How a simple sleepover can be a chance for girls to step up and lead together

In a judgement-free zone like Girl Guides, it’s a whole lot easier for girls to step up, speak up and take the lead. It’s the perfect place for girls to lead the agenda for what they want to do – and experience a whole lot of confidence-building moments along the way. As the winner of our girl-driven storytelling contest focused on growth mindset, Guider Jenn shares how the girls in her unit transformed a simple sleepover into a leadership gold.

A recent experience where our girls and Guiders experienced a growth mindset happened last weekend at our Sparks and Brownies Midnight Madness Sleepover.

As Guiders, we’d made a conscious effort to make this sleepover less structured than our normal events, and just have supplies and fun things laying around for the girls to access as they wanted. There was no official agenda. In the spirit of a growth mindset, this was quite a jump for us as we are usually pretty detailed planners. Some girls played board games, some girls worked on creating a marble run, some girls built a fort, some had a dance party. It was chaotic and loud but it was also amazing.


It was a powerful moment for us to step back and see what the girls can do.

One of the standout experiences for me was witnessing one girl take the lead and teach the others to finger knit. I never would have imagined the popularity of this activity, and next time I will know to bring more yarn. One Brownie took the lead and before long she was teaching a group of seven or eight other girls how to finger knit their own scarves. It was a powerful moment for us, to step back and see what the girls can do when we don’t plan every moment for them. What a lesson! The girls spent hours finger knitting (some right until sleep time at midnight).

In the morning, the finger knitting popularity still hadn’t subsided. I was tasked with detangling massive yarn knots while I attempted to eat my breakfast. At one point I just had to say, “Girls, I need a cup of coffee before I can detangle more yarn!” I was so proud of the girls for working together to learn a new skill, and of the girl who took the lead and taught them all, patiently and without being asked to do so. 

Moments like these make me proud to be a Guider!

Jenn B. – 1st Dutton Sparks/Brownies – Dutton, ON

Thank you to Jenn for sharing this story. She wins this prize pack for her winning story. Look for this month’s girl-driven storytelling contest – focused on positive identity  – to launch later this week.

contest prizes

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1 Response to How a simple sleepover can be a chance for girls to step up and lead together

  1. Julie-Ann McCallum says:

    So proud to be a co-guider with you Jenn! It was a incredible experience for sure!

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