The Guide All Round Cord

The All Round Cord was a Guide Award from 1910 until 1993. From 1910 to 1979, it was an intermediate award, earned after First Class, but ranking lower than the Silver Fish, Gold Cord and Canada Cord. Between 1979 and 1993, the All Round Cord was the highest award a Guide could earn. The All Round Cord was discontinued in 1993.

AllAroundCordFirstGirl33580RTXW_fThe first Guiding Publication, The Scheme for Girl Guides, also known as “Pamphlets A and B”, was published in November 1909 by Robert and Agnes Baden-Powell. This was our first introduction to the All Round Cord:

“All Round” shoulder cord for passing any seven of above.

‘Above’ referred to the list of 22 Efficiency Badges that Guides could earn: Ambulance, Naturalist, Hospital Nurse, Cook, Cyclist, Matron, Nurse, Musician, Farmer, Gymnast, Electrician, Needle Woman, Clerk, Florist, Artist, Laundress, Telegraphist, Swimmer, Interpreter, Pioneer, Signaller, and Sailor.

The first handbook How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire, published in 1912, expanded the requirements slightly to:

“All-Round-Shoulder-Cords” can be worn by a “First-class Guide” for passing any seven of the above tests, and show a “Union Jack” made by herself.

Efficiency Badges had become Proficiency Badges, and the list now included 26 Badges: Artist, Boatswain, Clerk, Cook, Cyclist, Child Nurse, Dairymaid, Electrician, Florist, Fire Brigade, Flyer, Gymnast, Horsemanship, Interpreter, Laundress, Matron, Musician, Needlewoman, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Rifle Shot, Sick Nurse, Signaller, Swimmer, and Telegraphist.

1924calendarAt this time, the All Round Cord was a stepping stone to the Order of the Silver Fish, but not a pre-requisite.

According to Rules, Policy & Organization for 1921 and 1927, the requirements had only changed slightly:

[All Round Cords] Can be worn by any Guide having passed the First Class and any other seven tests, in addition to those included in First Class.

There are now many more Proficiency Badges to choose from, 53 in 1921, rising to 60 in 1927. But Ambulance or Sick Nurse, Child Nurse, Cook and Needlewoman could not be counted as they were required for the First Class Badge. In 1927 a note has been added that holders of the Green First Class Badge do not qualify for the All Round Cord. The Green First Class was considered a lower grade of First Class Badge, earned by those who could not learn to swim due to lack of facilities.

Although still not a pre-requisite, the All Round Cord would be earned by Guides as they worked towards the Gold Cord.

The first major change in requirements for the All Round Cord occurs in 1931 (Rules, Policy & Organization), when it became necessary for holders to earn an outdoor-based 1920's Tavistock Girl Guide Patrol Leader PostcardProficiency Badge:

[All Round Cords] Can be worn by any Guide having passed her First Class and any other seven tests (to include one of the following: Astronomer, Bird Lover, Boatswain, Swimmer, Gardener, Geologist, Hiker, Land Worker, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Sportswoman, Surveyor, Campcraft, Bee-farmer, or an equivalent senior test), in addition to those included in the First Class.

This is slightly modified by 1934 (Rules, Policy & Organization) to:

All Round Cords can be worn by any Guide having passed her First Class and any other seven tests (one of which must be an outdoor badge), in addition to those included in the First Class.

The total Proficiency Badges had risen to 64 in 1931, dropping to 62 in 1934 and 1935. Ambulance or Sick Nurse, Child Nurse, Cook and Needlewoman still could not be counted as they were required for the First Class Badge, nor do holders of the Green First Class Badge qualify for the All Round Cord.

Another change occurs in 1939 (Policy, Organization and Rules), adding a second required badge in response to changes to the First Class Badge:

All Round Cords can be worn by any Guide having passed her First Class and any other seven tests (one of which must be the Ambulance, Sick Nurse or Emergency Helper badge, and one an outdoor badge), in addition to those included in the First Class.

There were 70 Proficiency Badges to choose from. The First Class Badge now required only the Child Nurse, Cook and Needlewoman Badges, but the Green First Class Badge still does not qualify a Guide for the All Round Cord.

