Rainbows (Girl Guides)

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Rainbows is the youngest section of GirlGuiding in the UK. They are between the ages of 5 and 7 in England, Scotland and Wales but in Northern Ireland the age range is 4-7 years old. [1] It is the Guiding equivalent of the Beaver Scouts. At the age of about seven, a Rainbow will usually become a Brownie.

Girlguiding charity for girls and young women in the UK

Girlguiding is the operating name of The Guide Association, previously named The Girl Guides Association and is the national guiding organisation of the United Kingdom. It is the UK's largest girl-only youth organisation. Girlguiding is a charitable organisation.

Beavers is one name for programs associated with Scouting for young children usually aged 5 to 7. A participant in the program is called a Beaver. A group of Beavers is often called a "Colony". The programme is based on co-operating and sharing. Some Scouting organizations have programs for similar ages but use different names such as Keas or Joeys.


In the UK, Rainbows started in 1987, [2] with Lynsey Hickling being the first in the UK.

In the United States the equivalent is a Daisy Girl Scout; in Canada the equivalent is a Spark; and in New Zealand they are called Pippins.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.


The current uniform, since 2004, consists of a blue and red polo shirt with the Rainbow logo on it, a red hooded jacket and a choice of either tracksuit bottoms or cycling shorts, which the girls are encouraged to pick themselves. All items come in the Rainbow colours of light blue and red. There is also an optional baseball hat which matches the other items. Tabards used to be part of the uniform, but were discontinued as official uniform in 2015. Colours of tabards were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, and units were able to choose whichever colour they wanted. Red and purple tabards can still be purchased.

Tabard short sleeveless or short-sleeved garments consisting of front and back panels and open at the sides, often for heraldic display

A tabard is a type of short coat that was commonly worn by men during the late Middle Ages and early modern period in Europe. Generally worn outdoors, the coat was either sleeveless or had short sleeves or shoulder pieces. In its more developed form it was open at the sides, and it could be worn with or without a belt. Though most were ordinary garments, often workclothes, tabards might be emblazoned on the front and back with a coat of arms (livery), and in this form they survive as the distinctive garment of officers of arms.

The Promise

The Rainbow promise is a shortened version of the Brownie and Girl Guides' promise, adapted to accommodate the Rainbows' young age. The promise is:

I promise that I will do my best, to think about my beliefs and to be kind and helpful.

The Jigsaw

Rainbows meet approximately once a week during term time, with some appropriate day trips and sleepovers.

The Rainbow programme is called the Jigsaw. [3] It consists of four areas: Look, Learn, Laugh and Love. Rainbow meetings and extra activities should focus on these areas.

Rainbows earn badges called Roundabouts. They are completed as a unit and require girls to complete an activity for each of the 4 Jigsaw areas about a particular theme. Current roundabouts include: Roundabout Get Healthy, Roundabout Seasons, Roundabout All About Me, Roundabout Festivals, Roundabout the World, and Roundabout Rainbows. [4]

The Song

There is a simple song with hand gestures to accompany the jigsaw feature. There are four versions of the song, each version has a different final three lines, but the tune is the same and the first verse remains unchanged. The four versions are for:

  1. The beginning of a meeting
  2. The end of a meeting
  3. During an enrollment ceremony (a Promise Party)
  4. During a "Pot of Gold Party" (a party held at the end of term when some Rainbows are preparing to progress to Brownies.)

This version is for the beginning of a meeting:

Look at the world around you,
Learn everything you can,
Laugh as you go along,
Love this world of ours.

Look, learn, laugh, love
Rainbows has begun,
We're all here now,
Come and join the fun.

At the end of a meeting the last three lines are replaced with:

We've had lots of fun,
Bye bye Rainbows,
Goodnight everyone.

At a Promise Party the last three lines are replaced with:

Promise time has come,
I will do my best
and help everyone.

This version reflects aspects of the promise itself and it helpful in reminding Rainbows of their duty.

The final version at a Pot of Gold Party is often sung for the rest of the unit by only those who are leaving for Brownies and this versions final three lines are:

Now the jigsaw is done,
New adventures,
Brownies here I/we come!

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  1. "Moving up to the next section". Girlguiding UK. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  2. "History of guiding". Girlguiding UK. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
  3. https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/about_us/what_do_girls_in_guiding_do/rainbows.aspx
  4. https://www.girlguidingshop.co.uk/en-GB/Product/Search/?term=roundabout