Girl Guides is a club for girls aged 10 – 14 years, and is a part of the scouting movement. Girl Guides comes after Brownies and before Rangers.
What is Girl Guides?
Girl Guides was founded in 1910 as the female counterpart to the Scouts. Whereas Robert Baden-Powell established the scouting movement, it was his sister Agnes Baden-Powell who set up the Girl Guides. Upon Agnes’ death, Robert’s wife Lady Baden-Powell became Chief Guide of England in 1918 and World Chief Guide in 1930.
In 1914 a junior branch of the Guides – the Brownies – was established.
Today, the Guides is divided into several groups; Pippins, Brownies, Guides and Rangers (Click here to visit our Brownies article).
When joining Girl Guides, a young Guide will join a Patrol. Made up of four to eight members, a Patrol is a group of friends that is small enough for everyone to feel they belong, and big enough to be a team that makes things happen!
Girl Guiding is based on a core set of values. Each Girl Guide promises to do her best to her faith and to others, and in so doing she realises her fullest potential as a responsible citizen.
Girl Guiding uses non-formal educational methods, the key components of which are that young people can:
- Develop life skills and attitudes based on an integrated value system
- Learn from their peer group
- Learn through activities and practical programs that are created by young people for young people
- Volunteer to join non-formal education organisations that are also led by volunteers that ensure commitment and maximum learning.
- Learn by doing
In the 21st Century, the Girl Guide programme is practical, promoting the benefits of being a positive person and contributing to the community in a sustainable way.
Where do Girl Guides meet?
Many centres around the country are fortunate to have an official girl guide building or buildings. These are usually provided by the local council and maintained by the Guide Association.
Other groups meet weekly in community halls or church halls.
Contact your nearest Guide Association for details as to the weekly meeting facilities.
What age can your child start Girl Guides?
To join the Girl Guides you need to be aged between 10 and 14. While many Guides progress from the Brownies up to the next level, this is not essential. Young girls join the Guide movement in their primary or intermediate school years.
How do you progress in Girl Guides?
The next step up from Girl Guides is the Rangers. Starting from age 14 or year 9 at NZ secondary school, Rangers are for teenage girls from the ages of 14 through to 19 years.
Throughout their Guiding career, right from the early stages, the girls are encouraged to contribute to achieving collective group goals as well as their own personal objectives. These are recognised through rewarding the girls with badges or the equivalent.
The young women are encouraged to carry out their activities based upon their area of interest, playing an active role in their communities and continuing their development as young adults and citizens.
From age 17 years and up, young Girl Guides can take up roles as Guide Leaders. There are a variety of leadership roles within Guides, including unit leaders (direct hands-on roles working with and leading the younger guides), administration and support work in an area which is of special interest.
Girl Guides offers progressive training programmes for leaders. Such programmes include training in communication, team building, programme management plus outdoor activities such as first aid and lifesaving.
As well as progressing through the Guides’ age group levels, there is the more intangible developmental aspect. After-school activities, weekend and holiday activities plus camps and adventure days, provide the opportunities for girls and young women to meet, mix and socialise with peers from all walks of life. The intangibles are the friendships, social and communication skills, and the self esteem and confidence the young ladies develop through their Girl Guide association.
What equipment do you need for Girl Guides?
A basic Girl Guide uniform is required. A girl chooses from the range of Guide clothes. A Guide may choose to wear trousers, skirt or shorts of any colour, incorporating the official girl guide top. These can be polo shirts and/or sweat shirts.
Additional clothing items that can be acquired over time include; vest, Guide bag, badge sash, plus ranger badge tab and scarf as they progress through the Guides’ ranks.
Over time, there will be requirements such as camping equipment – sleeping bags, ground sheets and similar, as the young Guide enjoys the various outdoor activities that Guides offers.
How much does Girl Guides cost ?
The following prices are an indication for parents purchasing brand new clothing. However, many Guide groups swap and sell clothing within the team.
- Polo Shirts: $25 – $30
- Sweatshirts: $30 – $35
- Vest: Polar fleece $35 – $40
- Sash: $11 – $15
- Bag: $11
- Scarf: $12
- Badge Tab: $8 – $10
Most Girl Guide groups charge a subscription of $125 per year. This can be paid on a per term basis.
How much time does Girl Guides take?
Most Girl Guide groups meet weekly for 1 ½ hours. These meetings take place on week nights and are an opportunity for the girls to get together and socialise. They generally follow a set Girl Guide programme.
After joining Girl Guides, as a parent you can expect your daughter to be regularly involved in camping, arts and crafts, sports, themed nights and experiencing the great outdoors. They will also have the opportunity to develop personal skills such as first aid.
So, aside from the weekly meeting time, you can expect to support your daughter in extra curricular activities all year round.
Great Girl Guide Websites
Official website of Girl Guides New Zealand.
United Kingdom Girl Guides website is stacked full of general Guiding information. Has an excellent section on Girl Guides, including information for Guide leaders and parents.
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is a worldwide Movement helping girls and young women develop leadership and life skills through self-development, challenge and adventure.