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

Recreating the District

Guiding in Hazelwood, then in Churchill, has been here for over fifty years.  Eighteen years ago there was: one Gumnut Unit, five Brownie Guide Units, two Girl Guide Units, and one Ranger Guide Unit. In Leaders there were two qualified Leader per Unit, and at least one Unit helper per Unit.  Of yes and One District Leader.

The Gumnut Unit had eight to twelve Guides, The Brownie Guide had twenty to twenty-four Guides, the Girl  Guides had thirty-six and twenty-five Guides, and the Ranger Guides had up to ten Guides.  A total of ninety odd Guides.

External community and Government changes challenged many non-profit organisations.  Large pay outs for people to leave their jobs. People left the areas within the Latrobe Valley. TAB machines effectively crept into gaming rooms. Business’s began then gradually sunk into nothingness. The education systems started to change.  As teenagers grew up they moved away with or without their families.

Nearly fifteen years ago Guiding itself had changes. The most visual was a uniform.  The badges changed too. Methodology of management brought about changes as well.  Things happen slowly in the Latrobe Valley.  Change usually bring about fear of the unknown.  Other organisations were changing as well.

Some organisations had major federal or local government backing.  Youth programs through the Latrobe City Council, the Youth Development Programs based at High Schools and Colleges were basically free of change.

What were perceived as weakness’ were taken advantage of. the numbers within different organisations changed dramatically.  Some gaining and others weakening in numbers and skill basis. Thus leaving a changing core group of people who were dealing with generation gaps as well as frustrations, no money and prejudice.  All organisation who operate and have survived these conditions I take my hat off too.  They are survivors.  Survival means doing what is necessary. Utilizing the life skills and education of the people both immediately involved, the families and those on the periphery [stakeholders]

Nearly fifteen years later this District elected a new District Leader. The core feeling being what had been was no longer going to be.  Things had to change and change they were going to.  But how? So we started of from what we knew we were able to do and looked at what needed to be done. The Leaders kept showing all inclusive Leadership skills to all ages of Guides. Patrols were created. Programs were created.  How ever, with the energy drain from the community effecting Guiding community it was like pushing something unpleasant uphill.

Many questions were asked from various stake holder fields.  A needs analysis was completed. Typically gaping holes occurred. A management plan was formulated.

The main focal points that were not making sense were:

  • The operation of a Support Group when a District Team method was both better and available.
  • Not having a Senior Guide Unit operating within the Olave Program.
  • Changing the focal point from obtaining Youth Members and having the expectations that the current Leaders would cope.
  • Having a small Adult base the Guides were limited and felt that they were unable to ‘do’ anything.

Those left in this District realised that Guiding as it used to be did not meet the populations needs any longer.  Early change chances had been denied, so what was could not longer exist and the ‘was’ was no longer in existence.  Times had definitely changed and progress needed to be in a forward push.  Times would change yet again. The old structures had to be either knocked down or altered, strengthen and changed around. Foundations had shifted,  re-shackled or even demolished.

A small group of people could not possibly do it all.  Delegation was going to occur.  Revitalisation and regrowth was desperately needed. So with the words of our Founder  ‘from acorns oaks do grow”  – BP Change was going to happen.  Change did and is still happening.

Most importantly Guiding in this District was not going to go under.  the realisation that this Districts Guiding offered an opportunity to many people to extend themselves, may be even to just survive through another meal. Poverty of mind went along side poverty of spirit.   Soon there would be once again intolerance and unrest within the external community infiltrating the Guiding Community. This poverty of the mind was not going to win. After all one of Guiding major focuses is in regard to the “Eradication of Poverty” and the “saying No to the abuse of Women”.  So many things are on our own back doors that the Leaders involved felt they could not just walk away.

With your help, input and understanding the Hazelwood and Churchill Guide District will grow again.  The knowledge management cycles are being understood and acted upon by even the youngest Guide member. In fact those within the Hazelwood and Churchill District Guides are already seeing this happen, as not only are the Units organising activities as a whole, the patrols are gradually getting the hang of patrol activities, the District team has increased the activities as well. These changers are now being reflected through the District Leaders meetings.

The Girl’s Rock Conference, happening in January, is a terrific way for members of the District Team to go and become informed on what, where and how the Guiding direction is moving.

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Activities, Adult members, Australian Guide Program, Community Development, Event-management, families, Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District, Knowledge Basis, Knowledge management, Lifeskills, management, Objectives, organisaing, Youth Section | 1 Comment

Where would the Hazelwood Honor Board go?

There are District Leaders meeting minutes that state that should the Hazelwood Honor Board be removed the Hazelwood and Churchill District would go to Hazelwood North School or the Public Hall across the road from it and ask them to have the honor of housing and protecting this board.


The main reasons for this is three fold.
  • The first being that the reason for this was that Churchill was not even ‘born’ when those people went to war. These pioneers fought for Hazelwood, not Churchill as Churchill was not even invented then. The Churchill Township / residental area was Hazelwood.

  • The second being that among the ‘Hazelwood’ generations (older members especially) and their families their is animosity still towards the political of ‘the day’ when the implanted town became known as Churchill. Effectively honoring a politician rather than honoring those generations of pioneers who changed the land for grazing.
  • Just because some members in a ‘towns’ population thinks that they have the numbers therefor what they so happens is not the case. What this attitude is is political abuse of percieved power and down right abuse. Hazelwood and the generational ties to the area must be allowed a fair and equal voice. Opinions are always simmering below the surface.

February 24, 2010 Posted by | Churchill, families, Generations, Hazelwood Honor Roll, History | Leave a comment