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to this WebSite for memories
of Girl Guiding activities and incidents

The Girl Guide Movement started almost all by itself.  A very short history is given below.  The Movement has given enormous pleasure to millions of girls world wide for over a hundred years.
But Guiding is more than that - it provides young girls with motivation, confidence and self-worth.

"A Girl Guide can do ANYTHING!"
Here are just a few memories of happy days.

Here is a small collection that was publishd in 1974; 
A more recent collection of anecdotes is here.

Links to other WebSites may be found here.

Bethan Clark has compiled an amazing collection of
Guiding songs.

There is a Remindery of stories about Olave B-P.

There are stories by and about
Betty Clay, the B-P's younger daughter.

There is a heart-warming account
of how Girl Guide Leaders
the Guides International Servise
the G.I.S
went into Europe
after the Second World War
to assist with refugees. 

YOUR contributions about Guiding are invitied

Click here to send them to add to this collection.





Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell (whom we shall call B-P) was born on the 22nd of February, 1857.  He discovered an interest in Scouting while still at school.  Upon leaving school, he joined the army, and was sent out to India. Throughout his military career, he still had this interest in Scouting, and in 1883, then aged 26, he wrote a little "pocket-book" on the subject, "On Vedette: An Easy Aide Memoire"; this was followed in 1884 by "Reconnaissance and Scouting", in 1885, "Calvalry Instruction", with chapters on "camping".

In 1899, by this time a Brevet Colonel, he wrote a small book for soldiers, called "Aids to Scouting for NCOs and  Men".  As it happened, when this was published, B-P's name had become well-known to the British public, for the South African War had broken out, and B-P was the Commanding Officer in charge of the garrison in the small but strategic town of Mafeking, which was beseiged by the enemy.  His reports were published in the British newspapers, and captured the imagination of the British public.  This obviously iincreased the sales of his little book, which was only really intended for soldiers.   During the Seige, B-P gave his approval for the organisation of the young lads in the town into a Cadet Force, with tasks such as delivering messages.  He found that, when given responsibility, the boys reacted very well.

Suddenly, in Britain, boys - and girls too - started to copy those Cadets, and to try out the suggestions in B-P's book.  At Charlotte Mason's "House of Education" - a teacher-training college in the Lake District - "Aids to Scouting" was in the syllabus from 1905.

The Boy Scouts

After the South African War ended and B-P returned to Britain, he learned that groups of boys were practicing the skills about which he had written.  In January 1907 B-P published a pamphlet "Boy Scouts Scheme" which included this:- "for an attractive organisation and valuable training for girls."  Further research led B-P to hold a trial Camp for twenty boys, on Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour in Dorset, and the Camp showed him that his ideas were sound.  He then published "Scouting for Boys", and the Scout Movement came into being.

Such was the rapid growth of the Scout Movement that by 1909 B-P decided to hold a Rally, and the venue chosen was the grounds of Crystal Palace in South East London. The gathering attracted 11,000 boys. This was only a year after the publication of "Scouting for Boys", and only two years after B-P's first experimental Brownsea Island Camp.

Here come the Girls!

Upon his arrival at the Rally, B-P was met by a number of girls also dressed in uniform.  "And WHO are YOU?" he asked.  "WE ARE THE GIRL SCOUTS!" they cried!

This did not actually come as a surprise to B-P.  In his first Boy Scout Scheme pamphlet in 1907, B-P had described Scouting as the basis for "an attractive organisation and valuable training for girls", and by the time of the Rally thousands of girls had registered as Scouts.This indicated just how many girls were interested in Scouting, and led to the formal founding in 1910 of the Girl Guide Movement under his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell.

In 1912, B-P married Olave nee Soames, who eventually took over from Agnes the role of Chief Guide, while Agnes became President.

Girl Guiding has since spread all over the World, although in many countries they are called "Girl Scouts".

Agnes B-P

Agnes was born just 22 months after her brother Robert; among her mother's six surviving children she was the only daughter (although two had died before she was born); and she was followed 17 months later by another brother. So she was very much under the influence of these enterprising boys, so it is no surprise that she was "unusual" for her time.

Olave B-P

Olave, Lady Baden-Powell was B-P's wife, and was made World Chief Guide, a post created for her, which she held until her death. 

Please click >here< for some lovely tales about Olave Baden-Powell, World Chief Guide.  Clicking on that Link will take you to a WebSite that was compiled partly from a WebSite that had "died". The material was recovered from "the InterNet Archives", but without the pictures.  That original WebSite has been re-discovered, and can be accessed by clicking >here<.  Our grateful thanks go to Di Watson for getting in touch again with that Link!

Betty Clay

Betty was the third and youngest child of the B-Ps.  Ater her four children had started school, she became involved in the Guide Movement again, as a  Leader.  Her husband was in the Administration of the Government of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), and by the time he retired in 1964, Betty was Colony Commissioner for Girl Guides.  Upon their return to England, Betty entered the British Guide Movement, and her last role was as President of the South West region.

Some of HER stories about Guiding may be found here, while Guiding stories ABOUT her may be found here.

Girl Guides today

In many countries, girls can join the Movement from the age of 4 or 5 (as a Rainbow in the UK) ; they can progress to become a Brownie, and then at the age of 9 or 10, they can "fly up" to become a Girl Guide.  It has been estimated that in Britain about one woman in five has been a Girl Guide.

This WebSite

Most Girl Guides have very happy memories of their time in the Girl Guide Movement; a great many continue in the Movement, beconing Guiders themselves, enabling the next generations to have the same benefit (and fun) that they enjoyed.  Many continue by joining the Trefoil Guild (see below). 

So here is a collection of some such memories of Guiding.  Most will make you laugh; others may make you cry!   Some of the stories come from the diary of Betty Clay, B-P's younger daughter, or from documents left among her papers. She also accompanied her mother, Olave Lady Baden-Powell, the World Chief Guide, on many of her tours.

If YOU were once a Girl Guide (or Girl Scout) and would like to share your memories, just drop us a line - click >here<


if you were a Girl Guide, and you enjoyed it, why not re-visit your happy days ? Contact your nearest Girl Guide Company, and offer to "lend a hand".

There are ALWAYS, EVERYWHERE, long waiting lists of girls who WANT to become Girl Guides, but there are simply not enough places - solely because there are not enough Leaders & helpers.


And there is the Trefoil Guild -

Whether you’re currently involved in Guiding or not, the Trefoil Guild is a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded people to share your next adventure - whatever that might be!

The Trefoil Guild is a branch of Girlguiding and its members agree to support the Guiding ethos - including the pledge to help other people. Many members pass on their skills and knowledge to local Guiding units, from helping Brownies work towards a badge, to preparing older girls for a camping adventure. Many members are unit leaders or helpers in Girlguiding units.

But it’s not all about the girls - there are plenty or opportunities for members to try something new, take on a new personal challenge and escape the daily routine. The best thing is that what you do is up to you!

Across the UK, there are over 1,100 Trefoil Guilds with over 20,000 members - some meet every week, others less frequently, perhaps in the evening or in the afternoon. Wherever you are there is sure to be a Trefoil Guild close by.  Click >here< for more.

The photograph on the right hand side of the Banner at the top of the page shows the Hon. Mrs. Betty Clay, the younger daughter of B-P, presenting Queen's Guide badges to Janice Waite and Janet Gittings of the 19th Darlington (St. Cuthbert's) Guide Company, at The Guide Centre, Darlington, on Saturday, 7th November, 1970.

The sketch on the left of the Banner is by Heather Catchpole.

This WebSite was created 23/11/2015

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