What exactly does “girl-driven” mean in Guiding?
The girl-driven approach is the “how” of the new Girls First program. The girl-driven approach means that girls are in the driver’s seat, choosing what they want to get out of Guiding. Informed by best practices in youth engagement, it empowers each girl to become everything she wants to be.
Girls are the heart of GGC and meaningful girl engagement is fundamental to a positive Guiding experience. Girl members have told us they want their independence recognized and to be actively involved in their own learning. Girls want opportunities for leadership and decision-making within their units and the wider organization. The girl-driven approach supports girl choice, voice and action:
- Girls have the freedom to pursue their interests
- Girl issues are heard and taken seriously
- Girls advocate for their interests in GGC and engage meaningfully in the wider community
Seeking girl input makes a lot of sense, but what if girls don’t have the skills or motivation to lead or make decisions? Girl-driven doesn’t mean, for example, that Guiders give a Spark the keys to the car and wish her luck! They have to teach her about cars and the rules of the road. Once she’s a Guide, they might sit beside her in the passenger seat so they can grab the wheel when things go sideways. By the time she’s a Ranger they can sit in the back seat and enjoy the ride, offering directions when asked.
Girls First program activities have been developed in a way that allows girls to take the lead in age appropriate ways. Because the program areas are consistent through every level, girls will develop their confidence and decision-making skills as they move from branch to branch. Guiders have practical strategies to meet girls where they’re at while supporting their growth and leadership.
How do we achieve this?
Woman Role Models:
Our passionate volunteer Guiders empower girls with new discoveries and experiences.
Girl-Only Safe Space:
A place where girls can be themselves as they go on new adventures with new friends.
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