Thursday, February 22, 2007
Be Prepared
If you were once (or even still are) a Rainbow, Brownie, Girl Guide, Ranger, Young Leader or Guider, or a Beaver, Cub Scout, Venture Scout, then you'll know that today is Thinking Day, a day for Scouts and Guides all over the world to remember their Scouting and Guiding brothers and sisters all over the world. The date was chosen because both Lord Baden-Powell, who founded the Scout Movement in 1907, and his wife, Lady Olave Baden-Powell, who became World Chief Guide, were both born on the 22nd February thirty-two years apart.

I was wondering if anyone else had been a Scout or a Guide. As for me, I was a Brownie and rose to the heady heights of Sixer of the Gnomes. Having just got my Hostess badge, we moved from the country into the city so I lost touch with Guiding until late in secondary school when a friend invited me on her Young Leader camp. I had never been camping before but loved it! Soon I was Assistant Guider of a small unit in a very deprived area of the city with my Guider being my former geography teacher. It was a challenging time, often just trying to bring some stability and some boundaries into very fractured lives. Despite the constant difficulties, I was sorry when I had to leave when I moved to start work.

One of my Guiding highlights was taking part in a Millennium celebration of Thinking Day. Over 2000 people took over the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre for an afternoon of singing and displays reminding us of Scouts and Guides all over the world. It was possibly the most cheesy thing you could ever have seen. (If you ever visit, I promise to show you the video!) At the end, I realised that I had come off stage and had lost my woggle. I felt sorry for the poor security guard who had clearly never heard of a woggle as I begged to get back on the stage briefly to look for it.

It's funny how much of Guiding is that funny, almost secret, language. Who else knows what a woggle is? It's a bond to girls and women of all ages as we giggle over the outfits Brownies used to wear (brown tunic dress, brown cardigan, brown bobble hat and yellow cross-over tie) and the importance of getting more badges when you are 8 years old. I still remember the excitement of reading my Brownie Guide Handbook and of the day I made my promise to "do my best, to love God, to serve the Queen and my country, to help other people, and to keep the Brownie Guide Law", remembering that a "Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and does a Good Turn every day."

Today, as it is Thinking Day in the 100th year of Scouting, do you have memories to share of being a Scout or a Guide? It would be great to hear all about them.

Be Prepared...A Scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise.
Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Scouting movement (1857-1941)

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  posted at 06:07  

At 22 February, 2007 09:42, Blogger thekingpin68 said...

Hey Keziah, could you please ship out to me some of those girl guide cookies (biscuits)?

I was in Cubs when I was little.


At 23 February, 2007 03:57, Blogger Felicity Manning said...

Happy Thinking Day to you too :)
I started Guides as a Brownie at 7 and am still Guiding and a leader of Guides 10-14 year olds. I love it. Did you know this year is the 100 year aniversary of the very first Scout camp on Brownsea Island. We are having a state Guide Camp in Tasmania which will be split between Maria Island and the main Island of Tasmania with the Theme 'Back to the Future' Maria Island will be the Past and Orford will be the future. We will also hold a day event for the younger Guides (Brownies) to attend. Badges was my favourite part as a Guide, but as a leader I thinking camping and singing round the campfire, followed by marshmellows is my favourite part.

At 03 March, 2007 17:30, Blogger Keziah said...

Russ - Sorry, sadly we don't do Girl Guide cookies over here!

Felicity - That camp sounds great. Camp was my favourite part of Guiding - sitting under the stars round a raging campfire, singing songs and hearing scary stories, clutching big mugs of hot chocolate and melting marshmallows in the fire. Makes me want to go out and do it now!


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