With the new promise being introduced part way through this past term, we decided to do the ‘Traditions’ badge as a unit so we could help the girls understand and learn about the history of Guiding.
The badge has a whole ton of options, so we did a few things that we as leaders organised – which included visiting another unit close to us to learn about marching and flags. Now the girls often ask if we can do the horseshoe marching! It’s funny how you think that things that are ‘old fashioned’ will have no relevance or be of no interest to girls in this modern age of phones, computers and the rest – and be proven so wrong when you bother to teach them at the risk of seeming ‘uncool’.
We were also really blessed by a woman who runs the Girlguiding Edinburgh archives. I’d been in touch with her to see if we could visit, and it turns out we couldn’t. Noticing she lived not too far away from me I asked if perhaps there was an alternative. She generously took the time to look out a box of old handbooks and scrapbooks, many copies of ‘The Guide’ from the 1930s and 40s, and six uniforms from a century of Girlguiding.
We set up a stations for the girls to look all the scrapbooks and magazines, brought down my own guide camp blanket (which has most of my Brownie and Guide badges on it). One of the girls brought her Mum’s old badges and Brownie and Guide handbooks too. The girls also got to try on the different uniforms and we took pictures for their own scrapbooks. We had information stations about how Girl Guides started and how they kept going through the first and second world wars – even when in some places Girlguiding was banned by the Nazi regime.
On the other weeks the girls chose clauses to do in their patrols, and we finished off by having a History of Guiding quiz with a bit of competition between the patrols.
It was a great experience and showed the girls how much Guiding has changed with the times. A month later, we were representing Girlguiding at our local Remembrance Sunday services, and the girls seemed to understand a little more why it is that Guides and Scouts are part of it. One of the girls who was part of the colour party got up early to give herself a wee manicure…trefoil style!