Ours2share's Blog

Hazelwood and Churchill (Victoria, Australia) local Girl Guide information noticeboard.

Revitalizing the Hazelwood and Churchill Guide District


A few years ago the Hazelwood and Churchill District was holding on for dear life.

The Leaders knew that Guiding offered so much to so many people. But the challenges were more than low, continuously changing membership within the District.

But how to revitalize the membership that was experiencing low energy levels which in turn created more problems such as a sense of uncertainty. People were busy.  In this area family commitments, job and TV held peoples attention so adding to these was a major want. Finding the “sell” feature a major challenge.

One major challenge was the major gap in Leadership of the actual District.  The position of Region Leader was  filled. The only person at the time in the District able to take on the position of District Leader was impressed with the new Region Leader. So  this leader put her name forward and was voted as District Leader.

The challenge was to overcome the negative people factors and somehow bring out the best in people. Effectively setting up and developing a management system that was functional, rewarding and manageable, but owned by the people involved directly with the Hazelwood and Churchill Guide District was achievable, but would take time. was time going to be an ally… a good question posed that needed answers quickly. Then came the changes on a management level within the District.  The changes needed to come in but they the changes also needed to be understood well by all and actually supported.  Guides Victoria began handing over the reins to the Younger adult members around 2000.  These members were assisted in there management skills , supported and encouraged with making a go of it. So the Gipps Guides are among other team members creating intergrated Subcommittees and getting on with ‘it’. One such subcommittee is the Jump-Rope-for Heart activity one.

The management of the District was formalised so that  SWOT’s and Risk analysis had to be done. Through District Leaders meetings items discussed previously were formalized.   The District assets were relooked at. For in stance how was the lease on the Hazelwood South Hall  and the challenges associated with this hall  and its maintenance an asset?

There is so much to offer the members within Guiding that each Leader was given a job to do meaning that each leader is asked to organise one event, service or activity. Different lists were drawn up and a selection was offered. There are different levels of activity available.  Some are aimed at families, others at the District team,  Full member ship that may be Leaders, Unit Helpers and Youth or just at the Youth Member Level.

In order to achieve the challenge give she must work with a sub-committee. reporting to through either the District Leaders or team meetings or the Gipps Guides meetings. Effectively shortening the duration of both minutes taken along with the meetings length while widening the scope of the meetings. Updates and reports to be channelled through the ours2share.wordpress.com medium.

The sub committee may consist of outside members of Guiding. May be male and female.  Even belong to other organisations.  What is to be recognized is that no one person has all the skills or networks needed. Active participation does not require tons of effort.  Just a marshaling of other peoples skills and a guidance of the delegation required. There three things are achieved.

A) the public become aware that Guiding in this District is not ‘dead’. Indeed is again beginning to flourish.

b) People gain skills and knowledge and thus self esteem levels grow.

c) Membership levels increase. Participation levels increase. Sub-committee assistance is easier as when something is alive people want to help and getting involved is helping.

d) The positive energy being directed into making things happen within the District feeds off each thing that happens. When things happen members do not feel that their input is down graded.  Uplifting occurs on many levels.

The District management was to change.  Rather than have a District support group a District Team was created.  The underpinning idea was to have positive adult input into the Guide District management.  The basis of which is that adults are the ones that okay a Youth Members Application to join Guides. If the adults in the community actually got to know who the Leaders  less negative ‘Word of Mouth’ publicity would occur.  Instead the interest in being a member of the District team would create a positive impact within the community.  The District team would organize various activities and events for other members within the community and as a level of Guiding within the District may also assist with other actual District events, service and events that families within Guiding were attending. So we started by once again having Jota/i, parades, family BB’s there.  But was this enough with the changes near the hall coming.

Logically where would the Youth Members go once they were adults.  It had been observed by the District Leader that once an eleven year old Guide had the idea formed that there was nothing after, except being a Leader, so negative concepts had a place to take root.

Concurrently, as there was a need for the District Team, there was also a need for the Olave Program to be revitalized as well.  The registered local Olave Program was known as the Gipp’s Guides. A nucleus of adults formed, a calendar was worked on, positions were worked towards. There are subcommittees being formed that deal with Uniform fundraising, jump rope for heart through the Gipp’s Guides and involving the wiser community. Members of the Gipp’s Guides are actively learning about management of people, committees and bring out the best within people as they are involving themselves in the District Sub-committees such as the Morning Tea Sub-committee. Learning by doing.  When and if these Gipps Guide’s are wanting to move into other fields or become involved with committees in either Guiding on other levels or in their wider community they will have set standards and management tools already learned and practiced. The rational of which is that in aiming for a certain set standard and achieving tangible outcomes will bring about a sense of achievement, public awareness, positive energy and pride.

The District membership had to grow. Some of the team members, leaders and the Gipps Guides brought other people into the District. Members may have had children, nieces, aunties and friends, some of which were females.  Those girls who were five and over have joined into the Youth program side of Guides.  Some of the members have answered there call to become trainee leaders.  Others have joined into the District team.  Offering help and assistance as their time, qualifications and paper work allow them to participate. Thus supporting their own partners, family members and definitely their daughters within this District’s Guiding.

So far the outcomes are supporting  the Districts objectives and five year plan.

A major challenge for the District Leader and Leaders was the revitalisation of the Youth Members thought towards themselves, their abilities and thus what and how they had belief in their actual programs.  Having the support of others on the District , their Parents and family members helped.  But what about their friends and peers. The main obstacle was the belief that other organisations were better was held by many in those organisations.  This was a good thing for those organisations but the influences on our District was negative.  So ownership in many small areas is a major tactic tool for advancing the Hazelwood and Churchill Guide Districts Youth Program.  Through the acceptance of ownership other things had to be understood.  Gaining this knowledge bases includes governance, making decisions, patrol system, traditions, having a voice, being creative in their approach to challenges, brainstorming, mind mapping and seeing things through til the evaluation.  Accepting things may not go well this time but theres other benefits that occur.

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April 19, 2010 - Posted by | Activities, decission-making, evaluation, families, Gipp's, Gipps Guides, Governace, Hazelwood South Hall, Knowledge management, Leaders, Outcomes, Step by step working plan, Sub Committees, team work, time management, Uncategorized, Youth Section | , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] much to gain to stop. So it was decided to make no response to these comments.  Once people had a chance to recognize just what it was Guiding was all about, what Guiding offered and just how inclusive and […]

    Pingback by Upgrading the Hazelwood and Churchill Guide District « Ours2share's Blog | April 21, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] just a norm for them. Hence the really special reason as to why the Hazelwood and Churchill Guide District has been concentrating on helping the Gipp’s Guides and the District Team become active. To […]

    Pingback by Altering past activities to fit with what is happening today. « Ours2share's Blog | May 5, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] With this flash back my insight to her declaration of intent is understandable. Now as a District Leader what was I going to do about this statement? How could I do something that she, and other like her, would benefit by participation? […]

    Pingback by Setting out to do “my best” is just what the Dr ordered. « Ours2share's Blog | May 5, 2010 | Reply


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