Compiled by Jennifer Walker, Edmonton AB
The Jilalan Ranger Guides (external link)
The Olave Program
The 1996-97 Situation
14 to 18 Year Olds (updated)
18 to 30 Year Olds
The Olave Program
20 Nov 1997
In Australia, actually - in N.S.W. Australia, they have just put together a list and thus a group of under 30's, called 'The Olave Program'. To get this letter together, a survey was sent out to ALL leaders, junior leaders, and Ranger Guides (Guides 14-18) and Rangers (Guides 18+) . This survey asked questions about each persons interests, age, address, other contact numbers, years of service, unit involved with, qualifications - like an update or check for all their records. It actually worked!
The program for young women in Australia has finally been approved at National level. Yipeee! And now we have a name :-) All members of Guides Australia aged 18-30yrs are now part of the Olave Program. And members of the Olave Program who work as unit leaders or resource leaders are called (obviously) Leaders; and members who meet (either in person or by correspondence), in peer groups are called Rangers. And of course the program is completely open for young women to move from one role to another or participate in the program in both ways. We now all wear the same uniform - the Australian adult uniform which is comprised of either a pale blue shirt and scarf, or a white shirt with little blue stick figures on it (popularly refered to as the 'where's wally' shirt!), and navy blue skirt/shorts/trousers. Our peak achievement award is the Olave Baden Powell Award.
The big difference I see between your Link program and our Olave Program is that in Canada it seems there is some hesitancy about including young leaders officially in the Link program, whereas in Australia all members of guiding aged 18-30 yrs are automatically members of the Olave Program. So here, even if you register as a leader, if you are aged 18-30 yrs you will also be registered as a member of the Olave Program. Of course if you are not a leader but a ranger, you will just be registered as a member of the Olave Program. In this way the Olave Program is a huge information and support network for young women in Guiding. And young women can participate as much or as little as they like in any aspects of the program.
And yes, I recognize that women over the age of 30 yrs also require the same type of networks but here in Australia it has been the young women that have worked at getting a program up and running for themselves. Our young women obviously feel strongly about having a special program in place to help them maintain their involvement in guiding through a difficult time in their lives. And I'm positive its going to have an impact on the number of young women we retain in guiding. Flexibility is the key!
The 1996-97 Situation
The situation now in Australia is much more fluid that it was 18 months ago. The division of Ranger guides (14-18), and Junior Leaders (14-17ish), plus the Ranger group (17/18 to 25) is no longer so clear. Guides is the term now for all members under 18 (although the girls who are following the leadership stream may be called 'Junior Leaders' whilst they are with the unit of younger people with whom they are placed), and whilst there is a membership and an intent for young women over 18 to 30 to fit into the scheme of things, it is not yet formalised. (The proposal is that it be self organising and allow for group and individual membership/networking - in other words provide award system etc.for the 'Rangers' and network/contacts for the young leaders, representation at state and national level decision making meetings. - As far as I can work out it may be like Link, plus 'badgework' - adult qualifications, Ranger section certificates, Olave Baden-Powell Award, etc. available for those who wish to challenge themselves in this way.) The role of the Ranger Counsellor ((older)adult mentor/advice giver) would become up to members of any group of 18+ers, if they felt the need of a resource leader. We've called the 18-30 group Dinpanari, locally, but there's voting going on about the actual name of this program.
14 to 18 year olds
18 Mar 1998 - Queen's Guide Award
There are essentially 2 parts to the Queen's Guide Award (the peak achievement award for the 14-18yr age group). There is a
"core component" - and when you complete this you receive your Gold Endeavour Award; and there is a Focus (for example Outdoors, Leadership, Science and Technology, Arts, etc.) - for which you receive a certificate. When you've done both you get your Queen's Guide Award. Your (Canada's) Cadet program I believe is similar to our old Junior Leader program, which is now encompassed entirely in the Leadership Focus (so you can get some idea of how much work is involved in each individual focus).
If someone wanted to work on both the Cadet and Ranger program, using Australia's scheme they would simply complete more than one focus certificate. And the certificates would recognise this additional work. However you can't do two focus certificates and not the core component to get your Queen's Guide.
Our 14-18yr programs appear similar to the Senior Branch programs in Canada, except I think our Junior Leader program is more structured and involves more training outside of the actual unit the girl is working with. Our programs also appear a little more flexible, however by the sounds of it this is what you're trying to achieve in your new programs . Our girls have the choice of participating in either:
(i) a peer group and following a program that appears very similar to the Girl Scout Ranger program; they can work on youth badges (eg firstaid, canoeing certificates, abseiling qualifications, lightweight camping certificates etc) as well as working towards their D of E Award and the Queen's Guide Award (peak achievement award for this age group); these girls can also volunteer to help out in guide units (much like your Cadette's I believe) and if interested can begin work on the Australian Junior Leader qualification
(ii) a guide unit working as a junior leader; there is a well structured junior leader program with challenges for the girls to work through (sometimes with the help of the adult leader) - it generally takes a couple of years for the girls to complete their Junior Leader qualfication; junior leaders can also work towards their Queen's Guide Award or D of E and can participate in a peer group for any length of time.
There are many girls who actively pursue both programs (as well as being a Venturer in Scouts - I don't know how they do it!). Here in Queensland the numbers are spread pretty evenly between the programs.
To help ensure we are meeting this age groups needs we have set up a state 14-18yr committee (of which I'm the chair) which meets 4 times a year. At these meetings we discuss any changes that have occurred to the program and how they feel about it, submit recommendations for any new changes, help organise state 14-18yr functions and devise ways to promote this age group to the younger girls. The committee is made up of Region representatives, who are each responsible for collecting and dispersing relevant information to their peers within their regions.
1996-97 - 18 to 30 year olds
Once the girls turn 18 they become adult members of the association and can work towards obtaining their warrant to become a unit leader or resource leader (ie activity specialist such as abseiling instructor etc), or they can just participate in the new 18-30yrs program which is similar to the Link program in Canada. One big difference however, is that ALL guide members aged 18-30yrs are considered part of the 18-30yr program (yet to be named) and so automatically recieve all information for the age group and are automatically included in all activities etc. Thus the program is essentially a support and information network for all young women whether they are leaders or not. Members of the 18-30yr program can work towards any of the adult badges (and D of E if under 25yrs)
Right now we are in the process of setting up this new 18-30yr program. In contrast to the National Council in the UK, this new program is actually being run by the 18-30yrs. (Although all control has yet to be handed over - we still need the guidance!) Each state has set up a State 18-30yr committee. This committee is made up of 18-30yr Region representatives, as well as a 14-18yr Liaison officer (myself) and the State Youth Adviser (who previously looked after the 14-30yr age group and in the future will just be overseeing the 14-18yrs). We meet every 2 months in different parts of the state and discuss general business, and organise state events for this age group as well as linking activities.
There are many days when all these changes just seem to be adding to the confusion of keeping guiding going in Australia - it is difficult to remain positive when there are no guidelines to what we should be doing. But I think its great that it has been recognised at national level that something needs to be done for this age group and they are providing the resources for us to have a go. Its better we change and try to move forward than cling to something that so obviously was not working.
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