And I have to say that young women today sound refreshingly sensible. When I was a brownie and guide I remember gaining badges for being a Homemaker, for Stargazing and, if I’m not mistaken, in Knots. Today’s members have set out their priorities, and they’re a lot more clear headed. They want to learn skills to help them be independent, stay safe, and help them to be assertive.
16 to 25 year olds (senior guides) want to learn about money management, public speaking, writing a CV and safe sex. Guides aged 10 to 15 want to learn about healthy eating, standing up to boys, using computer software and changing a light bulb.
Even the 7 to 10 year olds show a refreshing amount of sense – they want to learn how to stay safe when crossing the road as well as when surfing the net, learn basic first aid and be able to count to ten in another language.
You’ll have guessed even before I had to tell you that the Daily Mail headline on the story was ‘Today’s Guides want a badge in safe sex’ (expect a puffed up outraged comment piece – probably from Melanie Phillips – in tomorrow’s edition), but I reckon if the Guiding movement can respond to this constructively it can play a brilliant part in raising a generation of safe, happy and confident young women. If I had daughters I’d be sending them along quick smart.