In recognition of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Girlguiding LaSER Champions have written this blog to focus on the skills that Girlguiding can provide. Not only will this blog discuss how Girlguiding can set young women up for life, but it will also touch on some famous women that have gained these skills and utilise them in daily life. A Girlguiding journey can start at the age of 5 with Rainbows and run all the way through to being an adult leader!
With this in mind, it is obviously crucial that Girlguiding provides some sort of wisdom into how to become a strong, independent woman. For us personally, Girlguiding has been one of the most vital positive influences in our lives. So, what are the values that Girlguiding actually teaches us? We've put them into five key categories, but there are so many others - let us know if you have any others!
For the Champions, we feel that kindness is the most crucial value that Girlguiding can teach. Kindness can go a long way and if every Girlguiding member is fundamentally kind, imagine how far that can stretch. The quote “in a world where you can be anything, be kind,” is crucial to the lessons that Girlguiding teach.
The ability to make friends is so important to the development of amazing girls and young women. Girlguiding teaches the ability to socialise with others and provides skills that girls can use for the rest of their lives.
If you do not take responsibility in life, how can you live? Girlguiding installs a sense of responsibility in every member across the UK. Not only are participants taught how to light fires and cook food, they are also taken camping and on trips abroad. This teaches valuable skills to use in adult life.
The ability to empathise with others is a core value for Girlguiding - with empathy, you can help your friends when they are upset and look after them when they need you (this links back to kindness, too!).
Patience is very important because throughout life you will be faced with times where you have to be tolerant, for example at work or with your family. The ability to wait is important in forging friendships and living your life.
These five values are obviously not all of the values that Girlguiding can instil in girls and young women. We've researched some famous women who were in Girlguiding:
1. Kate Middleton
Kate was just eight years old when she enrolled as a Brownie with the 1st St Andrew's pack in Pangbourne, Berkshire. At Brownies, she would participate in activities like games and earning badges. The Duchess was apparently inspired by the work Girlguiding was doing and how many badges they earned. She has said that she would like to sign George, Charlotte and Louis up to Guides and Scouts. Like so many other parents who register their children, Kate is hoping it will teach her kids responsibility and improve their character. As we all know, guiding is an amazing way to learn responsibility, kindness and respect for others!
2. Queen Elizabeth II
In 1937, 11-year-old Elizabeth became a Girl Guide with her sister Margaret. Coincidentally, their mother had also been a member of the Guides too. To help Elizabeth and Margaret earn their challenge badges, the palace created the 1st Buckingham Palace Company. The unit included 20 Guides and 14 Brownies and it was made up of the children of employees who also wanted to be Brownies and Guides. Elizabeth and her friends learnt how to pitch up tents, cook on campfires, learn first aid and earn challenge badges like any other Girl Guides. When the Second World War broke out, the Girl Guides were hard at work in the war effort, along with Guides across the country. The troop was moved from Buckingham Palace and reformed at Windsor Castle in 1942 because of the bomb threat to London.
This blog does not feature too many women in Girlguiding because, as a part of International Women’s Day, the Girlguiding LaSER Champions have come up with ten inspirational women who were in Girlguiding to be featured during our takeover of Girlguiding LaSER's social media on March 8 in recognition of International Women’s Day! Make sure you follow along.