By 1943 (Policy, Organization and Rules), the requirements had been significantly changed, and the All Round Cord was now a pre-requisite for the Gold Cord.

The candidate must be a First Class Guide and hold:

  • Ambulance or Sick Nurse or Emergency Helper
  • Swimmer or Signaller
  • Two other badges, chosen by herself, or which one at least must be one of the following outdoor badges: Birdlover, Boatswain, Farmworker, Flower Lover, Gardener, Hiker, Horsewoman, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer, Star Lover, Woodman.

The All Round Cord is discontinued c.1947 and does not appear in Policy, Organization and Rules for 1948, 1950, 1953, or 1956. The All Round Cord All-Round Cordsis reintroduced in 1957 (The Canadian Guider, September 1957), with a new set of requirements:

The candidate must be a First Class Guide and hold the Little House Emblem.

She must hold the following badges:

  1. First Aid, or Home Nurse, or Emergency Helper.
  2. Swimmer or Signaller, or Pioneer, or Fire Brigade.
  3. One of the following outdoor badges: Astronomer, Boatswain, Bird-watcher, Gardener, Hiker, Horsewoman, Land-girl, Naturalist, Pathfinder, Pioneer (unless already used in #2).
  4. One of the following handicrafts badges: Basket-weaver, Carpenter, Dairymaid, Hadywoman, Knitter, Laceworker, Leatherworker, Photographer, Poultry-farmer, Rabbit-keeper, Spinner, Stitchery, Weaver.
  5. One other badge of her own choice.

The All Round Cord was now an independent award that was not a pre-requisite for the Gold Cord, nor would it necessarily be earned by a Guide working towards that award.

Slight changes occurred over the next few years:

  • By 1962, Camper had been added to the list of badges in Clause 3.
  • In 1962, Laceworker had been eliminated and Toymaker added to the list of badges in Clause 4.
  • No changes were made in 1964 or 1965

The requirements were revised in 1966 (Policy, Organization and Rules):

The candidate must be a First Class Guide and hold the following badges:

  1. Either Little House Emblem or Woodlore Emblem, and one badge from the other emblem.
  2. First Aid, and one of the following: Emergency Helper, Fire Brigade, Rescuer or Home Nurse.
  3. Pioneer.
  4. One badge from the Craft Emblem.
  5. Either Citizen or World Trefoil badge.
  6. One badge of her own choice.

allaroundcordcanadaNo changes are made to the requirements until 1971 (Policy, Organization and Rules), when the First and Second Class Badges were replaced by the Challenge Emblem and Badge:

To qualify:

  1. Hold the Challenge Emblem.
  2. Hold the Little House Emblem and one badge from the Woodlore Emblem OR Hold the Woodlore Emblem and one badge from the Little House Emblem.
  3. Hold one of the following badges:  Backyard Camper, Junior Camper or Outdoor Adventure and four other badges.
  4. Learn about three organizations or agencies which help others.

At this time, the All Round Cord became a requirement for the Canada Cord. No further changes were made until 1979, when Pathfinders were introduced, and the All Round Cord became the highest award for Guides.

The new requirements were set out in The Bridge, a transitional booklet used during the implementing of the new age groupings between 1979 and 1981.

All Round Cord:

  1. Hold the Adventure and Voyageur Challenges.
  2. Hold the History or World Trefoil Badge.
  3. Hold one of the following badges: Explorer, Hiker, Neighbourhood, Outdoor Adventure.
  4. Hold one of the following badges: Homemaker, Cook, Seamstress, Handywoman.
  5. Hold one of the following badges: Junior Camper, Camp Skills.
  6. Hold one of the following badges: Fire Safety, First Aid – Stage II, Home Nurse, Rescuer.
  7. Hold the Citizen Badge.
  8. Hold the Health or Keep-Fit Badge.
  9. Hold three other badges of your choice.
  10. Learn about three organizations or agencies which help others. Tell how you could work with, or contribute to, the work of one of these organizations.
  11. Choose and carry out a project rendering service to others. This project should be a challenge to you and must be approved and evaluated by your Company and the person(s) for whom the service is done.
  12. Investigate Pathfinders. If possible, participate in a joint activity.
  13. Undertake a project to show what the Promise and Law mean to you. Present this to your Company, or any small group of Guides. (This could take the form of artwork, poem, story, song, speech, drama, photography, or any other form you may choose.)

