What is life like for girls and women today, and how might that change in the future? These are complex questions, addressed by many members of Girlguiding who are currently planning for the future of the organisation. 10-year-old Jess Brown, Bridget MacFarlane, and Cecilia Kelly, both age 11, from Hawkshead Guides recently had the exiting opportunity to help shape Girlguiding’s national strategy from 2020, at a meeting in Preston. “The Strategy Day activities helped me think about what guiding should be like in years to come”, was Jess’s view after the meeting, whilst Cecilia was pleased to be given the opportunity to express her opinion.
After girls across the country have had their say about the future direction of the 500.000 strong organisation a new five-year-plan will be debated and announced by the Board of Trustees.
County Commissioner for Girlguiding Cumbria South Sue Gudgeon accompanied the girls to the strategy discussions: “Girlguiding listens to the views of young people – it’s embedded in our values to ‘give girls a choice’ and to ‘change as the needs of girls and young women change’. It’s been very good to take Cumbrian young people to the meeting in Preston so that their voices could be heard.”
And what do Bridget, Jess and Cecilia want for the future of Girlguiding? They like the fact that all Girlguiding members make a promise and live by it and want that to be of importance for future generations of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers. “Online clubs” might be very well, but they prize the opportunity to have fun with other girls doing a wide variety of activities which are open to all. And that is a view which has been shared by Guides through the ages.