Grrrr…… spleen needs venting, Guides/Brownies content

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  • Grrrr…… spleen needs venting, Guides/Brownies content
  • Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    So, we moved to our village 13 years ago, and MrsMC enquired about being a leader with the village Guide unit, and was politely declined, so she took over a struggling unit in a poorer corner of a nearby town, but still within the same District.

    Roll on a few years, and LittleMissMC comes on the scene, and her name goes down for the village Rainbow unit from birth, as we’d been warned there was a long list. She got in quite promptly when she reached the right age, and loved it, and couldn’t wait to get old enough to move on to Brownies.

    In the meantime, we discovered that the village units didn’t automatically move girls up through Rainbows/Brownies/Guides as most other units (and Scout groups)do – you have to apply for each stage in turn and sit on the waiting list.

    We also discovered that the village Rainbow unit didn’t offer the girls the opportunity to take part in wider District activities and trips because “the parents wouldn’t want to travel”, according to the Rainbow leader in a District meeting. Which was rather exploded when MrsMC pointed out to the meeting that the parents weren’t even offered the chance. And further exploded when LittleMissMC went on some of the trips with the unit attached to my wife’s Guide unit.

    So the time came for LittleMissMC to leave Rainbows and hopefully go to Brownies, apparently celebrated with a special party the girls plan themselves. Except hers was cancelled at the last minute, and her plans were left in tatters – and tears.

    So we left messages with the Brownie leader to find out where she was on their waiting list, and when she might get a place. Tick followed tock. Polite reminders were sent. Still no response.

    MrsMC then asked the District Commissioner (apologies for the Scout term) what normal procedure was locally, as this didn’t seem right. The DC looked into it through the official records, which established that there were enough spaces for our daughter and a couple of her friends also on the waiting list.

    Today we have found out that a couple of the other girls behind her on the waiting list have been given places in the Brownie pack ahead of her. MrsMC is spitting feathers, as is the DC who will be taking action if we don’t get an offer of a place by the end of the weekend.

    Utterly disgusted by the way a small group of cronies can take out their spite on a ahppy and hard working 7 year old girl, breaking several procedural rules of the Guides, let alone the spirit and principles of the movement. Bitches. If I had the power I’d take away their warrant cards and kick them out the movement.

    So now we have to consider putting her in a different unit in the village which none of her friends go to, and doesn’t have a Guide unit for her to move on to, or put her with the Brownies attached to my wife’s Guides, which is a bit of logistical nightmare, also has none of her friends there, and then leaves the delicate problem of her moving on to her mum’s Guide unit, which may be interesting in the coming teenage years!

    Apologies for the rambling waste of your time, thank you for listening

    Premier Icon garage-dweller

    Well at least the dc had taken an interest and well done for speaking up.

    Cubs and (in my case) Sea Scouts was some of the most fun stuff I did as a kid early teen. Learned a lot of stuff that is still valuable today.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    Had a similar, but nowhere near as bad experience with our wee ones rainbows/brownies. Mrs nobeer has decided to start her own pack, only way to get around the problem. Will be open for business come Easter, she’s mad, but she’ll love it!.

    Turd in a paper bag and light on their doorsteps! It’s the only way these people will learn!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Awful situation MCD, not least on the children.
    I hope that DC will be aware and makes sensible and strong decisions.


    Mrs T is a rainbow leader, she has seen some shenanigans in the past, but she reckons that everything has to be done above board on the tinternet now. On an official list by postcode, age and date applied, has been for about a year.

    The only time anyone jumps the queue is if parents don’t respond to notification that their kid’s got a place. Even then they have to comment on the reason and just set them back a place.

    Email district or regional commissioner.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Luckily the new internet system – and the DC being able to check the units online records which should be up to date for census – means that she can see what is going on. These kind of issues have plagued the village unit for years, it’s been common knowledge in the village, just a shame that it has taken my wife, as another leader in the district, and our poor daughter, to bring it into the open.

    There has been a second Brownie unit in the village for a while, but they are a bit “quirky” in their own right apparently, again having nothing to do with wider district events. My son’s teacher’s wife (it’s a close(d) community!) has just set up a Rainbow unit with them which is proving successful, but they haven’t got a Guide unit as yet, but hopefully this, and the greater transparency, will stop it happening again. Hopefully the DC will spread the word among her peers so that other units will not get away with the same. The DC is a very scary Belfast lass!

    Luckily the Scout group here is an excellent set up, just needing more leaders and parent helpers to enable them to get another unit up and running to cope with demand. I help when I can, but one leader in the family causes enough chaos and disruption to family life for now!

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    They let girls into the scouts now, don’t they?.

    Bloody blasphemy!.


    Scouts seems a bit more ‘outdoorsy’. My daughter is doing scouts (after having been through cubs) and loves it, although she is a bit of a tomboy. My son is in cubs still. The only thing I ddin’t like was the whole pledge to god and country thing being not at all religious. They are good for the kids though.


