When Rangers become Rainbows…

After last year’s Colour Run, the first thing that went on their wish list of activities for this year was ‘COLOR ME RAD’. And so we were on the ball ready to register for the best discount in January. Unfortunately most of the girls who said they wanted to do it, didn’t end up signing up, so I opened it up to other Senior Section members in the division who are not Rangers. We ended up with two Young Leaders and two of their friends from school (one also a Girlguiding Young Leader from a neighbouring division, the other not a member of Girlguiding), as well as three Rangers signing up. It was also going to be the last day of volunteering for our newest Assistant Leader in training, who sadly has had to move away.IMG_6880

The most important part is the before and after shots. The idea is you wear as much white as possible so the colour has the most effect.


This year there were a lot less people doing Colour Run – I think perhaps because they had it scheduled on the same weekend as the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. This meant the start area was much closer to the registration tent, there weren’t the portaloos this year and our meeting point was much more crowded than usual. I was thankful I had decided to wear some blue fairy wings and quickly messaged the girls to tell them so they could find me.


After I did a backward roll through the yellow colour station one of the girls told me I looked like a ‘Rainbow Pixie Fairy’ as all the colour floated off my wings as I was jogging away. She snapped this picture for me (Thanks A!)

We also had the Mum of two of the girls running in our team stay to watch and she snapped some lovely photos of us at a few of the colour stations and at the end. It was super kind of her. I do believe she had hosted a sleepover for a few of the girls at her house the night before too.


they were starting to run out of colour by the end, and so folks were running back into the startions to try and get as much colour on them as possible. Somewhere in that cloud is our team! (the two folks at the front are just participants of that we don’t know).

All in all, it was a great way to start a Saturday, and if the girls want to do it again next year we will hopefully be able to all sign up again. Especially as the Aunt of one of our Rangers has alerted us to the wonderous invention of T-Shirt pens. Something for next year! 🙂


Leader skills: Risk Assessments

This will be the 4th year that our Guide unit has done a joint campfire with another Guide unit. I came from a very traditional Guide unit, and the Guide unit where I started my warrant training was run by the person in our county who basically ran all the bookings for the campsites. Sadly though, our super close, very handy, holds so many memories for me, Guide campsite had to close last year.

This meant finding a new venue for our annual end of year campfire. And that meant a new risk assessment.

When organising any kind of trip, planning is key. And hopefully you’ll be able to do a site visit first. Which is what our Unit Leader and I did a few weeks ago. If you look closely in the photo, you’ll be able to see that when we arrived at this campsite it started SNOWING.

Ahh. Don’t you love Scotland in the springtime?!

The visit was important as if we hadn’t gone, we wouldn’t be going into our trip knowing certain things may be an issue. Our old campsite was easily accessible with cars being able to pass each other with ease. We did have a very rickety bridge to cross to the campfire site, needed to know where to collect water and had to bring all our own fire making materials. This campsite is accessed by a single track road, a very cramped and poorly designed car park (which will likely make 56 Guides & Young Leaders being dropped off a nightmare). The toilets are much nicer but quite a distance from the campfire site. We don’t have to bring our own materials and everything will be provided for us by the venue.

And this is where risk assessments come in. You look at the venue, what you will be doing and assess what potential problems will arise. Then you can come up with a plan on how you would deal with them if they DO arise. Hopefully it means that if they do happen – you will be able to stay calm in the knowledge that you have prepared for such an eventuality and do what is needed. Otherwise you might find yourself in a situation of panic.

At our campfire we’ll have a proper site which makes fire safety very manageable. We’ll have water and sand if the fire needs to be put out. We will have leaders in hi-vis jackets monitoring traffic coming in/out of the campsite. We  have several people trained in first aid in case someone trips up while playing rounders or burns their fingers on a marshmallow. The girls have all been instructed to make sure they have their hair tied back to keep it safe from flames while toasting marshmallows. We have food that girls can eat because we know what their dietary requirements are. We have asked parents and leaders to car share as much as possible to ease the flow of traffic at pick up and drop off. We will have a home contact who can be the port of call in an emergency situation.

I’m now training my Senior Section girls (especially as they are getting older and some of them are starting their own Leadership Qualifications) in how to access the Girlguiding manual, and how to risk assess activities outside of the meeting place. Although it got a bit silly and at first they thought it was stupid, as a member shared about something that had happened while on a trip with her Guide unit she volunteers with, the point of risk assessments became more clear.

Because it’s always ‘fine’ until it’s not! And when you do all the ‘silly’ stuff required – consent forms, emergency contacts, alerting your commissioner that you are going on a trip, risk assessments, site visits – it isn’t silly if something does happen because you are prepared. 🙂

Risk Assessment Template 2016


The Library

One of the octants that our Rangers have commonly struggled with is Personal Values. For those of them that have some kind of faith beliefs, they’ve often been able to complete Phase 2 and 3 of the octant very easily by attending their place of worship and volunteering there. For the others, they tend to struggle past getting Phase 1 complete.

One of our Rangers came up with a great idea to complete Phase 2 or 3 by reading autobiographies of people and sharing with others how they inspired her. With that in mind, our younger group have started their own Senior Section library – which they decided to extend to include films as well as books.

They have so far given me a few requests of books – some autobiographies, some fiction – and DVDs that they felt provoke thought on issues that can lead to shaping your own personal values.


So far the library is to include:

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (above is a young adult adaptation of her biography published by Barrington Stoke)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (children’s fiction book)

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (YA fiction)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou



He Named Me Malala

The Help

We’ve also moved their blog to WordPress, as we discovered during the election that people were struggling to comment on the posts using blogger and we wanted a way that the girls could write posts but also have an adminstrator who is a leader to monitor the blog to ensure internet safety. Our hope is that this will enable the girls to share as part of their Phase 3 about what they’ve learned.