Being a member of Guiding provides challenges, new experiences and fun! Girlguiding is the largest youth organisation for girls in the UK today and it is estimated that over 50% of women in Britain have been involved in Guiding at some point in their life – either as a child or an adult volunteer. Girlguiding’s statement of purpose is to enable girls and young women to develop their potential and to make a difference to the world. Girlguiding has also been described as ‘a game with a purpose’ – this shows that having fun and enjoying ourselves is a major part of what we do, but there is also a reason behind what we do which is to learn about ourselves and the world and to make contributions to the wider community where we can.
You may have seen or heard of the following Girlguiding sections:
- Rainbows – the youngest girls aged 5 to 7,
- Brownies – dressed in yellow & brown! Ages between 7 and 10,
- Guides – traditionally dressed in blue and for ages from 10 up to 14,
- Rangers and Young Leaders – opportunities for girls aged 14 to 18,
- Leaders– the adult volunteers who help run it all, and
- Trefoil Guild – for those over 18 who want to remain involved in Guiding
Guiding has been going in Great Britain for over one hundred years. It came from the Scouting movement which was started by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. The popularity of Scouting grew very quickly and girls soon started asking (demanding) to be involved. Despite the fact that it’s been around for so long, Girlguiding is a modern organisation with an emphasis on the girls setting the agenda, and badges and activities covering all sorts of areas including self-esteem, communication, human rights and responsibilities, team working and community action. Lots of things have changed in Guiding since 1910 but one which you may not know is that members of Girlguiding can now be of any faith or none.
Guiding is still strongly linked to Scouting in the UK, and to other Guiding and Scouting movements over the whole world many of these through the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.