They were traditionally earned through activities such as sewing, first aid and putting up a tent.
But a group of Guides in Orkney will soon have a new badge on their uniform – Antibiotic Resistance Awareness.
The guides have taken up the challenge in a bid to learn more about antibiotic resistance and to raise awareness of the issue in their communities.
The qualification is the brainchild of guide leader and lead clinical pharmacist for NHS Orkney, Catriona Innes.
She said: “Trying new experiences and taking on new challenges is what Girlguiding is all about so I thought this was a great opportunity to get the girls involved.
“This challenge has been designed to help raise awareness of what this means and why it’s important to each and every one of us, no matter our age.
“It’s a serious topic, but that doesn’t mean learning about it can’t be fun and girls will have the chance to try loads of hands-on activities with glitter, ‘snot’ and slime!”
The move has won the backing of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), whose mascot Bacteria Bob features on the exclusive badge.
In order to gain the badge, the girls will need to have carried out and demonstrated learning from five sections created as part of a challenge pack – meeting the microbe, spreading bugs, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, becoming an Antibiotic Guardian and sepsis.
Activities include measuring how far a sneeze can travel using a “snot gun” alongside checking how effective handwashing techniques can help prevent the spreading of germs with the aid of a UV light box.
The girl guides have also been fundraising in a bid to twin a toilet in a developing country and help improve hygiene.
Dr Jacqueline Sneddon, SAPG project lead, said: “Antibiotic resistance is everybody’s problem, and it’s never too soon to learn how we can play our part in protecting these medicines for future generations.”
“Hopefully lots of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers will choose to take up this challenge and get to wear the Bacteria Bob badge on their uniforms.”
Around 50,000 girls and young women from across Scotland are part of the Girl Guides where opportunities are offered to make new friends, learn new skills and grow in confidence through taking part in activities, challenges and badges.
The new badges
In July, it was announced that the Girl Guides would be radically overhauled with 800 new badges and activities introduced to reflect the “diversity of girls and modern life in the 21st century”.
Badges and activities will fall under six themes: express myself, be well, know myself, skills for my future, have adventures and take action.
Whittling, construction, survival skills and money management are among the skills on offer alongside the introduction of unique badges such as the Bacteria Bob badge currently being undertaken in Orkney.
Under the overhaul, Guides will now work towards badges including Upcycling and Mixology, where a menu of non-alcoholic cocktails will be produced in order to host a mocktail party for friends and family.
A Media Critic Badge has also been created, challenging the girls to analyse media stories in order to identify bias, gender stereotypes and the representation of minority groups.
Other badges relating to human rights, vlogging and becoming conscious consumers will be introduced by September next year.