I promise that I will do my best

My first day at 1st Mt Riverview Brownies, back in 1982. I can still recite the promise that I made all those years ago. I was in the Warrigals (which I think is an Aboriginal word for dingo) and eventually worked my way up the ‘ranks’ as seconder and sixer and then moved on to Girl Guides when I was old enough.






A Brownie Guide thinks of others before herself
and does a good turn every day.

The Brownie Law

Memories made. New friends, camps complete with ghost stories, lots of craft, campfire damper and toasting marshmallows, constructing shoe racks with a few sticks and knots (essential skills!) and sleeping in big canvas Bell tents in the rain. I earned my ‘Collectors’ badge for collecting rocks and shells, and my ‘Writers’ badge for penning a poem about the zoo which included a rather good line about a camels hump (my family still tease me about all these years later). I remember on my first day of Girl Guides when I was introduced to my patrol leader she told me her name was Emily LeBon and I naively believed her!

While the essence is the same, Girl Guides has evolved over time and remains very relevant and more inclusive in 2016, and references in the Promise to God and The Queen have been removed (in Australia).

Our Mission is to enable girls and young women to grow into
confident, self respecting, responsible community members.

Girl Guides Australia

My two girls are currently members of Girl Guides Australia, one a Brownie Guide and one about to officially become a Girl Guide. It’s been a rich and rewarding experience for them, thanks especially to two of the most wonderful local Guide Leaders: Possum and Wonga (no Brown Owl these days!). These ladies have given so much. Their experience, time, love and energy, encouraging the girls to learn about the world, and be kind and confident. We’re lucky to know them.

Guiding has been around for over 100 years. When the Boy Scouts were founded in 1908, there was a lot of interest from girls wanting to also join the scouting movement. As a result, Robert Baden-Powell (known as BP) officially founded the Girl Guides Association in 1910 in the UK. In Australia girls were forming unofficial guiding groups as early as 1909 and the association was in all 6 states by 1920.

Leave this world a little better than you found it.

Robert Baden Powell (BP), 1941

Here are three images I have in my collection, of Brownies and Guides from early last century. Unfortunately all images are unmarked except the first one which is dated 1930. The other two are potentially older. I’ll have to do some research into uniforms!

Brownies and Guides (wishpom vintage image emporium)

Brownie Guide – 1930

Brownies and Guides (wishpom vintage image emporium)

Girl Guides – date unknown

Brownies and Guides (wishpom vintage image emporium)

Brownies and Girl Guides – date unknown

Do you have any memories from your own adventures in Brownies or Girl Guides?
I’d love to hear about them!


Add yours
  1. Robyna

    I really wanted to be a brownie as a little girl, but mum had no truck with it. She hated uniforms and authority with equal passion. I must say, I’m quite taken with the boots in the older photos!

  2. Rach

    My little boy was just learning his cubs promise last night…. I promise to have respect… do what is right… be positive.
    It is still the most amazing organisation. Some of the greatest leaders I know were once Brownies and Cubs, Girls Guides and Scouts.
    I loved reading your post Susannah, the nostalgia! There is so much to learn from our reflections of the past.

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