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Brownies in Wartime

We are very happy to come to your pack to give a talk within Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire or Berkshire. In addition to the talk we will bring a small display of related original memorabilia for the girls to look at. 

The talk for Brownie packs is all about what life was like for children during WW2 and specifically the wartime Brownie. It covers the following topics:

How long ago WW2 was.
Brownie uniform changes over the last 81 years
What life was like for children during the war.
Joining Brownies
Getting Ready for Brownies
The Golden Bar – what Brownies had to do to get their Golden Bar badge. 
The Golden Hand – how to become a first class Brownie.
What Brownies did to help win the war
Secret work for MI9

The talk takes the form of a PowerPoint presentation interspersed with activities and games.  The talks lasts for 1 hour, but please allow more time for questions and to see the original memorabilia we bring with us.

Air Raid:  After talking about air raids the Brownies are warned that at some point the air raid siren will sound and they will have to go to a shelter (3 covered tables).  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!

New for 2024

1940s Brownie afternoon (totalling 3 hours) would suit a sleep over event or indoor camp.
We suggest the girls (and leaders) dress for the occasion as evacuees and could even make gas mask boxes (pattern can be provided).

We started with our talk, a PowerPoint presentation with hundreds of original photos, covering:

How long ago was WW2.
What life was like for children during the war. 
Joining Brownies
Getting Ready for Brownies
The Golden Bar – what Brownies had to do to get their Golden Bar badge. The Golden Hand – how to become a first class Brownie.
What Brownies did to help win the war 
What Brownies recycled 
Secret work for MI9

During the talk we have an observation game and a ball throwing game, taken from the 1940’s program, finishing with a recycling game. (usually takes just over one hour in total)

After a short break we go on with some original 1940s Brownie games, the first traditional Brownie dances with a story, the frog dance, cat and mouse dance and finally the peacock and magpie, this involved some great impressions running around and screaming a lot, very successful and finishing with the Grand Howl, with more screaming.

We then do a show a tell with our display, which causes a lot of interested and some great questions also lots of discussion.

Next a sort lesson and test in Semaphore with a game, very thought provoking for them.

Followed by something different, a 1940s acting game to do with fairy tales, groups picked one from cards, went away practising a short silent play then acted it to the rest of the pack, this is brilliant, lots of thought can be put into this, lots of fun and laughter, really enjoyable activity.

We give a prize to the winning team, but suggest all good Brownies share.

We finish the afternoon with a short talk on rationing, and prepared a wartime tea, with bread pudding, vinegar cake, ( ) oat and chocolate biscuits, and a choice of sandwiches that the girls could make themselves, fillings, spam, jam, grated carrot, and quite popular mock banana made out of boiled parsnip and banana essence. This goes down very well again lots of questions.

We provide everything and ask for a donation of £30.00 (max 20 Brownies) to cover this plus travel expenses.

Please note all photos published with permission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read these before making an enquiry or booking, most of the answers are below, however please ask if you cannot find the answer you are looking for:

Do you charge?
We are non-profit making and talks are free, however due to the current high cost of fuel we sadly have to ask for help with our travel costs (at 35 pence per mile) and if you wish to make a donation to help with our other expenses (software and photo licenses, equipment, etc) it would be appreciated. The amount for travel expenses will be agreed at the time of the booking.

How many Brownies can you talk to?
We have a maximum of 25 Brownies, due to the activities (please discuss with us if you have more than this).  We have a minimum of 6 Brownies – perhaps if you have a small group you might consider inviting another pack to join in. 

How long is the talk?
A minimum of 45 minutes is needed to set up for the talk, which can be reduced considerably with help transporting from the car.  The talk lasts for 1 hour, but please allow additional time at the end for questions.

What do you provide?
Projector, stand, screen.
A small display of 1940s memorabilia.
All items for the activities.

If your hall has a projector, HDMI connection or screen please let us know.

What do we need to provide?
Address, Post Code and clear directions to the hall.
Contact details including phone number.
Number of Brownies and any who have special needs (this is to make sure we are fully inclusive).
4 x 6ft tables (if this is not possible we can bring 2 tables, but need advance notice).
Electric point
Help transporting to and from the car is much appreciated.
Cup of tea!

Do you have DBS checks?
No, we do not have DBS checks. We have been advised by the agency that we are not entitled to get DBS checks as we are not a company or affiliated with a charity or church. However, Karen is a registered Brownie leader.

We do not expect to be left alone with the children at any point and at least one other adult must be in attendance at all times.

How do I make a donation?
Donations may be made using any of the following:
1. Bank Transfer: 
Payee Name: Doing Their Bit
Account Number: 13225895
Sort Code: 04-03-33
2. By cheque to Mr B Wiles, 85 Church Road, Long Hanborough, Witney, Oxfordshire OX29 8JF

How do I book a talk?
Please e-mail with your request.  We aim to answer e-mails within 1 day. We do not accept bookings by phone.


We have had such a lot of great feedback from our Brownie talks, these are just a few:

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.