Melissa Roberts (On behalf of National SSAGO)
Wednesday 11th of October 2017
Today, on International day of the Girl, we celebrate our members achieving the highest youth award in Girl Guiding!
Since 1910 Girlguiding has been supporting girls and young women from across the world. Being part of such a great movement helps members to develop and grow within themselves, to achieve things they may never have thought possible and earn some amazing awards; all while making friends for life and having some amazing experiences.
The highest award you can earn within Girlguiding is the Queens Guide Award, a prestigious award which is completed over up to 3 years between a member’s 16th and 26th birthdays. There are 5 sections within the award; service in guiding, outdoor challenge, personal skill development, community action, and residential. Each section aims to challenge and develop the skillset of the individual to allow them to complete challenges and activities they never thought they could.
Service in Guiding encourages participants to take an active role in guiding at a range of levels, not just in the unit meeting place but taking on extra responsibilities in the district, division, county or at a national level. This encourages the development of personal leadership skills to allow members to take part in leading events they never thought they could. Recent Birmingham member, Katie Waite utilised her developed leadership skills to run a circus skills day for the young members in her district, allowing them to have a go at activities and learn skills they may otherwise never have gained. Katie says that what she did whilst working towards her Award she has gained confidence and made decisions which have opened up opportunities to her as a leader that she otherwise wouldn’t have had. From running this circus skills day to competing in the Czech Republic, the Queen’s Guide Award has allowed Katie to have some amazing experiences and expand her network of Guiding contacts who have proved to be some pretty inspirational women from not just the UK but from across the world!
The residential aspect of the award is often what creates the most memories for those who complete it. This clause has very few limitations applied to it, allowing participants unlimited opportunities. The only requirement is that the experience is a minimum of two nights and three days and is spent around people that are mostly new to the participant. Some people complete Girlguiding trainings or selection days, or spend time away with other organisations such as the National Trust or The Scout Association. The other clause of the award that requires a residential aspect is the outdoor challenge which aims to develop leadership and teamwork skills in an outdoor environment. Lasting four days and three nights this part of the award can prove a “logistical nightmare” for some participants, as it did for Oxford SSAGO member Claire Evans who said, despite this nightmare and a few injuries sustained along the way, that she had a really good time completing it. Kate Mann from Hull went to the peak district for her expedition and explored the area and caves there as well as going weaselling!
This award helps members of Girlguiding grow in ways they never thought they could, encouraging them to develop their skills as leaders, develop useful skills for the future and expand their experiences within and outside of guiding. Congratulations anyone who has completed this prestigious award; it’s no easy feat!
Special congratulations go to our current members who have completed this award while being at Uni!