About Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting
Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is open to all girls and young women whatever their religion, ethnic group or background. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts accept the Promise and the Law based on spiritual values, personal development and commitment to helping others.
These outcomes are developed through the unique educational approach practiced by Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. It is values based, non-formal education operating in a intergenerational, global, multi-cultural environment, Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is about meeting new friends, developing an understanding of teamwork and a sense of adventure as well as absorbing the importance of taking part in a wider community and reaching out to make a difference; both locally and globally.
The Girl Guide and Girl Scout experience
The Girl Guide and Girl Scout experience is full of activities and opportunities for everyone. You can:
- Challenge yourself physically and mentally
- Get involved in your community through volunteering and community action projects
- Meet friends from all around the world and just next door
- Travel and learn about new cultures
- Advocate on issues you care about, influencing decision-makers
- Learn and practice leadership
- Have fun by learning in a non-formal setting, with songs, games, crafts and activities
- Be yourself in a safe and creative environment
- Pass on your knowledge by volunteering to be a Guide or Scout leader
Fundamental Principles -An Ideal and a Spirit
The Original Promise and Law
The Original Promise and Law were developed at the beginning of the Movement’s history. The Promise and Law continues to evolve as Member Organizations modernize Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting in their countries.
On my honour, I promise that I will do my best:
- To do my duty to God and the King (Or God and my country);
- To help other people at all times;
- To obey the Guide Law
- A Guide’s honour is to be trusted.
- A Guide is loyal.
- A Guide's duty is to be useful and to help others.
- A Guide is a friend to all and a sister to every other Guide.
- A Guide is courteous.
- A Guide is a friend to animals.
- A Guide obeys orders.
- A Guide smiles and sings under all difficulties.
- A Guide is thrifty.
- A Guide is pure in thought, in word and in deed
The ideal and spirit are clearly expressed in the Promise and Law - Fundamental Principles of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. To be a Member of WAGGGS, each national Girl Guide and Girl Scout organization must adhere to the fundamental principles expressed within the Promise and Law.
Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting: A Proven Method
Commitment through the Promise and Law
Baden-Powell established four signposts to start his Girl Guides and Scouts on their road through life: character, handicrafts, health and service. He wanted to ensure the Movement encouraged the development of the whole person by encompassing spiritual, moral, physical, mental, social, intellectual and emotional aspects.
Through membership of the Movement, each Girl Guide and Girl Scout takes part in a system of progressive self-development. Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is free from the constraints imposed by formal education. The non-formal education methodology practiced in the Movement points the way to different avenues of exploration, and the Girl Guide and Girl Scout chooses her route and proceeds with her chosen activities at her own pace, exercising self-motivation and freedom of choice. In this way, the Girl Guide and Girl Scout progresses individually, as well as learning to interact successfully as part of a group, developing her own imagination and creativity.
Learning by doing
Learning by doing is a key phrase in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. Through membership of the Movement, each Girl Guide and Girl Scout enjoys a variety of stimulating activities and challenges which encourage the individual to contribute to the best of her ability to ensure the success of her group's activities.
The Brownie's good turn, and the service projects undertaken by older girls and leaders, allow them to find an immediate practical application for their Promise and Law. Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting does not place the young in a classroom situation. Instead, it encourages them to go out into the world and make a positive contribution towards its future.
As well as community action, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world are advocating on issues they care about to build a better world. Their advocacy projects are influencing decision-makers to change policy, laws and behaviour.
Teamwork through the patrol system
Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting encourages teamwork through the Patrol System founded by Baden-Powell. He defined the patrol as "a small natural group of six to eight under the leadership of one of themselves where each individual has an indispensable part to play".
The Patrol System encourages the formation of friendships, self-expression, and the development of joint and individual responsibility.
The Movement has a vital role to play in a divided world by instilling a spirit of cooperation in the young, a key to a more peaceful world. It also provides an important early example of democracy in action and develops leadership skills and opportunities to practice these in multi-cultural and intergenerational environments.
Service in the community
The Movement does not place its members in a world apart, but strives to increase their involvement in their own community. Our mission is to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world. Applying the philosophy of learning by doing, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts serve their local national and global communities.
Relationship to nature
An important ingredient of the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting method is contact with nature, traditionally gained through camping activities.
Living out-of-doors encourages self-sufficiency and determination, and helps Girl Guides and Girl Scouts discover the tranquillity and harmony of nature for themselves. An appreciation of the natural world is essential at a time when our environment is under threat, and the environmental theme is now strong in many Girl Guide and Girl Scout activities.
Many children live in urban or industrial areas, and the Movement has an important part to play in expanding their vision. As well as understanding and cherishing the natural world, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are advocating for its protection and very survival. Check out what you can do to help save our planet.
Active cooperation between young people and adults
Although Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting is a youth movement, encouraging self-development and teamwork, adult guidance is essential at all stages. For the youngest members, adult participation will mean supervision, for the oldest a more experienced person to turn to for advice. For many, involvement in the Movement is a lifetime commitment, as they use the leadership skills it has given them to guide others along the same path. The Movement sees adults working side by side with the young members in a system of cooperation which helps to dispel the illusion of the generation gap.
Girl Guides and Girl Scouts can also participate in international experiences, such as attending advocacy seminars at one of WAGGGS’ four World Centres, applying to be a WAGGGS delegate at a United Nations conference on the Millennium Development Goals, getting involved in one of our advocacy campaigns or volunteering as a UN representative or as a community volunteer at one of the World Centres. You can work as a volunteer on projects such as the Young Women’s World Forums on the Millennium Development Goals or become part of our Young Voices of WAGGGS programme, where you speak out on issues important to girls and young women.