Friday, 10 October 2008

This could be the straw that breaks the camels back...

I've just finished a really upsetting phone call. It was from one of the wonderful Guiders in my district. she has been running her unit for just over a year, and has had enough.
Really it's a combination of factors, she's started a new job, she feels inexperienced and feels like she's not planning a good enough program, the parents don't support her when she needs an extra adult, and the behaviour of the girls is very poor.
She's said she can stay until Christmas and after that she wants to carry on as assistant but no more.

This is the 2nd Brownie unit in my district that will be or is currently without someone to run them. I also have a guide unit with 40 girls currently being run by just 2 guiders. There is not a unit in the district that I feel is running to the potential it could be due to a shortage of regular helpers who could help share the load. There are 300 girls in units in my district, and so many of their parents view Guiding as a right. Despite many pleas for help the stock answer is that they are too busy. I long to wave my diary in their face, tell them what my week has been like, tell them just how few hours I spend at home between leaving for work, arriving home, leaving again, and coming home and collapsing in to bed. Tonight is the first night I will have in this week, next week is much the same.
I run my own Rainbow unit, am district commissioner, catering officer for the climbing club, am a first year teacher and I would quite like to actually see my friends and family occasionally. If I can do it, anyone can, for the most part we don't even want someone to organise meetings, we just someone who will turn up regularly for just an hour and a half a week.To me it's just another example of the selfish nature of society at the moment.

/rant over, normal service will resume tomorrow with a giveaway!


  1. Oh I am TOTALLY with you there! I'm experiencing the same thing right now - and with two different activities. One is my 6 yr old son's Boy Scouts troop. At this age, the parents are REQUIRED to be there will the boys, but instead of helping, they sit around and watch or talk. Even when I ask them to help their boys with an activity, they hardly to anything at all. And then there is my book club, who seem to think that I can prepare meetings, make handouts, and lead discussions without actually spending time during my week to do it ... or that I have lots of free time in which to do the necessary work. HA!

    So yeah, I'm in complete agreement with your rant right now - you go girl.

  2. how sad. Unfortunately it is why I haven't gone back to Guiding since I moved down here from Cumbria. Parents didn't want to help, some of them I never even spoke to as they just let the girls out of the car and drove away. I even remember one Mum asking why should she help for free when the Guiders get paid!!!!! Paid with what I might ask?

    I have to say that I think that you're pretty amazing doing all that you do do! It is very rewarding, I can't deny that, but you do have to put up with a lot of rubbish.