Our programme's turning four!

Celebrate four years of the programme with these fun activity and interest badge ideas

11 July 2022

As girls move up between guiding sections, they can take on lots of fun and challenging activities, work towards badges, complete skills builders and earn a selection of awards.

This is what we call our programme, and it’s a core part of what we have to offer at Girlguiding.

Four years ago, we updated our programme. It was the biggest overhaul in Girlguiding history. We wanted our programme to reflect who we are and the challenges girls face today. So we designed it to help support girls as they grow their confidence, have fun and adventures, learn skills for their future and be whoever they want to be.

On 21 July 2022, the programme celebrates its fourth birthday. That means it’s now the same age as a Rainbow.

To celebrate the programme ‘becoming a Rainbow’, we’ll be taking on a different activity each day over six days. Whether you’re at home or in your unit, why not join in the fun along with us? And if your unit has broken up for the summer already, you can bookmark this page and pick it back up in the autumn term.

Below you can find lots of activity ideas split according to the six themes of our programme: Know Myself, Express Myself, Be Well, Have Adventures, Take Action and Skills For My Future. Since there were so many to choose from, our girl experience team helped us out by picking a few of their favourites.

Day one: Know Myself

What makes you who you are? Our Know Myself theme helps us learn more about ourselves, whether that’s exploring our family history or figuring out how certain things make us feel.  

If you’d like to work Know Myself into your unit meeting, here are some of our favourite ideas below. You can find more unit meeting activities and skills builders across all the themes in our finder.

  • Rainbow leaders: how well do your Rainbows really know each other? See if you can catch out as many as possible with Fish are friends from our Friendship topic in pack number 10.
  • Brownie leaders: take a trip down memory lane with Brownie beads from our Friendship topic. Get Brownies thinking about the best things they’ve done with their friends and make a bracelet together.
  • Guide leaders: take pride in some of the things you’ve done together and make exciting plans for the future. The Washing line of pride from our Get guiding topic is a chance to showcase girls’ greatest guiding achievements.
  • Ranger leaders: what if I told you were was a medicine that would make you grow a metre taller, turn your hair green and make you a millionaire? Would you believe me? There’s only one way to find out – get stuck into Bona fide cure! from our Time travellers topic.

Skills builders and unit meeting activities are for girls to do with their unit, but there are plenty of Know Myself interest badges you can get stuck into together at home. You can find more interest badges across all the themes in our badge finder.  

  • Rainbows: be kind to every kind with Animal lover. Even if you’re not able to have a pet of your own, you can still find animals all around. Look after and practise caring for them with this badge.
  • Brownies: raise your voice, know your rights! Get girls thinking about how we should be treated and what we should be able to do with My rights.
  • Guides: celebrate over a century of girls in the lead. What sort of things did Guides do in the past? Try out some old activities with Guiding history.
  • Rangers: have you ever wondered why you are the way you are? Chase your own tale with the Genealogy badge. 

Day two: Express Myself

Now let’s think outside the box. From storytelling to inventing, day two is all about channeling our creativity and feeling free to be ourselves. There are so many ways to get creative with our Express Myself theme. What will you choose?

  • Rainbow leaders: can your unit tap their way to stardom? Help them make their own shoes with Tippity tap from our Spotlight topic.
  • Brownie leaders: get your unit into line… dancing! Hootenanny from our Spotlight topic will get your girls trying out some classic moves.
  • Guide leaders: everyone interprets art in different ways. Have girls try out ink blotting in What do you ink? from our Masterpiece topic and see what they can turn it into.
  • Ranger leaders: art can come from anywhere! Alternative artworks from our Masterpiece topic is a delicious new way for girls to create something beautiful.

  • Rainbows: dive into the world of storytelling. The Storyteller badge takes girls to a whole new world where anything can happen!
  • Brownies: bake it ‘til you make it! Baking isn’t just a yummy activity to get stuck into. The Baking badge can be a fun way of expressing yourself and getting creative.
  • Guides: take a look at the messaging behind the TV we watch or the articles we read. Develop your Media critic skills and put media under the spotlight.
  • Rangers: channel your creativity with the power of the written word! With the Blogging badge, there’s no right or wrong – just write.

Day three: Be Well

Take some time to look after yourself today. Because when we feel our best, we’re able to do things we never thought we could.

Our Be Well theme is full of ideas for staying safe, happy and healthy. Plus, there’s lots of activities for helping others around us feel the same.

  • Rainbow leaders: Bertie the big blue whale has lost his friend Olive. Help him swim through the ocean and find her with The big blue whale from our Mind and movement topic.
  • Brownie leaders: find out your unit’s golfing style with It’s a hole-in-one! from our Get sporty topic.
  • Guide leaders: a game is only as good as its rules. Get creative and have Guides design their very own with Games maker from our Fair play topic.
  • Ranger leaders: it’s a game of football with a twist. Test girls’ communication skills with Kicking it from our Get sporty topic.

