Not sure where to begin with the new programme?

We asked five members to share how they’re getting started

Programme team
21 August 2018

Find your way in

With a new term not far off, lots of you have been picking up resources to help you get going with the new programme.

But don’t worry if you’re still wondering which books, skills builders or unit meeting activities to kick off with. To inspire you, we asked five members to tell us which new programme resources they’ve been buying. The good news? Everyone’s approaching it differently.

That’s because there’s no right or wrong place to start. All we’d suggest is you try a variety of activities from across the six themes. But you don’t need to buy every unit meeting activity for your section or every level of a skills builder right now. You can pick them up as you need them. Or you might even share your resources with other units in your area.

And remember - you’ve got a whole year to move across to the new programme.

Now over to members Rowena, Marie, Mandy, Natalie and Joanna to tell us more about how they’re going about it.

Which books, activity packs or skills builders are you starting with?

Joanna Assistant Guide leader in Gourock

'At the midnight opening of the Scottish HQ shop, myself and two other leaders grabbed two Guide badge books and handbooks, and the same for Rangers. We also bought a selection of six skill builders (one from each theme) in both stage 3 and stage 5.

We are a big unit (35+ girls) so we wanted to see what was in the badge books and handbooks before we bought one for every girl. We bought a small selection of the skill builders to give our girls a taste of what each theme contains before we pick our theme.

Once we have decided, as a unit, on our skill builders theme for the term, we will buy all the relevant packs for that theme (stage 3 through 6).' 

Rowena Assistant leader for 18th Kirkcaldy Brownies and 18th Kirkcaldy Guides

As a unit we have bought each Brownie and Guide a handbook and badge book for their sections. We also bought all the skill builder packs for each level 2,3,4 and 5 and a full set of activity packs for each section. We bought it all so our girls could have the choice of how to lead their new programme from the start. We knew it was a big financial outlay, but we took advantage of gift aid and it was driven by our excitement to share the new programme! 

Marie Leader 10th Lee South Guides and Guacamole Rangers

For Rangers, I bought all of the stage 5 and 6 skills builders, two unit meeting activity packs, record books for each girl and handbooks for each leader. For Guides, I just bought one handbook, one badge book, the unit meeting activity and a complete set of stage 4 skills builders. 

I bought everything for Rangers because we have recently received a starting a new unit grant in which I budgeted for the new resources. I wasn’t sure that every Ranger needed a handbook so bought two copies as reference books for the unit. I bought a complete set of all the Stage 4 skills builders for Guides because I want them to be able to choose which to do first from all of the options. 

Next, I will buy badge books for all of our Guides and handbooks for our new Guide starters. I am waiting until September to get those as we could potentially double in size with our new intake from Brownies so I need to have numbers confirmed before purchasing. As this will be a large financial outlay we are thinking of introducing a joining fee for new starters from September to include handbook, badge book, bag and ‘Welcome to Guides’ badge.


Mandy Ranger leader and district commissioner for Eastwood District and PR adviser

Our county bought the two section books for each unit plus a full set for our district of all unit meeting activities and skills builders. Given we are the only Ranger unit, this gives us a complete set of unit meeting activities for Rangers plus the whole of skills builders stage 5.  

What are you most excited about?

Rowena says: 

'I am looking forward to seeing the girls getting excited about choosing activities, letting them lead their guiding paths and still having fun and lots of laughter! I still remember the feeling of when badge books, handbooks or actual badges changed when I was a child and how exciting that was - so I am keen to make sure my girls also have that experience. I am excited about how we all will learn together - the girls and adults on the new adventure - and seeing some of the activities we tried out now part of the actual programme. Overall I am just one VERY EXCITED woman!'

Marie says:

'I am most looking forward to seeing which interest badges the Guides and Rangers choose to complete as it will be great to find out more about the girls through which topics they pick and to see what range of skills and hobbies we have as a group. I am excited that Rangers can complete interest badges now and think the variety of badges is fantastic. (I am also looking forward to never having to do the Chocolate or Glamourama Go For Its! ever again – these were definitely the most popular ones with our girls over the years.)' 

Natalie says:

'I am looking forward to the new challenges for the girls to take and that planning will be easier. I am also looking forward to how it will flow between the sections and that girls will already know what to expect when they move between sections.'

Joanna says:

'I cannot wait for the girls to see the new interest badges on offer and hopefully find something fun and challenging to work on at home and then come and share it with us. I am also excited to try out the other meeting activities as we enjoyed trying out a few from the sample pack (Do-it-yourshelf and Gutted in particular).'


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