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

patrol Activity through the Rac Wac’s.

Sometimes when the Rac Wac has been planned the idea was that:

Each patrol was to follow a different route to an appropriate destination ( accompanied by an adult with first aid kit and a car).  The year that we were to try this out everything was cancelled, delayed or rearranged due to the Fires that were / had been ranging around Churchill for nearly a month.

April 11, 2010 Posted by | action, Action Plan, Activities, Adult members, Advocacy, Arrange, BBQ, body, Brainstorming, Carry Out, Challenges, decission-making, development, emergency plan, evaluation, Events, Explore, Feet, Fire Education, Fire safety demonstration, First Aider, Food, friendship, Fun Walk, Gipps Guides, girl, goals, Invite, JBP, Lead, Leaders, Learn, March, mindmap, Outdoors [and the environment], Patrol System, Patrol-badge, Peak Achievement Award, physical fitness, Plan and Lead, Police Check, Prepare, Rac Wac, risk, Risk Annalysis, Safety, safety program, social occansion, Take part in, talents, tolerance, Warmth-factor, Water, Youth | Leave a comment

Darling overnight stay.

What an event.  The Guides have learned so much about themselves, their tolerances, other people, leadership and most of all what lack of sleep does to one!

I’ve even seen the  Guides working together and sharing their experiances with regard to what badges they have nearly completed.  Working together trying to finish another badge.

While preparing for the overnight stay and during the overnight stay the Guides became aware of the Patrol system.  How the Patrol System functions and what it means to be an active participant and a member of a Patrol. This has been accomplished mainly through out the previous terms activities in the Unit meetings. Some of the Guiding Traditions and skills were also incorporated in the weekly programs.  This overnight stay had a fair amount of just craft activities.  Since it was a State initiative then what the State wanted incorporated was included.  Craft activities were only a means for the Guides to practice their advocacy and governance skills.  Again this was Patrol building participations

The overnight stay itself represented several challenges to management. The first being reminding parents of their financial commitments with regard to paying membership and registration  to Melbourne Guide Center.

Next term I expect to see a list of badges that each girl has completed and is yet to be presented.  Along with the evidence that they have completed them of course.

Evidence… presentations of collections, photos, discussions, talks and so forth.

April 10, 2010 Posted by | Arrange, Art, Badges, Awards and more, body, Camp and overnight stays, campfire, Candles, choc, Colors, consider, cook, Create, Develop, evaluation, Explore, Faith Awareness, Food, foods we like, friends, friendship, girl, goals, goodturn, Governance, Hazelwood South Hall, Home, Homes, Lead, Lend-a-hand, manners, Membership, Multi-tasking, participate, Patrol, Patrol System, Placemats, Promise and Law, Self, table setting, Take part in, Traditions of Guiding | | Leave a comment

Global Action Theme is known as GAT

Global Action that has been ”Changing the World’ has been happening through out Girl Guide and Girl Scout programs for over 100 years. Action themes may have occurred on a World Wide basis involving the Regions of Guiding working together through our World Association of Girl guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) right down to just an individual question,action or activity sparking off a patrol activity that may lead to an International activity.  Global Action keeps occurring on a multitude of levels within Guiding.

As the members get older sometimes they move away from Guiding as their career develops or interests evolve, or they may stay within the movement, but the essence of having experienced the GAT is there. Typically Leaders bring into Guide program what they themselves enjoyed as a Youth member as well as what their interests and life skills are now.

The essence of service is still service. Over the years many form of service have been built on.  Different badges have been provided. The Guides have worked towards these with different service awareness and methods utilized.

So how is the GAT so successful? Simple really.  WAGGGS influences to have a voice and to listen.  Then to speak out, look at root causes and do projects.  While this occurs the Guides are learning.  And the life skills and interest circles are quietly going around still into the next generations.

April 10, 2010 Posted by | 2008, 2009, 2010, Achieve, Action Plan, Advocacy, Advocate, Associate, Australia, Badges, Badges, Awards and more, behaviour, Best, Blogs, body, Brainstorming, Care for, Challenge, Citizenship, clean, communicate, Confidence, Create, Create, decission-making, Demonstrate, Design your own, development, differences, disadvantage com., Discover, Discuss, Do, Earth Hour, elements, Elements of Guiding Program, Empowerment, encouragement, environment, environmental action, Explore, Explore, Faith Awareness, Feb. 22nd, Find out, Fire Education, First Aid, Food, Fundamentals of Guiding Program, Generations, Gifts, Girl-Power, Girl-Scouts, goals, goodturn, health service, History, investigate, Invite, Jump rope for heart, Laws, Lead, Leadership-Skills, Learn, learning, Lend-a-hand, Life skills gained, Make and Give, mateship, movement, Multicultural, other People, Our Canana, Our Chalete, Outdoors [and the environment], Patrol System, patrols, people, People, plan, Plan and Lead, potential, Poverty, Power-of-One, Practical, Programs, Promise and Law, Sangam, Self, Service, Service, Share, short term, Step by step working plan, Survival methods, Take part in, Technology, Theme, Thinking, timeline, Understand, WAGGGS, Water, World Day, World Thinking day, WW11 Servicemen and women, Year, Youth section | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RAC WAC S.W.O.T ANNALYSIS

