This year we were particularly excited about County Day as GirlGuiding has had a massive programme overhaul and nobody really understood the new program and we all had a lot of questions.
Throughout the day we learnt about the new programme, how it will be implemented and had a chance to look at the new resources.
Overall I like the new programme. It means that Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and the Rangers all follow the same programme as opposed to doing completely different things. As a girl moves up through the sections, she will build on her skills she has previously learnt.
The badges have been updated too, and have been made easier to carry out. They seem to involve less equipment and therefore don’t exclude girls for taking part. Previously some badges needed a girl to take part in a club or have lessons to gain certain badges (such as horse riding) therefore excluding lower income girls. These don’t and I have since started one with Tilly and she seemed to enjoy it.
One of the criticisms of the new programme is it seems very heavy. It should take up 60% of our time leaving some time for games, promise ceremonies and seasonal activities. However there is a lot of prepared actives and that are compulsory to gain certain badges. This means a child success at collecting badges is partially based on their attendance. Although this may encourage Guides and Rangers to attend meetings, the Rainbows and Brownies rely on their parents or grandparents to get to meetings and have no say in their attendance levels. Once we have the programme fully up and running hopefully we will be able to work out a way around this issue (maybe holding a catch up day every few months).
Overall I think I am going to enjoy the new programme. It will take us time to fully implement it and find out what works best for our pack but it seems to be a positive change.