Thursday, December 2, 2010

Girl Guides article in The Age

I forgot to mention that I had an opinion piece published in The Age newspaper on the Girl Guides to coincide with the Centenary celebrations. Well, the Centenary that is not really the Australian Centenary if any of the historical material I've seen is anything to go by. That is, 2011 really should be the Centenary, but the stamps are issued, the coin has been struck, and it is being celebrated in Australia this year to coincide with the British anniversary of Guiding.

It was difficult to have an opinion on Girl Guiding. The piece initially began as a historical "did you know" jammed full of interesting oddities, but it was not opinionated enough for an opinion piece. This is why I inserted the slant about how Guiding might be something of a counter to all of the imagined problems with girlhood in a sexualised and consumer-culture oriented world. Oddly enough, the now former Victorian Labor government's plan for all year 9 students to attend a "boot camp" to attain life skills released about a month later seemed to share similar ideas about the potential of the outdoors to impart vital life skills. That said, engagement with a movement with a well-developed programme for young people attended weekly for several years is no doubt more successful in doing so than a potential two-week horror show of short-sheeted beds and damp clothing.

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