If you were once lucky enough to be a Rainbow/Brownie/Guide/Ranger, you should already know what I’m going to talk about in this article. No!? You Don’t? What would Brown Owl say? Probably something about good turns and keeping your promise, but she would also remind you about why the 22nd February is so important to Girl Guides (and Scouts!) across the world.
Back in 1926, the 4th World Conference was held in which Guiding came together to decide that the 22nd February should be marked as a day we can express our thanks and appreciation for the global movement that is Guiding. The day was picked as it was Lord Baden-Powell and Olave Baden-Powell’s birthdays as they had been the founder of Boy Scouts and World Chief Guide respectively.
A few years after that a charity component was added— with Girl Guides being encouraged to bring pennies to meetings as a token of gratitude. This sort of thing still happens in modern Guiding; I remember when I was at Brownies creating the Girlguiding Trefoil out of pennies. At the time, it probably did not mean as much to me as it does now but after a few years I’ve been able to fully appreciate how much of a gift being involved in Guiding is and how it reminds us of our connection with the rest of the world.
There are lessons we can learn from the driving values of Guiding that apply to our lives, especially in the turbulent times we currently live in. They show how crucial cooperation, respect, friendship, and giving girls a space is. Girls are not told that they cannot or should not do something so Girlguiding is in no way stuck in the past.
Last year, they launched a new advert designed to show that we should all be #ForTheGirl and you will find that girls learn about all sorts of interesting and useful things from computer coding to discussing mental health. Empowerment is crucial to showing girls worldwide that they matter and can make a difference because together we promise to do our best and take care of the world around us.
The theme for this year is #LetsGrow since Girlguiding currently has ten million members worldwide but knows that it still has plenty of room to grow! On Twitter or Instagram you can find women from across the world celebrating the wonderful community and sisterhood that is Guiding with the hashtag ‘#WTD2017’.
If you want to get involved in Guiding and have a couple of hours a week to spare take a look at the Girlguiding website.