Pathfinder Guider, Senior Branch Adviser, Trainer, Deputy Camp Commissioner
St. Bruno, Quebec, Canada
I hope everyone is having a great summer. Registration fees is a subject that comes up often at District level and I am sure will generate a lot of response on this list.
I think it is time that Girl Guides, particularly unit Guiders to pat themselves on the back and acknowledge what a wonderful job they are doing. Where else could young girls in our communities receive encouragement, support, self esteem, friendship, leadership, love, adventure, training in a multitude of skills etc. etc. for less that $1.00 a night (based on $35-$40 registration) plus dues.
I live in a middle class community where extra-curricular activities are very popular. Parents line up for hours to sign their children up for swimming, skating, football, ringuette, hockey, tennis ....... All of these activities cost much more than Girl Guides and most require you to buy a uniform and/or expensive equipment.
I recognize that not all girls are as fortunate as the ones here and that allowances must be made for a variety of communities and circumstances.
As for the things that Units and Districts spend money on (ultimately it is all paid by the girl):
Many corporations have found that there is great value in training it's employees. It increases quality, morale, teamwork and many other things. As a Trainer I have found over and over again that if we can get a new Guider to trainings so that she does not feel so overwhelmed in her unit she is much more likely to remain in Guiding. I know that in Quebec nearly a third of Guiders resign each year! We want do do everything we can to hold on to this valuable resource. Training, babysitters, uniforms (to the ability of the District), help with registration all contribute to hold on to Guiders and ultimately improve the quality of Guiding .
This is the girl's money and should ultimately go towards the girl's program. Whether this is the form of registration subsidies for large families, camping equipment for the district, subsidizing a District fun day, stocking a resource library for Guiders these all benefit the girls eventually.
Sorry this is so long. I just want to say that we need go out and convince the community we are well worth the registration fees they are paying.