    MCTD, that’s bloody immoral, adults using children to fuel their own petty little attempts at empire building. Hopefully the DC will properly take names and kick asses.

    Premier Icon jules.b

    Stevego, The Scout association now has an atheist promise – introduced in Late 2013. ’bout time too!

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    That’s a real shame Op.
    I hope the DC comes good. They usually do.

    I’m a Beaver leader, & unless your name has been down (seemingly) since birth, the only way in is to volunteer as a leader, as I did. I hear a lot of this type of thing from Brownies & Guides, & it needs sorting out. Trouble is, some these little power junkies deliberately conspire to keep decent new blood out.

    A lot of Scout groups now use OSM, which (depending how it’s set up), tracks when they joined & which Cub & Scout groups they eventually move up to. Moving them on is easy, as their records are sent electronically.

    It’s a shame some kids miss out on District days & events, as they are brilliant.

    Hope it works out Op.


    We burnt our last village witch …

    What a genuinely horrible person to be running a unit, sounds like they are in it for their own glory and gain rather than the kids. She probably daren’t take kids to other units in the area incase the kids see how other units are run! Seen similar in scouts groups that were run like personal fiefdoms for the glory of the leader rather than the kids.

    IMHO from what I’ve witnessed Guides seems to be rife with issues as an organisation in comparison to scouts, far more PC, H&S and paperwork going on. The girls are basically not allowed to do anything remotely adventurous.

    I used to run an explorer scout unit (13-18 yo) we used to get the feed from the guides when they threw them out at 14 and all we used to hear was what they weren’t allowed to do in the guides. Funnily enlighten enough ( damn you autocorrect ) I’ve just applied to rejoin Scouts as a leader after a 2 year hiatus following a house move.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat

    I would seriously consider letting her join the Cubs instead. I have boy girls twins, and there is no doubt that cubs have far more fun, especially on camps than Brownies. My lad came home with tales of sports, outdoor adventure stuff and proper tented camping, whereas daughter was furious she was kept indoors all weekend making cards and flower arranging. She joined cubs and had an absolute whale of a time.


    “Rainbow Leader this is Tango 2, Over!”

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Wondered about the Cubs option – her brother is just going up to Scouts this term, and it’s a great unit.

    tbf, the Brownie and Guide units in the village are very good and very active if you can get in, it’s the Rainbows with the issues. While Cubs might suit LittleMissMC, she does love her girly craft stuff as well as kicking her brothers ass, so she’d miss a bit of that.

    I do also think that Guides, when they reach that age, does offer a safe testosterone free zone for girls to go through that stage that may suit some girls better than Scout,s which does offer a better range of outdoorsy activities

    Though from what MrsMC has said, Guiding lets girls do a lot more stuff than it used to, it’s parents that are often reluctant to try stuff.

    I remember when Scouts and Guides couldn’t camp within 200 yds of each other. Which made for some challenges…..


    It’s gone all mumsnet in here all of a sudden. Hope you get it resolved Op, let us know what happens at the end of the weekend.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    Just to add a bit of balance, in case folk get the impression the guides are all a bit tame and infighting, have a look at the flyer for the big camp last summer.

    Giggles Camp 2013

    Sure, not all units are brilliant, it’s the same with Scouts, some leaders are better than others, some units go off the boil and need new blood.

    Premier Icon totalshell

    my dd’s ( mumsnet!) are going to Paris in the morning 04.00 with the brownies.. EXCITED doesnt cover it.. even the kids are keen on it!

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Update for those who asked – apparently Brownie leaders have been trying to contact us!

    Can’t guarantee a place till September. Still unable to say where she is on the waiting list and when there might be girls moving up to Guides, still unable to give a coherent explanation as to how their list operates, but it is clearly not the official list on the GO system.

    Everything we have sent and received has been copied in to the DC, who is aware that girls behind LittleMissMC on the list have been offered places in a completely different way to what we are now being told.

    The DC raised the issue of not automatically moving girls up from Rainbows to Brownies at an Area DC’s meeting last week and the idea of it not happening by default was met by universal horror, which is good news for girls around the rest of the District/Area.

    The DC will be speaking to the Area Commissioner this week to decide what needs to happen and will then be going along to our local group next week to “put things right”. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

    Suspect that this may not auger well for when LittleMissMC does get into Brownies. Just feel very disappointed for her, and increasingly angry at the local unit for appearing to be a bunch of power crazed dragons.


    Send her to the scouts then, far better. 😉

    the hustler

    I feel your pain, but dont leaders do it voluntarily? I think they may be glad to quit after this!!

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    She can’t do Cubs till she is 8 anyway!

    I know all about how much time these volunteer leaders give – I’m married to one!

    Premier Icon somouk

    This often happens in volunteer organisations where some people get a little bit too big for their boots and start to pretend it is their own train set.

    Hopefully the DC will make some changes and make sure everyone remembers it’s for the better of the kiddies and not the leaders.

    You never know he might sack the local leader and move your better half in to run the show if the current one doesn’t comply.

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