Putting activities to the test
Last summer we sent you new programme activity tasters. Leader Sue shares how her unit got on when they tried them out.
How many of us have sat at unit planning meetings trying to think of something new for our girls to do?
Or spent a frantic Sunday afternoon scouring through our box of resources for a few ‘extra’ activities – just in case!
Unit meeting activities are going to be a core part of the Girlguiding programme moving forward. They’re designed so that unit leaders like you and me have a set of activities that we know have been tested with girls, with a full list of what is needed to run them successfully, and a guide to how long they will last. On top of that, they are written so that the girls can take a role in leading the activity - how good does that sound?
We had fun trying out new activities
Having had the opportunity to work with the HQ team on some aspects of the new programme, I was really excited to try some of the unit meeting activities with my own Guide unit. So when the pack arrived in the post I couldn’t wait to take it to Guides for the girls to have a look!
We had decided that we wanted to fill a full meeting with the new activities, so we gave the girls all of the cards that outlined activities taking 30 minutes or longer to choose from. They excitedly passed the cards around and then each Patrol chose one to try there and then. They really enjoyed trying something completely different and our attempts at Taekwondo caused much hilarity! I think next time we might try and find someone who knows what they are doing to come demonstrate and help us out!
A few weeks later we then had the chance to test some new activities for ourselves through the testing pool. We were sent all the details to run the activity and then had to fill in a questionnaire about what the girls and the leaders liked and didn’t like about the activity and how we would suggest changing it.
The survey asked us to capture each girls’ opinions which meant that everyone’s voice was heard – which I thought was lovely as so often we go with a majority (or in my unit’s case the noisy majority!). Each girl is different and so not surprisingly activities that appeal to one might not seem such fun to another. I was surprised how thoughtful the girls were about what worked well and what didn’t and their suggestions for changes were really insightful. They are now looking forward to seeing ‘the real thing’ and finding out how their opinion shaped the final activity.
Knowing that all the activities and badges in the new programme have been thoroughly tested with units just like my own really gives me confidence that the girls are going to love them!
Sue is a Guide leader with Girlguiding Hertfordshire.