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Girlguiding UK:
Tees West Division
We Discover, We Grow

If you would like to join...
Email: joinus@girlguiding.org.uk
Apply online: girlguiding.org.uk/interested
History of GirlGuiding UK
Rebert Baden-Powell
Robert Baden-Powell
In 1907 Robert Baden-Powell, an army general developed a training scheme for boys. He tried out his scheme at a camp on Brownsea Island. The following year he published a book called Scouting for Boys. This was an instant success and Baden-Powell soon found himself organising the Boy Scout Movement.

At the first Scout rally held in Crystal Palace in 1909 a group of girls turned up. They insisted that they wanted to be Scouts and represented hundreds of other girls who also wanted to become scouts.

In an era where skirts were ankle length and girls never ran the idea of being involved in Scouting activities such as camping and hiking, they were met with mixed responses. Some people viewed ‘girl scouting’ as a 'mischievous new development’, ‘a foolish and pernicious movement’ and an ‘idiotic sport’. In contrast to this, letters written by Baden-Powell from this time show that he had a scheme for girls in mind.

In 1910 Robert Baden-Powell formed the Girl Guides and asked his sister Agnes to look after his new scheme. When he married Olave Soames in 1912 she also became involved in the movement and in 1918 was appointed Chief Guide.
The group of girls who turned up to the 1909 Crystal Palace rally called themselves Girl Scouts, however, when the girl’s movement was created this name was changed. This was partly due to Baden-Powell not wanting to annoy parents who would not welcome such a tomboyish image for their daughters. Baden-Powell also wanted to create a separate identity for the girls’ movement. The name Guides comes from his military background and a group of ‘Guides’ he met working on the north-west frontier in India. The main task of these men was to go on very dangerous expeditions. Even when off duty the Guides were still training their minds and bodies. With this in mind, Baden-Powell decided ‘Girl Guides’ would be a good name for his new girls’ movement.

Olave Baden-Powell
Olave Baden-Powell
In 1914 a junior section for girls aged 8 to 11 was created. These were originally called Rosebuds, but later renamed Brownies. The senior girls group were formed in 1916 and were renamed Rangers in 1920.

In 1926 it was decided to have the World Thinking Day to be held on February 22nd each year. World Thinking Day is the joint birthday of Robert and Olave Baden-Powell and gives Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world the chance to reflect and share friendships with others in guiding throughout the world.

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)* was set up in 1928 with the first WAGGGS-owned World Centre opening in Switzerland in 1932. Since Girl Guides were created in 1910 the enthusiasm for guiding quickly spread worldwide and countless millions have made the Guide Promise. Today there are ten million girls and women involved in guiding worldwide.

In 1941 Robert Baden-Powell died aged 83. His wife Olave died in 1977.

In 1943 the Trefoil Guild was created, aimed at people aged 21 and over who want to be involved and keep in touch but cannot undertake regular activities with a unit.

The Queens Guide Award*, the highest award within the movement, was introduced in 1946. The Award is based on the concepts of personal challenge and participation and is open to any members aged 16 to 25 and must be completed within three years or before the 26th birthday, whichever is sooner.

In 1987 a new section for younger member aged 5 to 7 called Rainbows was introduced.

In 2002 the association changed its name to GirlGuiding UK.

See how much you know about GirlGuiding UK with our Quiz.

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