  • Rainbows: fill your plate with a fun foody feast. And get a chance to be a detective, chef and performer by earning the Fruit and veg
  • Brownies: green fingers at the ready! Plants and flowers help to create a sense of calm, so why not Grow your own at home?
  • Guides: shake, rattle and stir. Create your own mocktails with the Mixology badge and get the juices flowing.
  • Rangers: take some time for yourself, whatever that means for you. The Self care badge lets you explore all the things that make you feel good.

Day four: Have Adventures

Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone? Today’s a day for trying new things and overcoming our fears.

Getting outside and learning new skills is what Girlguiding is all about. So what better way to celebrate than with one of the exciting activities from our Have Adventures theme?

  • Rainbow leaders: if you go down to the woods today, there’ll be lots of fun games for you to play! Try out some Bear-y good games in your unit from our Get outside topic.
  • Brownie leaders: it’s Bubble time! Put your unit’s skills to the test with this fun activity from our Get outside topic.
  • Guide leaders: explore the outdoors and try out different tactics to Capture the sun, from our Get outside topic.
  • Ranger leaders: get ready for an interstellar tug of war! Test your unit’s strength and discover the ebb and flow of our oceans with Tidal tug from our Out of this world topic.

  • Rainbows: the fun begins where the pavement ends. Get outside, feel the wind in your hair and earn the Nature badge.
  • Brownies: does space seem a bit alien to you? Have an out-of-this-world adventure with the Space badge!
  • Guides: fix up a fiery feast. Anyone can become a campfire connoisseur with the Backwoods cooking
  • Rangers: let wanderlust lead the way. Plan your next trip to get the most out of your adventures and earn the Travel badge. 

Day five: Take Action

It’s amazing what we can do when we put our mind to it. Take Action on something that matters to you today.

This theme is all about developing our skills to make a difference in the world, such as through campaigning, volunteering or reducing our waste.

  • Rainbow leaders: get girls thinking about what ducks like to eat with Snacks for quacks. This activity from our Save the planet topic might surprise them.
  • Brownie leaders: your unit is made up of amazing individuals. Get girls to showcase what makes them unique with Uniquely you from our Better together topic.
  • Guide leaders: what’s the deal with social media? Take A moment in time to reflect on why people are posting with this activity from our Media topic.
  • Ranger leaders: does something in your community need to change? Our choices, our voices in our Community action topic gets girls thinking about the issues that matter to them.

  • Rainbows: start saving the planet today! Learn the three R’s and earn the Recycling badge to cut waste and make a change.
  • Brownies: say it loud, say it proud. The Speaking out badge is all about spreading the word and making a difference.
  • Guides: it’s good to know the power of the purse. Learn more about what we buy and make more conscious shopping decisions with Conscious consumer.
  • Rangers: start making a change on the things you care about. Learn about the different ways of Protesting and how you can make your own.

Day six: Skills For My Future

There are so many things we can learn to help us get ready for all of life’s challenges, big or small.

Whether it’s learning a new language or fixing something around the house, our Skills For My Future theme helps us to get ready to go out into the world and have fun along the way.

  • Rainbow leaders: Rainbows can be Everyday inventors with this activity from our Magnificent machines topic. Get girls thinking fast and using their skills to improve everyday tools.
  • Brownie leaders: could your unit be the next brewing masters? Have them race against each other to create a magical potion with Magical mixtures from our Clever chemicals topic.
  • Guide leaders: Flying aeroplanes is a balancing act. Who can design the best paper plane and get the longest flight time? Try out Paper pilots from our Magnificent machines topic.
  • Ranger leaders: Understanding chemistry can help with lots of useful things. But can your unit use it to win this sticky challenge? Sticky solutions can be found in our Clever chemicals topic.

  • Rainbows: hold onto your bookmark, you’re going on an adventure! The Book lover badge takes us on a journey without ever leaving our seats.
  • Brownies: see a problem, think up a solution. What will you invent with the Inventing badge?
  • Guides: time to get clued up. Earn the Investigating badge by honing your skills and solving mysteries!
  • Rangers: ever dreamt of starting your own business? Channel your inner Entrepreneur and make your dreams happen!

Thanks for all your feedback

We hope you’ve enjoyed these past four years of programme as much as we have.

Feedback from our members has helped us improve and adapt our programme to where it is today. In 2020 for example, you gave us useful feedback on the accessibility of our Gold awards. We heard you, and decided to introduce a Bronze and Silver award for each section too. Check out our webpage for more recent changes we’ve made to the programme that better suit our members’ needs. 

We’re constantly evolving our programme to make sure it’s inclusive and adaptable for all our needs. If you’d like to have your say, why not apply to join our activity testing pool? And keep an eye out for more ways we’ll be asking girls to tell us their thoughts about the programme in the future.

We’d love to hear from you

What’s your favourite memory of the programme so far? Is there an interest badge or skills builder you can’t wait to get stuck into?

Our programme team loves hearing how you’re getting on and all the fun ways you've been enjoying the programme. Send them an email to [email protected]. Or tag us on social media @Girlguiding and let us know your thoughts!