Brownies (Girl Guides)

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For additional meanings of the word Brownies see Brownie (disambiguation)


The name was adopted for the female version of Cub Scouts Youth organization in Britain, i.e. the younger version of Girl Guides in 1915.

The group was started by Agnes Baden-Powell (Lord Baden-Powell's sister) in 1914. Originally the girls were called Rosebuds, but were renamed by Lord Baden-Powell. Their name comes from a story by Juliana Horatia Ewing, written in 1870. In the story two boys learn that children can be helpful Brownies or lazy boggarts.

Brownie packs are divided into groups called sixes. Each six has either the name of a fairy creature (Leprechauns, Pixies, Elf, Kelpie, Bwbacod, Ghillie-Dhu, Gnome, Imp, Sprite ) or a woodland animal (rabbit, hedgehog, fox, badger, mole, squirrel). One girl is in charge of the six - the Sixer. Another girl helps her - the Seconder.

Activities Brownies undertake vary between Packs. Most will play games, work towards badges, make things, cook, go on trips and holidays, etc.

Brownie uniforms are brown, yellow and blue. The girls can choose from a variety of different uniform items.

The Guiding movement in the United Kingdom remains popular - one third of all 8 year old girls in the UK are Brownies. Many Packs have long waiting lists and struggle to find enough adult volunteers to cope with demand.

When a person does nice favors for another (especially for an authority figure), the person can be said to earn brownie points, a phrase which seems to have originated from the reward system used in the Girl Guides' junior branch.

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