SAGGY Give It A Go Campfire – What all those letters mean and more!


Last Saturday I took the time out of my busy Postgrad schedule to head down to Heslington Scout Hut for the SAGGY Give It A Go Campfire, and I’m really glad I did!

I wanted to take this opportunity to answer as many frequently asked questions about SAGGY as I could. Plus explain the Students’ Union (YUSU) Give It A Go programme.

What’s SAGGY?

For those of you not in the know, SAGGY stands for Scouts and Girl Guides York. It’s a society for students at UoY and other 18+ York residents interested in Scouting and Guiding activities. The society offers the chance to explore the outdoor world with hikes and camps, and volunteer with local units within Guiding and Scouting. Plus there’s a whole host of social activities, including nights with crafts, games, films and drinks, and of course campfires.

Also, they have a goose mascot. Because this is York. (Her name is Gossy and you can follow her adventures at @saggyork on Instagram)

SAGGY Give It A Go Campfire
Gossy, the goose mascot

What’s Give It A Go?

SAGGY are participating in YUSU’s (York University Students’ Union) Give It A Go scheme (GIAG) this year, and have hosted two GIAG campfires this academic year. GIAG allows students the chance to experience a society they’re interested in with no commitment – no membership is necessary for any GIAG activity!

What’s the campfire all about?

The campfire was a great chance to get to know the committee and other society members, and (most importantly) the perfect opportunity to eat an unholy amount of vegan marshmallows. The committee set up a campfire at Heslington Scout Hut, which is between East and West Campus. We sang campfire songs, ate food, and chatted before moving on to drinks at D-Bar.

I’ve never been a Scout or Guide, can I still join SAGGY or come along to an event?

I’ve been involved in Guiding since I was around 8 years old, and involved in Scouting since I was 15, but SAGGY is for everyone. I’ve never gotten involved with a Scouts and Guides student society before, and quite a few of the other people at the campfire told me that they’d never been involved in Scouting or Guiding at all, but they wanted to see what it was like. A few of SAGGY’s current members and alumni had no prior experience with Scouts and Guides, but went on to run their own units.

I don’t even know what a Scout or a Guide is – help! 

Scouting is a voluntary movement for young people regardless of gender or background. It was founded in 1908 and was originally only for boys, but is now open to boys and girls. Guiding is the sister movement of Scouting. It was founded in 1910 after a group of girls decided that boys didn’t get to have all the fun.

Scouting and Guiding both revolve around youth groups for a range of ages. Scouts is split into Beavers (6-8 years old), Cub Scouts (8-10), Scouts (10-14), and Explorer Scouts (14-18). Guides is split into Rainbows (5-7), Brownie Guides (7-10), Guides (10-14), and Rangers/ Senior Section (14-18). All units are run by adult volunteers, and there are also groups for adult members (Network for Scouts (18-25), Girlguiding’s recently established 18-30 section, and the Trefoil Guild, for older adult members of Guiding). SAGGY is essentially a Network unit registered as a YUSU society and is part of the Student Scout and Guide Organisation (SSAGO). 

If you think you might be interested in joining SAGGY or giving it a go, check out their YUSU page. They’ll be attending an event in Bath with other student Scout and Guide groups in February, so now’s a great time to get involved! 

If SAGGY isn’t for you, but you still want to give something a try, check out the Give It A Go events page. Give It A Go is for all members of YUSU (if you’re a University of York student, that’s you!) both postgraduate and undergraduate. Have fun!

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Hi! I'm currently studying MSc Bioarchaeology after completing my BA in Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Birmingham. I love art and travel, and I spend too much of my time in museums.

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