Minor changes would be made to the All Round Cord over the next few years:

  • In 1982 (The Guide Program), Backyard Camper is added to the options for Clause 5; Clause 6 is revised to be Fire Safety, First Aid or Rescuer
  • No changes were made in 1983 or 1985 (The Guide Program).

All Round Cords c1993By 1990 (The Guide Program), the requirements were still similar, but had been revised down to 10 Clauses:

  1. I hold the complete Adventure Challenge and Voyageur Challenge.
  2. I hold one of the following badges: History, World Trefoil, or World Neighbour Badge.
  3. I hold the Camp Badge and four of the following: Astronomer,  Bird Watcher, Conservationist, Ecologist, Forestry, Explorer, Hiker, Naturalist, Outdoor Adventure, Stalker, Tracker, Wildflower.
  4. I hold one of the following badges: Cook, Handywoman, Homemaker, Seamstress.
  5. I hold one of the following badges: Fire Safety, First Aid, Rescuer.
  6. I hold the Citizen and Law Awareness Badges.
  7. I hold one of the following badges: Athlete, Health, or Keep-Fit.
  8. I have learned about three organizations or agencies which help others. I have told how I could work with or contribute to the work of one of these.
  9. I have chosen and carried out a project in which I gave service to others. This project was a challenge to me and was approved and evaluated by my Company and the person(s) to whom I gave the service.
  10. I have done a project which shows what the Promise and Law mean to me. I have presented this to my Company or a small group of Guides. The form of the presentation was: artwork, song, photography, poem, speech, story, drama, other.

The All Round Cord was discontinued with the introduction of the new Guide Program: For Fun & Challenge in September 1992. The 1992-1993 Guiding Year was one of transition, and the final group of Guides to earn the All Round Cord did so in June 1993.


  • Baden-Powell, Robert. Girl Guiding (Girl Guides Association, September 1921 – 6th Edition)
  • Baden-Powell, Robert & Agnes. How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire (Girl Guides Association, 1912)
  • Baden-Powell, Robert & Agnes. The Scheme for Girl Guides (Girl Guides Association, November 1909)
  • Guiding For You (Girl Guides of Canada, 1974, 1975, 1977)
  • Policy, Organization and Rules (Canadian Girl Guides Association/Girl Guides of Canada, 1943, 1948, 1950, 1953, 1956, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973)
  • Policy, Organization & Rules (Girl Guides Association, 1935, 1939)
  • Rules, Policy & Organization (Girl Guides Association, 1921, 1927, 1931, 1934)
  • The Bridge (Girl Guides of Canada, July 1979)
  • The Guide Program (Girl Guides of Canada, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1990)
  • The Canadian Guider, 1956-1957



Girl Guide Blazers & Blazer Badges (UK)

This post was inspired by a post on Facebook sharing an old Blazer Badge for sale on eBay.

A decision was made by the Girl Guide Association in 1926 that “the question of including blazers as part of the official uniform of Guides or Guiders was considered. It was decided that this was an unnecessary additional expense, and therefore not agreed to.” (The Girl Guide Gazette (May 1926))

Blazers were recommended as an alternative, with the camp overall, to the full uniform (tunic and skirt) for Guiders in Camp by 1932, and were an expected part of the Sea Ranger No. 2 Uniform (Summer) by 1939.

A blazer for Guiders makes an appearance in the 1930 Price Lists. It is described as as Navy Melton Cloth, sizes 36in or 38in, and costing 25s. The same blazer was offered in 1931, but a new size –  34in – was added. In 1932, a new style, described as Navy Flannel (all wool) was offered, with the sizes and price remaining the same. The blazer was discontinued in 1937.

A blazer for Guides and Rangers was offered for the first time in 1930. The Price List for

Guide, 1933 Catalogue

that year describes it as Navy Melton Cloth, sizes 32in, 34in, and 36in, and sold for 12s. The price increased in 1934 to 12/6. A new size, 38in, was added in 1936. The price increased again in 1937 to 13s. The last mention of this blazer is in Price Lists for 1939.

