Thursday, 26 July 2007

What Brownies wear

A couple of people have emailed me to ask what Brownie Guides wear these days. They actually don't have a set uniform, there's a whole range of things they can choose from.

Most of our pack wear the trousers you can see here, the short-sleeved or long-sleeved t-shirt, and almost all of them have the hoodie, in the larger picture.
None of them have those awful cycling shorts!
As for badges, the girls are allowed to put them wherever they like - they can have a badge sash, or the gilet you can see on the girl with the trousers on, or you can put them on the hoodie, leave them in a box, pile them up in a corner of your room...whatever they choose.
My lot have a few with sashes, a few with gilets, a couple who put them on their t-shirts and most put them on their hoodies. Though my daughter  put hers on her hoodie, I actually think the gilet is best - the hoodie is hard to sew on to, the badge sash gets taken off and forgotten during games, but the gilet seems to be a good compromise between the two.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Meeting JK Rowling

We were due to go down to London on a train just before 6pm on the Friday night but with all the flooding and so on, lots of trains were diverted/cancelled, so we managed to get everyone together on an earlier train to give us more time, we ended up getting to London about the time we'd originally planned so were glad we'd got going early.

Got to Baden Powell House (a Scout Association place) about 8pm, it was fab I must say, everything we needed and literally right next door to the Natural History Museum, where the signing was taking place. Met up with a Girl Scout and her parents who were going too, they had brought badges and torches for the girls, they were thrilled with those!

About 9.30 we joined the queue and we were filmed so many times! The girls were in heaven, though a few of them started to get a bit tired as we got in, about 10.45. We went into an enormous hall and sat under a dinosaur's tail! We were on cushions. We were arranged and rearranged so many times for the press to take pics, then JK Rowling came in and everyone screamed! She posed for pics for the media, then she was supposed to go off and get made-up but refused and answered questions from the kids instead, you could tell her management wanted her to go off, but didn't want to stop her!

So just before midnight she got made up right in front of us all. Then there was the reading which was great, she was very into it and although I thought at the time my mind was wandering a little, when I actually looked at my book, I remembered her reading all of it, so I guess I was more alert than I thought. We then had to queue to get the book signed, our group had all been given bookmarks putting us in the first batch of 1-50, though that did include a good 300 people!

We were moved through the signing quite quickly, she was very smiley and nice, but we didn't really get the chance to say anything other than pleasantries. We gave her a card from our Brownie pack and she seemed genuinely touched and said thanks, there was only one other on the table so I don't think many people had thought to do that.

The girls were very good, some nearly dozed off but managed to keep going, we did see a Beaver Scout being carried out fast asleep and floppy, poor baby! There was one other Brownie pack there, and if you watch the midnight signing video of JK Rowling reading the first chapter, the Brownies that don't have witches hats on are mine, the Brownies with witches hats are from the pack from Birmingham. They were going home on a coach, we were very glad we could just fall into bed!

For once on a trip away, the girls went to sleep straight away (though we did consider going and being noisy to wake them up to see how they liked it but were too tired to do that!). All up between 8 and 8.30 and we were out the rooms by about 9.15am and down for breakfast.

A lady from Guiding magazine came and interviewed three of the Brownies and one of the Guides for the mag then took pics just of them then of all the Brownies and Guides, then a couple with the leaders in. Then we headed for the station, which took ages because various underground lines were shut and we had to go a different route, very slowly, very crammed in. We made it back to our town about an hour and a half later than we had originally planned but in the circumstances, that was pretty good.

Very tired, very happy girls!


After a bit of nudging, I've decided to start this blog. I have a Brownie pack of between 20 and 24 girls, in England, and we have a pretty adventurous time. We like to offer the girls as many great experiences as we can, and we get to come along for the ride.

In the last three years we've been to the Girlguiding Day at Legoland, Thinking Day service at Coventry Cathedral, stayed overnight at two local venues, stayed overnight at Pax Lodge and Baden Powell House, been to Girlguiding HQ, seen the Changing of the Guard from inside the gates of Buckingham Palace, been on the London Eye, raised money for the World Wildlife Fund, our local Air Ambulance and Guiding in Russia, among others.

Our girls have taken lots of badges as individuals and as a pack, including lots of the Girlguiding UK interest badges, Canada's All About Canada badge, some American Try-Its and most of the girls who have been in the pack for over a year are very proud to have completed the Midlands International Challenge.

My plan is to post a note after most meetings and trips/events, to let people see what we get up to. I'll do it after the event, to protect the privacy of my girls. I run the pack in conjunction with two Assistant Guiders and a Unit Helper, and we are very close to our sister Guide Unit, and often run trips and events involving both sections, which seems to help recruitment and keeping girls, as both units are usually full.

Oh and before I go, our latest trip was to London (what a surprise!) to meet JK Rowling the night the last Harry Potter book came out. Did you see Brownies on the TV at the midnight signing session? There were only two packs there so the chances are, you saw us!
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