READING about Girlguiding Glasgow’s centenary celebrations over the weekend brought back a flood of memories.

My first time away from home was to Guide Camp. It was a rainy weekend, somewhere in the Borders, and the blankets in the dorm were scratchy.

But it was an adventure. We learned how to play tennis, got to write sketches about bullying and prejudice and made friends.

We laughed until we almost choked over stupid stuff, and when I felt a bit homesick, my new friends were kind.

Finding my old Guide Handbook recently also prompted a rush of love for my time in this wonderful world of female friendship. The Monday night meetings, the Saturday morning bring and buy sales – the source of almost every book I owned between the ages of 12 and 14 – and of course, collecting badges..

Badges have changed considerably, in 100 years, of course – we were aiming for Homemaker and Hostess, while generations before us may have opted for Dairymaid (“prepare a cow or goat for milking”) or Bellringer.

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Today, badges continue to reflect the times. Yes, of course, you can still give whittling a whirl, but Guides in the 21st century – and in Glasgow, more than 2500 already take part across 165 units for Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers, with a waiting list of more than 200 - can aim for Conscious Consumer, Campaigning and Human Rights among many others.

(It is wrong to assume early badges were not progressive, incidentally - Aircraft Flyer, Pioneer, Stargazer and Traveller are all in my book, and I am a little bit disappointed I didn’t tackle any of them, to be honest.)

To any who say Girlguiding is irrelevant or old-fashioned, listen to Jill Elborn, County Commissioner for Glasgow.

“I would absolutely challenge those people to spend a night or a weekend in girlguiding today,” she said in a Herald interview recently.

“We’ve got girls travelling the globe. The adventures those girls have are astounding.”

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What impresses me most about Girlguiding is its resilience and its willingness to adapt with each new generation, genuinely listening to what girls and young women want from it.

For many, it is a safe space in which they can learn new skills, achieve goals and find their voices - and that is as relevant now as it was 100 years ago.

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