A Brownie;

Chronicle.lu recently got the opportunity to talk with ​Adriana Coppola​-Finegan​, District Commissioner Luxembourg at Girlguiding BeNeLux & France, addressing girl-guiding in the Grand Duchy.

Due to the volume of topics addressed, we have split the interview over two articles: this first one addresses the organisation and numbers, with the second part to address their activities.

Chronicle.lu: Please tell us how many members of the English-speaking Girl Guides there are in Luxembourg, including leaders, and how they are "grouped".

Adriana Coppola​-Finegan: We have 27 girls in total:

Rainbows (4-7 years): six active, two waiting list 
Brownies (7-10 years): sixteen active, ten waiting list
Guides (10-14 years): waiting list of five 
Rangers (14-18 years): four active girls

Chronicle.lu: How many different nationalities are members? 

Adriana Coppola​-Finegan: Among the combined Brownies and Rainbows unit (22 girls) there are fifteen nationalities represented. 

Chronicle.lu: Are Guides limited to just girls? 

Adriana Coppola​-Finegan: Yes, Girlguiding offer its programme to girls and young women. We're an inclusive organisation and we want to ensure that all girls receive a great guiding experience. Note our inclusion policies: https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/making-guiding-happen/running-your-unit/including-all/supporting-trans-members/.

Chronicle.lu: Do you have competition from Telstar Scouts (which are now open to girls as well as boys)?

Adriana Coppola​-Finegan: I personally don't feel any competition and feel that we offer a niche programme for our members. Families picking girlguides normally do so because they want a single sex experience for their children, and usually there are aspects of our programme that are quite unique to the Girlguiding experience. Rather than a competition, not only in Luxembourg, but also all around the world Guides and Scouts are seen like sisters and brothers. Our common history, values and principles do allow us to closely collaborate together.

Chronicle.lu: Are the English-speaking Girl Guides in Luxembourg affiliated to a UK and/or Luxembourg association of Girl Guides? Please tell us about this affiliation, its geographic scope and if you meet up with other girl guides from other troops from time to time.

Adriana Coppola​-Finegan: Yes, we are directly affiliated with Girlguiding UK which is also part of the WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). Luxembourg is a District in the BeNeLux+France County which belongs to the British Girlguiding Overseas division.
Pre-COVID, we would have a countywide camp every other year where the girls from BeNeLux+France would come together. During COVID, our units had the opportunity to attend countywide Zoom meetings when we could not meet in person. And now we are starting to get these meetups going again.
Girls are also encouraged to attend global meetings like World Thinking Day, and camps that bring girlguides from all around the world together. 

Chronicle.lu: Do the English-speaking Girl Guides in Luxembourg participate in district camps or other events?

Adriana: Pre-COVID yes, now we are slowly working to get these up and running within BeNeLux+France. Girls have also attended summer camps in the UK but once they reach a certain age they are also offered to travel to other different countries to participate in events at the WAGGGS World Centres in Switzerland, India, Mexico or the UK for example, as well as other activities organised by WAGGGS. At some point it is even possible for them to attend United Nations processes such as the UN COP Climate Talks or the Comission on the Status of Women as official delegates. 

Chronicle.lu: Please tell us about your role, as District Commissioner for Girlguiding in Luxembourg.

Adriana Coppola​-Finegan: As a District Commissioner, I am the link between BGO (British Girlguiding Overseas) and our Units in Luxembourg. I make sure that leaders and girls have all the available resources required to run an exciting and meaningful programme. Part of my tasks in Luxembourg are also to maintain relations with local partners such as the UK Embassy in Luxembourg, for example.