Brownie and Guide Talks

These are free talks, which we are happy to give to Brownie packs and Guide groups.  We only ask for a small donation towards travelling costs if it is outside a 20 mile radius of Abingdon.

We have a maximum of 25 Brownies or Guides for these talks.  There is no minimum number.

The talks take the form of a PowerPoint presentation interspersed with activities.  Both talks last for 1 hour.  We also bring a small display of original memorabilia.

At the beginning of the evening we ask that the girls are split into 3 groups (we provide stickers for this).

Setting up
We need a minimum of 30 minutes to set up for the talk (less with help from leaders to carry from the car).

What we will provide
Projector, stand, screen
A small display of 1940s memorabilia
All items for the activities

What we need
Post Code and clear directions to the hall.
Contact details including phone number of the leader
4 x 6ft tables (if this is not possible we can bring 2 tables, but need advance notice).
Electric point
Help packing up and transporting to the car is much appreciated.
Cup of tea!

Brownies
The following topics are covered

  • How long ago WW2 was.
  • Brownie uniform changes over the last 81 years
  • What life was like for children during the war. (Air raids, Home Life, Gas Masks, School, Playtime and toys, Entertainment, Helping at home)
  • Joining Brownies
  • Getting Ready for Brownies
  • The Golden Bar – what Brownies had to do to get their Golden Bar badge. (Setting the Table, the Union Flag, Sewing, Knots, Health Rules)
  • The Golden Hand – what Brownies had to do to get their Golden Hand badge, to become a first class Brownie.
  • What Brownies did to help win the war (including the story about them doing secret work for MI9)

Activities

Air Raid:  After talking about air raids the Brownies are warned that at some point the air raid siren will be sounded and they will have to go to a shelter (tables covered with cloths).  During the air raid there are quite loud sounds, but they will be told that when they are in the shelter they will be completely safe.  Previous groups have loved this and they all wanted to do it again!

The Golden Bar:  Three activities will be set up around the room (setting a table, nature test and flag test).  Each six will be asked to go to a table and perform the activity then rotate to the next test when finished.  We need 2 helpers for this. (works very well with 3 sixes e.g.18)

1940s Recycling:  The Brownies will be asked to stand in the middle of the room, items will be shown on the screen and they will be asked to move left or right depending on whether they think this is true or false.  

The Golden Hand:  The Brownies love this one!  We ask the leaders to step up and see if they can do all of the requirements for the Golden Hand badge (don’t worry, you don’t have to actually do this, just stand up if you can or sit down if you can’t).


Guides

The following topics are covered:

  • How long ago WW2 was.
  • Guide uniform changes over the last 80 years
  • What life was like during the war. (Air raids, Home Life, Gas Masks, School, Entertainment, Helping at home)
  • What girls wore
  • Joining Guides
  • The Tenderfoot Test
  • The 2nd Class Test
  • What the Guides did during the War
  • Top Secret Stories
  • Wartime Badges
  • Spies, Secrets and Messages (the story of a wartime Guide)

Activities

Air Raid

After talking about air raids the Guides are warned that at some point the air raid siren will be sounded and they will have to go to a shelter (tables covered with cloths), they will be asked to sing a song.  During the air raid there are quite loud sounds, but they will be told that when they are in the shelter they will be completely safe.  Previous groups have loved this and they all wanted to do it again!

Guide Tests

This is a competition between the three groups with a prize at the end.

1.       Detective (Test deductions skills and finding out information)
2.      Knotting
3.      First Aid

Observation

This will take place on the screen.  An image will be shown for 20 seconds and the girls will then be asked four questions about the pictures and write down the answers, the results will then be shown.  A further two tests will be shown.

Feedback

We have had a lot of lovely comments about our talks, please see below:

1st Naphill Brownies Hello! Have been meaning to email and say how much Morwenna loved your brownies last week with the special speakers. She was captivated! And I had pretty much the whole evening repeated to me on the way home / getting ready for bed etc... and it was fascinating for me too. Smuggling spy maps in cotton reels - brownies raising the fire alarm etc as they were so responsible (she especially liked that bit!!). Thank you for organising such brilliant things for them. Lucky brownies!

2nd Tilehurst Brownies 
Thank so much both of you. Such a lovely evening. So interesting. I have already had some parents say how much their daughters enjoyed the evening. And I love my special badge

3rd Kennington Brownies
Dear Karen and Bret, thank you so much for making our Brownie meeting so enjoyable. I learn a lot of new things. I am sorry so many of our girls were away.. lots of coughs and colds at the moment. I have spread the word of how amazing you both were. Many thanks again.

1st Goring Guides
Bret and Karen recently came to my Guide Unit to reveal the untold history of what the Girl Guides did during the war. It was absolutely fascinating. We had no idea that Guides played such a significant role on the Home Front from lighting campfires to make tea for bomb victims to assisting doctors in hospitals and even carrying messages for the security services. During the war, GIrlguides slept in their uniforms in case they needed to spring into action overnight. Bret and Karen also brought along an intriguing display of war time artifacts including a genuine baby’s gas mask and a Guiding uniform fitted on a model of an average-sized WW2 12-year-old girl - much smaller than most of our Guides. The talk was inter-woven with some war-time role play activities which the girls really enjoyed with plenty of time to ask questions and reflect on the impact of the war on a generation of girls.

Feedback-wise I think it was a very well structured evening with the right balance between information and entertainment and I felt you read the mood of the girls and kept them engaged.

3rd Brize Norton Guides
Thank you so much for coming to talk to us about all the amazing things Guides did on the Home Front durint WWII. All so very interesting.