‘I’d love to see more diverse women get involved in walking'

Ruth and Georgina are our walking specialist advisers

25 July 2022

We offer loads of adventurous activities for our members.

We’re supported by a UK outdoor team who help volunteers feel confident to take members of their unit on new experiences. Ruth Bint and Georgina Barrett are our walking specialist advisers and they want to get more young members to discover the fun of walking.

Georgina, an archaeological collection manager, has been a Brownie and Ranger leader, currently mostly helps adults do our Walking Scheme and is the deputy walking specialist adviser.

I love the opportunity to spend time with and learn from really experienced and skilled walking leaders from around the country. I also love that I get to immerse myself in the Walking Scheme with a view to continually improving the experience for members of Girlguiding working through the scheme.

As part of Inspire, our offer for 18- to 30-year-olds, Georgina wanted to represent the age group and get more members her age involved with outdoor activities. She’s inspired by Girlguiding trainers, assessors and moderators, and women like Mary-Ann Ochota. An anthropologist, she combines her specialism with a love of walking and the outdoors.

‘I’ve been lucky enough to take part in an archaeological landscape walk in the Brecon Beacons led by her, organised by Girlguiding Hertfordshire for a Girlguiding Anglia social walking event,’ says Georgina.

Her biggest adventure so far has been walking the length of Hadrian’s Wall for her Queen’s Guide award expedition. She’s proud that her group completed such a tough physical challenge, while also learning more about the history of the wall.

‘I’d love to see a more diverse variety of women get involved in walking as part of Girlguiding, both in terms of age and background,’ says Georgina. ‘I think this would really galvanise the young members to themselves consider taking up walking, if they see themselves represented in the volunteers running the activities.’

Ruth joined Girlguiding as a Brownie and never left! She’s volunteered with Brownies, Guides and Rangers and is now part of her county Duke of Edinburgh's award team and our national outdoor team as a walking specialist adviser.

I enjoy being part of a team and helping people discover the joy of walking. It’s really rewarding to help both adults and young members develop their walking skills and grow in confidence.

Ruth loves the friendship and support found in Girlguiding and hopes to help more people experience the positive effects of being outdoors.

‘Adventures can be big or small, but all of them need us to be brave enough to take that next step,’ says Ruth. ‘The wonders of nature help to give me courage and remind me that all mountains are climbed one step at a time.

‘I would like to help more members benefit from opportunities to get outdoors and experience adventure in a safe way.’

Ruth has been on lots of adventures with Girlguiding, including camps, international trips and great walking and trekking trips in the UK and abroad.

She has fond memories of her first international trip to Sweden as a Guide, and is still in touch with a guiding friend she made on the trip. And as a leader, she’s helped her county take Rangers and young leaders to Norway for adventures and new challenges.

‘I want to inspire, encourage and support adult volunteers to gain the skills and confidence to enjoy walking themselves and to offer more outdoor walking opportunities to our young members,’ says Ruth. ‘Walking should be open to everyone and I want to help ensure that members can safely enjoy walking at whatever level they aspire to, from local rambles to climbing mountains.’