What Brownies Taught Me

Brownies is a wonderful program for girls aged seven to ten. Teaching hands-on experience in developing young girls minds, self-esteem, relationships, fitness, community and service projects and lifestyle choices.

The Brownie Promise: I promise to do my best, To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada, I will take action for a better world, And respect the Brownie Law.

I’ve promised myself always to do my best and have always been true to my beliefs. I remember the brown uniform and orange and white scarf like it was yesterday. I couldn’t wait to fill my sleeve with Brownie badges, small tokens of encouragement in jobs well done in cooking, cleaning, communications, fire building, team work, community service and self-improvement.

I'm a happy Brownie

Brownies are taught to always be prepared, and this is a lesson I’ve taken with me my entire life. I’ve always carried a lighter, just in case of extreme disaster I can light a fire and to always carry an up-to-date passport, because you never know when the next adventure may come knocking.

They taught me important life skills such as: how to boil water, never talk to strangers unless that stranger was in a police uniform, they taught us songs like duck, duck goose and the Brownie Smile Song. They advocated travel and camping, learning and adventures, scavenger hunts, bird watching and an abundance of physical activities to tire any seven-year old out.

But above all Brownies taught me to sew. Who else was going to sew all those golden badges on my sleeve? I had to, or maybe my Mom did, but for the sake of this article and being a good Brownie, I sewed all my golden badges to my Brownie uniform.

I hadn’t used my skills as Brownie seamstress until decades later, and thought I was safe from the annoying pin prick of the needle until Husband asked, several times to sew patches on his work jeans.

I put the job off indefinitely in hopes Husband would find a different pair of work pants to work in. But he kept asking, and I continued to remind him that I AM CANADIAN, and Canadian girls don’t sew. Or do we?

I’d had enough when Husband asked for the umpteenth time, finding an old pair of jeans to cut into, I began the task of patching holes in knees.

This is what happens when you ask an ex-Brownie Canadian who hasn’t sewed patches (except for the Canadian flag on my backpack) in her entire life.

Brownie Patches 29 Years in the Making

Where you a Brownie? What do you remember from your Brownie years? And how have you carried it with you in your life?

15 responses

  1. Pingback: My Sardinian Life | 7×7 Blog Award « My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda

  2. I wasn’t a brownie and felt like I missed out on something big! I can’t sew either even though my mum had her own business making stuffed toys and was gifted with her hands! I love the photo of your patches by the way. Really colorful!

  3. Great post! Of course I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout too. I loved it! It is funny that your article is so timely as my son just started cub scouts and I have been struggling to get his patches on! I tried using a hot glue gun and that didn’t work. My sewing skills are horrid but that is probably what I’ll have to do. Thanks for bringing me back 30 years!

  4. I was a browning for a year but I didn’t stick with it since I started to play sports instead. That may explain why I can’t sew a button on. I should have stuck with it. Thanks for the memories.

  5. I was both a Brownie and later a Patrol Leader (is that what they were called) in the Girl Guides.

    I had my uniform for many years then I lost in on one of my moves across the Tasman.

    I remember I was the only Girl Guide with the LandGirl badge!

    I do not remember much about being a Brownie – actually, now I come to think of it, I’m not even sure I was a Brownie, but I was a Brownie something or other as a Girl Guide.

    Good grief – you are asking me to remember back over 40 years!!!!

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