Going to Brownies was the best part of growing up as a British girl

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The weekly Brownie meeting was the defining moment of any British girl’s childhood. Remember waving to your mum as she dropped you at your local Church or town hall. The activities of the next hour and half were so memorable, your Brownie welcome song is still ingrained in your head as an adult.

A group of girls dancing in a circle around a toadstool was completely rational behaviour

Something that as an adult you’d probably only do if you’d overdone it on the shrooms at Glasto. Someone would always knock the toadstool over by getting to enthusiastic with their skipping. This behaviour was considered completely normal at Brownies and would kick off every weekly meeting.

Wearing a brown sash was an accepted fashion statement

Whoever thought wearing a mud-coloured sash could be so sassy? You’d kick yourself the weeks you accidentally left it at home – how else would your mates know your received your Helping the Elderly badge?

brownie sash

You didn’t even question why you called the adults different species of Owl

You weren’t even sure what their real names were but you knew Brown Owl was a boss.

Competition with your rival sixes was everything

Whether you were an Imp, a Pixie, a Leprechaun or a Sprite, competition between your opponents was fierce. Your six was like your second family you’d bond with once a week over an intense two hour period, then forget about until the same time next week.

The pride you felt when you received a badge from Brown Owl to add to your Brownie sash

You’d beg your mum as soon as you got home to hand stitch your brand new badge onto your sash, which was slowly but surely filling up with an assortment of irrelevant personal achievements – like your Singing and Camping badges. Who knew that you could receive a personal credit by simply bringing in your Mum’s collection of sea shells she kept in the bathroom and get a Collectors badge in return.

You were never considered a true Brownie until you had your initiation and made your Brownie Promise

“Stop, who goes there?” Running around the group in a circle had never been so important. This was your moment and you owned it. You’d rehearsed your Brownie Promise for weeks because you’d never live it down if you messed it up in front of your mates. Your parents even came in for the five minutes at the end just to watch you run around a group of 20 kids twice and chant three lines. Bless.


When Brown Owl needed to fill the 20 minutes before home-time you’d play a variety of games

That strange ship game still haunts you till this day – the one that involved you running to “Port” and “Starboard” on separate ends of your freezing cold Church hall. Ladders and Duck, Duck, Goose were also weekly favourites.

The uniform was incredibly dated and unflattering, but you made it work

You were sceptical about your brown culottes but as it turned out, they were incredibly practical for all the running around – especially for the weekly game of Stuck In The Mud.


Getting a new sash when your old one was full had its ups and downs

You were an overachiever, sure, but getting a new empty sash looked like you hadn’t received any badges at all. You’d constantly tell people that this was your second sash but it just didn’t look at good as everyone else’s which were filled to the brim with black badges.

Brownie camp was your first proper holiday away with your mates

You’d decided weeks beforehand who you were sharing a bunk with and if you were lucky, you’d bagged the top bunk. Bedtime may have been at 9:30pm but your dorm would stay up into the early hours telling scary stories or riddles that you’d talk about the rest of the weekend.

Singing songs round the fire at Brownie camp was the highlight of your year

Probably your first ever experience toasting a marshmallow on a really long stick you found in the woods.