5 ways to keep girls and young women happy in guiding

Over 300,000 girls and young women are in guiding today

26 September 2023

With over 300,000 girls and young women in guiding today, so many of you work hard to keep them happy and excited about their futures. 

At the heart of guiding, we want to encourage girls and young women to be curious and courageous, whatever that looks like for them. Whether it’s building a campfire with friends, taking on a personal challenge or tackling a new adventure, we know all girls can do anything – and as a volunteer, you help them get there every day. 

More girls are worried and anxious 

We’ve been asking girls and young women for 15 years how they feel about their everyday lives. We listen to the pressures they face and the issues they care about so we can help to improve their lives for good. 

Our 15th Girls’ Attitudes Survey tells us 89% of girls and young women aged 7-21 feel generally worried and anxious. That’s 11% more than in 2016. Their worries range from doing well at school to how they look or being sexually harassed. There’s a lot on their minds. We have a chance to make a difference in each of their lives, big or small. Here’s a few things you can do within guiding to make sure our young members continue to laugh, learn and explore with a smile on their face. 

Read a summary of the Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2023. 

Start a conversation 

You could use this time to have a chat with your unit about how they feel, what they’re worried about or what makes them happy.  

Set aside 20 minutes of your unit meeting to watch this video of our advocates talking about this year’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey and ask them to share what they think about the topics mentioned.  

Depending on the ages in your unit, you can get the conversation going by asking questions like: 

  • What makes you happiest? 
  • What do you care about the most? 
  • Do you think that the pressure on how girls look is a big issue nowadays? 
  • What do you think the government could do to make girls and young women feel safer and happier?
  • How does being on social media make you feel?

According to our partner Dove, 9 in 10 kids are exposed to toxic beauty content on social media. As a result, this harmful content is impacting the mental health of 1 in 2 kids. Now is a great time to check in with the girls and young women in your unit who might be spending lots of time online. 

Girlguiding, together with Global Action Plan5Rights and Parenting Mental Health, is raising awareness of harmful features on social media to encourage new design standards that will make social media safer for kids.

If you want to go the extra mile to make a difference, visit Dove's website to sign the ‘Protect Kids’ Mental Health’ petition from Global Action Plan and 5Rights to call for social media to be made safe by design.

Keep reading for more unit meeting activities you could try. 

Check out these activities 

The following activities are a great way for your unit to celebrate World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2023. 

For Rainbows, you’ll find plenty of activities to run that’ll get them giggling and exploring their confidence. 

For Brownies, try these activities to help them notice their strengths! 

For Guides, help them shed stress and feel good with these mindful activities. 

For Rangers, you can challenge them to celebrate their uniqueness and switch off from their worries. 

Encourage girls to try interest badges 

If you’ve explored those activities, you can also encourage girls to explore our range of interest badges. They can complete them at home and in unit meetings. 

Between 2018 and March 2023 over 900,000 interest badges have been completed. Our mindfulness badge was one of the popular amongst Brownies as well as the self-care badge amongst Rangers. 

You can also try our healthy mind badge for Rainbows and the meditation badge for Guides. 

Go to our badge finder. 

Show them some fun 

Have you got any exciting trips planned? Guiding is a chance for girls to explore new things and have fun so keep taking them on adventures! Check out our activity finder for inspiration. 

Remind them they have a voice 

By showing up for girls each week, you’re already reminding girls and young women that they have a voice.  

If girls want to speak up about their experiences with Girlguiding, including how they feel about our programme, they can sign up to our insight pool.

They can also look out for opportunities to be a part of our girl-led groups like amplify and advocates.