Girl Guides


Girl Guides

Girl Guides or Girl Scouts is a parallel movement to Scouting. It evolved from the Scouting movement in the early years of the 20th century. Girls were attracted to Scouting from its inception in 1907. In different places around the world, the movement developed in diverse ways. In some places, girls attempted to join Scouting organisations and it was decided that single-gender organisations were a better solution. In other places, girls groups were started, some of them later to open up to boys or merge with boys' organisations. In other instances, mixed groups were formed, sometimes to later split. In the same way, the name Girl Guide or Girl Scout has been used by groups at different times and in different places, with some groups changing from one to another. In the past, boys had to join the Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts but in recent years Guides has been open for both boys and girls to join in some countries.

In 1909, Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, decided that girls should not be in the same organisation as the boys, and the Girl Guides were founded in the UK in 1910. Many, though by no means all, Girl Guide and Girl Scout groups across the globe trace their roots to this point. Agnes Baden-Powell was in charge of Girl Guiding in UK in its early years. Other influential people were Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Olga Malkowska in Poland and Antoinette Butte in France.cite web | year = 2004 | url = http://www.wagggs.org/en/about/history | title = Our History | publisher = WAGGGS| accessdate = 2007-07-09]

The name Guide was taken from a famous frontier regiment in the British Indian army, the Corps of Guides, which was noted for its skills in tracking and survival.

Two central themes have been present from the earliest days of the movement: domestic skills and "a kind of practical feminism which embodies physical fitness, survival skills, camping, citizenship training, and career preparation". [cite journal| last = Aickin Rothschild | first = Mary | title = To Scout or to Guide? The Girl Scout-Boy Scout Controversy, 1912-1941 | journal = Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies | volume = 6 | issue = 3 | pages = 115–121 | publisher =University of Nebraska Press | date = Autumn 1981 | url =http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0160-9009%28198123%296%3A3%3C115%3ATSOTGT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-T | month = Nov | year = 1981 | doi = 10.2307/3346224] These two themes have been emphasised differently at different times and by different groups, but have remained central to Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

There has been much discussion about how similar Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting should be to boys' Scouting programs. While many girls saw what the boys were doing and wanted to do it too, girls' organizations have sought to avoid simply aping the boys'.

Even when most Scout organizations became coeducational Guiding remained separate in many countries to provide a female-centered program. Internationally it is governed by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts with member organizations in 144 countries.

See also

* Sections: Rainbow Guide, Brownie Guide, Girl Guide and Girl Scout, Ranger Guide
* List of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) members

References


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