We’re transforming The Senior Section
You wanted The Senior Section to have a refresh – so over the next three years we’re going to make some changes
Members of The Senior Section are a huge part of making guiding happen
You’re often the ones who’ve been with us the longest – you’ve grown with us, you know us inside out and many of you give your time to volunteer with us too. We’re beyond proud of you. That's why – as part of our programme review – we decided to revisit all the opportunities available to 14 to 25 year olds to make sure we’re truly giving you what you need.
As a result, over the next three years there will be some changes to The Senior Section.
What you told us
We started speaking to our Guides and members of The Senior Section back in 2014. We surveyed over 4,000 girls and held 24 focus groups across the UK.
We were thrilled to have so many members sharing their views with us, and you told us some interesting things. 62% of you aged 14 to 18 identified as a member of The Senior Section. But it was also clear that once you reach 18, many of you are moving into leadership roles, taking charge and inspiring even more girls.*
You also told us that you want more adventure, qualifications and support to move into those leadership roles.
How The Senior Section will change
Because of your recommendations, over the next three years we’ll be transforming The Senior Section.
For ages 14 to 18
At the end of our journey, we’ll have a brand new programme aimed at 14 to 18 year old girls. There will also be a new section name and look which girls will have the opportunity to help us design.
This programme will follow the six new activity themes and programme elements that we’re creating as part of our journey to create a fresh programme.
In the future girls can continue to grow with us from Rainbows right up to our new ‘Senior Section’. They'll have a clear route to follow and have fun, make friends, learn new skills and build a sense of independence along the way.
I think it could be quite good if it’s split. It can be daunting when you’re 14, leaving Guides and joining a group of maybe 20-year-olds. Whereas 14- to 18-year-olds are all at a similar stage. – Annie, 16
For ages 18 to 25
Instead of being part of the new section, our older members will be supported to take on challenges that help them become the women they want to be. Challenges like:
- peer education
- the Queen’s Guide Award
- the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
- international opportunities like Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD)
- unit leadership roles.
Work has already begun to consolidate all the amazing opportunities - including how we can provide a consistent level of support for awards and qualifications, how we can clearly communicate all of the incredible opportunities available, and how this offer can be adaptable for those in that age group who are transitioning to different stages in their lives, for example, going to work or university.
I think the idea that after 18 we’re encouraged to go and work in a group is really effective – that’s what people tend to do anyway. You want to move on and help at groups you were at before, or when you go to uni. I’ve just joined a Rainbow group at my uni – I think that’s just a natural step. – Olivia, 20
When it will change
These changes will take place over the next three years along with other programme developments.
For the time being members of The Senior Section who are over 18 are welcome to stay with their section or they might decide to take on a leadership role. We’ll make sure all the exciting opportunities for young women over 18 are clearly signposted before the transformation of The Senior Section is complete.
*This page was updated after a few members pointed out the statistic saying ‘92% of girls aged 18 to 25 identified as volunteers for their primary role’ could be misleading, because some members had heard that they should always do so for administrative reasons. This statistic has now been removed. It was not of critical importance in our decisions about changes to The Senior Section, which were based on a wide variety of reviews, reports and evidence.