Jane's Tips for Organizing Your Guiding Paraphernalia

Jane Maddin
1st Orleans Pathfinders
Orleans, Ontario

Go through all your stuff and throw out all the stuff that you don't want. You do not need the three left over copies of a permission form for a camp that you held last September!!

You need at least three boxes when you do that! One for garbage, one for recycling, and one for giving things away. The book on Brownie crafts, now that you are doing Pathfinders could be far more useful to a Brownie Guider, right?

Next! You need something to put things in! If that is a filing cabinet and you have one, fine. If you need boxes, get some. If you can afford Rubbermaid totes, then fine, go buy some. If not, the grocery store often has fruit boxes for oranges that are sturdy and have lids!! Lids mean you can stack things.

Do you need file folders get some. Have you got something to label things with? Get that. I like hanging folders for my filing cabinet because it makes things easier to find later. File the darned things in some kind of order!!!!! I have worked with people who file by the most recently used file is in the front method! Honestly, that's the same as the composting, slowly decaying pile method, and no one can find anything INCLUDING you.

(I worked with a lady who filed that way. It took me the whole summer to set up the four drawers of a large filing cabinet, working on it when time permitted. To test the results, I sent some one else in to look for a registration form, and she came right back out with it!!! Hurray!!)

Take your time, but don't keep things IN CASE THEY COME IN HANDY!! If you are taking things off of here for Sparks leaders, and you don't do Sparks yourself, print them and put them in a folder for the sparks leaders and GIVE THEM to them. They'll love you for it!!

A box of left over craft supplies can be kept for those rainy day activities where you give the girls odds and ends and let them be creative. Don't spend a lot of time agonizing over 10 year old pieces of felt, none of them bigger than a dime, although they fill a white kitchen catcher! Throw them away!

Be ruthless, you'll feel better in the morning!!

File your papers and forms. Put magazines in those holders, or tear them up and file the pages separately, or throw them away! If you aren't using them, throw them away.

Keep your camping stuff on shelves, neat and clean. HANG your sleeping bag - you should never leave it stuffed in your stuff sack - it will lose its ability to fluff up it is compressed too long. And unroll and inflate your thermorest, the fiber in the center of it will lose its ability to fluff up too!! (They told me that at Mountain Equipment Co-Op!)

As for games, I have a separate directory for games, under guiding. The games directory is called games, and I try to title the games so that I can figure out what they are - relays, water, guide, pathfinders etc!!