Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is celebrating one hundred years as the largest voluntary organization dedicated to girls and young women in the world. Ten million members will join the celebration, however, this milestone also marks an important period of reflection. In particular, WAGGGS deserves great credit for the way it has adapted and incorporated new methods to deal with the changing attitudes and concerns of young girls today, which are very different to one hundred years ago.
The association continues to promote its traditional focus on community development and outdoor pursuits. However, it has also successfully implemented new features such as a cultural awareness badge, increasing focus on developing confidence and self esteem, fundraising for developing countries as well as continuously changing and developing its distinctive uniform to reflect changing fashion trends among its members.
This article focuses on the association’s changing uniform, which may seem like a rather trivial point, but the uniform actually provides an excellent example of the way in which the Girl Guide Association monitors and responds to its members continuous development. Further, the uniform’s unique colour and style demonstrates the way the organization promotes individuality and fun among young girls. Too often large organizations retreat from change and few actively seek to engage with its members wants and needs in the way the WAGGGS has successfully done for a century.
Happy Birthday, Girl Guides and all the best for the next hundred years!
- Sarah Lynch
Girl Museum Inc.