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You are here: » Badge System Session
Some Leaders and District Leaders have been asking questions about the Australian Guide Program badge system, and how much cross crediting can be done. This session is designed to answer those questions. All the information here about the badges themselves comes from official Guiding publications that are available in the Guide Shop.
Create a Challenge - There are 30 badges in this area, plus a blank one for you to create your own. There are lots of different starting points or you can use your own ideas. Write your own challenges using the words around the page to give you ideas.
You may choose one big challenge or a series of small ones.
Check your ideas out with someone and write your plans. These badges are peer assessed.
Click here for a copy of a set of Create a Challenge Candle badge challenges that my Unit planned together in 2004.
Click here for more ideas on Create a Challenge badges.
Explore a Challenge - Explore these challenges at any time and then re-explore them if you wish. There are 10 topic areas to explore. Select a topic area, then choose four different challenges in that area or create your own. Try them on your own, or as a Patrol or interest group.
Achieve a Challenge - for individual work with set challenges at each of the three levels.
As the names imply, each time a girl does a badge it should be a challenge.
Girls may earn each badge in each type more than once, as long as she has increased her knowledge, skill or interest range.
The two easiest types of badges for leaders to administer are the Explore a Challenge and Achieve a Challenge badges – these have set clauses to work with. All of them include choices, and a chance for each girl to decide her own challenge.
This set-up is extended to the Achievement Awards – each girl chooses a set number of clauses from those laid out in the Award. There is also scope for the girl to decide her own challenge.
However, the Create a Challenge badges are totally different. Here the girl gets complete choice of what to do. Remember, it should be a challenge. Every girl wearing a badge should have been challenged to achieve it, no matter which type of badge it is.
What is a Challenge?
Some people think climbing Mt Everest is a challenge. For others learning to ride a bike is a challenge, especially if it is a unicycle.
Challenges encourage a Guide to try something new and different, meet new people, increase her confidence in her skills, extend her knowledge and skills and make her feel proud of herself.
Cross-crediting for the Queen’s Guide Award is laid out in very clear terms in Aim High for the Queen’s Guide Award. It is not spelled out for the other Awards. So let’s look at it.
Look Wide has a whole range of challenges for you to explore, create and achieve . Any of these may be used, just once, as part of the Awards in Aim High. Even more challenges, certificates and other Guiding qualifications can be found in the booklet.
Page 5 of Aim High says, under the heading Using other activities:
You can cross-credit challenges that you have completed in the 12 months prior to beginning an award as part of school, work or other activities. You will need to demonstrate that knowledge, skill or interest to your patrol or unit by display, discussion or performance. You can use another activity challenge once for cross-crediting purposes. [my emphasis]
Page 12 of A Leader’s Guide to Girl Recognition says:
Cross-crediting is the recognition of prior achievement against another qualification or level. Cross-crediting from school, work, other clubs or other activities undertaken whilst working on any of these Awards is acceptable. However a badge or activity can only be used once for this purpose and the Guide should be able to demonstrate her increased ability in her chosen area in some way. Activities undertaken in any of the Look Wide or Look Wider Still challenges can also be cross-credited to the ‘own choice’ activities. [my emphasis]
Scenarios to discuss
Explore badge to Create badge to Achieve badge
A Guide has earned the Be Prepared Explore a Challenge badge, including the Practise safe fire-lighting clause, where she concentrated on learning how to light a candle.
Can she use that new skill to get the Candle badge?
Can she use it also for the Camping 2 Achieve a Challenge, for the ‘show how to use and care for a light source’ clause?
Achievement Award clause to Create Badge
A Guide has organised a lovely Guides’ Own using candles to create atmosphere. She had to teach other girls how to light their candles, and she made special candle holders for the occasion. She has used this as part of her BP Award, in the Promise and Law section.
Can she use this for the Candle Badge?
Achieve badge to Award
A Guide has built a campfire that will last for 30 minutes as one of her two choices for the Camping 2 Achieve a Challenge badge.
Can this be directly cross-credited to the section in the BP Award that says ‘With your Patrol or interest group, take responsibility for building a campfire. Plan and lead a campfire program of at least 30 minutes’ duration.’ ?
The Award System in Australian Guiding is all about challenge, flexibility and choice. Each badge should be awarded on the girl’s best effort. Some require peer assessment, some do not (although it might be nice to get other people’s opinions).
Be careful with cross crediting – you probably shouldn’t give a girl a badge just because she has done one thing, and certainly don’t give it to her without her knowing about it beforehand!