Leslie's historic UK Guide Badge Syllabuses



Extension Guides was the section of Guiding for the disabled, so-named because it extended Guiding into both the hospitals and institutions where many disabled girls lived, but also through 'Post' units, to housebound girls.  The section dates back to the earliest days of Guiding, with the first extension unit opening in 1911.  In an era when many disabled children got no formal education, the Extension Section worked to bring some normality into the lives of disabled children, enabling them to share the same Guiding hobby as other children.

The other big focus of the Extension section was in trades.  Guiding encouraged Extension Guides to learn craft skills which they could use to make goods to sell, in order to earn some money for themselves.  They set up a depot to buy up and sell on handicraft items made by Extension Guides.  The Extension Interest Badges, too, had a focus on encouraging the Extension Guides to develop their skills.

As the "Extension Section Alternative Tests" booklet of September 1950 indicated: 
"1. The approval of the District Commissioner must be obtained before any of these alternative tests may be used for a handicapped Ranger, Guide or Brownie in an ordinary Company/Pack.
2. In all the tests where a Brownie's, Guide's or Ranger's handicap prevents her from doing the ordinary or the alternative test, she should be able to direct someone else to do it.  No other alternative should be used unless approved by the Commissioner for Extensions."

Eventually, the section drew to a close as disabled members were merged into mainstream units.