In the early 1900s in England, Robert Baden-Powell (known as B-P), a famous army general, developed a scheme for training boys. He tried out his ideas at a camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 and the following year, published them in a book, Scouting for Boys.
The book was an instant success and boys throughout the country enthusiastically took up ‘scouting’. As a result, B-P soon found himself organising the Boy Scout Movement.
At the Scouts’ first rally, at Crystal Palace in 1909, B-P was faced with a small group of girls, representing hundreds of others, who insisted they wanted to be Scouts too. In an age when skirts were ankle length and young ladies never ran, the idea of girls being involved in camping, hiking and similar activities received a mixed response. Angry critics denounced ‘girl scouting’ as a ‘mischievous new development’, a ‘foolish and pernicious movement’, and an ‘idiotic sport’. However, despite the criticism, the girls soon won. In 1910, B-P formed the Girl Guides and asked his sister Agnes to oversee the new organisation.
Established in 1910, Girl Guiding is now one of the largest all-female organisations in the world.
More Information about WAGGGS
Find out more information about the history of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
More Information about Girl Guides Victoria
Learn more about the History of Guiding in Victoria in this downloadable document created to celebrate our 100 year anniversary.
If you’d like more information, Girl Guides Victoria maintains Guiding Stories, an online archive detailing the history of Guiding in Victoria. The website is a work in progress.
The online archive is designed to make our history accessible to more people across Victoria and the world. In addition to this, we keep a physical archive of publications, photos and memorabilia at our office in Docklands.
We are most grateful to past and present members who have donated items to the archives, which add to our historical collection including old uniforms, badges, honour boards, flags, photographs and memorabilia.
Girl Guides Victoria is not accepting donated items at this point, but if you have something you think is of unique historical interest and you don’t see it on Guiding Stories, then please contact our archives administrator.
Researchers interested in the history of Guiding in Victoria can contact our archives administrator.