Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting

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Singing Girl Guides

A Guide, Girl Guide or Girl Scout is a member of a section of some Guiding organisations who is between the ages of 10 and 14. Age limits are different in each organisation. The term Girl Scout is used in the United States and several East Asian countries. The two terms are used synonymously within this article.

Girl Guides are organised into units/troops averaging 15-30 girls under guidance of a team of leaders. Units subdivide into patrols of about six Guides and engage in outdoor and special interest activities. Units may affiliate with national and international organisations. Some units, especially in Europe, have been co-educational since the 1970s, allowing boys and girls to work together as Scouts. There are other programme sections for older and younger girls.

Foundation[edit]

In 1909, Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, decided that girls should not be in the same organisation as the boys, and the Girl Guides were founded in the UK in 1910.[1]

Age groups and sections[edit]

Originally, the Guide program was aimed at 11- to 16-year-old girls. However, the younger sisters of Guides started to attend meetings, and so the Brownie section was started. A few years later the Ranger section was started for young women. Because of the large age and development span, many associations have split the 11- to 16-year age group into a junior and a senior section.

Activities[edit]

Most activities are similar to those of the (Boy) Scouts, but two central themes have been present from the earliest days of the movement: domestic skills and "a kind of practical feminism which embodies physical fitness, survival skills, camping, citizenship training, and career preparation".[2] These two themes have been emphasised differently at different times and by different groups, but have remained central to Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

Polish Girl Guides by the monument to Small Partisan in Warsaw

Unit affiliation[edit]

Troop[edit]

Local groups, called variously units, companies or troops are the fundamental unit of the Girl Guides. These are run by an adult, normally a woman who is between 18 and 65 years of age. She has responsibility for the girls in her group and plans out activities for the girls as well as leading the meetings. These leaders are supported by assistants. Meetings are held anywhere from weekly to monthly depending on the commitments of the participants and the activities in progress.[3]

Lones[edit]

Lones are girls who live too far away to attend meetings in a guide district. Often they run the program by mail, but there are some girls who are part of Lones of the Air who talk and have unit meetings by radio. Lones have an 'L' on their promise badge.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wagggsworld.org/en/about/guiding/guidinghistory
  2. ^ Aickin Rothschild, Mary (Autumn 1981). "To Scout or to Guide? The Girl Scout-Boy Scout Controversy, 1912-1941". Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (University of Nebraska Press) 6 (3): 115–121. doi:10.2307/3346224. ISSN 0160-9009. JSTOR 3346224. 
  3. ^ "Who We Are". Girlguiding UK. Archived from the original on 7 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-05.