1st Island Brownies held our first Zoom meeting last week, where we introduced the topic of hunger and started working on our Charity badge.
We’ve put together five things we learnt from our first experience Zoom Guiding that we’d share with other leaders about to do the same.
1. Be Prepared (even more than usual!)
We all know how much easier life is when you’re prepared for in-person meetings, but for online sessions, it becomes even more important. With everyone dialling in from different locations and the lack of spontaneity that this brings, having the meeting planned almost to the minute was really important. We had a pre-meeting leader check-in the day before to make sure we all knew our roles and logged in 30 minutes before the Brownie meeting to test our music, videos and attachments. This prep helped the meeting to run smoothly.
2. Keep it simple
Zoom offers endless options to aid interactivity, including breakout rooms, quizzes and collaboration tools and more. For our first meeting, we chose to only use the screen sharing and voting functionality and keep our ten Brownies in the same Zoom room for the duration. The less that could go wrong, the better!
3. Many leaders are better than one
In ‘normal’ guiding, three leaders for ten Brownies is a luxury, but on Zoom it was a minimum! With one leader running an activity, another supporting with documents and tech and another interacting with the girls, we all had our hands full for the entire meeting. Each leader took turns on each role throughout the meeting to keep the girls engaged and stop us from getting ‘Zoom fatigue’.
4. Go with the flow
With little brothers walking in and out of rooms, camera problems and extra-curricular activity double-booking, there were lots more disruptions than you’d get in an in-person meeting, and that was fine! We sent a follow-up message to all parents at the end of the session so any girls who did need to drop off before the end could still begin their Charity badge at home.
5. It’s still Guiding, just online!
In 90 minutes we discussed and the girls set some meeting rules, learnt a song with actions, played a game, did several activities about the concept of hunger, and introduced the girls to the Charity Badge syllabus. We even ended with virtual Brownie Bells! As much as we can’t wait to be standing around the toadstool back to Sandilands, we found that our first Zoom meeting still felt like Brownies and that the girls (and us leaders) had a lot of fun!
We’d love to hear other leader’s tips and advice from their first forays into online meetings too - let us know on the Bauhinia Division Leader's Facebook group!