Monday, 26 October 2015

Senior section uniforms through the ages

Girlguiding Scotland is very good at archive stuff, they did a great booklet on Guiding uniforms through the ages a while ago and now, in time for The Senior Section Centenary next year, they have created a series of posters with great detail about the uniform for that age range through the years.

The uniforms are modelled by girls from a senior section unit in Glasgow, one of their leaders is an old school friend of mine. Here's a blog by one of them:

I was particularly taken by the uniform from my own era, I was a happy Brownie and Guide but left Rangers/Senior Section after just three weeks, and although there were a lot of other factors, the air hostess hat was definitely one of them!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Five years since 20:10 (ten past eight), 20/10 (20th October) 2010

Time flies!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Poppies and sleeping though not much sleeping

This week was our Poppies week, a deliberate attempt to teach the Brownies a bit about Remembrance Sunday and why it is the one event per year that we apply a little bit of pressure to attend (and by pressure all I mean is we say to parents we would really like your daughter to attend).

This year we will be debuting our flag, which we are all excited about anyway, and we have a good 16 girls who have returned signed consent forms to attend on the 8th. Timing means we needed to run out Poppy night a little early - we have a Halloween night next week, then half term, then a joint meeting with the Cubs who meet in the same hut as us and then bam, time for Remembrance Sunday.

So we talked about Remembrance Sunday, what they already knew, discussed why we stop for two minutes at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, and watched a couple of short videos on a DVD sent to us by the Royal British Legion.

Then they all made their own fabric poppies, in the tradition of the very first woman who made them to sell and fundraise (we did emphasise they still need to buy a paper one), and just to make it yummy, they also made poppy cupcakes using fondant icing (separate cakes supplied for the gluten-free girls and they made theirs first using a just washed chopping board and rolling pin to ensure gluten freeness.

I also read them a few pieces of information to wrap up the evening, particularly about the role of women in war. It was a hit and miss evening - the poppies took far less time to make than I thought, the cakes took about the time I expected but there was a queue because the fabric bit went so quickly. I was a little dis-spirited when we left but my daughter, our YL, talked me back up saying that when she was in Brownies she never minded when activities ran short because it gave her a chance to chat to her friends, some of whom she only saw at Brownies.

Friday night saw us at a county campsite about 40 mins away for a sleepover for newbies and Sixers. Three Brownie leaders, one Guide leader, 2 Guides/Brownie Helpers and 12 Brownies. Very impressed by the cabin where we stayed, it's newly refurbished and very well thought out. We did lots of crafting, all the new girls made it through the night and picked up their first Nights Away badge and four of the five older Brownies got their five nights away badge (the fifth already got hers as she had two extra nights away when we went to Wales that the others didn't do).

The most popular activity was snap wrist bands that they could decorate themselves. It was a round the world sleepover - we made British flag paper chains, Swedish heart placemats, ate Italian tea (pizza), decorated Chinese dragon bags, the wristbands with a "your favourite country" theme, ate Danish breakfast (cheese, yoghurt and a pastry), and finished off with a round the world wreath.

As for sleeping, we got to our beds at 12.20am (they were in theirs from 10.30pm but it took a while to get the younger ones to calm down) and they were awake at 5.40am but - and this was crucial - there was a bathroom off the room they were staying in so since we didn't have a herd of elephants running up and down a corridor past our room to go to the lop, we were able to leave them to it and stay in our own beds till 7.15am when we opened the kitchen shutter to see them all awake!

All good fun but even though we were done by 11.15am, and home not long after noon, I did need a nap in the afternoon to get back on top!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Amazing denbuilding evening

Our Brownies and Guides had a joint two hour meeting this week, denbuilding with an ex-army man!

It was a massive hit, with rave reviews from the girls. We split the girls into two groups, and half got to denbuild as the other half learned how to start, feed and dampen a fire (with marshmallows in the middle, of course). Then they swapped over.

The denbuilding was great - using two army ponchos, bungee cords and tent pegs our girls can now build a shelter (in the dark) in two ways: one if the wind is steady and one if it is not.

The ex-army chap was patient, really good at explaining and full of praise.

Then we packed up and left no trace we were ever there! Fantastic night.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Are you a Beaver, Cub or Senior Section leader?

All those sections have special anniversaries coming up, and Blackwell Adventure near Birmingham, where we had a fab Brownie camp earlier this year, have got some great offers for each celebration.

Not a sponsored post, I just think Blackwell is fab!

Thursday, 1 October 2015


I'm going to come back to what we did last week (Brownie adventure night) because I'm still putting my thoughts together on that. They're not working how we have hoped, and we are refocusing, so I just need to think about how to share that.

This week, it was all about Fairytales. Our planned night wasn't possible, we wanted to support a leader going on an international but she wasn't available this term, we will reschedule.

Our YL stepped in and ran a fairytale night instead. She did a great job - planned four activities and let the girls continue with what they were doing as they were clearly having fun, so only managed two. She just rolled with it! She also rolled with losing two of her adults for 20 minutes, and did so with aplomb.

The Brownies had lots of fun making their own wings - two wire coat hangers duct taped together then scraps of fabric tied to them. We used some beautiful sari fabric a colleague had given me, together with lots of scraps sent in by parents - in fact we have loads left and have put them in our store cupboard for another time. They also carried out a storytelling game and, as you can see, dressed up if they chose to, about 2/3 did, including 3 Maleficients!

Sorry for the triangles, preserving anonymity for those three Brownies and for the Cubs named on the wall behind them! The pic does show the basic structure of the wings though. 
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