Guidance notes for leaders:
Running a Girlguiding unit
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Understanding the different ages
It is helpful to understand the inuences on girls at different stages of their life, so we have touched on these below.
However, every girl is different and will develop at different speeds, so make sure you take the time to get to know
your girls as individuals as well as considering the external factors below.
Rainbows are the youngest section in guiding, aged ve to seven (from four in Northern
Ireland). Children of this age will have only recently started school, but they are often
inquisitive about everything and love the opportunity to learn.
At this age, most children are still developing their basic vocabulary so repetitive songs
and rhymes can be very valuable to help them adopt new words. Girlguiding has the ‘Rainbow Song’, which can be
sung by Rainbows on any occasion.
The ‘Rainbow Song’
Look at the world around.
Learn everything you can.
Laugh as you go along.
Love this world of ours.
Look, Learn, Laugh, Love.
Rainbows have begun.
We’re all here now.
Come and join the fun.
(To say goodbye, the end of the song changes)
Look, Learn, Laugh, Love.
We’ve had lots of fun.
Bye bye Rainbows.
Sleep well everyone.
As Rainbows are constantly looking to learn about the world around them, you may nd that they are more energetic
than other sections and are unable to concentrate for long periods of time. Short activities often work best for
Rainbows, to keep them engaged.
As our second youngest group in
guiding, Brownies are aged between
7 and 10 years old.
A Brownie unit is divided into small
groups called Sixes (although you don’t need to have six in a
group!). Each Six is led by a sixer and a second, and the unit
can agree how these individuals are selected. Often, girls are
chosen by age so that those who are oldest are empowered to take responsibility, but ultimately the role should be
given to someone who you feel would be suitable for the role in line with the expectations on page 21. Getting to
know your girls’ personalities will help you to make this decision.
You could also introduce ‘Brownie elections’ and ask girls to put themselves forward for the unit to vote for.
Younger Brownies (seven- and eight-year-olds) can be very imaginative and value the space to play and be creative,
whereas older Brownies (nine- and ten-year-olds) are likely to be facing more pressures in their education. They might
have SATS or other exams, which means that they can be energetic and are likely to use Brownies to ‘let off steam’.
Brownie-aged children are still developing their self-condence and will sometimes be sensitive to what others think
about them. As a result, recognition from adults is very important, and can come in many forms, including praise and
enabling girls to take the lead in running activities.
Give it a go!
Not all Brownies will have the opportunity
to become a sixer or second, so try to
provide the experience in a different
way – for example being a sixer at a
You might like to sing the ‘Rainbow song’
at a Promise ceremony or Pot of Gold party
(when Rainbows move up to Brownies),
at the start or end of a session, or when
meeting with other Rainbows.