Start planning your programme

Start planning fun and varied activities for your new unit

Now for the fun bit - planning your first activities

Girls take part in activities with their unit that help them learn about themselves and the world around them. We call this our programme. 

If you’re starting your Leadership qualification, your training should give you a good understanding of the programme for your section.  If you’re new to guiding, have a look at each of our different sections and the programmes they follow.

By visiting other units in your area you'll be able to see the kinds of activities that are fun and appropriate for girls. Check out our ideas for activities and resources to use in your meetings too.

Thinking about the Five Essentials

There are five key ideas that tie together everything we do. You should always think about these Five Essentials when planning and running activities, as well as in your relationships with girls and adults in Girlguiding. They are:

  • Working together in small groups
  • Encouraging self-government and decision making
  • A balanced and varied programme which is girl-led
  • Caring for the individual
  • Sharing a commitment to a common standard

They apply to all young members – Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and members of The Senior Section – as well as adult volunteers.

Planning your first term

We offer activities that help girls to develop across six areas: emotionally, intellectually, morally, physically, socially and spiritually.

We call this our educational framework and you can use it to help you plan a balanced programme that supports girls’ overall development.

Talk to your mentor about how they plan what they do and what their termly plan looks like. How do they get ideas from girls? How do they include badges, themed events and trips? How do they link with local units?

As well as learning from experience, there are plenty of other places to find ideas for things to do with girls. Start by browsing through these ideas and planning tools. Or find ideas in guiding magazine, our termly member magazine.

Guiding traditions

Girlguiding is over 100 years old, but we’ve changed to keep up with the needs of girls and young women. Some of our traditions are still part of the programme, while others have become less relevant and are no longer used.

It’s great to celebrate where we’ve come from; but you are not expected to stick to any traditions that are not part of the programme. How you choose to run your unit is up to you as long as it’s inclusive, appropriate for the age of the girls and covers the Five Essentials.

Making the Promise

The Promise links us to other Girlguiding members and the 10 million people involved in guiding across the world. 

Helping girls to understand and make their promise is an exciting and unique part of joining Girlguiding. You'll also be expected to make your promise as part of your Leadership qualification, to show that you share the same commitment to its values as our young members.