Free Being Me: Say Cheese!

We are now finished with our Free Being Me pack…and now we are working on our take action project. Our Guides were in a strange position of already knowing our Take Action plan (or at least a little of it) before we began the pack, as we had already asked if they’d like to do a photography project with a friend of mine, who is currently finishing up her degree in professional photography – Anneleen Lindsay.



We have applied for funding to work with Anneleen, to do a photography project with the girls that would incorporate what they’d learned during Free Being Me. Anneleen came to do a workshop with them, and the girls had lots of questions for her about editing and photoshop! Together, they came up with a plan for a collection of portraits that would show the connection the girls have through Girlguiding but also how they are each unique individuals. They decided they would all wear their promise badges and as close to Guide uniform as they could, that all the photos would be on a white background….and after that they each decided on props and shots they’d like to do.

Myself and the other Assistant Leader met the girls and Anneleen at Edinburgh College over two sessions (half the girls one night, the other half a different night). Anneleen talked to them about the different equipment and they were even involved in helping with some of the set up. The picture above shows Anneleen explaining her taking a picture with the grey screen at the start of the session as it gets used as a colour benchmark during the editing process of the photos. The girls also helped each other with props and holding reflectors and so on. She has been great with the girls, even during our second session when I was battling a dodgy stomach and Anneleen was coming down with flu. It wasn’t ideal, but we got through it. The girls have been awesome too, and been so impressed with their maturity and loved seeing their creativity in colloboration with Anneleen’s.



After the holidays the girls are going to get a 10 proofs each to choose which portrait they’d like printed for an exhibition we’ll be holding locally in early June. A local charitable trust has given us use of their building for the day. The girls have given me a list of things they want to do as part of the exhibition to help share with the community what they’ve learned during Free Being Me, and what each portrait represents.

Although it’s been exhausting and a lot of extra work and time, it’s been worth it. After the holidays we’ll be putting our action project plan into well, ACTION! 🙂



The Girlguiding Oscars

We had an important and prestigious event near the end of term…The Girlguiding Oscars!IMG_5316


In early 2012, my friend that was the other Assistant Leader at our Guides was doing her Leadership Qualifcation, and it was through her mentor that I was finally able to get my hands on an LQ booklet. 9 months later I started the new Senior Section with a new volunteer, and I was suddenly doing two module 1s – for Guides and Senior Section.

Early last year Ashleigh and I finished our LQs, Jenny finished hers in the Autumn. As Ashleigh’s Guides and our first Senior Section unit meet in the same place, we decided to have a joint celebration – as the District Commissioner wanted to make a deal of presenting Ashleigh with hers as she had waited so patiently. It was also an opportunity for two new volunteers who are now doing their LQs to organise a joint event between two sections.

We invited our Division Commissioner, Ashleigh’s District Commissioner, and the girls decided we should dress up and make it ‘Oscar’ themed. We used the opportunity for the two trainee Leaders and four of our newer Senior Section members to make their Promise, and to give out badges and awards that had been achieved by the Guides and Senior Section throughout the term. The Senior Section had created an Oscars quiz (which the leaders won – oops!)



It was a lovely evening – and fun to have some Mums there (my own Mum and Ashleigh’s Mum). Our oldest Senior Section member (and now a fellow adult leader) took photos for Jenny’s Mum as she lives quite a few hours drive away.


We also had our Oscars cake made by the same lady who made one for our first Guides that achieved their Baden-Powell Award in 2013. Thank you Suzy! This cake may have been the favourite part of the evening.

However, I am so very happy to finally have this very special badge that I have been wanting to earn since I was 16 and was a Trainee Leader with a Guide Unit in Edinburgh after I had completed by Baden-Powell Award. Back then, it was known as the ‘Warrant’. 🙂


I’ve been trying to get my Holiday License for over a year now, and had finally got on a training course only to have to pull out as the dates clashed with my work. It was totally gutting. The girls have almost given up pestering me about going away as a unit, and I’d hoped to take them to a County Camp – only to discover there isn’t to be one this year (last year, it clashed with our local fair). I have however, encourage two Guides to go to a national camp in the summer with a group going from our County. It will be their first time camping. I would be going to help, but finances won’t allow just now. Instead next term I’m going to be trying to teach them how to make a bedding roll and hope they’ll be equipped and treated kindly by the other leaders.

I’m sure they will be. They are however slightly freaked by the discovery that they can’t have phones or hairdryers and hair straighteners at camp!

Icebreakers: Girlguiding Bingo

As this term comes to an end, I’m sure some of you will have new members coming up to your section after the Easter Holidays. In January, I had a brand new group of Senior Section girls that meets on a different night from the original group to extend the opportunities to be part of a Ranger style group in our area to meet demand. In addition to this, I’ve had three new members come to the original group this term, and two new ones last term adding some new dynamics.

On the first meeting of the new group, I decided at the last minute to use what I call ‘Girlguiding Bingo’. It’s a variation on an icebreaker I’ve learned in another places.

I basically use Word to make a table with 9 ‘cells’ and fill them with different combinations of facts about a person. Some will be Girlguiding related, others just general interests, likes or dislikes. The idea is that they have to get up and go around the room and speak to people to find out if they fit any of the facts on their bingo sheet.

Some of the Girlguiding ‘facts’ I’ve used are:

-Someone who is a Young Leader

-Someone who helps at Rainbows/Brownies/Guides

-Someone who has been a Rainbow/Brownie/Guide (not everybody has)

-Someone who has been on an international camp

-Someone who has been to a national Senior Section event

-Someone who has carried the flag on Remembrance Sunday

-Someone who has performed in the Gang Show

-Someone who knows how to build a campfire

-Someone who has their Baden-Powell Award

-Someone who was in a different Guide unit than you

General interest ones might be:

-Someone who goes to dance classes

-Someone who doesn’t go to the same school as you

-Someone who plays a musical instrument

-Someone who is part of a sports team

-Someone who has been to France/Italy/Greece/USA (or whatever country you like!)

-Someone who likes celery

-Someone who likes the colour orange

-Someone who is an only child

-Someone who has an older brother

-Someone who loves to read

-Someone who likes manga

-Someone who likes One Direction

-Someone who likes Metallica

-Someone who is a vegetarian

…you get the idea.



I’ll then print these up. Usually when I’ve not done it in a rush like I did on this night, I’ll leave space for the girls to write names in each box.

The girls can’t use the same name more than once (if you have a big group) or twice (if you have a smaller group). The first girl to get someone for all the different boxes on her sheet calls ‘BINGO’.

It’s a useful way of people getting out of their comfort zones. I’ve found putting the things like ‘someone who came from a different Guide unit’ and ‘someone who goes to a different school’ and ‘someone who is older than you’ can help the girls mix a little bit more. Often conversations get going as they discover they have similar interests they weren’t aware of before, or are interested to find out more information about each other they might not have found out otherwise. It is how I found out that no one in the second sub group of the Senior Section help out at Rainbows! (At least two or three of the girls who meet in the first sub group are Rainbow Young Leaders).

Do you have any useful icebreaker activities you have used with your Senior Section units?