Guide Wear by Bukta offered two Blazers for Guides in 1931. The first, called Buxcel, was of Navy Melton, unlined, in sizes 32in and 34in, at a cost of 11/6. The second, called Buxwin, was of Navy Soft Twill Melton, lined sleeves, in sizes 32in and 34in, at a cost of 18/9.

Blazer Badges were offered as Registered Goods on the Price Lists beginning in 1929 for Rangers, Sea Rangers and Guides, all costing 8d. It is possible that these badges were available earlier, as a decision was made in May 1929 that “blue blazer badges be instituted for Sea Rangers.” An Old Guide Badge was added in 1937. The last mention of blazer badges is in Price Lists for 1939.

Sea Rangers
Sea Rangers
Old Guides?

Collecting Girl Guide Memorabilia – Identifying GSUSA Items

Having just spent a happy afternoon sorting Girl Scout badges and insignia, I thought I would share with you two excellent sources for identifying just what you have in your collection!

Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum


The Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum at is my favourite go-to resource for identifying Girl Scout Badges. This website has sections devoted to every Girl Scout Badge, Try-It and IP issued since 1912, PLUS sections on Pins, Girl Scout Camps, Collectibles, Cookies, Clothing, Gardening, Art and Media, Jewelry, Food Products, Books/Magazines, Sewing, Music, Camp Equipment, and so much more!

If you are interested in GSUSA memorabilia or Girl Scout history in general, I highly recommend a visit to this website where you can see images of a huge assortment of Girl Scout items. This website will appeal to collectors of all ages.

Girl Scout Collector’s Guide


The Girl Scout Collector’s Guide by Mary Degenhardt and Judith Kirsch (Texas Tech University Press, 2005) is the definitive Guide to Girl Scout collecting. This book is appropriately subtitled “A History of Uniforms, Insignia, Publications, and Memorabilia”. If it was produced between 1912 and 2003, it’s in here.  A resource for adults, it is interesting to read, exploring the history of Girl Scouting through tangible items.

The Girl Scout Collector’s Guide is available on Amazon for $39.95.

Guides Badges – from 1910 to 2015

The earliest Guides worked on 21 efficiency badges outlined in Baden-Powell’s Pamphlet’s A & B. With the publication of the first official handbook for Guides, a Guide in 1912 had a choice of 27 different proficiency badges, as outlined in How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire. Today, Guides can choose from 84 interest badges in 8 different program areas, with the requirements found in their program book, Guides on the Go.

While times have changed, the badges of 103 years ago and today are more closely related then one might think. Guiding has always worked hard to ensure that our badges and programs are relevant and age-appropriate. When reading the badge requirements below, please remember that Guides in 1912 were aged 12-18, and Officers (Guiders) also earned these badges!

Ambulance (First Aid in 1909)

Show position of seam arteries, principal bones and organs, but not by their Latin names. Diagnose fractures. Show how to stop bleeding from arteries and veins. Improvise splints and padding of splints. Bind fractured limb (selected) and head, and tie reef knots. Improvise stretcher. Use triangular bandage. How to treat persons in two of following accidents: choking, burns, poison, grit in the eye, concussion, sprains, bruises. Simple laws of sanitation, health, ventilation. How to treat fits. Improvise poultices (i.e., bread, bran, oatmeal, onions). Guides holding St John’s or Red Cross Ambulance certificate can wear first-aid badge for Girl Guides without trying for above test.

Today’s Guides learn about the role and limitations of a first aider, how to get help in an emergency, checking ABCs, keeping a patient comfortable, dangers of infection, contents of first aid kits, rescue breathing, and how to treat a nosebleed as part of their First Aid Badge; and basic first aid, including treatment for choking, bleeding, nosebleeds, bruises, simple burns, sunburn, frostbite, and sprains as part of the Learn About Safety section of the program.



Draw or paint in oils or water colours from nature; or model in clay; or carve in wood; or repousse metal.

 Today’s Guides create art based on a dream, mold an object our of clay, paper mache, soap, wax, plaster, wood, etc., experiment with colour, create prints, design packaging, decorate a mural, set up an art gallery, and learn about a famous artist as part of their Art Production Badge.They can explore woodcarving and creating 3-D art as part of the Creative Crafts Badge.

