If you’ve never been a Girl Guide, your understanding of what it means to be one might be stuck in the 1950s, with girls learning the skills that would make them excellent hostesses and housewives.
As our cultural expectations of what it means to be a female has changed, so has Girl Guiding. Girl guides strides to be an empowering force for young women, assuring they are given the opportunities to experience new and exciting things, and gain skills necessary for the modern world.
In 2018, Girl Guiding undertook a massive reshape, to greater represent the needs and interests of modern girls. Girl Guiding has six programmes that last throughout the four age groups: Rainbows (ages 5-7), Brownies (ages 7-10), Guides (ages 10-14) and Rangers (ages 14-18). The programme themes focus on the young women’s self-development, and their interactions with the world around them.
In the self-reflective themes, girls can choose activities and badges that fit into the themes of ‘Know Myself’, ‘Express Myself’ and ‘Be Well’. In learning about themselves through the ‘Know Myself’ theme, girls build their confidence as they understand what makes them uniquely them. This links nicely with the ‘Express Myself’ theme, which allows girls to develop their creative skills. While girls can express themselves in traditional ways (pencils and paper is a classic for a reason), Girl Guiding also encourages modern means of self-expression, such as using digital tools in creative ways.
It appears that we’ve all become more conscious of our health and wellbeing, and Girl Guiding is no different. The ‘Be Well’ theme encourages girls to learn the skills necessary for healthy physical and mental wellbeing- not only for themselves, but the people around them. The idea of a Brownie learning how to use a first aid kit is perhaps one of the most accurate, lasting images.
While self-reflection is important, Girl Guiding understands the equal importance of the young women’s connection with the world and others. These interactions fall into three themes: ‘Have Adventures’, ‘Take Action’ and ‘Skills for the Future’. ‘Having Adventures’ is all about overcoming fears, trying out new things and learning survival skills- activities to achieve this theme include adventures such as geocaching and orienteering. ‘Take Action’ helps girls build the skills that girls need to make a positive difference in their communities and the wider world, and promotes girls to do activities such as volunteering or fundraising. Finally ‘Skills for my Future’ helps girls develop the necessary tools for the outside world and their future careers.
For young women to reach their potentials and do incredible things, they need incredible women to inspire and lead them. On island, GirlGuiding is looking for women to volunteer their time to help girls achieve incredible things. It’s a fantastic opportunity to make a difference in young women’s lives. You can register your interest here:https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/get-involved/become-a-volunteer/register-your-interest/