Let the girls plan their year! It’s the message we’ve been getting loud and clear with the Girl’s First platform. I think it’s a fantastic one, but how can we do this with Sparks?? They are too young to log onto the platform and see their options. Even that deck of cards we got (which I think works great with the older units) is a bit overwhelming to them, especially the first years who are yet to discover what Guiding is all about!
In my own Sparks unit, we wanted to approach this fairly. We wanted to give the girls a chance to come up with the ideas and activities for the year during the first few meetings, but we needed to deliver this idea in a way that was neither overwhelming, nor futile.
We came up with a kind of Quickie Sparks Vision Board. At our second meeting we had a chat with the girls about what kind of things they like to do, what their interests are. We shared with them some of the adventures and activities we’ve done in the past with other Spark units.
Then I gave each Spark a few standard Post-It notes and asked them to write or draw what they want to do in Sparks this year. I asked them to put down any goals they had, or things they wanted to try, any interests or favourite things. As you might imagine, I got a lot of pictures of candy, unicorns and playgrounds. Which is great! That’s easy to work with! I also got lots of pictures about family and books and helping people,
In the end we stuck all the Post-It notes on a big Bristol board. We used that to plan out our year. We left lots of gaps, so as we explore things we had room to be flexible and go down some different paths. It was a great way to get to know our girls, and to give them some power to control their own experiences in Guiding.