Guides ready to celebrate

Almost 99 years ago, the eager young girls who were to become WA's first Girl Guides gathered on the floor of a North Perth home.

"There were excited girls everywhere, sitting on the floor in the rooms, in the passages, even in the laundry, tying knots with two pieces of string," one of the girls recorded in a book.

The meeting, a result of a call for expressions of interest from young females, was to be the first of thousands of Girl Guides in WA meetings which would teach them skills from putting up a tent, to first aid to making a cup of tea.

Today's Girl Guides still tie knots and still proudly sport the organisation's trademark navy sash, adorned with a series of carefully sewn-on badges.

Although the traditions set by young girls almost a century ago continue, the guides of 2014 may do a camping lesson followed by a workshop in self-esteem.

Girl Guides State commissioner Brenda Hamlett, who has been involved with Girl Guides for 57 years, said the girls-only movement was now more important than ever in teaching girls to be proud of themselves.

She said attendances were still strong in WA.

There were 2600 WA Girl Guides and 10 million worldwide.

The West Australian

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