Glossary

Heard a guiding term but not sure what it means? Our jargon-buster is here to help!

Get to grips with guiding terms 

1st Response - a basic, six-hour first aid course which at least one Leader in each unit must have completed.

4 (Peer Education) - 4 is Girlguiding's peer education programme. Members of The Senior Section can develop skills to empower their peers on topical issues such as body confidence.

Activity Centre - centres based in different parts of the UK which are owned and run by Girlguiding. Girlguiding’s Activity Centres are: Foxlease, Waddow Hall, ICANDO and Blackland Farm.

Adventure Made Easy - the catalogue of events and trainings happening at the activity centres

Advocate - Advocate is a panel consisting of 18 members of The Senior Section who are involved in Girlguiding’s public affairs and advocacy work. Members of the panel are called Advocates.

Annual subscription - the fee that each member must pay annually. Often referred to as Subs.

A Safe Space - Girlguiding’s child protection and safeguarding regulations. 

Baden-Powell - can refer to Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of The Scout Association and Girlguiding, his wife Olave Baden-Powell or his sister Agnes Baden-Powell.

Badge - Girlguiding members work towards earning badges as part of their programme. Some badges are undertaken as units or groups, while others can be gained by individuals.

Being Our Best - this is the name of the Girlguiding 2015-2019 strategic plan and focuses on 4 key areas/themes; Excellence, Access, Voice and Capacity.

The Branch Associations (Branches) - a Girlguiding region with units that are based in 8 UK overseas Territories.

British Girlguiding Overseas - a Girlguiding Region with units that are based in many parts of the world, in areas where it is not possible for the girls to join the local national organisation.

Brown Owl - traditional name for the main Leader of a Brownie unit. Assistant Leaders and helpers are often named after other owl species, such as Tawny Owl and Snowy Owl.

Chief Guide - the head of the Girlguiding Trustee Board and is the national level volunteer manager for the organisation as a whole. 

Country/Region (C/R) - Girlguiding is divided into nine - 10 including BGIFC and the Branch Associations - main administrative areas which each have their own offices and paid staff. 

County - guiding Countries/Regions are split into Counties that generally, but not always, match geographical counties. These are then often further split into Divisions and Districts. Counties are managed by a County Commissioner.

District - units of different sections can be grouped together locally into Districts. These are managed by a District Commissioner.

Divisions - most Counties are divided into Divisions which are made up of Districts. These are managed by a Division Commissioner. 

Emergency File - free A5 resource folder given to all units to help Leaders manage emergency situations and on-going risk assessments of the meeting place. 

Five Essentials - the core principles of Girlguiding.

Friends of Guiding (FOG) - this is an organisation for parents, relatives and friends of members, or Girlguiding members themselves, who support the aims of Girlguiding and work to help in their local area.

Go! - shortened name of Guiding Organiser, Girlguiding’s secure online membership database.

Go For Its! (GFIs!) - activity packs for the Guide section, each based on a different theme. Unlike Interest Badges or other activities, these are designed to be completed by the patrol, rather than the individual or as a whole unit. 

GOLD (Guiding Overseas Linked with Development) - a programme in which Girlguiding members aged between 18 and 30 take part in community development projects overseas. 

Interest Badges - badges allowing a member to pursue and develop a personal interest independently. Interest badges are available to Brownies and Guides with a distinct range of badges for both sections.

Join Us - Girlguiding’s online membership recruitment system. All new members, including those on a waiting list, must be registered through Join Us. 

Law - a set of Laws that support the Girlguiding Promise. The Rainbow section does not have a Law.

Lead Volunteer (LV) - a volunteer recruited for their skill or knowledge in a particular area of guiding. These Lead Volunteers work in partnership with staff on a specific project or an ongoing aspect of work for a pre-determined length of service.

Leader - a general term for an adult member (18+) who has made her Promise and completed at least modules 1-3 of the Girlguiding Leadership Qualification. 

Levels - volunteers within guiding have roles at different levels of the organisation. For example, a County Commissioner is based at County level - while a Unit Leader is based at unit level. 

Licence holder -  the Leader at a residential event who holds the Going Away With Licence.

Member - a general term used to describe anyone that is involved in Girlguiding and has paid their annual membership subscription.

Membership number - the unique number given to each Girlguiding member when they join. This number is used to identify members on the Go! database.

Octant - a section of the eight-part Look Wider programme for The Senior Section.

Patrol - members of Guide units are usually divided into smaller groups called Patrols. These usually contain between four and eight members.

Peer Educator - a member of The Senior Section who delivers Girlguiding’s 4 peer education programme. 

Pow Wow - a space in a Brownie meeting where all members of the unit can discuss ideas for upcoming events or activities.

President - the President of Girlguiding is HRH Sophie Countess of Wessex.

Programme - the activities and resources offered to young members, providing fun, empowering and inclusive opportunities to encourage personal growth. Programme encompasses unit activities, badges, awards, trips and social action.

Promise - adults and young members work towards making, or reaffirming, the Promise. The wording is amended slightly for Brownies, and Rainbows have their own Promise with simpler wording.

Ranger - former name for members of The Senior Section. Still in use as part of some unit names (eg 4th Sheffield Ranger Unit).

Residential - an event involving one night (or more) away from home, either indoors or outdoors. 

Second - a Brownie who is nominated as the Sixer’s deputy 

Six - members of Brownie units are usually divided into smaller groups called Sixes. These usually contain between four and eight members.

Sixer - a Brownie who is nominated as the leader of a Six.

Task and Finish Group - a group of volunteers recruited for their skills to work with staff to complete a specific project or support an ongoing aspect of work.

Taps - a song traditionally used at the end of a Guide unit meeting - now optional and with wording changed to reflect the Promise.

Trefoil Guild - an organisation with membership open to anyone aged 18 and over. The Trefoil Guild aims to give practical, financial and moral support to Guiding and Scouting, to keep alive among members the spirit of the Guide and Scout Promises and Laws, and to carry that spirit into the communities in which members live and work.

Unit - the fundamental level of guiding - a unit consists of a group of young members and an adult Leadership Team. 

Volunteer - a participant who volunteers with guiding. They may or may not be a member of Girlguiding.

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) - the international guiding organisation of which Girlguiding is a member, as part of the Europe Region.

World Thinking Day - a WAGGGS event held each year on 22 February - the joint birthday of the Baden-Powells. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world celebrate World Thinking Day by joining in international themed events and learning about World Guiding and world issues.

The World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) - the international scouting organisation for which The Scout Association is a member. This is the Scouting equivalent of WAGGGS.

Young Leader (YL) - a member of The Senior Section who helps at a Rainbow, Brownie, or Guide unit.