Girlguiding UK revealed a brand new programme for all sections on 21st July 2018. This came after months of testing new activities and seeking feedback from units. Unit leaders said they wanted a new programme that would challenge girls and prepare them for the modern world. Initial feedback showed that many leaders were looking for a programme that had “clear bridges between sections” and consistent themes that allow girls to learn new skills. The result is a programme based on six themes with staged Skills Builder badges for girls to develop and master important life skills.
The decision is a welcome one for many, including myself. Girls today need to have a more rounded programme that allows them to choose who they want to be and become independent women. It is interesting to see the new programme as a whole after the taster pack leaders received last year. There were some great activity ideas included in the taster pack, but I felt that there was something missing. Now, the programme makes more sense. I’m hoping that the final result will see both traditional and new activities for girls to do in meetings. After all, did Agnes Baden-Powell not do the exact same thing 100 years ago?
Some new interest badges in the programme look interesting. We now see an aviation badge, entrepreneur badge, and a women’s rights badge now available. I particularly liked the saver and conscious consumer badges to help girls understand the need for budgeting. It was exciting to see some new badges on vlogging, costumes, event planning, and inventing as well. There is definitely a feeling of a more rounded programme with STEM-themed activities like structure building and discovering more about space now included. Yet, nothing appears to be in the programme on learning how to keep safe online. This seems essential so close to the implementation of new data protection laws in both the EU and UK.
I was also surprised to find the fire safety, road safety, home safety, and crime prevention badges have now disappeared. These are now included within the Unit Meeting activities and Skills Builder badges instead. We live in a world where there is a growing need to learn the skills of independence. It is also important to raise awareness of how to deal with certain situations. These skills are something girls may not get a chance to learn elsewhere. Girlguiding have taken steps to embed activities relating to personal safety into the new programme that aim to help girls with everyday life.
On the other side of the ocean, the Girl Scouts have launched 23 new badges this year as a way of introducing a more rounded programme for girls. These badges are in a range of STEM fields going from designing model cars, to learning to write code for programming robots, and using apps/devices to collect useful data about the natural environment. Many are excited about these new additions to the programme, and it would be great for girls in the UK to have similar badges and experiences. We need more of these kinds of activities to help prepare girls for the modern world. Besides, with girls in these two nations leading such a striking change, we could see more organisations across the globe follow their lead. If this happens, who knows what we will see in the future!
You are able to find out more about the new changes Girlguiding UK have made by visiting https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/making-guiding-happen/how-were-being-our-best/were-going-on-a-journey/programme-overview/ for more information.
To find out more about the new badges Girl Scouts are introducing, visit http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/girls-scouts-badges-robotics-cyber-security-stem-subjects-a7860176.html
Girl Museum Inc.