Expert post: Brownies and Rainbows
The Girl Guiding movement has changed and still has a lot of offer your daughters. It's also a great way to get them involved with their community.
Many years ago when I was a Brownie, the uniform was a staid, brown dress and the Brownie Handbook largely offered helpful hints on activities such as how to wash up correctly.
Today, the brown dress has been replace by a brightly-coloured tracksuit-style uniform and the handbook has been replaced by Brownie Adventure. However the core values of encouraging girls to grow up as confident, useful members of the community while they make friends and develop their own skills and interests remain.
Joining the Brownies (or Rainbows, for girls aged four to seven) can be a great way for your daughter to make friends outside of school, learn new skills and become more independent – the first time I went away on holiday without my parents was with Brownie Camp, and I'm sure it is still the case for many Brownies today - like the daughter of this mum who asked about Brownie Camp on Netmums.
As well as playing games and making things at weekly meetings, many packs get involved in the community through fundraising events or in a more hands-on way such as weeding and planting in churchyards or other public spaces.
I was very proud of my arm-full of badges (I had the second-most in my whole pack – not that I was competitive or anything...) Working towards a badge individually allows girls to explore and develop their own personal interests and the badges they can work towards have moved with the times and now include communicator, computer, disability awareness and world issues as well as the more traditional types like toymaker, swimmer, cook, musician or writer and quirky ones such as circus sills.
Jo Hobbs, Head of Guiding Development said: “Whenever we ask girls what they enjoy about Brownies the most common responses is that it is good fun and they love the different adventures they have.”
Today, Girlguiding UK (including Rainbows, Brownies and Guides and the Senior Section) is the largest youth organisation for girls in the UK. More than 14% of six-year-olds are in Rainbows and around one quarter of eight-year-olds are in Brownies. If your daughters are Brownies or Rainbows, we'd love to hear what they get out of it.
And if they aren't, perhaps it might be time to find out what your daughters might be missing out on?
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