Welcoming 4-year-olds into guiding

Volunteers have their say this International Day of the Girl…


More Rainbow units across Scotland have been welcoming 4-year-old girls so they too can experience everything guiding has to offer. Registering girls to join Girlguiding is a great way to empower them from a young age. To celebrate International Day of the Girl we caught up with some Livingston based volunteers to learn more about accommodating younger girls…

Hi everyone, Mairi and Ann Marie here! We’re leaders with the 2nd Livingston Rainbows and we love it – helping girls grow in confidence and discover new interests is why we do what we do.

International Day of the Girl is a great reminder of why we became volunteers in the first place. Volunteering is all about wanting to create a better future for girls and young women. We want to help instil in them as early as possible the fact that they can be whoever they want to be in life.

This is a passion we know all volunteers share, so with that in mind we want to share a little bit about our own experience of opening up our Rainbow unit to younger girls. Our hope is that we can reassure you if you’re feeling nervous about the prospect…

We have been accepting 4-year-old girls into our Rainbow unit for some time now and overall, we’ve noticed there isn’t a big difference between 4 and 5-year-olds, even though some haven’t started school yet. At first we were apprehensive but we explored the advice available from Girlguiding, and we were confident in our experience as volunteers, so decided to take the plunge.

An obstacle we have come up against is that some girls can’t really read or write yet. Although it isn’t often, on evenings where there are activities planned that involve writing we do need some extra support – you could maybe ask new parents if they might be up for helping out at certain meetings. There’s also advice available on tailoring the Rainbow programme to work for all your girls here.

The thing we know now that we wish we’d known before is how rewarding it has been to bring younger girls into the fold. The extra year with them means that we’ve the opportunity to get through more of the programme. It’s been amazing to see so many of our shy 4-year-olds become bolder as they emerge from their shells – which in turn helps prepare them to start school.

Looking for more support?

There’s a lot of great information on welcoming 4-year-olds available on the Girlguiding website.