Not to be confused with the Church Lads' and Church Girls' Brigade.
The Girls' Brigade is an international and interdenominational Christian youth organisation. It was founded in 1893 in Dublin, Ireland. The modern organization was formed as the result of the amalgamation of three like-minded and similarly structured organizations in 1964. These organizations were the Girls' Brigade of Ireland (1893), the Girls' Guildry of Scotland (1900), and the Girls' Life Brigade of England (1902). The International Headquarters are currently based in Derbyshire, England.
The organization operates in over 50 countries worldwide and is divided into five Fellowships: African, Asian, Caribbean and Americas, European, and Pacific. International Conferences are held every four years, this has been happening since 1998 when the conference was in Australia. It was in Thailand in 2002, Northern Ireland in 2006, Malaysia in 2010, and Australia in 2014. The Queen Mother and Princess Alice were Girls' Brigade's patrons until their deaths in 2002 and 2004 respectively. There are, at the moment, no living patrons.
- 1 Girls' Brigade Vision statement, principles and motto
- 2 Girls' Brigade Aim
- 3 Girls' Brigade programme
- 4 Girls' Brigade projects
- 5 Sections in Girls' Brigade
- 6 Crest
- 7 International
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Girls' Brigade Vision statement, principles and motto
The international vision statement is "Girls' lives transformed, God's world enriched"
The Girls' Brigade's principles are as follows:
- The Brigade acknowledges Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord according to the Scriptures and seeks to fulfil its aim to the glory of one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- The Brigade witnesses to the standard set by Jesus Christ and gives positive teaching on the Christian attitude to life
- The Brigade promotes a just society where all people are equally valued.
The motto of the Girls' Brigade is "Seek, Serve and Follow Christ" and its Aim is "To help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and through self control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life". Because of the youth development aspect of its work, the Girls' Brigade is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) and has been since 1936, when it was one of NCVYS's founding organisations.
Girls' Brigade Aim
The Aim of The Girls' Brigade is to help girls become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and through self-control, reverence and a sense of responsibility to find true enrichment of life.
Girls' Brigade programme
The GB programme follows four themes: Spiritual, Physical, Educational and Social. These words spell SPES which is Latin for Hope. It was said that each girl in Girls' Brigade was a hope for the future. The four themes of the program are based on a Bible verse in Luke " And Jesus grew in body and wisdom, gaining favor with God and men " (Luke 2v52). Physical is in relation to Jesus growing in body, educational in relation to Jesus growing in wisdom, spiritual is in him growing closer to God and the social is the way that Jesus develops in his relationships with men. Also the girls are encouraged to participate in activities other than just badge work. These include leadership courses for 14- to 21-year-olds, and most companies or districts arrange camps or holidays, usually one per year. Moreover, GB helps its members with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
Girls' Brigade projects
The Girls' Brigade around the world provides a range of projects to engage girls and young women in activities that reflect friendship faith and fun. The type of activities range from weekly activity-packed programmes to social engagement projects. Summer camps, activity days, residential training events and mission trips are common. As an International organisation the Girls' Brigade worldwide family is united with common goals but how we achieve these goals varies. The variety of projects are as diverse as the cultures and communities in which The Girls' Brigade works.
Sections in Girls' Brigade
In Ireland, The Girls Brigade are divided into the following sections
- 2 to 4 years - **you start at 4 years old**
- 4 to 8 years - n:vestigate
- 7 to 11 Years - n:gage
- 10 to 14 Years - n:counta
- 13 to 18 Years - n:spire
- 18 Years + - Leader, Lieutenant or Captain
The Main leader is called the "Captain" and Her next in charge is the "Lieutenant"
In Scotland, the Girls Brigade is divided into the following sections:
- 4 to 7 years - Explorer (Primary 1-Primary 3)
- 8 to 11 years - Junior (Primary 4-Primary 7)
- 12 to 18 years - Brigader (1st Year-6th Year)
In England and Wales, the Girls' Brigade is divided into the following Sections:
- 4 to 8 years - Explorer
- 8 to 11 years - Junior
- 11 to 14 years - Senior
- 14 to 18 years - Brigader
- Optional 14–15 years (Year 10 in English school's system) - Foundation
- Optional 15–16 years (Year 11 in English school's system) - Intermediate
- Optional 16–17 years (Year 12 in English school's system) - Advanced
- Optional 18+ years - Leader (Can take only after completing the three above stages as a Young Leader)
Girls cannot carry onto the next section of Young Leaders Training without completing the previous section. They may however start at a slightly older age. However, if someone joins Girls' Brigade later in life and has not previously participated in Girls' Brigade they can complete Officer Training in order to gain Leader status.