Strengths

  • Years of experience of us
  • Trainings
  • Interests
  • Complementary learning
  • We know what’s in the training book
  • Qualifications: Guiding, First aid, food safety, After school coaching program.

Weakness

  • Lack of girls
  • Lack of other experienced leaders
  • Time to train other leaders
  • Lack of parental involvement
  • Parents lack of what’s expected of them (assistance, police check, working with Children)
  • Transport.

Opportunities

  • Public relations.
  • Support through ‘Networking’
  • Preparation for state event – Ram (Race around Melbourne)
  • Advertising-Word of mouth, posters, being seen out and about.

Threats

  • Seasonal asthma.
  • Boredom and temper tantrums.
  • Other organisations.
  • Non-communication of what is waned.

April 7, 2010 Posted by | Achieve, Activities, Activities, brainstorm, Carry Out, Collect, consider, Create, decission-making, Demonstrate, Design your own, Develop, Explore, Explore, Explore, friends, Fun Walk, investigate, mindmap, Outdoors [and the environment], outside, participate, Patrol System, Risk Annalysis, Safety, Take part in, team work, Understand, Water, Weather Conditions | 1 Comment

They arrived with a…

 

C.F.A Come on down to Guides.

 

When planning 2009 Tuesday program the girls decided to invite the CFA people to Guides. Little knowing that every one here would be so affected by the near by fires over the last two weeks.

 

Here are some of the pictures of the CFA ladies who came to our Girl Guide meeting today. And we did not scare them off…. so they are coming back too.

 

April 5, 2010 Posted by | Activites, events and service, Badges, Awards and more, be Prepared, Be Safe, behaviour, CFA, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, communication, community, Community Groups, elements, Elements of Guiding Program, Emergemcy, Emergency Exit Plan, emergency plan, Emergency Vehicles, Empowerment, Exercise, Feb, Find-out-about, Fire, Fire Education, Fire safety demonstration, Fundamentals of Guiding Program, Governance, Hazelwood Churchill Girl Guides, Hazelwood South Hall, Hazelwood. Hall, Injuries, Invite, Life skills gained, Objectives, organisaing, other People, participate, ramifications, response, risk, Rules, Safety, safety program, Self-Confidence, signal, skills, Stop drop and roll practice, Survival methods, team member, team work, Try, types of, Visit., what do Guides Do?, Youth Members, Youth Section | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is a Patrol Activity

Patrol activities can occur either while at Guides or out of Guide meeting times.  Basically the members of the Patrol discuss something, organise it and do it.  They must inform parents and their leader. Their leader must inform the District Leader before the activity begins.

There can be any number of Patrol Activities going on through out the year.

Patrol activities on private land or in private homes have guidelines to them.  So therefore there must be a registered leader of Youth present.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | meeting, Patrol, private homes, private land, Youth | Leave a comment

Hazelwood Girl Guide Support Group

Before January 2009 this group was disbanded.  The incoming Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guide District leader preferred to work with a different method of support.  Having a District team meant that the members were not perceived as only friends and family of the current Girl Guides. The scope of membership being a larger base.  Monitored by size through the Melbourne office of Girl Guides.
 Girl Guide Australia Guide lines any president or treasurer also requires a police check.  No one wanted a police check … nor these positions. Under these conditions no Support Group could operate.

March 6, 2010 Posted by | District team, Hazelwood and Churchill Girl Guides, Hazelwood Support Group, job Description, Membership, Police Check, treasurer | Leave a comment

Heart Week and JRFHeart

 When organising activities and events it is good to sometimes have the events, activites and services aligned with other organisisations and their service to community sections.

So I asked Mary-Lou from Jump Rope for Heart the following Question:

……..  When is national heart week?  This may have some bearing on time /date factor

November 30, 2009 Posted by | community, Equipment, JRFH, Jump rope for heart, money, OBP, physical fitness, Service, Youth Section | Leave a comment