Who is Guides for?
This is a really interesting question because it’s one that lots of people think they know the answer to, but actually many of them are mistaken.
Recently, the Mum of one of our Guides made the comment that she had previously thought Guides was for “girly” girls. As a result, her daughter had originally enrolled with Scouts.
Now, I’m the first to admit that Scouts looks “cool”. For one thing, the Chief Scout is Bear Grylls. The guy just oozes “cool”. So, just for fun, let’s start with a Guides vs Scouts comparison.
What makes Guides different to Scouts?
1. Guides is just for girls. We provide a girl-only space, where girls can feel safe to explore and develop all parts of their character and personality without the pressure of gender stereotypes.
There really is only one main difference between Guides and Scouts. Scouts allow both male and female members, but Guides is still (and always will be) only for girls. Our youth members, our Unit Leaders, our District teams and Region teams are all female. We believe that girls thrive in an environment facilitated by women.
Programs for the Guides, by the Guides
All unit programs and activities are run in line with a framework set by the organisation – we call it the Australian Guide Program (AGP). Within the framework, units have the flexibility to run their programs however suits them and their members best. All of our programs are girl-led, so depending on the ages of the Guides in the unit, they might help suggest the activity ideas or they could run their entire weekly program.
The beauty of the girl-led program is that it is never outdated and never designed only for “girly” girls. It is always designed specifically for the Guides that are attending the unit at that time. By using the AGP, Guides are empowered to lead and their program stays exciting and varied.
If the Guides want to have 3 camp fires in one term, they can! If they want to design their own challenge that involves 5 different cooking methods and only 3 ingredients, they can! If they earn badge after badge, but can’t display them proudly on their sash because they don’t know how to sew, they might decide to spend the evening sewing and chatting… and they can!
Personal and unique
Each meeting is unique, just like the Guides that attend. Each meeting provides new experiences and develops the skills of each individual Guide. Guides work towards personal challenges, because what might be a challenge for one Guide may not be considered a challenge for another.
All too often, children are told to conform to the norm instead of embracing what makes them unique. At Guides, we see each Guide as an individual. We encourage and support them to be themselves.
The answer. Guides is for…
So, as you can see, Guides actually is for all girls. Independent girls, shy girls, sporty girls, crafty girls and girly girls. All girls. Not just the girly ones.
I’m not sure why the Guide in my district decided that Scouts wasn’t for her after all, but one thing is for sure – she may not consider herself to be “girly” but she is certainly loving being a Guide.
Unit is the general name given to a group of Guides with their Leaders.
Guide is the name for all members of Girl Guides Australia. A member aged 5 is known as a Guide, just the same as members aged 13 or 47.
Registration for Guides is open all year. If you’d like to be involved, get in touch here!