The organisation set up by Agnes and Robert in the UK started to change from 1916 onwards. Robert had married two years before and his wife, Olave Baden-Powell, slowly took over the running of the Girl Guide Association. She soon became the new public face of Girl Guiding and worked hard to drive the organisation forward. Rosebud groups, or Brownies as we know them today, were seeing continued success and were now joined by Senior Guide groups being set up for older girls. With the First World War still raging in Europe, these girls looked to support the war effort in any way they could. One way was to carry confidential information for the Marconi Wireless Telegraph. Twenty years later, Girl Guides were called upon for a second time to support the war effort from 1939 – 1945. This time, they managed to fundraise a staggering ¬£50,000 for the war effort, and established the Guide International Service to train leaders for relief work after the war ended.
It was in 1926 that World Thinking Day was first celebrated. Two years later, the World Association for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was formed with twenty-six founding members. Girlguiding continued to grow. Three WAGGGS World Centres opened in Switzerland, Mexico and India from 1932 ‚Äì 1966. A fourth World Centre followed, opening in London twenty-five years later. To continue the trend of growth, Girlguiding UK ‚Äì as it has become known – saw girls aged 5 ‚Äì 7 join the organisation as Rainbows for the first time in 1987. Throughout all the change stands the programme created by Agnes Baden-Powell all those years ago. It still stands to this day and has remained relatively unchanged until now.
Girlguiding UK have recently announced they are embarking on a new journey to develop a new programme with a complete switchover in 2019. To do this, they are asking members what they want, the tools they need, and calling out for leaders to share their activity ideas for inclusion in the new programme. This has come after thousands of girls and volunteers have asked the organisation to broaden their offering. They want Girlguiding to evolve and equip girls to succeed in a constantly changing world. It seems history is repeating itself. We flash back to 1909 when girls turned up to the first Boy Scout rally proclaiming to be Girl Scouts and demanding more for girls. This is what prompted Robert to include more for girls and young women within his movement. Today, girls from across the nation are calling for change, and they have been heard. It is an example of what the movement stands for.
Girlguiding means so much to so many girls all over the world. It has helped girls to speak out about what is important to them and have a say in an organisation created especially for them. It is a global platform for girls to actively take part in making the world a better place. Through the hard work of women and girls around the world, there are more than 400,000 girls learning new skills, growing in confidence, finding their voices, and making lifelong friends. That is just the figures from the most current Guiding magazine. The number will soar considerably when taking into account the past 106 years. I feel that this is something worth celebrating. Each year I encourage my young girls to think about where we came from as an organisation, and about those girls around the world who do the same as us.
Learn¬†more on Girlguiding Worldwide .
If interested in finding out more about Guiding where you are, and/or its history around the world, check out the below website links.
Discover more about what makes Guiding special.
Girl Museum Inc.