Many, many years ago I once attended a brownies or guides meeting, it wasnt my thing, I looked forward to what I thought was more exciting hobbies, such as trampolining or learning to play badminton, than merely threading monkey nuts together for the birds, which seemed all that was on offer to a young girl such as myself on a cold and dark autumnal night.
How times have changed!
I have been contacted by our local Brownie Group Leader Lorna Charnock who would like other young girls to come along and take advantage of the spaces that have now become available, This is the 100th year of the Brownie movement and so many exciting things are planned to celebrate this great achievement. Our local Park District Brownies group has not been going for quite 100 years, it was first registered in 1946 at the Convent of the Sacred Hearts until a lack of leaders in the early 1970's meant the pack was temporarily closed until another volunteer took over the group in 1972 for Boarders and Day Pupils. When the school closed in December 1991 the Brownie pack relocated at St Augustines Church and was re registered as 2nd Weymouth (St Augustines) Brownie pack open to all denominations, Lorna herself took over the Brownie pack in 2012 and stopped the pack from closing once again. They now meet up between 17:00 and finish at 18:30 on a Wednesday evening. For safety reasons please contact Lorna direct for details on exactly where the meetings are held. The subs are £20.00 a term ( which normally lasts 10 to 12 weeks) with a £10.00 joining fee, which gets them a bag with a Brownie Adventure Book and Badge Book. You dont have to worry about having the uniform straight away, they dont set a certain time limit on this, your daughter can take her promise even if she does not have her uniform. All they need to come along with is a pair of sensible shoes or trainers, Each session is led by Lorna Charnock and 3 other adult leaders who are all DBS and trained in First Aid, so a parent does not need to be there during the session.
So what does 100 years of Brownies actually entail nowadays? The girls have been taught Morris dancing by a professional Morris Dancer from Bristol, they went on a day trip to Paulton Park where they met up with other Brownies from all over Dorset. They even had been taught Circus Skills, (something I never did until I went to University!) At the weekly meeting they try to do something different each week, i.e Arts and Crafts, Games, Trips, Badge Work, (so far they have done Circus Skills, Hostess Badge, Beach Challenge, Season Badge, Craft and Artist Badge.) the girls choose what badges they would like to do and they are encouraged to sit down and have a planning meeting. This term they came up with the idea of visiting Wessex FM Radio station and Condor to have a cup of tea, paper dragon boat racing, International Evening, and a Treasure Hunt. This is part of their 100 years of Brownie challenge.
Brownies only run during term times but they always try to do a Pack Holiday where they take the girls away for 4- 5 days , there is always a theme, last year the theme was fairies, the girls get divided into groups of 6 with a theme name, each six pack is given duties for the day and these are rotated each day , some help cooks, become waitresses for the day, or help the first aiders keep the first aid area and toilets clean and tidy. (No doubt these skills would also enable the girls to help around the home when they return! a double bonus!). Whilst they are on holiday they make things, play games, have sing songs around the camp fire and so much more....
If you would like your daughter to come along and take part in such a wide variety of activities, and learn skills that will be of great use in her future then please contact Lorna on her email address firstname.lastname@example.org or otherwise look them up on the internet on the girlguiding join us page http://www.girlguiding.org.uk These activities have a great positive impact on girls lives for the past 100 years, Equally well if you are a person who feels you can contribute to the movement the website is full of opportunities for you as well. I can honestly say it is a hundred years different from the brownie/guide movement I had a brief fling with, and if I had found it to be like this I may have hung around for a bit longer....... and who knows what may have become of me with such experiences and mentors available to me.