must, then definitely no more than 2 sections. Either one section is overwhelmed or another is bored - and this year it has often been the birthday girls themselves who have been left hanging around bored at their own party, expected to enjoy Rainbow crafts . . . which they don't enjoy at all.

Finally, although it is tempting to try to have simultaneous nationwide events - this is only possible if the style of the event lends itself to being held in locations urban and rural, large and small, and if the event is timed for a day and time which is accessible for the majority - not during the week, not during anyone's school holidays, not requiring special facilities.

To conclude, I would say that there have been all sorts of positives about Centenary year, I don't want you to think otherwise - but I hope this information enables you to make the 125th birthday celebrations of the Guide and Guider sections even better than the Centenary ones.

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