Encouraging the Girls to Plan

Louise Kruithof
Pathfinder guider, camp advisor, trainer, etc....
Hamilton, Ont, Canada

In trying to get them to take their guiding destiny in hand, I had all the girls come to my house for a sleep over with promises of games and pizza. Once they all got here and had talked for a good hour, we played a game (I do not remember which one, it was their choice), and then I brought out newsprint paper and markers, and asked them to write down what they would like to do and not do at Guides. They could write as many 'do's as they wanted, but for each 'not do', there had to be a 'do'. When that was completed, another short game, then more newsprint and calendars where the important dates were already marked and I asked them to make a schedule of when they would like to do those things and who would be willing to take it over with help from a guider if required. Pizza had been promised for when this task was completed.

Each meeting for the rest of the year had one activity that had been planned by them at the sleepover. The next year, with some experienced guides, we did the same at the meeting night. It took the whole meeting but by then they knew they had ownership of their guiding year, and it went on for a few years until there was one of those years with lots of new girls and all the older ones gone. Did the same again (sleep-over), and it worked again.

The first and second sleep over at my house were in the attic, (wide open area). Since then, the piles from the dining room table, the floor by the window, the extra chair, etc. have been moved to the attic. So, guess what! The attic is piled with guiding stuff.