Girls Journeying Together Groups

A year-long exploration with a small group of girls aged 10-12 years

A year of monthly support for preteen girls as they practice being true to themselves, learn about puberty, share their hopes and fears, and help each other into their teens. Their mothers meet at the same time, supporting each other to parent through this important phase.

Girls Journeying Together groups guide girls on their transformative journey to womanhood entering their teens feeling self-assured and supported. We meet monthly for a year and the girls make friends for life.

Give your daughter a community to grow up in, guided by inspiring women who care deeply.

The Power of the Group

Belonging to a Girls Journeying Together group during adolescence is fun and can be enormously supportive to mothers and daughters alike.

We guide preteen girls to:

  • Claim her self-worth with confidence
  • Speak her truth
  • Have good friends and to be a good friend
  • Tune into her inner compass – her deepest, truest self
  • Understand, honour, and care for her changing body
The idea of Girls Journeying Together groups is so needed and appropriate, it feels absolutely natural and right to almost everyone who hears of it. Like – what took us so long? The near-fatal mistake we made in raising children in the modern world was to isolate them, and ourselves, from deep sharing and deep support. We are seeing the results of that in the terrible mental health problems of young women everywhere. Kim’s work puts something back that should never have been taken away. But it also goes to new places in the modern, feminist uprising to both nurture and arm young women for taking back their world.
Best selling author of ‘10 Things Girls Need Most’ and ‘Raising Girls’

What do girls get from the group?

Fun, friends and a place where each girl belongs just as she is, no need to change anything to fit in. They learn how to accept each other and experience feeling accepted by a group of peers.

What happens in a Girls Journeying Together group?

Girls will:

  • Learn about the changes that puberty brings
  • Discuss the influences of peers, media, culture, and parents
  • Prepare for their first period and support one another
  • Get to know each other really well — well enough to dare to speak their innermost fears and heartfelt hopes
  • Dream into their futures
  • Clarify their values
  • (When they’re older and only when the time is right) talk of dating, diets, drinking, exams, and other teen concerns
  • Laugh and cry and play and feast
  • Find mentors
  • And in time become mentors themselves

This is what the girls say

“It’s brilliant, we talk about things, really talk, so you realise that others feel the same way.”
“I’ve made friends for life.”
“I was nervous about growing up but now I’m not.”
“You can ask anything.”
“We’ve had loads of fun and learned stuff for growing up 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.”

Frequently asked questions

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 with the 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 girls’ group we all keep what other girls say private to our group. 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.”

You might like to watch the video that some of the girls made to tell you about girls’ group.

If you or your parents have any questions, contact your Girls Journeying Together group facilitator and she’ll email or call you.

Click for shorter letter you can print off for your daughter

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 between £20-45 depending on the level of experience of your GJT Facilitator. Her facilitator writes a letter to each girl after every session and will 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.

There’s good news if your daughter is younger than 10, or older than 12! We have an online programme for girls aged 8 to 18. Girls’ Net provides guidance and camaraderie through times of challenge to small groups of same-age girls (aged 8-18) in weekly online sessions over 6 weeks. Our mentors offer tools for coping well and the girls access their inner resources while also realising that they’re not alone and can be a support to each other. Find out more here: Girls Net Groups
We also highly recommend ‘From Daughter to Woman, parenting girls safely through their teens’ by Kim McCabe for parents of girls of all ages; a book full of practical tips and information about what girls need to grow up strong and free.

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.

We have a lovely mother-daughter day workshop for pre-teens which teaches about puberty and celebrates the mother-daughter bond. Kim also supports mothers in creating a rite of passage with their daughters to mark her growing towards young adulthood.

Find a group and book a FREE taster

We have trained facilitators across the world.  All accredited Rites for Girls facilitators are listed here.  If you don’t see someone’s name on our list they are not qualified or sanctioned by us to run Girls Journeying Together groups.

Rites for Girls is proud to offer a bursary scheme, with fully funded places on our Girls Journeying Together programme, thanks to the generous support of The National Lottery.  We welcome applications from families, and your local facilitator can provide full details and the Bursary Fund Application Form.

Rites for Girls founder, supervisor and facilitator

Girls Journeying Together accredited facilitators

Girls Journeying Together facilitators

Girls Journeying Together trainer and supervisor

      List of facilitators by area

      Every qualified Girls Journeying Together group facilitator will have undergone a minimum of 20 months training and have run at least one full-year’s supervised girls’ group before graduating. Apprentice facilitators are closely supervised while offering their first groups and will have already completed a minimum of nine months training (which includes 28 residential days). All our facilitators have an enhanced DBS (or their country’s equivalent), professional insurance and child safeguarding certificates.

      All accredited and apprentice Rites for Girls facilitators are listed below. If someone is not included in this list, they are not qualified or sanctioned by us to run Girls Journeying Together groups.

      If you can’t find a group near you, encourage a local woman to train with us! Or become an organiser to bring the training to your country.