The Girl Guides have been around for over a hundred years, and for many young women they were a significant part of their childhood. Catering to ages 4-14, and up to eighteen for those who choose to become Rangers, the Guides have become a staple in many communities. 

One former Guide remembers her time in the organisation as “fun and supportive.” She stated that many see Guides as the feminine version of Scouts, with Guides doing arts and crafts instead of the survival skills of the Scouts, but “this just isn’t true,” according to the former Guide who has asked not to be named. “At my unit we did a range of activities; map reading, archery, history evenings, tent building, campfires… it was really varied and it never felt boring.” She added that she’d been in the organisation for over a decade, from Rainbows to Guides, and had even returned as a volunteer Young Leader for five months in the Rainbows for her Duke of Edinburgh Award. 

“It was a completely different but equally wonderful experience,” she said about her time volunteering. “I remembered so many fun things about my time in Rainbows and it was great to have the chance to help the next generation create similar memories.” 

However, the ex-Guide was concerned about the future of the organisation. “Recently, my village’s Rainbows unit— the one I volunteered in— had to close because there weren’t enough volunteers. I’m worried we’re really at risk of losing this great organisation that’s so supportive and provides so many opportunities for little girls to learn great skills and develop confidence and independence through the unit meetings and camps.” 

The role of the Guides organisation in supporting and inspiring young girls across the country must not be downplayed, and communities must band together in order to protect this valuable resource. 

“It’s just really sad,” she added. “It would be a terrible shame to lose the Guides.”