Boatswain (Sailor in 1909)

Fling a coil of rope on to a post. Be able to tie 8 knots, blindfolded, and bring a Turk’s-head made. Row a boat single-handed and with others, or punt with a pole, or scull it over the stern. Steer a boat rowed by others. Bring the boat properly alongside and make it fast. Swim 50 yards. State direction by stars or sun. Box the compass. Know various flags, as selected.

Today’s Guides can learn about small watercraft and safe boating practices as part of the Boat Safety Badge; canoeing techniques and safety as part of the Canoe Safety Badge; and how to operate a sailboat as part of the Sailing Badge.

Child Nurse (Nurse in 1909)

PRACTICAL: Must have had charge of children by herself, on signed statement; OR should understand care of children, elementary instruction, know three kindergarten games, and describe treatment of simple ailments. Able to make poultices and do patching and darning. Know how to test bath heat and use of thermometer

Guides now make a babysitter’s tip booklet, create a safety card game, learn about age characteristics, choose suitable toys for children under 3, put together an activity box, read or write stories, observe a younger child and make a flyer for a babysitting business to earn their Child Care Badge.


Show good handwriting and hand-printing, and punctuation. Ability to use typewriting matchine or write in shorthand from dictation at twenty words a minute as minimum. Ability to write a letter from memory on the subject given verbally five minutes previously. Knowledge of simple bookkeeping and arithmetic.

Today a Guide learns how to write and place an advertisement, write and type a business letter, take a telephone message, send email, use an online directory, prepare and distribute a flyer, write a short news story, design a newsletter, a code system (i.e. semaphore, Braille, signal flags, phonetic alphabet, international road signs, distress signals, referees signals), and makes a collage about communication to earn her Business Communications Badge.


Must know how to wash up, wait at table, light a fire, carve properly, lay a table for four, and hand plates and dishes correctly to people at table. Make a cook-place with a few bricks or logs, and bring certificate of ability to cook the following dishes, out or indoors: Irish stew, vegetables, omelet, rice pudding, or any dish which the examiner considers equivalent; pluck a bird and truss it, or skin and clean a rabbit; make tea, coffee, or cocoa; mix dough and bake bread in oven, or damper or twist and brown meat at a camp fire; and state approximate cost of each dish.

Modern Guides plan menus for three days, prepare a shopping list for, prepare and clean up after a two-course meal (including a hot main dish), cook a breakfast dish and a vegetarian meal, create a healthy fast food restaurant, learn about different diets, cook a traditional dish from another country, and make a poster, cards or skit about kitchen accidents and food hygiene to earn their Kitchen Creations Badge.


A Guide must sign a certificate that she owns a bicycle in good working order, which she is willing to use in the King’s service if called upon at any time in case of emergency. She must be able to ride her bicycle satisfactorily and repair punctures, etc. She must be able to read a map and repeat correctly a verbal message an hour after receiving it. On ceasing to own a bicycle the Guide must hand back her badge

A Guide in 2015 needs to have use of a properly equipped bicycle, know the value and laws around helmets, demonstrate safe riding, know road and weather hazards, explain traffic signs and rules, show how to maintain their bicycle, plan a bicycle trip and map out a route, find out about community events promoting bicycle safety and discover careers associated with cycling to earn their Cycling Badge.


The Guide must have a practical knowledge of dairy work; how to make butter and cheese, and be able to milk a cow. State how to feed, kill and truss poultry, or have a knowledge of beekeeping and extracting honey

Today’s Guides help with land work, look after a farm animal, or visit a farm and learn about seasonal activities, identify different breeds of animals, identify crops, describe how farm products are marketed, know the role of machinery, know about different types of farming, create a song or story about farm life, and learn about the roles women have played in farming to earn their Farming Badge.


Simple battery, fusing, connection of bells and telephones. Understand rescue and resuscitation. Non-conducting substances and insulation

Today a Guide learns about different types of engineering, simple machines, and engineering tools (such as circuits, batteries, voltmeters), does hands-on activities (about magnetism, chemical reactions, electricity, synthetic materials, etc.), builds a bridge or other object showing engineering principles, does a circle check of a vehicle, and builds a structure that will hold a weighted cup to earn the Engineering Badge.

