A year of Guiding: 2015

So the calendar year is almost over, my Guiding is done (in terms of unit meetings) for 2015. Here’s a wee look back at all that I got up to as a Girlguiding volunteer this past year…



A Guide to Qualifications for Young Leaders

Well it’s been a tumultuous, frustrating and challenging week as a Senior Section leader as less than two weeks after going through the Young Leadership Qualification and giving packs to all the girls…Girlguiding changed the syllabus. At least a few Leaders in our area had not realised that there was a Young Leadership Qualification the girls could do when they were 14 and that it was not just ‘Module 1’ of the Adult Leadership Qualification (which seems to now be called simply ‘Leadership Qualification’).

So. I thought I’d share my knowledge after spending almost every evening this week undoing the work of the last 6 months-year, which was spent trying to get the correct information and correct packs to the girls who are Young Leaders. Plus I know there are other Leaders out there who are confused about what the girls can and can’t do.

All our girls who are under 18 have decided they want to do their Young Leadership Qualification before going on to do the Adult version.

Young Leadership Qualification

Girls can start their YOUNG Leadership Qualification when they are 14 if they are volunteering at a Rainbow, Brownie or Guide unit.

The new syllabus in a downloadable workbook format can be found if you click here.

The girls do not need a mentor who has done mentor training like they do for the adult version. Any leader can be their ‘supporter‘ (which is the equivalent of the mentor role). This can be one of their Senior Section leaders, one of the Leaders of the Unit they volunteer with or their Young Leader Adviser. I would probably recommend encouraging the girls to choose someone they get on well with and has done or is going through a leadership qualification so they can give them good advice and understand what is involved.

Also, if you are a Young Leader Adviser/Senior Section Leader/District Commissioner, I would recommend encouraging any unit leaders with Young Leaders volunteering to check out this document from Girlguiding which is really helpful.

I would also suggest encouraging the girls to keep evidence of what they’ve done  – especially if they are showing signs of wanting to continue onto the Leadership Qualification. This way they have already put the evidence keeping skills into practice, and I imagine it would be easy to use some of their YLQ stuff to count towards their Leadership Qualification where applicable. But that’s just my own opinion!

Leadership Qualification

Girls can start working on their (adult) Leadership Qualification from the age of 16.

Elements of their Young Leadership Qualification can count towards their (adult) Leadership Qualification as long as there has not been too long a gap between finishing their YLQ to starting their adult one. Much of the Young Leadership Qualification has the same principle elements as Module 1 and bits of Module 2 of the (adult) Leadership Qualification.

They will need to speak to their District Commissioner to get their Disclosure/PVG check done, their leadership qualification booklet and a mentor.

They will not be awarded the qualification until they are 18. Once they are 18 they can wear the ‘Adult Member’ uniform if they wish and become an Assistant or Unit Leader.

You can find some more information on the Senior Section website here.

**Please also note that the girls can use what they do as part of both these qualifications towards the Leadership Octant of the Look Wider programme**

I’m hoping this will be helpful to other Leaders around the UK (especially those who are in the position that Jenny and I were in when we first began Senior Section in an area where no one really knew what Senior Section did and we were fairly new volunteers). Good luck, and if you have anything helpful to add, please leave a comment! 🙂

Leadership Qualification: first aid



April 26th was a big day. I was still in my pyjamas putting my lunch together (priorities…food over clothing) when Jenny (fellow Senior Section leader) arrived at my front door. After I’d swapped my pyjamas for jeans we headed to the bus stop where we met one of the young leaders and the three of us hopped on a bus to the Edinburgh Girlguiding HQ.


Because we FINALLY had all managed to track down some First Aid training and book on.

The demise of the oh so helpful county calendar has led to us often not finding out about training until after the fact, and we’ve had words with County about the difficulties navigating the website and knowing where you can find information (if it’s even there).

Anyway. RANT OVER.

The training that Girlguiding Edinburgh does for new leaders (or leaders who have not managed to refresh their training in a while) is provided by one of my favourite charities: British Red Cross. We had two male trainers, and they were excellent. They explained everything really well, put everyone at ease and were willing to learn as much as we were (always the sign of a good trainer).

We got the chance to discover there are other Senior Section units opening up in Edinburgh and other leaders are out there. Often feeling unsupported, clueless to how to get a programme started, isolated but full of enthusiasm! The great thing about doing training is that you finally get to connect with leaders outside your unit/district/division. I now make a point of trying to engage with as many people as possible at any Girlguiding event I’m part of so I can stay in contact with any other Ranger/Senior Section folks I meet!

And of course, the most fun part was bandaging each other up. Our Guides’ young leader (about to become adult leader) snapped a picture of me on her phone which I haven’t seen, and I retaliated by taking a picture of her and Jenny with their arms in slings. 🙂

So now, I’m first aid trained and all I need to do now for my LQ is track down my mentor to get everything signed off. And find someone to observe me at a Senior Section meeting so I can complete my Senior Section Module 1 (my Guides one is complete already). I’ve done all the work. I’ve accounted. I’ve organised. I’ve evaluated. I’ve risk assessed. I’ve joined with other units and sections. And now I’ve bandaged, put people in the recovery position and done chest compressions on a resusci-annie.

I’m ready to be a qualified leader.

I think.

I hope.

I’ve pretty much been doing it for a couple of years now anyway? 🙂