1000 Rainbows and Brownies take over Leeds Castle



On Saturday 22nd September, just over 1000 Rainbows, Brownies and their leaders from Girlguiding Kent Weald, spent the day at Leeds Castle completing activities in order to gain a specially created badge.

For many, the highlight of the day was meeting King Henry VIII in the castle. Speaking to each group that visited, the girls were captivated by his clothes, the furniture around him and his tongue in cheek humour. Ava, 7 from Loose Rainbows said ‘I liked Henry VIII best, he was kind of fat and funny and had an amazing cloak.’

The girls and their leaders also tried out activities from the new programme designed especially for, and by Girlguiding. The details of more than 800 new badges and activities released in July have been designed to equip the 400,000 girls and young women who are members of Girlguiding in the UK with the skills and experiences they will need to thrive, succeed, make change and be happy in the modern world.

The new programme of activities is divided into interest badges, skills builders, group activities and awards, all developed around six themes: Skills for my Future, Have Adventures, Be Well, Know Myself, Express Myself and Take Action.

Mary Saunders, County Commissioner and event organizer stated ‘We are really pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to our youngest members. Parts of the new programme are aligned with the aspects of the day at Leeds Castle and it was fantastic seeing them explore new activities and overcome challenges throughout the day.’

The most testing problem-solving challenge of the day was the incredible maze. Partly shaped like the Queen’s crown, the maze is made more difficult due to the height of the 2,400 mature yew trees that make up its unique design. Working as a team, the girls had to decide which way to turn to make their way to the central finish point before exiting via the underground grotto. Erin 8 from 1st Speldhurst Brownies said ‘the maze was so cool, we didn’t get lost and easily found the middle!’

New programme activities from the ‘Know Myself’ theme allowed girls to explore how they had helped each other whilst as Leeds Castle with many talking about how they had helped each other through the maze. For some it was about overcoming their concerns about meeting the birds of prey homed at the castle. ‘Owlfie’ the African Spotted Eagle Owl was particularly calm as the girls got up close to these magnificent birds.

Girlguiding Kent Weald County offers opportunities for girls aged five plus in Maidstone, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding villages. From Rainbows to Brownies, Guides to Rangers and onto leadership, Girlguiding is the largest charity for girls and young women in the UK. Further information about Girlguiding and the new programme can be found on www.girlguiding.org.uk.