Fire Brigade

Knowledge of how to give the alarm of fire; use of extinguishers; joining up hose; use of shutes; improvising ropes; how to hold jumping mats; bucket-passing, full and empty; dragging insensible person (may be shown with any load).

Guides of today understand the elements, causes, types and dangers of fire, learn about types of extinguishers and putting out fires, know what to do to prevent fires, if a fire starts, if clothing catches on fire, and how to get help, explain the importance of fire escape plans and smoke detectors, learn how to become a firefighter, know how to sound an alarm and the steps to take to help the authorities, and be aware of the dangers of panic and how to prevent it in order to earn their Fire Safety Badge.


A Guide must know the names of a dozen plants pointed out. Be able to dig a trench not less than 12 feet long. Understand what is meant by pruning, grafting, and manuring. Plant and grow successfully six kinds of vegetables or flowers from seeds or cuttings. Understand flower-growing and making up bouquets.

To earn their Gardening Badge, Guides now plant and cultivate a garden, window box or planter for a seasons, growing at least five kinds of flowers or vegetables, describe the soil they are using and how it can be improved, know how to protect plants, show the flowers or vegetables they have grown, learn about plant-related careers, make a landscape design of a garden, hold a unit plant show, and make stepping stones or other decorative structure for a garden.


Pass tests in knowledge of air currents, weather lore. Must have made an aeroplane to fly 25 yards (or have a certificate for driving an aeroplane), and some knowledge of engines.

Guides now describe different types of aircraft, identify parts of an aircraft, learn about separation of aircraft, windsocks, runway numbers, and why airplanes land into the wind, visit an airport, aerospace museum or planetarium, build paper airplanes, model gliders and a kit, and host a kite-flying event to earn their Aeronautics Badge.


To perform selected exercises in Ju-jitsu and Swedish and double tensing; jump at least 3 feet high and 3 feet long, or be able to vault a bar; climb an upright pole or rope, 15 feet (unless any of above objected to by doctor); and show ability to instruct.

Today, the Fitness Fun Badge asks girls to add more fitness to their daily routine, log their fitness activities for three weeks, create a warm-up routine, learn about proper stretching, take part in vigorous activity, do strengthening exercises, try a new fitness activity and set fitness goals. To earn the Sport Badge girls take part in a sport for a season, know the rules and signals, discuss fair play, competition and why they like the sport, learn about safety and safety equipment, learn about female athletes, look at the changing roles of women in sport, and write a team cheer.


A Guide must be able to ride and drive a horse, understand harness, and putting on saddle, how to tether and hobble, and when to give food and drink. State lighting-up time.

A Guide now helps to water, feed, groom, saddle and ride a horse OR help to water, feed, groom, harness, yoke and drive a horse-drawn sleigh, understands feeding and care of horses, keeps stables and tack clean and tidy, knows the signs of poor condition, practices tact and common sense in handling, know the safety regulations for riding and what to do to control the horse, and takes part in a ride or visit a horseshow to earn their Horse Power Badge.


A Guide must be able to carry on a simple conversation, write a simple letter on a subject given by examiner, read and translate a passage from a book or newspaper, in Esperanto or any other language that is not that of her own country.

To earn their Interpreting Badge, Guides now identify languages spoken in different countries or cultures, learn phrases in a language other than their own, learn to sign the alphabet and basic words, perform a skit or order a meal, translate song lyrics, write a poem, play a game and put on a humorous skit – all in a language other than their own.


Satisfy examiners with a blouse and a stiff shirt front washed, starched, and ironed by herself.

As part of the Life Skills Badge, Guides learn about garment care label symbols and help with the family laundry.


PRACTICAL: To have kept house and done cooking, written down accounts by herself satisfactorily, on parents’ statement during a week; OR THEORETICAL: Storekeeping: State what articles (the least) should be in readiness for cleaning, and cooking, and food. LINEN: Say how much linen is required for so many patients. State what articles. ACCOUNTS: Describe method of bookkeeping. Show knowledge of rule of three arithmetic. CLEANING: Method of cleaning pans, brasses, and steel; polished furniture or boards.

Guides today learn about the care and use of appliances, hand tools, and electric tools, help with weekly chores, garbage and recycling separation, and laundry, learn how to write a cheque and fill out deposit and withdrawl slips, and tackle a related activity of their own choice to earn their Life Skills Badge.


