Start of a New Year and Bullying – Sept 2015

Our first meeting of the term was not well attended, I think we need to work more on contacting the returning Guides and the new Guides to give them information. Our new unit email has really helped with that, it means I can contact all of the parents quickly and easily.

We did some team work games and then had a talk from some of our Senior Section, members and Leaders who had gone international over the summer. One of the leaders had gone to Peak and one of the Rangers had gone to Our Cabana in Mexico. It was brilliant to hear about what they got up to and really excited me to get involved myself.

Planning for the year was done by putting up posters around the hall with titles such as “Outings”, “Weekly Meetings”, “Badges” etc and giving the Guides some post it notes and 15 mins to write down as many ideas as they could, running around the hall to put them in the correct place. My Guides were very mean and kept putting the post its really high up the wall, where I couldn’t reach them! This is the disadvantage of working with Guides and being short.

We discussed the Guidelines and reward chart rules:

Guidelines

  • Have Fun!
  • Respect your Leaders, Peers and anyone who visits
  • Don’t talk over other people
  • No swearing or inappropriate language
  • No bullying – either verbal or physical
  • Wear uniform
  • All Mobile Phones must be placed on stage / put into box at the beginning of the meeting

Reward Chart Rules

  • For being helpful/tidying up – 1 sticker each
  • Recite the Guide Laws– 2 stickers (only available once)
  • Full Patrol in uniform at inspection (including appropriate trousers and shoes) – 3 stickers per Patrol
  • Completing an interest badge in your own time – 1 sticker
  • Sewing a badge onto your uniform or camp blanket – 1 sticker per badge
  • As a prize for a game/competition between patrols – as many stickers as announced by the person running the challenge
  • End of year bonus – 5 stickers for the Patrol which has arranged the stickers neatest and in a way easy to count!

Last year we had some difficulties with bullying in our unit. Obviously we could never catch the girl at it, or we would have dealt with it directly but instead we decided to have a general look at bullying.

We did acting out scenarios and answering questions but I think the best thing we did was have a simple chat. We asked how many people had ever been bullied (reassuring them that they didn’t have to put up their hand if they didn’t want to) and lots of them put up their hands, including the leaders. Then we asked if anyone had ever been a bully, they all started shaking their heads, until I put up my hand and they all stopped in shock and exclaimed at me, “You bullied someone?!”

At this point I asked if anyone had ever done or said something that had upset another person, whether they had ever ganged up with their friends to “tease” someone, who had become upset and asked them to stop. The Guides started looking more doubtful and some started putting up their hand.

It was an interesting way to deal with it, because it made it acceptable to admit to having bullied someone in the past, but highlighted why it shouldn’t be done in the future. I think it is something that we need to be working on all the time. I don’t think one or two sessions is enough.

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