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Official Brownies Uniform

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All about Brownies

Brownies is for girls aged seven to ten.

Through regular meetings, special events, day trips, sleepovers, camps and holidays, Brownies learn new hobbies, play music, explore other cultures and get adventurous outdoors. Girls can also extend their knowledge and abilities by working towards Brownie interest badges covering many different hobbies and activities from Science investigator to Circus skills.

Brownies become a member of a Six such as Badger, Fox, Mole, Squirrel, Hedgehog and Rabbit and follow a programme called the Brownie Adventure. The name reflects the world of exciting opportunities, challenges and fun that is Brownies.

The Brownie Adventure is divided into three areas:

  • you
  • community
  • world

Brownies were first organized by Lord Baden-Powell in 1914, to complete the range of age groups both for girls and boys in Scouting. They were first run as the youngest group in the Guide Association by Agnes Baden-Powell, Lord Baden-Powell’s younger sister. In 1918 his wife, Lady Olave Baden-Powell, took over the responsibility for the Girl Guides and thus for Brownies.

Originally the girls were called Rosebuds, but were renamed by Lord Baden-Powell after the girls had complained that they didn’t like their name. Their name comes from the story “The Brownies” by Juliana Horatia Ewing, written in 1870. In the story two children, Tommy and Betty, learn that children can be helpful Brownies or lazy boggarts.

In the United Kingdom, the Brownie Promise is:

I promise that I will do my best,

To love my God,

To serve the Queen and my country,

To help other people,

And to keep the Brownie Guide Law.

In 1980, the promise was changed from ‘To do my duty to God’ to ‘To love my God’, in order to accommodate different faiths, most groups allow changes to the promise, though some groups do not allow atheists [2] and this has attracted criticism from the National Secular Society.[3]

The Brownie Guide Law is:

A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day.

The Brownie Promise, prior to 1980, was:

I promise that I will do my best

To do my duty to God,

To serve the Queen

And help other people,

And to keep the Brownie Guide Law.

The Brownie Guide Motto used to be ‘Lend a hand’ (LAH). With the introduction of the new programme in the United Kingdom, the motto was dropped for Brownies.

There is also a Brownie song that some packs sing at the beginning of the meeting:

We’re Brownie Guides, we’re Brownie Guides

We’re here to lend a hand

To love our God and serve our Queen

And to help our homes and land

We’ve Brownie friends, we’ve Brownie friends

In North, South, East and West

We’re joined together in our wish

To try to do our best”

There are slight variations of the song and in some packs it is sung while skipping around a toadstool.

Some packs also sing one of the traditional songs to end a meeting, to the tune of the Cambridge Chimes:

O Lord, our God

Thy children call

Grant us Thy peace

And bless us all

Good-night (everyone then salutes each other)

The second verse of Taps (Day is done…) is also often sung.

Today, British Brownies receive a ‘Becoming a Brownie’ activity book upon joining. This has a version of the “Brownie Story” that is slightly different. Tommy and Betty are replaced by friends Katie and Sunita.

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