Getting out in the community

Take great guiding outside the meeting place

01 July 2022

Serving our communities has always been an important part of guiding.

It’s even in our Promise. We make a difference to the world around us and make our local areas better.

We’ve put together some ideas from our programme to help your unit start getting out and about in your neighbourhood if you haven’t before, some ideas to inspire you if you’re looking for something new to try. We’ve also included some interest badges that members can do in their own time, so they can keep taking action even when the meeting’s over.

Unit meeting activities

The community action unit meeting activities can be found in unit meeting activity packs 1, 2 and 4 and focus on helping out in your local area. Here are some of our favourites.

A big thank you! from pack 2 for Rainbows is all about putting a big smile on somebody’s face. Members can learn about the people who work hard to help in the local community and make them something special to say ‘thank you’.

One good turn leads to another, from pack 2, helps Brownies start a chain of good turns in their neighbourhood and find out how far their kindness can reach.

The power of positivity from pack 4 is an activity for Guides. A positive message can change someone’s day, and that’s a powerful thing. Get them to try this activity and spread positivity and kindness in their local area.

Rangers can have a go at creative communities from pack 2, using their imagination to transform an unloved local place into a hub of creativity and culture.

Other ideas

Get out and about with your unit. The options are endless, but here’s some ideas to get you started.

Litter picking

Could your unit do some litter picking, perhaps once a month, or once every few months? Or perhaps take part once a year in the Great British Spring Clean and do something bigger as a district or division? You could wash the bins, benches and trails, garden and litter pick. Be sure to use litter pickers and wear high vis vests.

Help out a charity

Is there a local charity that needs a helping hand? Or maybe there’s a charity that supports your unit, or has donated items to your meeting place? Say thanks by giving them something to help. Whether it’s a food bank needing items, a charity needing more funds or youth centre that would appreciate a hand cleaning their outside space, see if there’s an organisation you could give back to by asking around in your neighbourhood.

Take action on a cause you care about

If members of you’re unit care about a particular cause in your community, could you help them take action to support it? From setting up a girls’ after school coding group to raising awareness about inaccessible shops in your town, have a chat and see if you could create a campaign as a unit, or help members take action themselves.

One Ranger raised awareness about dementia by raising money and making a challenge pack all about dementia, including games and other fun, educational activities. And another Ranger campaigned for her school to set up a girls’ rugby team by starting a petition.

Bag packing

Booking a slot with your local supermarket to do some bag packing is a great way to raise money, let people know that great guiding is going on in their area and get new members. With leaders supervising, young people can pack the bags for people getting their shopping, while wearing their uniform, for a donation. You could see if the supermarket will let you hand out flyers or put up a banner too.

Community events

Take part in community events, like summer fetes. Get members to come along in uniform, hand out flyers and tell people all about guiding at a stall.

As with any activity, make sure you do a risk assessment and get consent forms. Also remember that car washing isn’t an activity you can do because it’s not covered by our insurance.

Interest badges

Do members of your unit want to keep helping out in their own time? Rainbows can find out how to help others with the Helper badge and Brownies can help out local organisations with the Charities badge. Guides can make change happen with the Campaigning badge and Rangers can help out in three different ways with the Volunteering badge.