12/03/2012 08:22 GMT | Updated 01/04/2015 14:59 BST

Girl Guides Taught Make Up, Massages And Manicures (PICTURES)

Girl guides are being taught how to apply make up, give massages and what to wear to the beach - and the new curriculum has sparked parent outrage.

In a stark contrast to the bygone days of lighting campfires or navigating forests, today's girl scouts, which number around 530,000, are indulging in the somewhat cliched activities of painting each others nails and applying face masks.

On the Girl Guide website, girls as young as 10 are encouraged to dress a virtual female, who appears in her underwear, in various different outfits ranging from evening clothes to beach clothes. The wardrobe for the latter outfit contains skimpy swimwear, plunging necklines and cut-out cossies while the evening wear consists of thigh-skimming mini dresses and heels.

But Jo Hobbs, head of guiding development, insisted the game was part of developing the girls' self esteem and confidence.

"The game is more than encouraging girls to wear skimpy bikinis. It is about putting a look together, expanding their experience and learning to be who you are," she told the Huffington Post UK.

"The game has been taken out of context. It is naive to assume that girls aren't already doing it [dressing up] at that age."

Another activity, called Go For Its! are designed for the 10 to 14-year-olds to complete during their patrol time. The girls are rewarded with a card after completing four sessions which then counts towards challenge badges.

One of the badges awarded by the group is titled "Glamorama", described as "an ideal opportunity for you and your Patrol to make yourselves feel good and glamourous".

The description continues: "From face masks to massage, and manicures to manic hair there's loads for you to do. But remember, beauty is more than just skin deep."

The young girls are told to "imagine you are going to a glam part and think about how you might look". They are then instructed to think about which colour foundation to choose and advises how to apply loose powder over the foundation.

"Use three colours for your eyes," the instructions continue. "Apply your blusher..lip colour should complement the ete colour and cheek colour. For that final touch, add a little mascara.

"Why not get a disposable camera and take 'before and after' pictures to see the difference?" the guide asks.

A spokesperson for the Girl Guides, said the activity was just one section of the numerous activities offered and was introduced in 2004.

"The print version has sold out and we will not be printing any more," they added.


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Girl Guides was founded in 1910 after a group of girls "gatecrashed" the first Boy Scout Rally at Crystal Palace and offered badges such as electrician, sailor, photographer and air mechanic.

Today, other badges to work for include Passion 4 Fashion, to "bring the glamorous world of fashion to meetings", and Party Planner, to "hold the ultimate party".

But the activity packs have provoked outrage among parent groups and individuals, who condemn the modern approach.

Tamsin Kelly, editor of Parentdish and mother of three, told HuffPost UK it made her feel "queasy".

"As a mother of a teenaged daughter, I find the Girl Guides ethos very difficult to make sense of. On the one hand it is so very keen to make guiding strictly a boy-free zone (unlike the Scout movement which have been welcoming girls for years and frankly unlike anywhere else in real life), and on the other hand issuing Go for It! targets called Glamorama to girls, extolling the virtues of manicures and face packs.

"Frankly, it makes me feel a bit queasy and I was delighted when my daughter switched from making plastic flower arrangements in her Brownies group to fast and furious team games at the local Cubs."

Sue Palmer, a literacy expert and author of Toxic Childhood, told the Daily Telegraph: "I don’t think girls need encouraging to be glamour pusses. There are enough people out there encouraging them into that particular rather counter-productive female stereotype.

"Ten-year-olds are not supposed to be glamorous. Why reward or give awards for something like that?"