Girl Guides provides a non-formal education program that is a dynamic, flexible and values-based training in life skills, decision-making and leadership. It is supported by trained volunteer Leaders who are committed to Girl Guides Australia’s mission statement:
To empower girls and young women to discover their potential as leaders of their world.
The History of Girl Guides
Following a childhood filled with adventurous outdoor play and a career as a solider in the British Army, Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the concept of Scouts in 1907. With an initial desire to train fellow soldiers in the art of ‘scouting’, Baden-Powell eventually created camps for young boys from all walks of life, with the idea to teach them valuable outdoor and life skills. They lived in tents, cooked their own food and learnt many essential skills through games.
Two years later, Baden-Powell’s sister, Agnes, formed Girl Guides. Although it followed a similar framework as scouts, Girl Guides was female-focussed and only for girls. Today, with over 10 million members in 152 countries, Girl Guides Australia is part of the largest volunteer organisation for girls and young women in the world.
What does it mean to be a Girl Guide?
Girl Guides is about getting girls together in a supportive and caring environment to form friendships and learn new skills. They usually meet once a week during school term at a local community centre or guide hut and group with girls of similar ages.
They are led by a guide leader who will provide activities related to their skill level and their experience, so what happens will vary week to week. You can expect your child to do everything from helping on a community level to outdoor skill adventures, crafts, cooking and more. They will also be able to work towards challenge badges in many different areas and attend camps if they so desire.
There is also a Lone Guide program for kids unable to attend guides for any reason physically.
The Girl Guide Promise and Law
Girl Guides make a promise on joining and follow a particular ‘law’, which outlines their values and are the foundations of their program.
The Guide Promise
Every girl and adult that is a member of Guiding throughout the world makes a Promise. The Australian promise is:
I promise that I will do my best
to be true to myself and develop my beliefs
to serve my community and Australia
and live by the Guide Law.
The Guide Law
Guides abide by a set of laws that provide a framework and philosophy for living. The Australian Guide Law is:
As a Guide, I will strive to:
Respect myself and others
Be considerate, honest and trustworthy
Be friendly to others
Make choices for a better world
Use my time and abilities wisely
Be thoughtful and optimistic
Live with courage and strength
Elements of the Australian Guide Program
The Australian Guide Program encourages the girl to develop her self in the areas of physical development, practical skills, and in relationships with people.
Physical – participating actively; focussing on the environment and the outdoors.
People – making friends and developing long-lasting friendships, developing an understanding and respect for others.
Practical – learning by doing; learning everyday living skills that can be integrated in all areas of life.
Self – development and appreciation of the individual; gaining personal growth through challenges the girl as an individual.
Who Can Join?
Girl Guides has been created for girls only, stating that it offers a safe and free environment for girls to grow and learn together.
At what age can you join Girl Guides?
Girl Guides is open for girls aged between 5 – 17 years. You can be an adult member of Girl Guides in several capacities too. Olaves members (18-29 years) focus on the three aspects of community, adventure and self-development. There is also the option to join as a leader or volunteer.
Are Girl Guide groups separated by age?
Girl Guides are no longer specifically broken down into designated age groups. If you join Girl Guides between 5-17 you will be a youth member and placed into a Unit. Within each unit, members will be put into smaller youth led, adult supported teams (Patrols) where experiences are shared.
You can be an adult member of Girl Guides in several capacities. You can be a member of the Olaves (18-29 years) which focuses on the three aspects of community, adventure and self-development. Or you can join as a leader or volunteer.
Do they wear a uniform?
Yes. You can read up about the different uniform items and costs associated here.
What are the membership fees?
Girl GuidesQueensland has an annual membership fee which includes insurance. If you have three or more girls joining there are discounts on these fees. You can find our more information about the membership fees here.
Do they do awards and badges?
In Girl Guides, members can work towards achieving a wide range of badges, depending on their interests. Many different Girl Guide badges can be earned as part of the Girl Recognition System. Some allow for selecting preferred clauses and others require a certain skill level. Some can be completed in the unit, and others as personal challenges.
What activities do they do?
Girl Guides have a wide range of adventurous activities that they can be involved in, such as canoeing, archery, abseiling, camping, skiing, hiking overnight, cooking damper over a fire or just sitting around a campfire singing, chatting and sharing a joke. They also have some fashion and domestic-focused activities too.
What is the Difference Between Guides and Scouts?
If you have a family who are all keen to get the hands on and value-based training that girl guides provides you might also be interested in Scouts training too. You can read up about the difference between Scouts and Guides here.
To find a guide hut near you, phone 1300 447 548 or head to their website www.guidesqld.org