Brownie (Girl Guides)

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AGESCI Coccinelle at Lombardy Regional Meeting

A Brownie is a member of a Guiding organization for girls aged seven years old to ten years old. Exact age limits are slightly different in each organization.

History[edit]

Brownies were first organized by Lord Baden-Powell in 1914, to complete the range of age groups for girls 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.

Motto, Promise and Law[edit]

Australia[edit]

In Australia (where girls of all ages are now called Girl Guides) the Guiding Promise is:

I promise that I will do my best; To be true to myself and develop my beliefs, To serve my community and Australia, and live by the Guide law.

Prior to 2012, the Promise was:

I promise that I will do my best;
To do my duty to God,
To serve the Queen and my country
To help other people
and keep the Guide law.

The Brownie Guide Law, prior to 1996, was:

A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself and should do a good turn everyday.

The Brownie Guide Motto, prior to 1996, was:

Lend a hand

The Guide Law, Promise and Motto, which are followed by all ages of the guiding movement after 1996, are the Laws, Promise and Motto relating to the guide age group.

Canada[edit]

Brownie uniforms from Canada

In Canada, the Brownie Promise is:[1]

I promise to do my best,
To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada,
I will take action for a better world,
And respect the Brownie Law.

The Canadian Brownie Law is:

As a Brownie I am honest and kind. I help take care of the world around me.

The Canadian Brownie Motto is:

Lend a Hand

Old Promise: The old Brownie Promise is:

I promise that I will do my best,
to love God,
To serve my Queen and country,
To help other people
And to keep the Brownie Guide Law

The English Brownie Law is:

A brownie guide thinks of others before herself and does a good turn every day.

The English Brownie Motto is:

"Lend A Hand" (LAH)

Singapore[edit]

The Singaporean Brownie Promise is:

I promise to do my best,
To do my duty to God,
To serve my country,
And to help other people, and to
Keep the Brownie Law.

The Singaporean Brownie Law is:

A brownie obeys and respect her elders.
A brownie thinks of others before herself.
A brownie tells the truth.
A brownie is neat and tidy.
A brownie is thrifty.
A brownie plays and works cheerfully.

The Singaporean Brownie Motto is:

Lend a hand

United Kingdom[edit]

In the United Kingdom, the Brownie Promise is:

I promise that I will do my best:
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,
To serve the Queen and my community,
To help other people
and
To keep the Brownie Guide Law.

After a wide public consultation in spring 2013, the promise wording was changed for all sections.

The Brownie promise before September 2013 was:

I promise that I will do my best:
To love my god,
To serve my queen and my country
To help other people,
And to keep the Brownie Guide Law.

The Brownie Guide Law is:

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

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)

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.

Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong, the Brownie Promise is:

I will promise to do my best,
To be true to myself,
To my God, and my country.
To help others and to keep the Brownie Guide Law.

The Law is:

As a Brownie Guide,
I will care for my home, my community and myself.
I will do a good turn every day.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Brownies (Guiding) at Wikimedia Commons

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