Mairi Gordon is a Girlguiding Scotland volunteer and a leader with the 76th City of Edinburgh Brownies.

PLASTIC bottles? Check. Felt-tip pens? Check. Crafting skills? Check. Ready to help girls be change makers? Absolutely.

This week at Brownies was rubbish. Quite literally. But don’t worry, in a good way!

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Girlguiding launched the #PlasticPromise campaign this week – the biggest-ever girl-led campaign in the UK to tackle plastic pollution and reduce single-use plastics.

My Brownies joined 10,000 Girlguiding groups across the UK to make their Plastic Promise and with the plastic waste they collected, they created sculptures of animals they want to protect from plastic pollution.

We had sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins and crabs, and lots of plastic promises to use reusable water bottles and to stop using plastic wrap in their lunchboxes. This is an issue my Brownies and so many other girls really care about, with 88% of girls and young women aged 7-21 saying it’s urgent we all do more to protect the environment. It wasn’t just crafting though. We also chatted about how the girls can ensure their voices are heard on this issue and who they would be encouraging to make a plastic promise.

World leaders listen up, because these girls have lots to say!

No two weeks with the girls are the same in guiding. I started volunteering with Girlguiding five years ago because I wanted to be part of an organisation that is all about empowering and supporting girls and young women. From taking girls on their first camp and teaching hula dancing in a field to ice skating, sledding and climbing, there have been plenty of

times guiding has challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone and try something new, just as much as it has for the girls.

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Volunteering has been a big boost for my confidence; it’s given me the chance to take on a leadership role and use my creativity.

The best thing about volunteering with Girlguiding Scotland is knowing you can make a direct difference to the lives of girls and young women.

For many girls, their Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Ranger meeting is the only time where they can really be themselves and share the experience of growing up as a girl in today’s world.

I can help girls discover the difference they can make in the world and in their communities and it’s so rewarding to girls get stuck into something they care about. The girls’ smiles when they earn a new badge are always a highlight.

I’m always bowled over by our girls’ passion and determination.

They know the scale of the challenge; they know big problems like plastic pollution aren’t easy to solve. But they also know that’s not going to stop them from trying and that small actions can add up to big change.

Next week we celebrate International Day of the Girl on the theme of GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.

If my Brownies, and the girls up and down the country are anything to go by, then I know the future – and our planet – is in good hands.