Tuesday this week was a pretty cool day for me.
It was my eldest’s daughter’s enrollment ceremony for Brownies.
I had fun looking at the set-up before starting. The toadstool. The owl. The magical water surrounding it.
I loved being a Brownie and a Girl Guide, and I was thrilled when we signed my eldest up for Sparks last year and it quickly became one of the highlights of her week.
I know many now put their girls in Scouts rather than Guiding, as they now accept girls and there is certainly the idea that this is perhaps more equal.
Indeed, memories of Guiding leave me with the impression that they were at least clearly better funded back when I was Guiding. While my younger brother went on Jamboree first out to the Canadian Rockies and then to Europe my biggest Guiding trip involved a bus to Sudbury, a tour of Science North, and sleeping in a church basement.
But putting that aside, I also remember how much fun I had, and how much confidence I built learning new things, leading various groups and working towards badges.
In addition to having enjoyed Brownies myself, as of Tuesday’s enrollment ceremony, I am also pretty excited that I can now say we have had Brownies in the family for four generations.
Given it started in 1910 and my Great-Aunt Jean Eileen (our first Brownie) was born in 1924 and died in 1932, I’d have to consult the family tree, but I don’t think we could have gotten any earlier generation Brownies in there even if we’d tried.
I remember when I was a Brownie, my Grandmother visited from South Africa and gave me her sister’s Brownie pin. I’ve posted previously about this here, but, in brief, she explained how she’d been a Brownie before she died of polio. I loved how much it meant to her that I was now a Brownie, and I’m so proud to now be mom to one.
But getting back to my daughter, so far I think she’s been enjoying this year. This morning I picked her up from a sleepover at the Aviation Museum and I know she had a blast (pun intended). Despite some reported whining about the expectation to carry her own stuff and her breaking the “one stuffy” rule by sneaking two dolls from her entourage and an extra stuffy along for the trip, I know she’s also learning independence in a safe and nurturing environment, which is wonderful. And important.
Getting back to the ceremony and my reflections on Brownies I also had this fun moment as I looked at her introductory badges:
Yup! Not only do I have a fourth generation Brownie, I have a second generation Leprechaun. For non-guides in the house, Brownie troops are subdivided into smaller circles which each have their own emblem, name and song.
I’m also not ashamed to admit that I checked in with my mom to see if she might just be third generation, but no. Granny was a Kelpie (Irish water fairy). I was pretty impressed she remembered!
Lastly, I’m hopeful that Brownies, along with being fun, will help build confidence. One of the first interest badges they were challenged to complete is the Hurrah for Reading badge. They did most of it at Brownies a few weeks ago, but the girls still need to read six books.
Given I want Brownies to be fun and not feel like extra work for my daughter, I didn’t force my struggling and reluctant reader to do this. But she wants to. As such, we are slowly making our way through six books. Some she’s reading, and others I’m reading to her and we’re discussing. Here’s the five we have either read, or are currently working on:
It’s been a nice way to track our bedtime reading and at level reading for the last little while. And anyone familiar with my lack of love for Winx Club will see I’m still losing that battle based on her school library selections.
Any of you the mothers of Brownies? Tips for me (other than don’t eat $60 worth of cookies and double-check she’s not sneaking extra dolls to sleepover camp) as I embark on this journey from the mom angle?