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Scouting for Girls

The Movement begins

"Partners and comrades, rather than dolls..."

The first girl guides gatecrashing the boys' event at Crystal Palace The records of the first Poole Girl Guides (Lady Baden-Powell's Own) 1913

When Lord Baden-Powell was asked who started the Girl Guides his reply was:

“They started themselves when they first attended the Crystal Palace Rally 1909.”

A group of intrepid young women, wanting to be included, had crashed a big Boy Scout rally at Crystal Palace in 1909 dressed in full Scout uniform (see next story). 

Baden-Powell supported the idea of scouting girls, stating that “Girls must be partners and comrades rather than dolls”. He persuaded his sister Agnes to organise the “Girl Guides” movement and in 1912 she published the Handbook for Girl Guides, taking much of the material from Scouting for Boys. In 1918 Baden-Powell’s wife Olave became Chief Guide of England, and World Chief Guide in 1930.

Dorset’s first company of Girl Guides was formed in Poole in 1913.

By 1922 the number of Girl Guides in Britain exceeded the number of Boy Scouts, and has done so ever since. Worldwide there are now some ten million members of the Guiding Movement.

Images copyright of The Guide Association

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