A Guide must be able to play a musical instrument correctly. Either to read simple piano music, such as accompaniment at sight OR to play properly any kind of flute, and sing a song.

In the Music Fan Badge, Guides make an instrument and use it to accompany a song and produce a musical evening with their unit. To earn the Singing Badge, Guides sing a song in a round, sing different types of songs, hold a karaoke party, plan a sing-along with an audience, plan a Teen Idol party, lead younger girls in a singalong, learn about the career of a Canadian singer, and put together their own singing group.

Naturalist (Stalking in 1909)

A Guide must have taken a series of twenty photographs or wild animals or birds from life; OR, must make a collection of sixty species of wildflowers, ferns, or grasses, dried and mounted in a book and correctly named. Must track a bicycle or other vehicle over a mile, or track a “hare” with beans or paper. Make coloured drawings of twenty flowers, ferns or grasses, or twelve sketches from life of animals and birds; or be able to name sixty different kinds of animals, insects, reptiles, or birds in a museum or zoological garden, or from unnamed coloured plates, and give particulars of the lives, habits, appearance, and markings of twenty of them.

Today’s Guides learn about plant and animal life in a chosen location, find out about and be able to identify three mammals or birds, invertebrates, and plants, learn more about one living creature, note the seasonal changes in their chosen location, play Kim’s game, learn about cover, camouflage and wind direction, and show how to move quietly through undergrowth and long grass, and solve a tracking story or play a wide game to earn their Naturalist Badge.

Needlewoman (Tailor in 1909)

Guides should, as a rule, make their own skirts and knickers, and hospital clothing for patients. Bring two garments made and cut out entirely by herself; and sew on hooks and eyes and buttons. Make a buttonhole, and bring examples of darning and patching.

As part of the Needlework Skills Badge, Guides learn how to sew on a button, pin and stitch a hem, repair a piece of clothing and use a sewing machine. The Fashion Badge asks girls to find out about past fashion trends and design their own, donate outgrown clothing, use a sewing machine, hold a fashion show, discuss current fashions, plan a replacement wardrobe, and learn about traditional dress around the world. 

Pathfinder (Local Guide in 1909)

Know every lane and bypath and short cut at least one mile round, and five miles general knowledge. Know general direction of the principal towns for twenty-five miles round headquarters’ room, and be able to give strangers guidance. Know how many livery stables, corn merchants, bakers, or butchers within about a mile. Name where to find police, doctors, hospital, telegraph or telephone, or fire station, or turncocks, or blacksmith, as selected. Describe estimate of how many public buildings, schools, halls, etc. are capable of being turned into hospitals. Estimate probable number of patients they would hold, without entering or asking. Bring written history of the place and old buildings, under three hundred words, or make a large scale map of the place.

As part of the Streetwise Badge, Guides draw a map of their local community noting potential hazards and places to get help, and learn how to read a street map and give directions. The Provincial Heritage Badge and Heritage Badge ask girls to visit historic sites, museums or buildings in their community. In the Discover your Community section of the program, Guides create a pamphlet, map, model, collage or poster about their community.


A Guide must satisfy examiners in – Measuring heights of tower, chimney, spire, or tree, width of river or field, by system given. Fell a nine-inch tree to the required direction, or chop firewood neatly. Build small model bridge by herself for crossing river, or else bring a wooden stool, or bracket, or box with lid, of her own making. Build a hut of one kind or another suitable for three occupants; OR make a camp kitchen for thirty people.

Guides now develop their camping skills through the Camp Out, Basic Camper, and Experienced Camper Badges. They learn about using a camp stove, dressing for the weather, using a compass, trail signs, knots and gadgets, and how to put up a tent as part of the Explore the Outdoors and Nature section of the program.

Rifle Shot

Pass tests in judging distances, 300 and 600 yards. Miniature rifle shooting, any position. N.R.A. target, 20 rounds at 15 or 25 yards. 80 out of 100.

While shooting is not found anywhere within the Guide Program, the Northwest Territories offers a challenge, Safety Around Firearms, that girls can earn.