As of 31 March 2005, there were 6,109 Explorers, 7,534 Juniors, 4,016 Seniors, 1,913 Brigaders, 405 Warrant Officers, 124 Supernumary Officers, 1,967 Officers in 707 Companies within England & Wales. All Officers are now called Leaders.
In other countries, the names of the Sections (sometimes called Units) may vary, as may the ages of girls in those units. These age variations are usually based around the local schooling ages. Explorers may be called Cadets. Brigaders are sometimes called Pioneers. In some countries, there are 4 different Sections or Units.
In Australia, the Units are:
- Cadets - 5–8 years (Prep - Yr. 2)
- Juniors - 8–11 years (Yr. 3 - Yr. 5)
- Seniors - 11–14 years (Yr. 6 - Yr. 8)
- Pioneers - 14–21 years (Yr. 9 to 21 years of age.)
In New Zealand, the Girls Brigade companies are divided as follows:
- Juniors - 5–8 years old (New Entrant/Yr. 1 - Yr. 4)
- Seniors - 9–12 years old (Yr. 5 - Yr. 8)
- Pioneers - 13–17 years old (Yr. 9 - Yr. 13 i.e., during High School)
In Malaysia, the Girls Brigade companies are divided as so:
- Cadets - 5–8 years old
- Juniors - 9–11 years old
- Seniors - 12–14 years old
- Pioneers - 15–18 years old
Girls who have reached 15 years of age can become Young Leaders. A girl can become an officer after they are 18 years old.
The crest is a registered trade mark of Girls' Brigade England & Wales. However, all Girls' Brigade companies around the world have the right to use it.
In the centre is a Cross, the symbol of Christ and his Church. Below the cross is a Lamp, which represents the light of the Girls' Brigade shining upon the World. Above it is a Crown, of Christ as King. Behind it all, is a Torch, the flame of Christ's living spirit.
The badge incorporates symbols from the three original organizations and is, therefore, in itself a symbol of union, as well as faith and allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Girls Brigade which formed in Ireland in 1893, brought in the Cross. The Girls' Guildry which formed in 1900 in Scotland, brought in the Lamp. Lastly, the Girls' Life Brigade, which formed in 1902 in England, brought in the Crown. They amalgamated in 1965. A competition was held to design the crest for the amalgamated organisation, it was won by Constance Fasham.
The International President of the Girls' Brigade is Ms Vivienne Aitchison (England & Wales). The International Treasurer is Ms. Joyce Evans of (England and Wales). The International Vice-Presidents are the Chairmen from each Fellowship.
All figures next to country names are of the number of Girls' Brigade members within the country, they are accurate as of 2004:
Caribbean and Americas Fellowship
Dr Claire Rush (Northern Ireland) is the Fellowship Chairman.
Note: Currently England & Wales run as one country for Girls' Brigade even though they are distinct countries.
- "About GB". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "History of GB & info on International Conferences". Archived from the original on 2007-02-07. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "International GB". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Newsletter mentioning where the 2006 ICGB conference was held" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Patrons of GB". Archived from the original on 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on principles". Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on motto and aim". Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- Full list of NCVYS members Archived May 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- SPES files - GB Award Handbook
- "Further part of the GB programme". Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Explorer's Section on GBEW". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Junior's Section on GBEW". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Brigader's Section on GBEW". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on all three stages of young leader training". Archived from the original on 2007-05-17. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on becoming a Leader of GB". Archived from the original on 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Statistics of 2005 Members of GB". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- Leadership Training booklet 2001 (contains all information about the crest)
- "Annual Report 2004". Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on African Fellowship". Archived from the original on 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on Asian Fellowship". Archived from the original on 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on Caribbean & Americas Fellowship". Archived from the original on 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on Europe Fellowship". Archived from the original on 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
- "Information on Pacific Fellowship". Archived from the original on 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2007-03-13.