I was chosen to co-facilitate the Diffusion 2010 training weekend around inclusion and diversity in GirlGuiding Scotland, which took place in Netherurd House from 22 to 24 October 2010. I am also a Guides Leader with a Unit in Glasgow.
The event was opened to Senior Section members from all over Scotland. Our main focus was to explore how we can promote diversity and inclusion in GirlGuiding in Scotland, a number of the activities can be extremely useful for one’s personal relationships or working with people of different backgrounds in one’s future job, thus helping in our private lives and career as well!
The training included:
- Games and activities aimed at exploring our worldview and belief system.
- Awareness raising exercises (why people have communication and relationship problems, how to make life easier for us and for the other side).
- Practical tips how to talk to people who are ‘different’ from us, how to establish contacts and how to deal with potential conflicts.
- Games and activities around diversity and inclusion which we can run when helping with a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide unit, or generally working with children from different backgrounds.
This weekend was a huge undertaking for me as this was my first time of co-facilitating a training weekend. Although, I have done countless speaking appearances at various events but this was something different – ‘Diffusion’.
On Friday evening started well with a mixture of introductory sessions and team building sessions. One of the sessions, I lead which was on team building activities. Eventually one team won the task and they said it was about communication and logistical thinking. Communication is essential to working in a team, inclusion, respect of others and everyone can make a contribution, no matter how small it is, the information shared among the team will help with the completion of the task.
Roll on Saturday morning was spent talking about ‘Class divided’ and additional needs in GirlGuiding. It was informative and thought provoking asking girls to carry tasks relating to barriers that are faced by disabled people.
On Saturday afternoon, we took the girls out to do wild games. The weather was great, dry autumn day. The first of many activities, we did orienteering with girls. Once again, they were split into groups and yet once again communication, team building, inclusive involvements of other team members. They were being observed closely and points would be awarded or penalised for different aspects of their team engagements. I witnessed mistakes and good co-operation being made with everyone involved.
Next activity was body sculpture, all teams had to performed the best act in accordance to the scenarios given. This was once again, good work and good efforts from everyone.
I think the next activity was the most enjoyable of all the wild games. Each team had to come up with ways of transporting water to the marshal point. No buckets, plastic cartons, bins etc were allowed. It was interesting with what some of the teams came up with – paper cardboard filled with lots of leaves; moss; hand cup shape made of leafs etc. Very creative!
The race started and excitement was in the air! I originally thought that the team who had the paper cardboard filled with lots of leaves would stand a chance of winning but their box immediately collapsed as soon they poured water in and attempt to lift the box. The team were disappointed but they continued with using the bundle of leaf. Meanwhile all the other teams were progressing well. The team which had the moss were transporting a lot of water. Nearing the end, we provided them with polyethylene cup which we cut the bottom off therefore, they had to use their hands or head etc. Once the race was over, we measured each team water collection and the team that had the moss won the game.
Back inside for more activities on diversity, we asked the girls to think about what is different in relation to inclusion and diversity. It was followed by looking at countries in the wealth, poverty etc. The games were thought provoking and created an interesting debate.
Just before dinner, the girls were sent back out to go on a treasure hunt to collect their mystery envelopes in the wild. Most of the girls returned on time but one group got lost finding their own way back!
On Sunday was spent summing about the weekend and how to move diversity and inclusion forward in GirlGuiding Scotland.
On reflection, I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. The girls that took part in the weekend, I hoped they had learned something new that will help them understand about inclusion and diversity.