Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Brownie Uniform

Last week one of the neighbourhood girls knocked on my door selling her Girl Guide cookies. I got so excited, it is such an American thing. They don't sell cookies in England and for years I have seen it in the movies. I was so thrilled that I was experiencing it myself, a real American tradition.

After looking at the cookies and buying as many as I could, I then bombarded her with questions about the Girl Guides. Asking her about her badges, camp, whether or not they had Brown Owl or indeed Brownies. I then told her to wait there whilst I ran upstairs to get my old Brownie uniform. Being a fellow Girl Guide of sorts, I was so excited to be sharing a bit of history, (they no longer wear this uniform in the Brownies). I flew downstairs with uniform in tow, gushing about each badge I'd achieved and what it all meant. She smiled politely, probably making a mental note to avoid the Mad English woman next time around!!

Can I just say at this point, I am not really sure what my brownie uniform is doing in America, let alone in my wardrobe. When we moved to America, Prince Charming told me to pack only the essentials. I can not tell you how something I used to wear when I was a wee girl slipped into the essentials pile!!

In England you can join the guides at age 4. It is called the Rainbows. Then from the age of 6-11 you are in the Brownies. The leader of the Brownies is called Brown Owl. Once 12 you can join the Girl Guides.

The uniform also consisted of a brown wooly hat and a brown leather belt with purse attached. So many badges, I was such a good little brownie.

The little white man denotes which pack I was in - I was a gnome. I used to be a pixie - green man. The two yellow stripes under the white man means that I was a sixer - I was the leader of the gnome pack. The white strip tells me which brownie pack I was in.

So sweet, I still have the original things in the pockets. A clean hankie, a plaster, a piece of string, a card of drawn maps, two pencils, a 5p coin incase I have to call someone and a little worksheet that I had filled in. All over 30 years old!!

I can still remember the little song we used to sing, whist holding hands and skipping around a toadstool........................

We're brownie friends, we're brownie friends, we're here to lend a hand,
To love our God and serve our Queen and help our home and land,
We're brownie friends, we're brownie friends from North, South, East and West,
We're joined together in this group to try to do our best.

Ahh, those were the days. I can't wait until eldest OL is old enough to get into cub scouts. I will re-live my brownie days through him. Meanwhile, any Girl Guide wanting to sell her cookies, please feel free to knock on my door, I might even sing my brownie song for you!!


  1. Seriously one of the cutest posts I've ever seen. Prince Charming would surely even find this outfit essential after reading this!

  2. so nice!! love this post!! how cute you must have looked in that uniform!!

  3. Aww I love seeing your brownie uniform! I used to be in Brownies when I was a little girl! So cute!

  4. My oldest daughter is a Girl Scout. I can't wait to show her what a Brownie uniform use to look like.

  5. This brings back memories - I was in the Sprites. I'd forgotten the song so thanks for sharing this - great post :0)

  6. I just love your post, especially your brownie uniform! :)

  7. OMG what a wonderful post, brings back such warm memories. Now I want to check for my uniform next time I'm at my parents house. This is great!!

  8. So fun! I was a Brownie too! Although I have no idea where my uniform went...

  9. thank you for sharing your uniform and explaining the badges. I have one exactly the same!! Like you I LOVED brownies and will be encouraging my little girl to join once she reaches 7 :)

  10. I recently found my swimmers badge from Brownies - I remember showing my UK brownie outfit to my school friends when I moved to Ireland, by then of course I had grown about 4 inches and the nuns thought it quite indecent in length.. I am now a Brown Owl with 24 Brownies of my own and a Guide captain in Ireland, And I love it, although it has changed significantly to keep up with the modern way of things.. but I do think my Brownies would to well to have the utility pouch!!I have to say that the Imp (which I was the Sixer of) was much more evil looking in the 70s than it is now..