Sunday, 5 May 2013

Story Telling Sunday Three - May

It's the first Sunday of the month and so there is only one thing to do. I must write my story. This event is brought to you courtesy of Sian at From High in the Sky Why not click over there when you have read this and take a look at all the other excellent stories.

This month my precious is my collection of badges from the time I was a Guide Leader. I can't show you a photograph because blogger is being difficult and will not allow me to upload from my computer or from another website.

I was never fortunate enough to be a Girl Guide or a Brownie when I was young so, when I grew up and had my own daughter we lived in a village about 8 miles from the town of Monmouth and this village had a Brownie pack and a Guide Company. My daughter was desperate to join Brownies with all her friends so as soon as she was seven along we went to see Brown Owl. She told us that unless she could find some people to help she could not take any more than 12 girls and there would have to be a waiting like. My dear friend Bev volunteered and so did I - well we had to didn't we there were at least six more girls desperate to be Brownies. We received our hand books and after a week or two obtained our uniform blouses and little strips of ribbon stitched to an elastic thing to go around our necks. When we were warranted we would be able to wear our badge on this.  In time we did just that and I made my Promise as a Guide and Guider for the first time in the Parish Room, surrounded by Brownies and with my daughter, who had made her Promise several weeks before. Proud? oh you bet!

Guiding in Wales has a house. It is called Broneirion and it is in Mid Wales. It was Given to them by the wife of the man that built Barry Docks and training events are held there. I was lucky to be able to go on our County weekend. It was fantastic. I arrived home on Sunday evening full of all the things we had done and eager to get to Brownies on Monday to start. Half an hour after getting home the phone rang and it was the District Commissioner. "Are you sitting down?" she asked. "Yes" I said although I was actually standing at the bottom of the stairs. "H has resigned as Guide Leader so we need a new Guider. How do you feel about running Guides?"
"I, er, um, Guides?" I managed before she continued, "Well, let me put it this way. If you say no then Guides will close."
There's nothing like a bit of honest blackmail is there? What choice did I have? I said yes, I went to Brownies on Monday really worried that I was letting them down and when I arrived at the door one of the mothers asked me if we needed any help because she had been a Tawny Owl in the place they used to live so she had a warrant!
I took her to Brown Owl and then explained the situation about Guides and the following evening I went to the Scout Hut to meet the girls There were eight girls, including my daughter who had just moved up (the one big reason I had to do this thing) She had a face like a smacked bottom because I was deliberately following her. The girl who had resigned was there as promised. She was going to stay a week or two and show me what to do. We had great fun and so it began. I did all the necessary stuff and got my Guide Leader's warrant. My friend Viv came along to help and she agreed to stay as Assistant Guider on the understanding that she NEVER wanted to be in charge. We discovered that the company didn't have camping gear, had never been to a camp and so we changed all that. Girls from the surrounding area heard about us and our Saturday camps - I lived in an old water mill with 6 acres of land so it was easy - and they wanted to join. By 1979 we had two Guide companies with 18 girls in each. Two Brownie Packs with 18 girls in each. We joined up with two other Guide companies and took 56 Guides to a summer camp just outside Monmouth, where we were joined by an infestation of nits!!! but that's a whole other story.
So when I look at my badges - Brownie promise, Guide Promise, Camper's Badge, QM badge, Silver Jubilee and all the rest I can let my mind float back to those wonderful days.

Sorry there are no pictures but this has been written with confidence and pride, just like I learned on that training weekend so long ago.


14 comments:

Amy said...

Now, there is certainly a theme of guiding popping up in the stories this month - I loved hearing your story today.

Miriam said...

I feel so proud of you!! I don't need a picture I have a fabulous one in my head. Thank you for sharing this precious time in your life, I have goose bumps!! Oh and 'smacked bottom' how very polite for a Sunday morning. ;)

Gail said...

Oh what a wonderful story of your badges - no wonder they are precious to you. I loved being both a Brownie and a Guide - I think I might even have some of my badges around.

Jennie said...

Oh your story needs no pictures - I have them already in my head. Brownies and Guides give so much to youngsters - and I don't think I know anyone who doesn't look back on their days as Brownies and Guides with fondness. Thank you so much for sharing your story of becoming a Guide! J x

Sian said...

How wonderful - we've done companion stories this month. that's very nifty :)

..and I'd like to say thank you. We Guides owe a huge debt of gratitude to Leaders everywhere. You are an amazing bunch! My Guide Leader was a really special lady and she taught me a lot. She put up with a lot too. actually she was a saint..have you checked? cos you probably are too :)

Elizabeth said...

What a special person you are! There was a need for a Guide leader and you filled it. If you don't already take pride in that, please do so now.

Melissa said...

Fantastic story & memories of your time as a Guide! Thanks for sharing.

Missus Wookie said...

What a wonderful story - glad you shared it with confidence and pride. Well deserved too - being either a Brownie or Guide leader but both... and leading camps? Woot!

Jennie Hart said...

How wonderful that you stepped in, and I am glad it had it's own reward :) I am always in awe of people that step in and step up :)

S said...

You've earned a badge for stepping into the breach, that's for sure. I love hearing Girl Guide/Scout tales - it's always a treat.

Maria Ontiveros said...

How fantastic of you to step up like that! I wish my Clara had done Girl Scouts.
Rinda

Sheena said...

What a wonderful story so well written it needed no pictures for me x
As a Scout Leader & Queens Guide I can totally relate :)

Karen said...

Like you I was never a brownie or guide but became a Brownie leader so that my daughter could join a pack. I later started a Rainbow pack and still run it now and love every meeting with those little girls. I am ashamed to say that I don't bother to sew my badges onto anything.

Irene said...

Really enjoyed reading about your Guiding experiences. Well done you for giving so much of your time to such a worthy cause.