Girlguiding Gloucestershire will be running an international adventure in 2025 and the selection process for this takes place in early 2024.
What is INTOPS (INternational OPportuniteS)?
- Girlguiding Gloucestershire has a long tradition of offering international experiences to our young members.
- Plans for trips will always try to include meeting with other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) – perhaps at a world centre or an international camp.
- Generally, the trips happen during the school summer holiday and can vary in length and cost.
- INTOPS is an international experience that can take place in the UK or abroad. It may consist of a camp, hostelling, train trip, city based, canoeing or other adventurous activities or sightseeing. Each trip is different.
- We do not expect parents/carers to pay for the trip - the cost of the trip must be earned by the girls.
- It is an experience of three parts incorporating many Girlguiding themes, and applicants must be prepared to do all three parts before applying.
- It is unlikely that at the time of selection the destination/event will be known. Many events are only advertised 12 months in advance. In addition, it is unwise for the girls/parents/carers to have a preconceived idea of the cost of a trip based on the country they may visit.
- Making new friends, building confidence and other skills should be more important than the destination.
Further information for young people
The three parts:
- Part 1 - becoming a team, planning and fundraising, keeping accounts.
- Part 2 - the trip itself - working as a team, promoting & representing Girlguiding UK, being self-reliant and organised; trying new things and meeting new people
- Part 3 - journal/report writing, complete accounts, promoting INTOPS to others, presentations to those who have donated money.
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Further information for parents/carers
Please read the information for young members above. You need to be able to support your young person to the commitments outlined:
- To the 18 months+ preparation and planning. This includes Zoom calls as well as attending meetings/events anywhere in Gloucestershire.
- Fundraising and keeping a record of their finances.
- Responding quickly to communication with the trip leader, eg returning forms and information
- Providing the correct kit for all events and the trip.
Further information for unit leaders
We need unit leaders to share the details of the international opportunities to eligible young members in their groups. Please only approve applications for young people and their parents/carers who will be able to fulfil the commitment of an INTOPS trip.
If a young person from your unit is selected, then we need your help throughout parts 1&3.
- Please check in with participants regularly to ensure they are on track with their fundraising.
- Advise trip leaders or our international adviser if you have any concerns; the earlier we can help, the less stressful for everyone.
- Offer fundraising opportunities in your unit and district. Quiz and pudding nights are a great way to raise funds and have fun. Get started as soon as possible.
- Check local groups that offer grants and let your participant know – Lions, Rotary, Parish Councils, etc. The trip leaders may not be from your division and may have no local knowledge to share.
- Support your participant to apply for a county grant. This can be applied for and confirmed as soon as they have an invoice for the event, although it won't be applied to their invoice until shortly before the trip departure date.
- Trip leaders will usually advise how to write a funding request letter, and these will be needed before any grants will be considered. Ask about letter writing and advise if needed.
- Check participants have the correct uniform for their section. Help by giving them an international necker and union flag sleeve badge.
- Help with sourcing/loaning kit (when the list is given) to keep costs down.
- The trip involves a lot of communication between INTOPS leaders and parents which is vital to a smooth and safe trip. If there are potential communication issues please flag these as soon as possible and work out a plan with the trip leader to prevent this from being a barrier to a young person taking part.
Who can apply for the selection weekend?
Participants need to be:
- In year 8 on application,
- A minimum of age 14 on the trip; and
- No older than 18 on the 31 August in the year of the trip. They will be Rangers or young leaders at the time of the trip.
- You must be committed to Girlguiding and have a plan to move to the next section if you are presently in Guides. You must be a current member of Girlguiding and if you leave before the trip, you will lose their place.
- You must be motivated to take part, be able to plan and lead your own fundraising, apply for grants, be a team player and show resilience.
- You need to be willing to prepare for and attend meetings anywhere in the county, as the trip comprises girls from all around Gloucestershire.
- You need to commit to completing and returning forms promptly, and making payments on time.
How to apply for the selection weekend
Ready for the adventure? If you think this opportunity is for you, talk to your unit leader. To apply, use the form linked below.