Sick Nurse (Nursing Sister in 1909)

Questions on thermometers, room and clinical. Ventilation, sanitation, warming. Prevention of infection, antiseptics. Show lifting patient in blanket and poles. Show changing helpless patient’s sheets. Show narrow or broad roller bandaging. Show fracture boards. Show improvised bed rest or cradles. Show how to remove clothes in cases of fracture, burning, or fits. Questions on dressing wounds and fomentations. Questions on method of feeding helpless patients, and symptoms to know, and the care of, various chief ailments, such as measles or scarlet fever, bronchitis or small-pox. Show making beef-tea, gruel, or poultices, OR, describe method of dealing with an accident from sewer, gas, electricity, ice breaking, or runaway horses.

Today’s Guides may not learn about nursing or caring for the sick, but they do learn first aid, how to deal with emergencies, and about personal safety through the First Aid, Fire Safety, and Streetwise Badges, and the Learn About Safety section of the program. Guides can also learn about eating a balanced diet, food groups, how to read food labels, the importance of different nutrients, and community programs through the Healthy Eating Badge. Part of the Body Works Badge has Guides learn about the workings of the human body, interview a medical worker, complete a health-related service project, and learn to take their own pulse.


Pass tests in both sending and receiving Semaphore and Morse signalling by flag. Not fewer than twenty-four letters per minute. At least six messages (preferably spelt backwards). (Two points deducted for every letter omitted.) Read and give signals by sound, or make correct smoke and flame signals with a fire. Show method of signalling with the staff.

Guides now learn about different methods of communication through the Business Communications and Interpreting, as well as the Build Skills in Communication section of the program, which explores listening skills, non-verbal communication, good communication style, and communicating through the arts..


Unless certified unfit by doctor – Swim fifty yards in clothes, skirt, and boots. Demonstrate diving, artificial respiration, flinging a life-line, flinging a lifebuoy, saving the drowning.

Today’s Swimming Badge includes learning about water, boating and ice safety, throwing a life line, rescue breathing, performing a standing dive, swimming 150 metres using different strokes, make a standing stride entry into deep water, floating or treading water, and demonstrating the HELP and Huddle positions.


Elementary electricity; able to read and send Morse Code. 

Technology has changed over time and today’s girls use computers as part of their daily lives. The Computer Skills Badge teaches girls about internet safety and rules, uses for computers, careers, parts of a computer, using word processing and other programs, building a webpage and exploring web sites and games.

Girl Guides’ Progressive Stages of Training

For many years the Guiding program was divided into four distinct categories – Character & Intelligence, Skills & Handicrafts, Service, and Health.

Today, the Guiding program is varied and covers such topics as Service, Active Living, Camping and the Outdoors, Community Involvement, Global Awareness, Life Skills, and Personal Development.

A table showing how the program for each branch fit into each of these categories was published in the September 1917 issue of The Girl Guides’ Gazette.

“Girl Guiding”

For the better understanding of our progressive method of training the following table is given in the Officers’ part of the new Handbook “Girl Guiding.”

Girl Guides’ Progressive Stages of Training According to Ages


Character & Intelligence


Skill & Handicraft


Service for Others


Physical Health





Promise and Law

Union Jack and National Anthem

Tie Knots

Elementary Signalling


BADGES for –




Hem and Darn

Make dolls clothes

Light Fire and make tea

BADGES for –




Elementary First Aid

Carry Messages in Head

BADGES for –

First Aider

House Orderly

Local Guide

Care of Nails, Teeth, etc.

Nose breathing

Throwing and Catching

Physical Exercises

BADGES for –



Team Player






10 Guide Laws

Nature Study


Patrol Leading


BADGES for –



Friend to Animals



Cooking in Camp or Home



BADGES for –


Child Nurse







Dealing with Accidents

Local Guide

BADGES for –

Ambulance work

Fire Rescue


Sick Nurse

Running or Jumping


Hygiene both Personal & House

BADGES for –

Child Hygiene





Senior Guides



Company Societies for –



Choral Singing

Charge of Company





Specialise in Advanced Subjects such as –

Arts and Crafts





Outdoor Work

Organised Public Service such as –

Accident Corps

Hospital Maids

Women Police

Medical Almoners

Child Welfare

Hut Service

Creche Workers

Games Team

Patrol Tours





Visitors to Exhibitions, Galleries, etc.