Wednesday, 20 October 2010

20.10 20/10 2010

One hundred years ago (give or take a few months), a group of girls had the audacity to turn up to Baden-Powell's Boy Scout Rally. They told him they were Girl Scouts; he was adamant they weren't and they couldn't be.

And then people persuaded him that really he might be able to do something for the girls too. And so he persuaded his sister Agnes to do something, and she wrote a tediously worthy little book called "How Girls Can Help to Build up The Empire". And that might have been it, but it wasn't, and Girl Guiding grew anyway, and eventually his wife became involved.

And now, a hundred years later, we celebrated by renewing our promises as Guides, Brownies (not Rosebuds), and Rainbows at 20.10 on the 20th day of the 10th month, in the year 2010.

That first rally was outdoors, muddy, mostly boys, and the girls came in long skirts with packs on their backs. This ceremony was managed via internet link, and our girls were in their uniform of pink and navy, with jeans and trousers and hot pants and miniskirts. We had a Glowsticks campfire, and the only men a handful of parents come to see their daughters receive Baden-Powell Awards. Although, as we were using the theatre belonging to a local independent boys' boarding school, I suppose the ratio of boys to girls in the wider vicinity was possibly not dissimilar.

I wonder what Lord B-P would've thought about it? About GirlGuiding as it is today, and about the celebrations we had. Such an outdoorsy man; I'm not convinced a warm centrally heated theatre would have been an acceptable option to him. But I hope the continuance of the movement he started, however reluctantly, would have brought him pleasure. And I hope he'd recognise some of his ideals in what we have today.

But for now, Day is done, gone the sun, from the sea, from the hills, from the sky. As we go, this we know, God is nigh.



Yvonne said...

Here's a link to a photo from when I was a Brownie (Elf Patrol):

We were fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and dedicated Brown Owl. Happy days!

Tia said...

That's a proper Browmie photo! Don't think we have any with my six (Leprechaun then gnome), but I have a feeling there's an up against the garden fence pic of myself with our Brownie neighbour somewhere at home.


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