Charlotte Walker, leader of the 3rd Chapel Allerton Guides in Leeds loves books and libraries. She wanted to share that love with young people in her local area and decided create her very own challenge badge to introduce Guides to their local libraries, donating all the profit from badge sales to us. We talked to Charlotte to find out more about the ‘I Love My Library’ badge.
I created the ‘I Love My Library’ badge during my Queen’s Guide Award. It is a challenging programme of excursions, outdoor adventures and community action that you can complete in Girlguiding.
Libraries were very important to me growing up. I loved all sorts of books – favourite stories, travel books, how-to guides, audio books. I would read anything! But nowadays I believe that young people today are missing out on what libraries can do for them.
Whilst Brownies have the Booklover badge, there is no dedicated badge about libraries in Girlguiding. So my Guide unit and I decided to design our own badge for Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and the Senior Section – the ‘I Love My Library’ challenge badge. The aim of the badge is to get more young people into their local libraries and benefitting from all the services they have to offer.
My Guide unit and I designed the badge and the syllabus together. The first part of the badge focuses on activities to do in the weekly meetings at your unit. This includes a book-themed charades competition, designing your own library and Pictionary using the Dewey Decimal System.
For the second part of the badge, the Guides are taken on a visit to their local library. Here, they take part in various activities to get to know the library and its different sections and services. The visit finishes with a detective game to find clues hidden around the library.
My unit really enjoyed visiting the library and thought it was the best part of the badge. We visited outside of opening hours so we had the place to ourselves. This gave the girls free rein to get to know every part of the library. The clue hunt at the end was very exciting as they went around looking for clues and unlocking codes. Our visit was also a great opportunity for the girls to hear about some of the events coming up at the library. Many of them have visited their library again since.
We are donating all the profits from the ‘I Love My Library’ challenge badge to Book Aid International – we sold over 800 badges and raised £948! As we are lucky enough in the UK to have such easy access to books, I wanted the profits to go to a charity which gives other children around the world access to books. Book Aid International does just that!
I hope that the girls who participated in the ‘I Love My Library’ challenge badge will continue to visit their library and take their siblings and friends too!
We would like to say a big thank you to Charlotte and her Girlguiding unit for their generous support. They’ve raised enough to send over 470 books to libraries in places where the challenges to accessing books are at their greatest. We hope the ‘I Love My Library’ badge inspires a love of libraries in many Guides.