Young girls have had fun, made friends and learnt about the world around since 1910 through being members of the Girl Guide organisation. Guiding is split into three areas. These are Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.
Rainbows are for the youngest members with children joining from around five years of age (four years of age in Northern Ireland). Girls usually stay with Rainbows until they are seven years old when they progress on to Brownies. At this age the emphasis is purely on fun. Weekly meetings consist mainly of games and activities. These take place both indoors and outside.
You do not have to have been a Rainbow in order to join the Brownies. Girls join Brownies at around seven years of age. They stay for roughly three years, moving on when they are ten years old. A small number of members stay on a little longer.
Although the emphasis is still on having fun Brownies also learn new skills through the weekly meetings. As well as the regular activities and games Brownies also work towards collecting badges. These are awarded for a variety of different achievements. This could be for sporting activities such as swimming, craft skills or writing. The list of badges that can be worked towards is long and diverse, so there are badges to cover a wide range of interests and skills to suit all girls.
Older girls between 10 and 14 can join the guides. The Guides work in a slightly different way to Brownies. Guides are split into groups of four to eight girls. These groups are known as Patrols. Each Patrol has a degree of control over the activities they participate in. As with Brownies there are a range of badges Guides work towards.
All three groups have their own uniforms. These have a modern style being based around casual trousers, tops and hoodies.
One of the big attractions of joining Brownies and Guides is the chance to attend camp. This is also known as pack holiday. This gives girls an opportunity to be away from home for a few days with their friends.
There are also a number of activity centres dotted around the country.
To find a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide pack in your local area call 0800 1 69 59 01 or register online at: GirlGuides
Be aware that Guiding is very popular and some groups have waiting lists. This is especially true for Rainbows and Brownies. Therefore it is a good idea to express an interest in joining early. This will give you an idea of whether or not you will need to join a waiting list. There is normally more than one pack in a local area and if one pack is full you may be able to find another one in your area to join.