Like a lot of young girls, I became a Brownie when I was 7 years old! I can’t remember where I first discovered that they existed but I do remember loving the idea of wearing patches! That and I loved the yellow! Clearly a Hufflepuff before Harry Potter existed! Haha.
I was a Brownie from 7 to 10 and then a Girl Guide from 10 to 14.
I think at a young age I knew how bad my social skills were. To have a place to go once a week and work on important skills was vital to who I became as an adult.
I was taught about how to be social with girls my age and a bit older than me. I’m actually still friends with the Guide who helped me and my Brown Owl! Considering that it’s been a while since I was that young, I reckon that’s good-going. I was able to learn how to be myself, look after myself and others and to have fun! One of the fun things I remember doing is going on nature walks behind the church where we had our meetings.
I fell down the hill into nettles but I quickly learned how to calm nettle stings with doc leaves!
Even when I moved to a new county when I was 8 I was able to connect with the girls there easily. It wasn’t always perfect since I did have a little bit of bullying while I was there, but that was mostly because I was quiet. We got the chance to take camping trips away from home and that was a massive step for me.
I still feel guilty about non-stop crying. Haha! Between being away from my parents for the first time and the creepy Daddy-Long-Legs flying around, I freaked out. My Brown Owl knew what I was like so, instead of sending me straight back to my bed, she made me a hot chocolate and let me butter jam sandwiches for the next day! She was a tough cookie but I respect her so much.
Still feel weird to call her by her first name even when I’m 33!
The same kind of feeling of being part of something special was there when I became a Guide. It was bittersweet leaving the people I knew when I moved to a different section, but I knew it wouldn’t be long until they followed me.
I’ll admit that I didn’t immediately take to being a Guide because I guess I started to feel like I was getting too big for things like that. It didn’t help that the ladies in charge actually stepped down. I swear we weren’t a bad group! They just couldn’t cope with all the things behind the scenes, I think. Who was the person who ended up in charge of the group next?
If there was anyone that wouldn’t put up with my mood-swings, then I would be her. It was fun to see what happened and how things worked through her, though I could tell it was stressful. Being a Guide helped me to escape from the bullying I went through at school and the uncertainity of why I was different to others. I love how it’s evolved over the years since I left like the uniform and The Rangers! If I could do it all over again, I would!
Were you ever a Brownie or a Guide or both? Did you enjoy?