There are lots of different badges you can earn as a reward for completing the challenges in the Girl Recognition System.
You can choose to work towards any combination of:
- Explore a Challenge
- Create a Challenge
- Achieve a Challenge
- Discover a Chalenge
Some awards allow you to set your own personal challenges. Others require you to reach a certain skill level and can be cross-credited to external qualifications e.g. Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, St John First Aid or Royal Life Saving Society. Most challenges can be done by yourself or with your Patrol or Unit.
Get yourself a copy of the Girl Guides Australia publication Look Wide from your State Guide Retail Outlet and start planning.
Explore a Challenge
Explore these challenges at any time and then re-explore them if you wish. There are 10 topic areas to choose from:
- Our World
- Guiding World
- Life Skills
- Be Prepared
- Health and Fitness
- Science and Technology
- Faith Awareness
Follow your interests, choose four different challenges in one of the ten topic areas listed above or create your own. Try them on your own, or as a Patrol or interest group. Get Exploring!
Create a Challenge
- Animal Tracks
- Design Your Own
- Open Book
- Outer Space
- The Arts
There are 30 badges to choose from, plus a blank for you to create your own. Use the Australian Guide Program process – discover, decide, plan to create your own challenges and then do and check to complete and earn your badge.
You will find words around each badge in Look Wide publication to help stimulate your ideas. Use your imagination, you may choose one big challenge or a series of small ones either on your own or with your Patrol or Unit.
Create a different set of challenges and earn another reward. Get creative!
Achieve a Challenge
These challenges are designed to recognise the skills and abilities of the individual. Completing each challenge will show that you have reached a set level of skill in your chosen area.
Achieve a Challenge recognises skills in thirteen areas:
- Life Skills
- The Arts
- World Guiding
There are three different levels of ability:
- Trefoil 1 indicates a beginning skill
- Trefoil 2 shows an intermediate skill
- Trefoil 3 recognises advanced skill development
- Try them on your own, or as a Patrol or interest group
Discover a Challenge
There are ten levels of this challenge with a minimum age for each level. Each level has four sections: Physical, People, Practical and Self and you are required to complete ten challenges to complete the badge. Each level is named after an Australian gemstone. These badges include many of the traditional guiding skills all guides should know. The syllabus for each of these badges can be found in the age appropriate Guide Handbook.
Discover a Challenge Badge Examples:
- Sapphire Discover a Challenge
- Jade Discover a Challenge
- Black Opal Discover a Challenge
Why were they developed?
The Discover-a-Challenge badges are a series of 10 skills based badges centred on the four elements of the AGP – Physical, Practical, People and Self and developed directly in line with the developmental milestones. They provide an opportunity for Guides to progressively challenge themselves and promote what are often thought to be the “traditional” skills of Guiding.
The badges have been named after Australian gemstones: Turquoise, Topaz, Amethyst, Garnet, Agate, Zircon, Jade, Sapphire, Diamond and Black Opal. There are minimum ages to start each level, but Guides don’t need to start at the first level (Turquoise).
In order to help Leaders understand the progression element through the skills here is a link Discover a Challenge to the original planning document that shows the skill development across all the badges. This document is not suitable for displaying however may assist with planning.
Discover a Challenge badges are worn on the sash, next to the Action Guide (Only one to be worn – the highest level achieved).
Where to find them
The syllabus for the badges can be found at the back of the handbook that corresponds to the age group for the Discover a Challenge badges
e.g. The Agate, Zircon and Jade badges are found in Handbook 3 which is for girls approximately 9-12 as the minimum age for these badges are 9 (Agate), 10 (Zircon) and 11 (Jade).
The minimum age is a guide only and some girls may choose to start at an early badge that suits her particular level.
Recording progress for guides
While each guide should have her only handbook to record her progress on the badges, it is difficult for Leaders to always know what girls have achieved what parts of the badge.
Around Australia Leaders have developed a range of recording tools and there are links to them below. If you would like to add to our range please send your recording tool to email@example.com
Programming using them
There have been concerns about how to program unit meetings using these badges when so many girls are working on different badges. There are a range of possibilities:
· Split girls into their age groups and ask parent helpers to come in and work with each group on 2-3 activities so they can be signed off
· Using the full chart consider choosing 1 skill area e.g. First Aid and teaching the unit the range of skills required for all girls to be able to sign off that part of her badge e.g for a unit of girls 7-11, the younger girls can apply a sling and show how to treat a burn on the older girls, who in turn can apply a pressure bandage on the younger girls. Or develop a first aid scenario that requires a range of first aid skills so that all girls are learning a variety of skills.
Do you have other ways of programming using these badges? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share the ideas
At times you may require the skills, knowledge or expertise of an external assessor for assessing challenge work. This includes:
- Queen’s Guide Award (including Focus and interest assessments if needed);
- BP Award;
- Junior BP Award;
- Endeavours; and
- all ‘Look Wide’ and ‘Look Wider Still’ challenges.
Guides can use the External Assessment Protocol for Guides to help them understand what is required of them when using an external assessor.
Leaders can use the External Assessment Protocol for Leaders to assist Guides in completing their challenges when external assessment is required.