• Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread

Starting girls before the minimum age?


Beginner (10+ posts)
I had a few enquiries from girls not 5 yet, I said they could start as soon as they turned 5. I then pretty much got told by the parents then that they will start Flossie tat the unit round the corner, which they did. So that left me without girls starting. How strict is everyone with the minimum age? Am I to strict, one was only a few weeks off 5 but my understanding was we aren't insured until the minimum age ( it is Rainbows btw?) So if anything happened and they aren't 5 I wouldnt be covered?

Thank you


Veteran (100+ posts)
The general rule is that you are a member by your second meeting - so they should be 5 for the second meeting. This allows for a taster session before (but they should be 5. If anything was to happen, then Guiding could struggle to back you if they are underage.


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
Tregi's right, our policies are basically the terms of our insurance. We are covered as long as we are following the policies and requirements of the manual. If we choose to ignore such things as minimum ages,ratio's, required qualiifcations etc, then we are on our own.

The other aspect is where do you draw the line, the first wants to join a couple of weeks before she's 5, the next one it's half a term, then before you know it half the unit is bordering within 6 months of their fifth birthday. There has to be a point at which we say yes and a point to say no.


Veteran (100+ posts)
If girls have started at a Rainbow unit before they are five, the leaders are going against Girlguiding policy. Have you spoken to your DC? I would say that this needs to be reported if it is happening. The girls won't be on GO, as it will not accept them before the correct age, but the policy is that they are members from the second meeting. Your DC can pop into the unit, can check GO, and can speak to the leaders. If you have no DC, if the other unit is in another District, or if your DC doesn't help, you can contact your DivC.

Another point to consider is that the annual subscription is paid for those who are on GO, so the unit concerned wouldn't be paying for any girls who are underage - again, going against GG policies.

The only exception to all of this is if the unit is in Northern Ireland, where girls can join from age 4.

Unit guiding and sections


Brownie-induced madness
The programme is designed for those 5 and up, also.
However all individuals (adult, child, boy, girl, family member, visiting friend from Australia) are covered under insurance if attending a Guiding event.
So you can have girls in English Reception class (or the last year of Scottish preschool) who are 5, bring their friend who is 4 for a party. Or such girls can attend from the week before their 5th birthday.