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I’m pretty proud of the fact that my eldest is a fourth generation Brownie.

4_gen_brownie_collage

Brownies – the program for younger girls before Girl Guides – are pretty special to the women in our family.

My Great Aunt Eileen was our first Brownie. She was born in 1924 and died in 1932 of polio.

When I became a Brownie, I remember my Grandmother visiting from South Africa and bringing me her sister’s Brownie pin.

Jean Brownie Pin

My Great-Aunt Jean-Eileen’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.

Given the Girl Guides movement only began in 1909, “when girls in England demanded to take part in a Boy Scouts rally organized by Lord Baden-Powell” and so “he asked his sister, Agnes, to create a program just for girls”, while I’d have to consult the family tree, I think we’d have been hard pressed to fit a fifth generation in there even if we’d tried.

I loved being a Brownie and a Girl Guide, and I was thrilled when we signed my eldest up for Sparks last year – the first program for girls aged 5 and 6 – 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.

However, I always knew I’d be putting my daughters in Guiding. My eldest has recently come back from Winter Camp. She is thrilled to be working through her “keepers” and badges. I get a kick out of her singing the songs I remember from Guiding and I love hearing the new ones. And my youngest CAN’T WAIT until she gets to be a Spark next year.

I love the confidence my eldest gains from Brownies. She has some challenges with school, but is wonderfully social. Brownies gives her something to enjoy and have fun with, while also discovering other things she might be good at. Example? Arm knitting. Words can’t express how excited she was after that meeting when she came home with her scarf.

ToadstoolNow, for those unfamiliar with Guiding, songs are a big part of it. So in closing, shall we gather in around the Toadstool for a few campfire songs?

Make New Friends:

Herman the Worm:

Land of the Silver Birch:

Taps:

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