Joining Brownies

edited March 2011 in Local discussion
I'm a leader (Tawny Owl) at one of the local Brownie packs. As we have started new packs and have some girls going up to Guides soon, we now have a few spaces for new Brownies to come and join us. The spaces get filled quickly and there is often a waiting list so I just thought that SG'ers might like to know about it first. Brownies is for girls aged 7 - 10 and is open to girls of all races, religions and abilities. For more information on what Brownies is all about these days (it's very much more exciting than it was when I was a Brownie!) have a look at the Girl Guiding website. If you know someone who'd like to join, whisper me or email our Snowy Owl at lcsteddy@hotmail.co.uk.
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Comments

  • edited 7:04PM
    What is a Snowy Owl? In my day we had Brown Owl and Tawny Owl.

    I was an elf: Here we are the little elves, helping others not ourselves.
  • RoyRoy
    edited 7:04PM
    Do they have to pledge their allegiance "to God and to the Queen" as the Cubs had to when I was a kid?
  • edited 7:04PM
    @Emma As there are lots of leaders we have several different owls. The Brownies chose Snowy as the owl name for our senior leaders. @Roy Yes, the Queen is still included when Brownies make their initial joining promise but now they say 'love *my* god' which acknowledges the fact that Brownies around the world are from many different faiths. I believe that Cubs and Scouts do the same nowadays.
  • RoyRoy
    edited 7:04PM
    Ah, so when you say open to all religions, you do require your intake to be religious? No atheists allowed? Let alone republicans who don't approve of the monarchy?

    I understand no one probably thought twice about this a few decades ago when I was in the Cubs but I'm a bit disappointed that these movements are still imposing religion and the monarchy on the children who join. It's not like it has anything to do with what Cubs is all about, and I doubt Brownies is much different in that regard -- isn't this all a bit backward?

    -roy
  • edited 7:04PM
    @roy I believe that there are lots of other organisations that children can join, Woodcraft Folk is one of them, that don't mention faith or the head of state in their activities. We don't ask parents about whether or not they are religious or in favour of the monarchy. Girl Guiding website is a splendid source of information about the origins and foundations of Guiding and we leave it to parents to have a look at it, have a chat with leaders and visit a Brownie pack then decide whether it's something that they would like their children to be involved in. I am not religious but in the same way that I agreed to be a godparent and renounce the devil in my vows, I can square it with my conscience to take the Brownie promise. In my head 'my god' is Manolo Blahnik.
  • edited 7:04PM
    In the unlikely instance of my being asked to be a godparent, my principled refusal to renounce the world, the flesh and the Devil will also double as a handy excuse.

    As to "Here we are the little elves, helping others not ourselves"...someone had a very odd understanding of elves. In most folklore, they tended to regard humans as playthings who were easily replaced when broken.
  • edited 7:04PM
    Well there were also sprites, imps etc, all pretty naughty huh. We were all good as gold though, apart from when playing the hated British Bulldog or Ladders.
  • RegReg
    edited 7:04PM
    "Imposing religion and the monarchy"?? Brownies? The first is done by the parents, the second is by the accident of your birth in these shores. Incidentally, I'm a Royalist. I don't think its backward at all. Anyone read Power and Prosperity by Mancur Olsen? Clearly a winning formula. I'm not religious though but we're marrying in church this year cos it keeps the parents sweet (and its a nice building etc). We told the vicar as much (CofE) and he didn't bat and eyelid. Love him.
  • edited 7:04PM
    I remember Scouts being a semi-supervised way of playing with fire and knives. I did not become evangelical in matters religious or constitutional as a result.
  • edited 7:04PM
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  • edited 7:04PM
    There was a great Brownie / Guide pack at Holly Park hall , 4th Tollington I think, great inspiring leader and her daughter who eventually took over. One of my girls stayed in till mid-teens as an expedition leader, Dof£ awards and all that. The Queen, God stuff never bothered us although we don't belong to either of those gangs.

