Independent guiding

Whether you're a young member or a volunteer, Lone guiding is an easy way to get involved with guiding that is flexible to your needs

Can't commit to regular meetings? Lone guiding might be the solution

'Lones' is very flexible, meaning that I can choose when it suits me to try out activities, without having to commit to a weekly meeting that I couldn’t fit into my schedule! - Heather Kennedy

Girlguiding's Lone scheme aims to give all girls and women the chance to take part in guiding, whether or not they are able to attend regular meetings.

Why Lone guiding?

There are many reasons for someone becoming a Lone member. For example:

  • there is no unit for the age group in their local area
  • their other commitments, including studies and caring responsibilities, mean they can't attend meetings
  • transport to and from meetings is a problem
  • an illness or disability prevents them attending meetings regularly
  • they do not enjoy spending time in large groups.

Being a 'Lone' means that a member gets all the benefits of guiding and is able to fit it around their own needs and schedule. It's fun, flexible and full of the same great opportunities.

Who can become a Lone?

Any member of Girlguiding - from Rainbows to adult leaders and Trefoil Guild members - can participate in guiding under our Lone scheme.

How does someone become a Lone?

It doesn't matter if there's no specific unit for Lones in the area - girls and adults can still take part. If they are already a member, they should speak to their Leader or local Commissioner to find out what options are available.

If they're not already a member, they'll need to register their interest, stating that they would like to become a Lone by completing the 'Other information' comment box.

A Commissioner will then follow up with them and discuss possible options in their local area.

Supporting Lone members

Lone members should be registered on GO in the same way as any other member. As they are unable to attend regular unit meetings, they can be attached to their ‘preferred’ unit.


Young lone members can take part in local guiding in two ways - either with support from a local 'preferred' unit, or as part of a special unit for lone members.

Lones who are attached to a local unit are supported by their leader to undertake the normal guiding programme for their section.

Usually, they'll keep in touch by newsletter, email, post, telephone, video call or text. The leader will help the young member to choose and plan activities, and suggest different ways to carry them out in their own time.

In some more rural areas, units have been set up specifically for lone members. These are run by a group of leaders who support the members to follow the programme.

Lone members can take part in many different activities and challenges. For example, lone Guides have completed their Baden-Powell Challenge Award, while Rangers have gained their Queen's Guide award and have even been selected for GOLD (Guiding Overseas Linked with Development) trips. 

When a new lone member is registered, you should let the local county know so they can signpost them to events such as camps, holidays or fun days.

Support from home plays an important part in lone guiding, especially for young members.

Where possible, leaders and volunteers should encourage family members and friends to get involved with activities such as completing interest badges.

Keep young lone members motivated by linking them up with other lones in the area.

Adult leaders become involved with the Lone Scheme for a variety of reasons. Often a change in work or family circumstances means they are unable to make a regular commitment to a unit. The Lone Scheme is ideal for women in this situation as it allows them to continue to work directly with girls and young women, but in a way that suits them. It also acts as a bridge to local units if they want to return in the future.

Lone leaders who are also involved with local counties will have all-section training and mentoring provided directly by the county (except for specific Lone-related training). Lones-only leaders will have another Lone leader as a mentor, but training and additional support will be sourced by the country/region Lones adviser, who works with the local county to ensure that direct support is also available.

When a new Lone adult is registered, the local counties should keep in regular contact with them to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in social events, meetings and training opportunities.

Heather Kennedy, Lone in Scotland

Heather Kennedy, Lone in Scotland

Lones is an amazing group of like-minded, fun and friendly members, and I love being a part of it. I've made great friends, done amazing things and had opportunities I'd never have imagined.