A Girl Guide glossary - Symbols and rituals

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Trefoil A three-leaf plant, and the Girl Guide symbol. The three leaves stand for the three-fold 'Guide promise'.

The Guide Promise: A pledge that involves promises to do your best, serve Queen and country, help other people and keep the Guide Law. When a Guide makes her promise, their unit will often hold a party to celebrate.

The Guide Law: A Guide is - honest, reliable and can be trusted - is helpful and uses her time and abilities wisely - faces challenges and learns from her experiences - is a good friend and a sister to all Guides - is polite and considerate - respects all living things and takes care of the world around her

The World Pin: A golden trefoil growing from a flame, with two stars and a compass needle in the centre. The three leaves of the trefoil symbolise the three-part Girl Guide promise; the gold-on-blue colour scheme represents the sun shining on children around the world.

The Good Turn: Each Guide tries to do a good thing for someone without being asked to (or being paid) every single day.

The left handshake: the way members greet and recognise each other. The left hand is used because it is nearest the heart, indicating friendship. It is also meant to represent bravery, as to shake left hands, warriors would have to put down their shields.

Thinking Day: 22 February, when Guides think about their Guide sisters all over the world

Units: A regional Girl Guide group

Patrol: The smaller groups that Guides work in within their unit. Patrol names vary across units but include flowers, animals, and famous landmarks, such as pyramids. Each Patrol chooses its own Patrol Leader.

Rainbows: The youngest age group, for girls between four and seven years

Brownies: Girls aged 7-10

Guides: Girls aged 10-14

Senior section: For young women aged 13-25