Although not a sponsored unit, 4th Broadstone Guides has always had a strong connection with Broadstone Methodist Church. Formed in March 1971 by Sheila La Riviere and registered in January 1972, the unit has always met on the premises (except when the church was being rebuilt) and many of the unit leaders have either been members or had links with the church, including Naomi, Sheila's daughter, who took over running the unit in the 1980s until she moved from the area.
The Girl Guides Association was formed in 1910 after a small group of girls gatecrashed the first Boy Scout rally at Crystal Palace in September 1909 and requested “something for the girls”. Nowadays almost half of all women in the UK have been involved in guiding at some stage in their lives and there are over 10 million members in 145 countries.
There are 4 themes which are, were and always will be the very essence of the movement. Guiding has always been diverse and inclusive - in the early days it cut across the Edwardian class system, including factory girls as well as the better-off as members; nowadays inclusivity takes many forms, from groups thriving in inner cities and deprived areas to the inclusion of disabled members in unit activities.
Guiding gives girls a voice and a platform for their views. Guiding offers a girl-only space with activities and challenges that build girls' self-confidence in a safe, friendly and relaxed environment. Guiding remains modern and relevant ~ today's programme of activities may be quite different to the activities done by the first Guides, but the Guiding spirit of personal growth achieved through learning and community action can be seen throughout and Guiding will continue to evolve so that it remains contemporary and compelling for the girls and young women of the future.
There are 5 interlinking principles that run throughout the programme, known as the five essentials:
· Guides work together in small groups
· Guides are encouraged to govern themselves and make their own decisions
· Guides have a balanced and varied programme
· Guides care for the individual
· Guides share a commitment to a common standard ~ each member of Girlguiding must be willing to make the promise and it is this commitment that distinguishes Girlguiding from other youth organisations.
In 4th Broadstone Guides, the girls are asked for their ideas at the start of the term and the programme is then put together by the team of leaders using the girls' ideas as a basis. There is plenty of opportunity for the girls to plan their own activities and teamwork is key when deciding on who/when/how and every girl has a part to play.
The Guides usually work together in small groups called patrols. While engaged in activities a Guide learns loyalty, cooperation, concerns for others and tolerance as well as a sense of responsibility. Working together in a small group encourages learning from others, working for common goals and helping others towards their goals and being part of a team.
Teamwork can be seen in many of the activities done by the Guides whether it is working together to put up a tent at the start of camp, ensuring the fire doesn't go out whilst cooking a meal over an open fire or supporting each other on more adventurous activities such as crate stacking.
Last summer, teamwork was evident at the Division camp held at Foxlease when girls and leaders were challenged by the weather conditions and the leaders rallied together when members of the team were unable to come due to illness and bereavement.
Recently, the unit went orienteering at Upton Country park where the girls worked together in small groups to find the 36 orienteering points identified on the map.
The Guide programme includes a teamwork ‘Go for it!’, which are activity resources for patrols based on a theme and have activities that Guides can choose and run themselves. Through these, the Guides will have learned how to choose to work together and to organise and motivate themselves and to plan ahead.
Guides can earn interest badges and in the badges available are the team player and team leader badges.
So being a Guide provides many opportunities for teamwork and working together whilst having fun and at the same time teaching the members skills for life.