Young women from 14th Oldham Guides joined hundreds of fellow Girlguiding members in London to kick off celebrations for 100 years of The Senior Section.

Sixteen Guides aged 10-14, from High Crompton, joined over 5,000 girls and young women aged five to 25 at Alexandra Palace on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 February at a huge girl-only festival.

The two-day event, called Spark, saw girls and young women step out of their comfort zone and take on adventurous activities such as bouldering, bungee trampolining, caving and zorbing.

There were so many opportunities to try something new and take on a new challenge – just like in the Senior Section itself. The two-day event called Spark, saw girls and young women step out of their comfort zone and take on various activities including adventurous ones like bouldering, bungee trampolining, caving and zorbing!

Other activities included a silent disco, roller disco, huge inflatables, virtual rowing and there was even a petting zoo and a BMX bike stunt display team! Luckily there were also some relaxing activities to try such as Yoga and Indian Head Massage.

Erin Mason, aged 10, said: “I had an amazing time at Spark! My favourite part was building a solar powered car! It was fun, but difficult to get them at the right speed.”

Sara Harrison, Leader of 14th Oldham Guides said: “We had such a brilliant day! Our Guides have experienced so much and had a great time doing it. We handed some very tired girls over to the parents!”

Open to all girls and young women aged 14 to 25, The Senior Section offers a host of amazing opportunities to older girls in guiding – from international travel and adventure to advocacy and leadership skills. There’s so many opportunities to try something new and take on a new challenge.

spark photo

Over the past 100 years, Senior Section members have witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, swum the Channel, attended the UN Convention on the Status of Women, and represented Great Britain at the Olympics.

Celebrations will continue across the UK until October, taking in mountain marathons in Scotland, a carnival fiesta in the Midlands and a democracy festival in London.

A special steering group of Senior Section members have been involved at every stage of planning for the year – consulting widely with girls in guiding, and making decisions in everything from event design and activities to logistics.

Gill Slocombe, Girlguiding’s Chief Guide, said: “The Girlguiding adventure continues for young women right up to the age of 25, and this spectacular year of celebration is a great chance to shine a spotlight on the incredible achievements of our Senior Section members.”

“These inspiring young women have been at the forefront of planning and leading an unforgettable year of adventure, challenge and excitement for their peers.”

“Girlguiding’s Senior Section has evolved over the last 100 years as the lives of girls have changed. But vitally, in an increasingly complex world, Girlguiding continues to offer a safe space for young women to develop confidence, find their voice and reach their potential.”

Spark Photo 3

The Senior Section enables girls and young women aged 14 to 25 to be involved with Girlguiding in a flexible way, with each young woman choosing her own level of commitment; from attending a Senior Section group to training as a Young Leader with Girlguiding’s younger sections, Rainbows (5-7 year olds), Brownies (7-10) and Guides (10-14).

Many members opt to become inspiring mentors to their peers – delivering sessions on body confidence and healthy relationships to younger girls in a safe, girl-only space.

Senior Section members also drive Girlguiding’s advocacy and campaigning work, speaking out on issues affecting girls at the highest levels of government.

For more information about how to get involved with Girlguiding, the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, visit www.girlguiding.org.uk.