    Always thought Woodcraft Folk was just Brownies,Scouts,Guides etc. but they taught you how to roll a joint and cook a lentil stew.
  • edited 7:04PM
    i was the sixer of the sprites. i ran a tight ship and was feared by all, which led to me being crowned pack brownie of the year TWO YEARS RUNNING. my most proud achievement to date. i'm sure all the leaders absolutely hated me for being a horrible goody two shoes and complaining about the god thing and campaigning to change the words of 'brownie bells' (aged about 9. i have never done any campaigining about anything since).
  • IanIan
    edited 7:04PM
    I was a cub scout. We played crab football. I got one badge in 2 years - 1st stage swimmer - and they never gave it to me.
  • edited 7:04PM
    I was a proud sprite of the 18th Birmingham. We didn't go camping but we did learn 'tracking' and 'orienteering' in the churchyard.
  • edited 7:04PM
    @twinspark That's the pack I help with. It's still going strong! @Emma Our Brownies absolutely love Ladders, it's their favourite game.
  • RegReg
    edited 7:04PM
  • edited 7:04PM
    Christ, I am really surprised Ladders is still allowed! Our pack attacked it with such gusto that I cannot believe noone ever lost their teeth.

    This is probably saying more about what a wuss I am than how dangerous Ladders is, mind.
  • edited 7:04PM
    I was in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. 6th Bromsgrove - Catshill. Loved it. Went to the international jambouree at Kandersteg and was taught much about the world by a plump Dutch girl guide. A seminal experience. Our Scout leader was a fat narcissist who emphasised the nationalist paramilitary elements. Makes me chortle when I look back at it.
  • edited 7:04PM
    I was in the Scouts and it was a fantastic opportunity to do adventure activities you never otherwise would have got to do, and play with knives and set fire to stuff.

    I hope that they still get to do that and haven't been insured out of all the fun stuff.

    I also remember it as being one of the places where richer and poorer kids rubbed along together without anyone ever noticing where each other came from - it's only in adult life hindsight I realised that.
  • edited 7:04PM
    @PapaL Yes, they still get to do all the fun stuff. You are quite right about richer and poorer and kids mixing together without noticing, it's really great to see.
  • RoyRoy
    edited 7:04PM
    @Reg: I didn't mean to suggest that supporting the monarchy was being backwards - it's failing to consider that there are other viewpoints that I regard as a bit backwards.
  • edited 7:04PM
    It baffles me when unbelievers have a church wedding. Formally beginning your life together by standing up and publicly lying to each other? Way to ensure trust and honesty in a relationship...
  • RegReg
    edited 7:04PM
    Arkady, I spent my summers as a student in Adelboden and Kandersteg. Nothing seminal mind you (when were you there?)
  • edited 7:04PM
    I was a Camp Fire Girl, as the Girl Scouts were seen by some of the parents in our neighbourhood as a pernicious foreign import to the US. We had lots of Indian lore (now prob called "native American") and earned beads instead of badges. OMG, they now take boys.... <http://www.campfireusa.org>; The 8 year girl hiding within me immediately reacted with "yuk"!
  • edited 7:04PM
    Reg, it was 1998 I think. Good times.
  • edited 7:04PM
    Am I seriously alone in having hated every bloody second of Brownies and Guides? I will never camp again in anything less than a luxury teepee complete with all mod cons and no further north than Marbella.
  • edited 7:04PM
    @Siolae Why on earth did you keep going if you hated it? I've never slept outside in a tent or luxury teepee and Brownies always have the option of camping or sleeping in the dorm.
  • edited 7:04PM
    We NEVER had that option and I am from the generation where your parents didn't pay a lot of attention to the whims of children. Not liking something was not a reason not to do it. I got out at 13. 6 years of being bored out of my mind on a weekly basis.
  • edited 7:04PM
    @Siolae - I never actively wanted to go to Brownies. Sometimes I even cried whilst getting into my uniform! But as you say, young kids are or were rarely given the choice with things like this. I went with my sister, and I expect for my mum it was far less hassle to send us both together than give us the choice, whilst also looking after our baby brother.
  • edited 7:04PM
    Scouting was great - all my brothers were Scouts although one got thrown out for belting the Scoutmaster.

    Lots of stuff I learnt that I still use: knots, peeling vegetables, logging firewood,lighting a fire,changing a plug, sewing and best of all map reading! I loved maps and won an orienteering prize - still got me compass won't have Sat Nav. or GPS any where near me. I'd rather draw lines in the dirt with a stick.

    I was on a Scout camp the night of the moon landing which we listened to on a radio - although a local report of an escaped boa constrictor from the zoo kept us preoccupied too.
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