Giving a voice to the county’s new generation of Girlguides

Olympian Beth Tweddle would like to see a Resilience Badge introduced, while this  Brownie is going for a Backflip Badge.
Olympian Beth Tweddle would like to see a Resilience Badge introduced, while this Brownie is going for a Backflip Badge.
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There are almost 10,000 Guides in Lincolnshire who will be facing huge changes in their iconic badges.

Girlguiding has decided that the badges available to Guides (aged 10-14), Brownies (aged 7-10) and Rainbows (aged 5-7) need updating to keep with the interests of young girls.

In Lincolnshire alone there are approximately 9,500 Guides, which just shows how many girls there are to keep interested.

Jess Bond, part of Girlguiding Anglia, said: “The reason we have decided to update the selection of badges is to make sure Guides is still relevant and keep it fun, varied and exciting.”

It will also help to attract even more members to the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK.

Girlguiding has always helped empower girls to do whatever or be whoever they want. An Air Mechanic Badge was available in 1910s, an Architect in the 1920s, an Electrician in 1930s, a Radio Communicator in the 1980s and Canoeist in the 1990s. But gender roles have been pushed that little bit further in recent years, as well as the advance in technology and social media, and Girlguides want their badges to keep up.

As young girls are the ones who will be achieving the new badges, Girlguiding has asked Brownies and Guides, as well as the general public, to post their ideas for the new badges on social media with the hashtag #BadgeGoals. So far App Design, Archaeology, Entrepreneurship, Human Rights, Festival Goer, Speaking Out, Upcycling and Vlogging are just a few of the ideas Guides all over the UK have come up with.

Olympian Beth Tweddle is one of the few inspirational women who have been awarded the “I Give Girls A Voice” Badge, along with The Pussycat Dolls singer Kimberly Wyatt.

She said: “My #BadgeGoal is a Resilience Badge, to give girls the chance to build their mental wellbeing and learn how to cope with the stresses of everyday life.”

Some Girlguiding members have also shared the reasons behind their choices.

Grace (9) said: “I would create the Inventor Badge because someone might have a really good invention and then maybe it could be used to help people in the future.” Elena (17) said “A Chemist Badge would be brilliant as girls could find out about acids and alkalis and have a go at conducting experiments. It would be a fantastic way to engage girls in chemistry.” Maia (9) said: “My dream badge would be the Be Yourself Badge because I think that being yourself is very important for Brownies and for life.”

The badges chosen will be categorised into six themes: skills for my future, have adventures, be well, know myself, express myself and take action and will launch Summer 2018.

Student writer Lucy Niblock puts forward her ideas on new Guide badges: “Having been a Brownie then a Guide for eight years, I have earned my fair share of badges. When I was seven, earning the Hostess Badge or the Craft Badge was an amazing achievement but now I struggle to find badges that I think would help and empower me later in life.

“My #BadgeGoal would be a Blogging Badge, it would be a perfect way to encourage girls to read and write more in a way they would find fun and interesting. Blogging is one of the most popular forms of communication nowadays and is an easy way for young people to express themselves and what they believe in. I also love the idea of a Human Rights or a Speaking Out Badge because it would teach girls from a young age about feminism and equal rights and how they should not be treated differently because of their gender, race or sexuality. It would teach girls that it is good to have opinions and that they should make their voices heard because they are just as powerful as everyone else.”