By: Brittany G.

I’m sure that those of you reading this know pretty much all there is to know about Girl Scouts in the United States. Our levels of Girl Scouts are Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. Girl Scouts strives to build courage, confidence, and character within young girls. You should be familiar with Scout Promise and Law as well. Have you ever thought about what Girl Scouting is like beyond the United States? Have you ever wondered what other girls are doing in other countries?

The first difference that you may or may not already be familiar with is that, in most places, Girl Scouts are referred to as Girl Guides. Our bordering countries, Canada and Mexico, have Girl Guides instead of Girl Scouts. In fact, Mexico is one of the countries I will be informing you about in this article. The countries I’m focusing on are the countries that are home the four World Centers: Our Cabana in Mexico, Our Chalet in Switzerland, Pax Lodge in England, and Sangam in India. 
Mexico, our neighbor down south, contains Our Cabana in Cuernavaca, a 47 mile drive from Mexico City. The levels of Girl Guides in this county are very close in ages compared to our levels here in the United States. These levels are Girasol Sunflower (ages 4-6), Hadita Fairy (ages 6-9), Guia Guides (ages 9-13), Guias Intermedia (ages 13-15), and Guias Mayor Ranger (ages 15-18). Though the program’s focus has changed throughout the years, it currently focuses on the importance of international education and the knowledge of ecology, which helps the environment. In accommodation to the importance of ecology, members of the Girl Guides program are currently working on a project to combat environmental problems, as well as many other service projects to help the community. Also, much like camps in the United States, there are yearly camping opportunities for girls of different ages.
One year there is a camp for Guides and Intermediates, and the next year there is a camp for Rangers and leader. Brownies, however, just have a gathering every two years. 
Another one of the world centers, Our Chalet, is housed in Adelboden, Switzerland. The levels of Girl Guides in Switzerland are slightly different than ours. The levels are Bienli & Wolfe which is also called “Bees and Wolves” (ages 7-11), Pfadi (ages 11-15), Pioniere (ages 15-17), and Rover (ages 17+). The Guide and Scout activities focus on a few distinctive approaches: enhancing the personal progress, respecting our law and promise, living in a group, cultivating rituals and traditions, participating in a responsible manner, living in nature and playing. These focuses help the young girls find and practice skills that will make life easier for them and a lot more exciting. 
The Pax Lodge, the third world center, is located in London, England. Here, each level of Girl Guides has specific programs and focuses. Rainbows, consisting of girls ages 5-7, focuses are about learning, developing confidence, building friendships, and having fun. They follow a program called Rainbow Jigsaw that is broken into the four areas of Look, Learn, Laugh, and Love. Brownies, consisting of girls ages 7-10, are members of a Six, such as Badger, Fox, Mole, Squirrel, Hedgehog, and Rabbit. These girls follow a program known as Brownie Adventure, which has three parts: you, community, and world. They also have the opportunities to achieve Brownie interest badges, which cover many hobbies and activities, such as the Science Investigator badge or the Circus Skills badge. Guides, consisting of girls ages 10-14, work together more in small groups, or patrols, in planning and running events. The Guide programs that they follow have the five groups of discovery of new experiences and challenges, healthy lifestyles, global awareness, skills and relationships, and celebrating diversity. Guides can strive for Guide interest badges, such as Film Lover and Independent Living, and challenge badges that recognize participation. Their badges build up to what’s called the Baden-Powell Challenge Award, named after the creator of Guides and Scouts. Last, but not least, the Senior Section of Girl Guides in England is for young women ages 14-25. The Look Wider program deals with a range of different activities and encourages trying new things. Senior girls have many awards and qualifications they can work for, including a Leadership qualification and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Many international opportunities are open to these girls, as well as the choice to join the British Young Council and participate in the Innovate meeting to have a say in future events in Girl Guiding. 

Now we are to India, where the Sangam World Center lies in Pune. Here, Girl Guides is the girl section of the Bharat Scouts and Guides Program. In India, there are three, potentially four, levels to Girl Guides. There is Bulbul (ages 5-10), Guide (ages 10- 17+), Ranger (ages 16-25), and in some regions they are experimenting with a new Bunny group for girls ages 3-5. The basis of Guides in India is community service and development. The general public is informed of these scouts and guides through the press, the radio, and the television, which has resulted in the doubling of the Guides over the last ten years or so. Literature in both English and the regional language is offered to these Guides and Scouts, as well as training skills by the introduction of computers, and they have a monthly newsletter and magazine. Guides actively participate in the National Adventure Institute that was founded by the Bharat Scouts and Guides in 1992. 

I encourage all of you to look into the activities of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world, as this information could be very helpful if you run into a visiting scout or your troop goes on an international trip. This topic was very interesting for me to research, and I hope that it was interesting for you to read. For more information, please go to the WAGGGS website here.

No comments:

Post a Comment