The revamped selection of badges for Brownies and Guides will be introduced from summer 2018
The Girlguiding association is carrying out its biggest ever overhaul on badges to make them more relevant to digital life in the 21st century.
The overhaul could see the introduction of a range of diverse badges for app design, entrepreneurship, and vlogging.
The charity group is asking for girls and women to submit ideas for the new badges on social media using the hashtag #BadgeGoals. So far, 15,000 girls have been involved in putting forward and testing ideas including Explorer, Space and Human Rights badges.
The Girl Guides was founded in 1910 and has previously offered a number of tech-related badges including Air Mechanic in the 1910s, Electrician in the 1930s and a Computer badge in the 1980s.
The new badges will carry on a long tradition of offering science and tech-related patches
The charity group hopes to attract new members from a diverse range of backgrounds with its revamped badges and activities.
The new badges and activities will be developed around six themes, Skills for my Future, Have Adventures, Be Well, Know Myself, Express Myself and Take Action. The overhaul is being supported by Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, who has already suggested a new Resilience badge.
Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, who is supporting the badge overhaul, along with GirlGuiding member Cece
“I’m incredibly honoured to be awarded the ‘I Give Girls a Voice’ badge as Girlguiding inspires and empowers so many girls and young women,” said Tweddle.
“My #BadgeGoal is a Resilience badge, to give girls the chance to build their mental well-being and learn how to cope with the stresses of everyday life. I know from experience resilience is such a valuable skill and it has helped me in different situations, from handling the pressures of competing in gymnastics to dealing with the demands of daily life.
“A Resilience Badge would help to tackle the stigma around mental health from a young age by empowering girls to talk confidently about these issues and equipping them with the skills they need to be resilient throughout their lives.”
Additional badge suggestions submitted so far include DIY, Voting, Grow Your Own and Archaeology. The chosen badges will be introduced gradually from summer 2018.
The update has been praised by those promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects for girls and young women.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea that the Girl Guides are modernising their programme to ensure the skills young women learn today will help them in their future careers and lives,” said Ellie Bradley, COO of UK domain name registry Nominet.
“As our world becomes increasingly digitised, IT skills will be an essential part of future jobs whatever route they choose to take. However, recent research has shown that parents could be unintentionally steering girls away from jobs in tech.
“The Girl Guides can play a really important role in inspiring girls to take part in more digital activities such as app design, IT coding and vlogging as part of this refresh”.
Just last year, a video game badge was introduced for Girl Scouts in the U.S to give them a taster of the gaming industry.
A Girl Scout Research Institute study showed that 73 per cent of girls are interested in STEM-related fields, but without keeping them engaged and showing them future opportunities, girls are more likely to choose other subjects when they get to college.