So today I did my first ever craft event for a brownie group - and boy was I nervous. You might be surprised that I was nervous when I tell you that week in week out for the last 3 years I have helped my very good friend Sally to run a girl guides unit. But trust me, brownies are a different kettle of fish altogether.
With our guides (over 40 of them!) they are aged between 10 and 14 years of age, and they are at that point where they can pretty much be trusted not to burn the building down or take someone's eye out if I turn my back for a second. Not so with brownies, aged 7 to 10 years old, as in my head they are scary! So trying to design cards for them to make I was having nightmares of reams of health and safety forms, risk analysis and more.
Questions were spinning round my head: Is it ok to let them use scissors? Has the glue I intend to use had a COSHH report? What the heck is a COSHH report!!!!? Are they ALL obsessed with pink? Will the cleaners kill me if I give them glitter?
With my guides, they are pretty independent and most can be relied upon to have a modicum of common sense. Generally thinking of a idea, pitching it to the girls and ensuring they have all the materials is all that is needed to kick-start a creative session - and I love that I don't have to think through every little detail. Again, I was thinking the worst of the brownies.
So eventually I came up with a Christmas card and a thank you card design that I was reasonably happy with, (and a great deal of thanks goes out here to Sarah - your primary school teacher 'they don't bite' advice was invaluable) and rocked up at the school where they meet. In trooped 11 girls, 3 leaders and 2 young helpers. We sized each other up... some of the girls contemplating how difficult they were going to be... myself mentally maintaining the leverage of bright pink glittery paper and multicoloured buttons. Prepared for the worst.
Curve ball. I was doing well until they all said 'hello' in cute voices, and all said please and thank you every time I gave them another piece of material or kit. My resistance crumbled.
Brownies = 1
Craft Leader = 0
Till we meet again...