One of the things I look forward to each week here in Cape Town is Girl Scout Meetings. I love being at girl scouts in South Africa. Back in the States I was working on my bronze award as a Junior Girl Scout and I wanted to finish on our trip around the world, so luckily there are Girl Scouts in South Africa (called Girl Guides). After a bit of research, we met them at an annual meeting that they call Guide Sunday, where they talked about different religions. This gave me a good chance to finish my bronze award as our project was about spreading religious understanding and tolerance. On Guide Sunday, we had leaders from many religions come work with us to learn more about their religion. We also made friends with one of the leaders of a Rondebosch Guide and Rangers troops who invited us to attend one of her weekly meetings. That turned into a weekly thing that I really enjoy going to.
I find there are a few similarities and differences. It is similar because they sing songs, though they are not ones I know, but what do I know, so we learned them. They also do art projects, like last week I began working on sewing a bag with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts logo painted on it. We also play games such as Snoopy (that involves hand-eye coordination).
In some ways though, they are very different. Girl Guides are ranked according to age, not grade. They start with Teddies for 4.5-7 year olds, then Brownies for 7-10.5, Guides are 10.5-14, and Rangers are 14-18. The troop we visit are actually for older girls but they have been very nice and get to do much more than Brownies. The girls wear very different uniforms (which come complete with scarves, skirts, shirts, and even socks) though they don’t wear them to regular meetings.
For fundraising they have to plan events to earn money since they do not do cookie sales like we do. They plan events like trivia night and car washes. They also are allowed to do really cool things like building rafts out in the ocean and racing them. There are not as many rules about what troops can do.