Girl Guide Revamp: do they need new badges?

Going for gold: Olympian, Beth Twiddle, put forward a resilience badge. © Girlguiding

Girl Guides is undergoing its biggest badge overhaul of the past 50-years. Guides will soon have a range of new badges to choose from. Will they help Girlguiding stand the test of time?

What’s happening

Vlogging, coding or upcycling, anyone? These are just some of the popular suggestions for new badges. Put forward by the public, and Girl Guides past and present, the suggestions will go to a vote and be introduced next year. Some wonder what these new suggestions tell us about young people today.

Find out more

In 1909, a group of girls gatecrashed a Boy Scout’s rally, and Girl Guides was born. Some badges remain to this day — camping or cooking, for example — but now, its badges programme will be overhauled.

Beth Tweddle, a triple world champion in gymnastics, suggested a resilience badge. She told the BBC it would “give girls the chance to build their mental wellbeing”.

Some believe the new badges are just another sign that we are pandering to a snowflake generation. Others think new badges are evidence that Girlguiding is continuing a tradition of keeping up with the times.

The world is changing at a rapid rate. If young people are showing an interest in technology or their mental health, should the badges be updated to reflect this?

Some say…

“Bring on the badges!” say some. Those complaining about a resilience badge would do well to remember that World Thinking Day was launched by Girl Guides in 1926. It is is not the first time Girl Guides have been encouraged to think about their mental health. These new badges just show Girlguiding can keep up in an increasingly uncertain world.

Others think…

“A what badge?” say others. Girlguiding is moving too far from what it is supposed to be about; getting out of doors. These new badges just encourage a generation that is already self-obsessed to become even more so. Whatever happened to camping? Resilience is taught in life, it is not something you need a badge in. We are all getting too soft!

You Decide

  1. Are the new badges a good idea?

Activities

  1. Design a new badge. What would a young person have to do to achieve it? What skills would it help them develop?

Some People Say...

“As the needs of girls have changed Girlguiding has listened and evolved too.”

What do you think?

Word Watch

Upcycling
Reusing and remaking something using materials that would have have ended up in a rubbish tip.
Resilience
The ability to recover quickly from difficulties; to be strong.
Snowflake generation
A group of young people easily offended, and over protected.
Keeping up with the times
Badges in homemaking or hostessing might be what the early years of Girl Guiding were remembered for. But there were also badges in air mechanics, architecture, and even electrical engineering as early as 1920.

Subjects

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