If you are interested in becoming a Leader or Unit Helper, you are welcome to contact our National Office. You will be put in touch with your nearest Regional Development Officer to discuss your options. Frequently asked questions are at the bottom of this page. To learn more about being a Leader with the Irish Girl Guides, please read on...
The Role of the Leader
The Leader is responsible for the running of her Unit with her other Leaders. She sets the tone, generating the atmosphere and attitudes of Guiding so that they are caught by the girls. It is important that the Leader understands the aims behind the programme and works towards their fulfilment. Spirituality, standards of personal behaviour, care for individuals and enthusiasm are part of every activity. Responsible but not alone – Commissioners, Regional Development Officers, Trainers and other Leaders are all available for advice and assistance. People in the community – for example fire officers, first aiders, foresters, car mechanics and, of course, parents, are also excellent sources of help and ideas.
A key to success – the girls should make as many decisions as possible and play a large part in the organising (depending on the age group) of the programme, but behind the scenes the success of everything that happens in the Unit largely depends on the Leader. Commissioners will appreciate being invited to your Unit’s special events as this helps them build up a relationship with the Leaders and the girls.
Ladybirds/Brownies/Guides/Senior Branch members and Assistant Leaders can only be enrolled by a Warranted Leader.
Testwork, challenges and interest badges can be assessed by Leaders, parents or others in the community with a special interest in the particular subject.
Enrolling as a Leader
If you are new to the Movement you are asked to read “Welcome to Guiding” (a publication by the Irish Girl Guides) and understand the aims of Guiding before making your Promise.
When you are ready your District Commissioner will arrange your enrolment. Only enrolled Guides and Leaders are entitled to wear the Guide Trefoil which you receive when you make your Promise. It is your life-long membership badge of the Irish Girl Guides and is never given away as a present or used as a swop. For this reason it can only be purchased by warranted Leaders.
Promise and Law for the Leader
The most important thing for you to learn as a Leader is the significance of the Promise and Law in our Programme. Regardless of the Branch to which you belong - Ladybird Guide, Brownie Guide, Guide, Senior Branch or as a Leader or Commissioner, the Promise and Law is central and not just something we ‘put across’ to the children.
The way in which we, the Leaders, are seen by the girls to be living our Promise and Law will have great effect on them. This will show itself in the high standards we expect, the teamwork we encourage, the way we wear our uniform and the pride we take in being a member of the Irish Girl Guides.
We should always remember that in the eyes of the very young girl, Leaders can have a strong influence - so we must conduct ourselves accordingly.
When we are being enrolled as Leaders, the Promise we make is the Guide Promise.
I promise on my honour, to do my best
To do my duty to my God* and my Country,
To help other people at all times,
And to obey the Guide Law.
*The word "God" can be replaced by the word "faith" according to one’s spiritual beliefs.
The Guide Law we are promising to obey is:
1. A Guide is honest and reliable.
2. A Guide is loyal.
3. A Guide is useful and helps others.
4. A Guide is a friend to all and a sister to every other Guide.
5. A Guide is polite and considerate.
6. A Guide cares for all living things and their environment.
7. A Guide is responsible and respects authority.
8. A Guide has courage and is cheerful in difficulties.
9. A Guide makes good use of time, talents and materials.
10. A Guide respects herself and others in all she thinks, says and does.
If we have a problem with any part of the Promise or Law then we should think seriously about our commitment to Guiding. These statements are very positive and state that we as Leaders are being asked to give of our best - just like the girls. We expect them to attend regularly and be on time, wear the correct uniform, attend all our official functions, and be honest and dependable. It would be hypocritical to ask anything of the children that we as Leaders are not prepared to do.
1. What qualifications do I need to be a Leader?
No external qualifications are needed – you just need to enjoy working with girls and young women. You can gain IGG qualifications once you are enrolled.
2. Will I be trained?
Training is provided through local, regional and national trainings and at your weekly unit meetings. Trainings cover a wide range of subjects including the guiding Promise and Law, programme planning, outdoor activities, and Code of Ethics. For more information see the Adult Training Section.
3. What is a Leader’s warrant?
A warrant is a licence to be a recognised Leader of the Irish Girl Guides. The first stage is to get your assistant warrant. Then you can work toward your full warrant. Full details are in the Welcome to Guiding book you receive in the Leader Pack.
4. Why do I have to be Garda Vetted?
All your questions to do with Garda Vetting can be answered here.
5. Who is my local contact if I have a question?
You can contact your District Commissioner, Area Commissioner or your Regional Development Officer. If you can’t get hold of any of these contact your Regional Commissioner. If you don’t know who your Commissioners are, contact National Office.
6. Can you explain the difference between ‘Area’ and ‘District’?
Each of the seven Irish Girl Guide Regions is divided into Areas. These Areas are then sub-divided into Districts. For more information on the structure of IGG, you can view the IGG Handbook in the ’Publications’ section of this website.
7. How many leaders are needed to run a unit?
The minimum number is two. However, more may be required if you have a lot of girls. Extra adults are also required for outings. See the Introduction in the IGG Safety Guidelines booklet, in the ’Publications’ section of the website, for adult to girl ratios.
9. Will I have to wear a uniform?
The Irish Girl Guides is a uniformed organisation so yes, Leaders and Assistant Leaders should always be in uniform for weekly meetings, trainings and events. You can read more about the uniform here.
10. Will my expenses be reimbursed?
Yes, any equipment, food or materials you buy for Guiding events or meetings would be reimbursed from Unit funds or the appropriate source.
11. I can’t commit to a weekly meeting. Can I still help?
Yes you can sign up as a Unit Helper if you cannot commit to being a Leader. Unit Helpers attend meetings ocassionally to help out. They do not wear uniform but may wear a neckerchief, and they are not obliged to take part in programme planning or extra activities. Unit Helpers are not Assistant Leaders and should not be left on their own or with other Unit Helpers to run the Unit. More information can be obtained from your Regional Development Officer or by contacting our National Office.
12. So how can I become a volunteer?
You can contact our National Office who will put you in touch with your nearest Regional Development Officer to have an informal introduction to Guiding. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01-6683898. From there you will be brought through the Application process. It’s that simple!