Keep up your Queen’s Guide award

At home ways to keep working on your Queen's Guide award

‘Although we are all spending more time at home, this doesn’t mean you can’t keep working towards your Queens Guide award. There are plenty of options to consider if you would like to continue during this time. The information below should provide you with some inspiration to continue on your journey! We look forward to seeing what you achieve.’  - Sophie Keaveny, Specialist Volunteer for Youth Awards

If you can’t work on your Queen’s Guide award right now, then don’t worry – speak to your county coordinator and they can give you an extension. This can be past your 26th birthday, if you aren't able to complete before then. 

However, if you do want to keep your momentum going, take a look at the ideas below!

Tips for carrying on

Service in Guiding

  • Element one: see what you can do digitally if your unit isn't meeting face to face! Check out our advice on  how to do this safely. There might be some remote admin you can do, or social media content to create. Check out our blog on digital Queen's Guides for some inspiration. 
  • Element two: Whilst you can’t go to any events, there might be some planning or preperation you can do.
  • Element three: Again, why not take the time to plan what event you’d like to run when you can?
  • Element four: Depending on what you’ve chosen, see what you can keep doing. Meet as a task and finish group digitally, or spend some time doing a bit of research on your chosen area. You could also get in touch with your county to see what you can do to help support guiding in your area. 

Outdoor challenge

  • Element one: get all your planning ducks in a row now so once you can go, things can kickstart! If you’re doing your Lead Away permit, you can still plan menus, do your A Safe Space levels one and two e-learnings, meet your group digitally to come up some guidelines and plan activities you’d like to do. If you’re doing your Going Away With scheme or an all-adult residential, there might be bits you can plan and prep now.
  • Element two: If you’re using your DofE expedition, you might be able to practice some bits like packing your rucksack or putting up a tent. Take a look at Don’t stop your DofE. Or if you’re planning an exploration, do the bits you can now and make a wish list for what you’d like to do once you can go and explore the world again!

Personal skill development

  • Depending on what you’ve chosen as your skill, you can keep this going at home. If you’ve picked something that you can’t do, have a think about ways you can keep it going. If it was playing a team sport, or coaching, can you continue this in a different way by learning online?

Community action

  • Research project: use this time to research from the comfort of your own home!
  • Practical project: depending on your chosen topic, there may still be ways you can support your cause practically. If it’s safe to do so, you can volunteer as an NHS Responder. Or you might be able to volunteer remotely – it could be ringing isolated people as a befriender.

Residential

  • As you can’t go on a residential right now, it’s nice to plan something to look forward to. Have a think about what you could do once you can.

If you have any questions or are unsure whether to continue with your Award or take a break, do speak to your county coordinator.

Flexibilities

We understand that even with extensions and adapting activities, completing the Queen’s Guide award can seem daunting right now. We’ve created flexibilities for some parts of the award that you can use if you need to.

These flexibilities apply until 31 August 2021.

Have a read through, and chat to your mentor about any you think you need to use. Then agree them with your county coordinator before you use them.

Service in guiding

  • Element one: you don’t have to spend 20 hours on one specific project, but just 60 hours of general guiding service.
  • Element two: you can do this through a virtual residential or camp. It only needs to last one night as well. Or, you can attend a training course instead, which will allow you to take on a new responsibility in guiding in the future. There isn't a specific length of time the course needs to be, as long as it will give you new skills to take into guiding once you've completed it. It can also be external to Girlguiding. 
  • Element three: organise a different kind of event! Why not set up a scavenger hunt trail in your local area, and invite girls from two different units to take part with their families? Your event doesn’t have to be one that girls come to in person, but rather than take part in over a period of time.

Outdoor challenge

We’ve temporarily relaxed the need to complete element one before doing element two. So you can do your expedition or exploration first if you need to. This will also count for those who did an expedition or exploration before these flexibilities came into place, as long as they were still working on their award at the time.

If you’re using your DofE expedition for your element two expedition, you can use the DofE flexibilities until July 2021.

  • Element one: if you’re doing an 18-30 residential, you can take a minimum group size of three, including yourself, and only go for one night, or do it virtually. You'll need to make sure if you do this virtually you still lead on all the planning and delivery, as you would if doing it in person. 
  • Element two: your expedition or exploration can happen within 30 miles of where you live. You’ll need to find a new way of exploring it. You can also plan an expedition/exploration in your local area where everyone returns home to sleep, but still participates in all other aspects. You can also take a minimum group size of three, including yourself, and this can include members of your household as long as they are still considered peers (and they can be outside of the age bracket). The days of your expedition and exploration don't need to happen consecutively, but can be spread over the course of a week/over two weekends.
  • You can also plan a virtual exploration for element two as well. You'll need to focus on the aspect of teamwork still, and make sure you can demonstrate this whilst meeting remotely. We would recommend still having around 7-8 hours of planned activity each day of your exploration (as you would in a face-to-face exploration) but this can include virtual calls, activities you all do simultaneously to explore (e.g. walking, cycling) and any other activities you've planned as part of your programme. You still need to do a risk assessment and submit this to your coordinator (and any other advisers) well in advance before you go for them to approve. We'd also recommend that you walk/travel with someone else, and not go out alone. This can be someone else not in your exploration group i.e. a member of your household. Have a look at the countryside classification and involve your coordinator when risk assessing this. 

If you do decide to do both elements virtually, make sure you plan some varied and outdoor activities in your programme. Just because it's virtual it doesn't mean you have to be looking at a screen/on a call with your group the whole time, but you can intersperse activities you all do separately (e.g. walking) with frequent calls or virtual meetings to bring you all together (e.g. a virtual game or cook along). 

We'd also recommend keeping your mentor, coordinator and assessor in the loop with each other (with their permission before you share their contact details) and any changes to your plans. If you are planning a virtual exploration, you can use the 18-30 residential form to inform them all of what you are planning. 

Personal Skill

You can practice more than one personal skill over the course of 12 months. Each skill you will still need a goal, and they collectively last for the full 12 months consecutively. You’ll need an assessor for each skill you do.

Community action

You can support two or more causes over the course of the 12 months. For each cause, you must still do a theory and practical element, find assessors and present back to units or a local leaders meeting.

Residential

You can count a residential you did in the 12 months prior to starting your award. You can also use a residential where you go to home to sleep, as long you spend the days doing activities. This also applies to anyone who did an expedition/exploration before these flexibilities came into place, as long as they were still working on their award at the time.

Got questions? Drop us a line at [email protected]