Atworth Village website - Brownies and Guides

The History of the 1st Atworth Brownies and Guides

The founder of the Guide Association was Robert Baden-Powell, a famous soldier in the Boer War. It was during the siege of Mafeking that he noticed that boys were very useful at carrying messages and running other errands. When he returned home, he took 21 boys on a camp to see if any of his "scouting" ideas could work. The camp was a huge success, and he wrote a book "Scouting for Boys", which was packed with ideas of things to do. It wasn’t long before boys began to group themselves together into patrols. Many girls also bought the book, and despite the fact that they were much more restricted at the time, they participated in many activities. By 1909, 6,000 girls had registered at Scout headquarters, using their initials so that nobody would realise they were girls. At the first world Scout Rally at Crystal Palace, London, a group of girls asked Baden-Powell if they could join too. He decided that something should be done, and established the Girl Guides (named after a famous Indian regiment, the Khyber Guides, who were renowned for their ability to do almost anything) in 1910.

Mrs Margery Long started the 1st Atworth Guides in 1954, retiring as the Guider in Charge in 1985, but continued to assist as a helper until 1996. her help was very much appreciated by Mrs Lynn Edwards who took over from Mrs Long in 1985 as Guider in Charge. Lynn however, has had a long association with Atworth Guides and Brownies, firstly as a Guide then as Assistant Brownie and Guide Guider since 1965.

Atworth Guides and Brownies planted an oak tree at the recreation ground in 1977 to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The tree has struggled to survive over the years; it was attacked by vandals soon after it was planted but like the Guides and Brownies has "courage under all difficulties".

There have been presentations to four Queen’s and three First Class Guides at Atworth. Recently five Baden Powell Trefoils have been awarded. This is now the highest award that a girl can obtain in the Guide Section.

 What do we do in the Atworth Brownies and Guides ?

After the Brownies have arrived and bought their tuck, a normal meeting will begin with Brownie Ring (the girls stand in a circle in groups known as Sixes) where notices are given out. This is followed by a variety of activities, including crafts, games, and singing, usually as part of a badge. We wrap up the evening with another Brownie ring, where we say prayers, sing "Brownie Bells" (a prayer sung to "Westminster Bells") and say good night.

Guides are organised into Patrols – a group of girls that get on well and work together effectively. The size of each patrol is flexible, and the girls choose their own patrol. The Guides begin their meeting with Horseshoe, similar to Brownie ring, except that we "break the colours" (fly the Union Flag). Notices are given out, after which the girls will usually retreat to their Patrol Corners to discuss the "Go For It" (similar to badges, with all the decisions made by the girls) that they’re working towards. Each patrol may choose to do a different activity throughout the evening, or more than one patrol may decide to work together. We usually finish these activities in time for a few games. The evening finishes with Horseshoe, where we take the flag down again, have prayers, sing taps and say goodnight.

There are also opportunities for the girls to take part in a number of challenges and trips – they can work towards Interest Badges, Challenge Badges, Go For Its, or the Baden Powell award, to name but a few.

In addition to our usual activities, we have a number of other things that we do. In February, we celebrate "World Thinking Day", on Lord and Lady Baden-Powell’s Birthday’s (which was the same day – the 22nd). It is usual for all of the Rainbows, Brownies, and Guides in the area to get together for a few hours to do things not usually possible in the normal weekly meeting. There is a similar celebration around Christmastime too. There is also an annual concert for Guides and Senior Section members only – last year with performances from Louise, A1, Geri Halliwell, Liberty and many more.

Of course, there are the Holidays and Camps to look forward to. This involves going away for a few days as a group, either indoors or in tents, giving the girls the opportunity to take part in some of the more "traditional" aspects of guiding, and working together as a team. Getting up at 8am to light a fire to cook breakfast on is one of them…

Our Brownies and Guides learn a lot (even if they don’t realise they are!). The Brownies are always working towards a badge or two, so they learn a variety of skills ranging from cooking to needlework, to road safety. The Guides learn a lot of skills too, although they have the freedom to choose exactly what they do. The "Go For It’s" include Healthy Eating, Fitness, Parties, Chocolate, and Animal Action. When on holidays or camps, the girls are expected to chip in, and do the cooking and cleaning too!

Membership details

We currently have 13 Brownies, with "Brown Owl", "Barn Owl" and "Nala Owl", and 19 Guides, with "Cappy" and "Nala". We meet on a weekly basis during term time, but we sometimes have other events that we can attend.

Any girl or woman can join the Guide Association, so long as you are 5 or over:
    Age    5 – 7      Rainbows (nearest units in Holt and Melksham)
              7 – 10    Brownies
            10 – 14    Guides
            14 – 18    Rangers or Young Leaders
            18+          Adult Leaders (this includes Guiders and Unit Helpers)

The cost is £9.00 at the beginning of each term (or £4.50 per half term) for subs, which pays for the hall, badges, and any other items we need for activities. Other events, such as day trips or holidays, are paid for separately. New members will need to buy a uniform, (available from many outlets, although we do sometimes have second hand uniform for sale at a lower price). We also have to pay an annual subscription to the Guide Association for each member, but the majority of this comes from our own Unit funds.

We always welcome new members, so if you’re interested please get in touch. We sometimes need people to help for one meeting, if a regular guider is unable to attend. If you feel that you would like to help, but are unable to commit on a weekly basis, we will welcome you too! If your daughter is still too young, you can still let us know and we can put her name on the waiting list. We are very welcoming, and there is no commitment – if you want to try it out for a few weeks, you are more than welcome.

Contact Details

If you would like to be a member, or would just like more information, please e-mail I will forward your query to the Guiders in charge and they will get in touch with you - additional contact details can be found here.

To return to the Clubs and Societies page, or to the Welcome Page, click on the "Clubs and Societies" or the "Welcome Page" link on the scrollable side panel on the left.


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