World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

From Academic Kids

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The standard of WAGGGS

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is a global association supporting the female-oriented and female-only scouting organizations in 144 countries. It was formed in 1928 and has its headquarters in London, England. It is the counterpart of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

Girl Guides were formed in 1910 by Robert Baden-Powell with the assistance of his sister Agnes Baden-Powell. After his marriage his wife Olave Baden-Powell took a leading role in the development of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. Lady Olave Baden-Powell, became Chief Guide of England in 1918, and World Chief Guide in 1930.

WAGGGS provides a high quality non-formal educational programme that provides dynamic, flexible and values-based training in life skills, leadership and decision making. It also offers projects and programmes at an international level that enable Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to be responsible world citizens through action and activity in the community.

The mission of WAGGGS is to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world. This is achieved through its member organizations. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is an organization run by women for girls and young women. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts are trained in leadership and decision-making, and are encouraged to participate in the governance and leadership of WAGGGS. Indeed, each individual unit is democratically run with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts actively involved in leadership and in decision making.

The World Board is made up of volunteers from around the world and governs the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The World Board is made up of 17 active members from around the world who are democratically elected by all Member Organizations at the World Conference and which includes the Chairs from each of the five WAGGGS regions. Member Organizations of WAGGGS are independent of any political organization or any political party.

Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting is open to all girls and young women without distinction of creed, race, nationality, or any other circumstance. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts believes that the education of girls, as well as the education of boys, includes education for equal partnership. Young men and young women are taught to recognize their differences and their similarities, and to respect each other as individuals.

Each WAGGGS Member Organization chooses how it believes it can best promote this, taking into account its culture and the needs of its young people. Some choose to work with girls alone in a single sex environment in order to break down stereotypes and to give girls and young women the confidence to take their place in society. Other Member Organizations prefer to work with mixed groups to enable young women and young men equal partnership within their units. Some Organizations choose to mix co-educational and single sex approaches according the age and the preferences of the young people.

Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting is a voluntary organisation that relies on over 100,000 volunteers around the world to implement programmes for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and to give girls and young women support and leadership. There are over 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 144 countries. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from around the world can meet each other at international events at one of the four World Centres. There are many opportunities to attend international events run by the United Nations or other non-governmental organizations on behalf of the Association.


Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting is based on a core set of values that are found in the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Promise and Law. Each Girl Guide and Girl Scout promises to do her best to her faith and to others, and in so doing she realizes her fullest potential as a responsible citizen.

Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting uses non-formal educational methods. Non-formal education is organized educational activity outside schools and colleges. The key components of non-formal education are that:

  • Young people can develop life skills and attitudes based on an integrated value system based on the Promise and Law.
  • Young people learn from their peer group.
  • Young people learn through activities and practical programmes that are created by young people for young people
  • Young people volunteer to join non-formal education organizations that are led also by volunteers that ensures commitment and maximum learning.
  • Young people learn by progressive self-development through:
    • Learning by doing,
    • Teamwork though the patrol system and training for responsible leadership, and
    • Active cooperation between young people and adults.

Each Girl Guide/Girl Scout defines her own progress and development according to her needs and aspirations within the framework programme provided. This contrasts with many formal education systems where young people must fit themselves into a rigid structure with little recognition of individual needs and differences. The Girl Guide/Girl Scout method is the specific way that the leadership works with girls and young women to achieve the mission of WAGGGS. It is an integrated approach with certain key elements: The Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting method can be used equally effectively with girls of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. In his book "Girl Guiding," Lord Baden-Powell (1918) wrote:

  • "Our method of training is to educate from within rather than to instruct from without; to offer games and activities which, while being attractive to the girl, will seriously educate her morally, mentally and physically."

Many Girl Guides and Girl Scouts end up becoming leading politicians, writers, businesswomen, and leaders. Senator Hillary Clinton (United States Senate), the Rt. Hon Dr. Marjorie Mowlam MP (leading politician in the United Kingdom), Roberta Bondar Ph.D., MD (first Canadian woman astronaut), and Mrs Betty Okwir (leading politician in Uganda) are just a few former and current Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

World Centres

WAGGGS operates four World Centres that offer training programmes, activities and lodging for girls and leaders, as well as members of some other groups and independent travelers. Activities are primarily focused on international friendship and cooperation, personal development and leadership training, enjoyment and service. The Friends of the Four World Centres ( organisation supports and promotes the centres.

The four World Centres are:

External Links

de:World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts fr:Association mondiale des Guides et Éclaireuses pl:WAGGGS


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