Frequently asked questions for Girls Journeying Together groups.
Here is an explanation you can give your daughter to read:
Don’t worry if you’re not sure if you want to join girls’ group — lots of girls feel that way, which is why we offer a taster session so you get a chance to see what it’s like. You won’t have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with. You’ll meet the other girls who are thinking about joining. You’ll meet older girls who are in a girls’ group now. And you’ll meet me. I’ll be showing you what we do in girls’ group (while your Mum goes to the other room to talk to other Mums).
At the end of the session, it will be you who decides if you want to join — not me, not your Mum, just you. No pressure. If you want to join, then great, you’re welcome, but if you’re really not sure, then that’s fine too. It’s not for everyone and you can say no. Or it might be that next year would be better for you.
Girls Journeying Together group, a year-long exploration
Growing up can be many things: exciting, sometimes a bit scary, at times rocky, and often fun. Some parts of the journey can only be made alone, inside of you. Other parts of the journey can be shared with your friends or your family.
Our girlfriends can be a real support, right the way through to adulthood. Even when you’re close to your Mum, there are times when it’s easier to talk with other girls. In the group we’ll get to know each other, have fun, and I’ve much to share with all of you too.
This group is for girls aged 10 – 12 (who are at least in year six of primary school). We’ll meet monthly for a year and finish with a party. Most of the meetings will be just girls together but we will invite your mothers to join us a couple of times.
Before the group, this is what some girls say:
“I’ve got good girl friends already and I can speak to my Mum about most things anyway.”
“Sounds weird to me.”
“I don’t get what it’s for, what would we do?”
“Maybe when I’m older.”
“What if I don’t want to talk about something?”
After the group, this is what girls say:
“I didn’t think I’d like it but it’s brilliant, we talk about things and you realise that others feel the same way.”
“I’ve made friends for life.”
“I was nervous about growing up – I’m not now.”
“You can ask anything.”
“We’ve had loads of fun, and learned stuff but it hasn’t felt like learning.”
“It got me thinking about who I want to be — what I want to do with my life.”
If you or your parents have any questions contact your Girls Journeying Together group facilitator and she’ll email or call you.
To secure a place for you and your daughter on a free taster session first find your nearest group on our map, then book your place on a taster session from the profile page for that group’s facilitator.
Just get her here! Cajole her, bribe her, beg. ‘Old girls’ say they’re so grateful to their mums for dragging them along to the taster session. Once you’ve got her here, we’ll do the rest. She can meet her facilitator, the other girls who’re thinking about joining, and some girls who’ve already done a Girls Journeying Together group. She’ll be given a taste of what girls’ group is like, and then she decides. No pressure.
The girls in Girls Journeying Together groups have taught me the importance of having mentors, even for girls who have close and open relationships with their mothers. All girls have things that they choose not to share with their mothers, or at least not straight away, preferring to tell another woman or to discuss in girls’ group first. This is where a mentor is of such benefit, not to replace a mother, but to offer ‘other-motherness’ and to support the mother-daughter relationship.
Thank you for thinking about entrusting her Rites for Girls facilitator with a role in your daughter’s life during this important time of transition. It is a great privilege.
The course is designed to meet the specific needs of each group of girls, in consultation with them, which makes it hard to tell you in advance exactly what will be covered. Generally we include: friendship, peer pressure, puberty, body image, managing moods, going to senior school, dreams for the future, mentors, and anything else that the girls wish to discuss. We celebrate each girl around the time of her birthday, highlighting her strengths and qualities.
I hope that each girl will feel that her group facilitator is another woman who is there for her as she grows up. The girls also develop a special relationship with one another which extends beyond our sessions together. Many girls don’t know anyone else when the group first meets but the intimacy and trust that develops between them has the potential to extend into lifelong friendships.
Mothers are invited to join the group for a session halfway through the course and will also be essential to share in the final celebration. They are also encouraged to meet up while their daughters participate in the girls’ group sessions and will be given questions to discuss that will have relevance to what the girls will be covering.
The taster session is free. After that each monthly session will cost around £25 (unless your group is subsidised in which case it will be less) with the expectation that your daughter will earn £5 of that herself (we’ll help her figure out how).
Her facilitator writes a letter to each girl after every session and is available by text or email. We also check in with you after the first few sessions to ask if there is anything you would particularly like us to cover in your daughter’s group, although what the girls share in our sessions is confidential.
After the first year, subsequent half-day biannual sessions will cost £30; cost will vary for other workshops.
All is not lost! As long as there are still spaces, your daughter can come along to the first session to see if she wants to join.
Don’t worry if you have to miss one. Each session builds on the one before however, so please ink these dates into your diary and try to prioritise Girls Journeying Together group sessions for your daughter because she’ll be missed if she doesn’t turn up — and she’ll miss out.
Your Rites for Girls facilitator is there as support for you also. Email her if there is anything that you feel it would be useful for her to know about your daughter’s life, or any topics that you would like us to cover in girls’ group time. The girls are promised confidentiality, so she won’t be able talk about what your daughter shares within the group but will be able to tell you in general terms what is covered.
There are always some girls who travel a considerable distance to come to a Girls Journeying Together group which means that mothers have three hours to wait. The time will fly by! All mothers are encouraged to meet while the girls are meeting — to go for a walk or to chat over a cup of tea or coffee — as this can be enormously supportive for you and for the girls. You will be given a topic to focus on that dovetails with what your daughter is doing in her session that month.
As the girls get to know each other, sleepovers and lift shares are often organised which can make long-distance arrangements easier.
You’re free to choose. Mothers say they find it enormously supportive and fun, even those who didn’t fancy it to begin with.
We finish with a big party! A ceremony and celebration of our year together which often ends with a sleepover for everyone at someone’s house or camping. After that the girls want to carry on seeing each other socially which you can help them to arrange.
Twice a year we offer a Girls Journeying Together group reunion, sometimes joining with other groups, covering age appropriate topics often suggested by the girls. Some of our experienced facilitators are also qualified to offer workshops to older girls on Sane Exam Preparation, Charting your Cycle, Love and Relationships, Stress Relief, and other topics as requested by the girls.
We have a lovely mother-daughter day workshop for pre-teens which teaches about puberty and celebrates the mother-daughter bond.