All you need to know about interest badges
Our new interest badges are packed with fun and inspiration to let girls lead the way
Girls explore their interests and discover new ones too
We’ve launched a whole new range of interest badges for girls to explore as part of our new programme. From Blogging to Dancing, the new badges are based on what girls tell us they’d like to do. They’re designed to build their independence too, as girls choose which badges they do and how and when they do them.
Completing interest badges has always been a much-loved part of guiding. The new additions bring our offer right up to date (though we’ve kept some old favourites too). They focus on fun. And are designed to open girls’ eyes to activities they might not have tried before, or allow them to dig deeper into the things they love.
How do girls complete interest badges?
Girls complete interest badges outside of the unit
At home, on holiday, anywhere they like. This means they can choose whichever interest badges they like without having to go with the group consensus. It gives them the space to develop their independence and self-confidence while having fun and trying something new.
Girls choose when they do them
Many can be done in a few hours or over a weekend. They’re as time-intensive as a girl chooses to make them. They don’t have to be done all at once. Instead girls can plan them around their other commitments.
Pippi told me that the challenge helped her prove to herself that she could do things, and she felt proud – Parent of Pippi, who tested a new Rainbow badge
Girls decide how they complete challenges
Each interest badge consists of three challenges, but we don’t tell girls exactly what to do. Instead they choose how they tackle each challenge and each girl will do something unique. There’s no 'right' way to do it and this encourages girls to be creative and challenge themselves.
Girls share what they've done with their leader
When they have done the challenges girls will share what they've achieved with their leader. And once she agrees that the badge is complete she will sign her badge book and present her with the badge.
Interest badges by section
Rainbows – 12 badges, 2 per theme
For the first time Rainbows have the chance to complete interest badges. While they may need a little support from an adult, the badges have been designed so they won’t need too much. It’s a great chance for parents to see just how much fun guiding is.
Brownies – 18 badges, 3 per theme
Brownies have lots of new badges to choose from. They’re just right for their age group and there are plenty of fresh topics to spark their interest, like the Aviation badge in partnership with EasyJet.
Guides – 24 badges, 4 per theme
Great activity: up to date, just what my daughter and her pals love doing - Lynne, parent of a Guide who tested one of our new badges.
Rangers – 18 badges, 3 per theme
Rangers interest badges will offer a fun taste of topics ranging from the serious to the silly. Flexibility is key here to fit around Rangers’ busy lives and offer an alternative to the pressure of school. Why not give the Digital design badge, supported by Google, a try?
How you helped create the new interest badges
We asked for your badge ideas
We made a call out for new badge ideas through our #BadgeGoals campaign and have turned some of your brilliant ideas into new badges. The campaign was also a way to test existing ideas and it was great to hear we were on the right track.
You put badges to the test
Every single badge has been tested by girls in guiding. Over 1,000 girls – and parents – took part in focus groups, unit testing and in consultations at camps and events like Wellies and Wristbands.
Girls were asked to rate how much they enjoyed the badge. Any badge that didn’t pass the enjoyment test was redeveloped and retested.
Getting the design right
Our members also helped us design the badges. We weren’t sure if badges should only feature an illustration. But the feedback was clear - girls wanted the badge name to help them remember what the badge was when looking back over their guiding experience.
Every single badge has been checked to make sure that the writing is legible, the colours and illustrations look right, and when it comes to Brownies that they fit on the sash!
Why interest badges are exciting
They’re flexible, innovative and focus on fun. They’re an improved version of what Girlguiding is famous for. Together with unit meeting activities and skills builder badges – which they fit alongside perfectly – interest badges offer girls a varied and challenging guiding experience.
They also give girls the chance to personalise their experience and develop their independence and self-confidence. They introduce them to a range of activities they may never have considered. Who knows, a badge could introduce a girl to an interest she treasures for the rest of her life.