Girlguiding: New Brownies and Guides badges released!

Last updated at 06:38
Brownies holding the new badgesGirlguiding/PA

Lots of you will enjoy being a member of Brownies or Guides - or maybe you were in Rainbows when you were younger.

Well, we've got big news for anyone who's a member of Girlguiding - after 18 months of work, the badges and activities are being given a complete makeover!

It is the biggest overhaul of Brownies and Guides in the organisation's history and over 50,000 girls were involved in deciding what all the new activities and badges would look like.

The new programme will be gradually rolled out over the next year so that by September 2019, all Brownies and Guides will be working towards this new programme.

What has changed?

The entire Girlguiding programme has had a makeover and there are now over 800 new badges and activities for girls aged 5 to 18 to work towards.

Rainbows (before Brownies) and Rangers (after Guides) can earn interest badges too now, so they can join in the fun.

There are also special new skills builder badges which are designed to help girls develop skills as they grow older, from Rainbows, through Brownies and Guides, to Rangers.

Girlguiding/PADoug Peters
There are lots of interest badges that Guides can get involved with too
Why has it changed?

The world, our interests and the way we all live our lives is constantly changing - so the organisation wanted to update its programme of activities to reflect this and help girls to explore new interests and try things out for the first time, building their skills and confidence as they go.

According to Girlguiding, the new badges and activities "reflect the diversity of girls and modern life in the 21st Century".

Liddy Buswell, a volunteer for the organisation, says: "This is such an exciting time to be part of Girlguiding. Where else would girls have the opportunity to be introduced to such a wide range of topics from tech and STEM, aviation and archaeology, to voting or surviving in the wild?"

Brownies doing an activityGirlguiding/PA
The programme is designed so that girls can get involved with a wide range of activities and hobbies - some which are carried out in groups, and others which are done individually

She goes on to say that the programme is to help girls "discover what it is they want to pursue and don't worry about failing or being judged. It could even lead them to their future career."

How does the new programme work?

All of the new activities and badges are built around six themes for absolutely everyone, no matter what your age. The first three focus on you. The second three focus on connecting with other people and exploring the world around you.

  1. Know myself
  2. Express myself
  3. Be well
  4. Have adventures
  5. Take action
  6. Skills for my future

For each of these themes, there is lots to work towards - interest badges, skills builders, group activities and awards.

Interest badges let you explore something that interests you on your own - whether that's improving knowledge that you already have or trying out something new. In order to be awarded your interest badge, you will need to carry out three challenges.

Some of the new badgesGirlguiding/PA
There are loads of exciting new badges for Brownies and Guides to work towards

Skills builder badges are completely new and they are earned by working in a group. You earn different levels of skills builder badges depending which stage of Girlguiding you are at - and the stages get more challenging as you go through.

The organisation explains: "If a girl starts stage 1 in Rainbows, by the time she reaches stage 5 as a Guide she'll have gained some very valuable skills, got a great set of badges and had a lot of fun!"

GuidesGirlguiding/PA
The new skills builder badges are earned in different stages as you move through Rainbows and Brownies, up to Guides, but you can start them at any stage, so it does not matter if you join Girlguiding a little later and didn't do Rainbows or Brownies

Once you have earned a certain number of interest and skills builder badges for one particular theme, you can work towards getting your special theme award.

Once you have earned all six theme awards, you can do a final challenge and then get your Brownie or Guide Gold award - which is seriously impressive!

On top of these, there are also new group activities which have been specially designed for your usual weekly get-togethers.

There are also special anniversary badges and you will earn one of these for each year you are a member of Girlguiding - no matter what age you join.

Brownies and Guides doing a First Aid activityGirlguiding/PA
These girls are learning about first aid in one of the activities
What are the new badges and activities?

Given that there are over 800 new badges and activities, we really will be here all day if we run through all of them! So we thought we'd give you a flavour of what's on the new line-up for Brownies and Guides.

Brownies

As a brownie, there are three different interest badges under each theme, which you can work towards on your own. What do you fancy?!

  • Know myself - collecting, local history, my rights (three different badges)
  • Express myself - baking, painting, performing
  • Be well - dancing, grow your own, mindfulness
  • Have adventures - archaeology, aviation, space
  • Take action - charities, speaking out, zero waste
  • Skills for my future - inventing, jobs, languages

You will also work in a group towards getting stage 2 and 3 skills builder badges for each of the following. To pass one stage, you will need to do five activities. These are:

  • Know myself - network, reflect (so that's 4 skills builder badges available in total for this theme - stage 2 and 3 for network, and stage 2 and 3 for reflect)
  • Express myself - communicate, innovate
  • Be well - feel good, first aid
  • Have adventures - camp, explore
  • Take action - influence, make a change
  • Skills for my future - lead, live smart
New Brownie interest badgesGirlguiding
Here's a look at three of the new Brownie interest badges
Guides

There are four different interest badges you can work towards as a guide under each theme.

  • Know myself - aspirations, human rights, guiding history, personal brand
  • Express myself - confectionary, media critic, photography, vlogging
  • Be well - fitness, meditation, mixology, natural remedies
  • Have adventures - backwoods cooking, geocaching, navigator, whittling
  • Take action - be prepared, campaigning, conscious consumer, craftivism
  • Skills for my future - fixing, investigating, saver, upcycling

You will also work in a group towards getting stage 4 and 5 skills builder badges, building on from the badges listed above which you may have already earned as a Brownie.

New Guide interest badgesGirlguiding
Here's a look at three of the new Guide interest badges
What should I do?

You should choose which badges and activities you want to do based on two things:

1. What you're already interested in:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • Is there something you would like to get better at?

2. New skills or knowledge you would like to develop:

  • Is there a hobby or interest you've always wanted to try for the first time?
  • Have you recently found out about something you'd like to explore more or know more about?

Have a chat to one of your leaders if you're not sure what you might like to work towards and they can help you to decide.

Taking our hobby quiz might also help to give you some ideas too!

Newsround's Ayshah used to be a Brownie and then a Guide when she was younger, so we asked her which of the new badges she would be interested in working towards!

Ayshah with her Brownie and Guide sashes
Here's Ayshah with her Brownie and Guide sashes from when she was younger!

"If I was starting Brownies now, I'd definitely want to do the baking interest badge because I absolutely love food - especially cakes!" she says.

"I'd be interested in doing speaking out, because I think it's important to be able to say what you think and use your voice in positive ways.

"I also love the look of the 'my rights' interest badge, because people have fought for our rights for so many years, so I'd love to learn more about that and what I can do to promote equal rights for people all over the world.

"The Guide badges look great too. If I had to choose, I'd probably do investigating - I mean, I am a journalist after all!

"I think I'd really enjoy working towards the fitness badge, as I love to do netball and also go to the gym to keep healthy.

"I also think the conscious consumer badge is a really important one, as it would help me to think about how the choices I make in life can help others and affect the world around me, which is something we should all be considering."

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