Sunday, February 7, 2010

Celebrating 100 Years of Girlguiding and 90 years of Girlguiding at Highbury

A Parade Service led by Diana Adams

Love (based on 1 Corinthians 13)

Love is a whisper,

not a tornado.

Love is a drift of petals,

not a mighty oak tree.

Love is the song of a flute,

not the blast of a trumpet.

Love is a beckoning finger,

not a pair of handcuffs.

This is its strength -

it invites,

it does not force.

It’s like a campfire.

We gather round,

and are warmed.

Anna Compston, aged 12

From ‘Dare to Dream’

Music as the Colour Parties enter – “The Chief” on CD 1 track 39

Opening sentences: Verses from Psalm 107

“Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal!”

Repeat these words in praise to the Lord.

Thank the Lord for his love, for the wonderful things he has done.

Thank him, and sing songs of joy.

Proclaim his greatness in the assembly of the people.

May those who are wise think about these things,

may they consider the Lord’s constant love.

Hymn: Colours of Day – chosen by the Brownies ….

Colour of Day dawn into the mind, the day has begun, the night is behind.

Go down in the city, into the street, into the park, on into the town ….

Tell the people of Jesus, let his love show.

Prayer: Loving God, we thank you


On 4th September in 1909 Robert Baden-Powell was inspecting a gathering of 11,000 Scouts at huge rally at the Crystal Palace in London, when he came across a group of girls. They were dressed in long khaki skirts, khaki blouses, and wide brimmed Scout hats; they had badges and rucksacks, and carried staves, just like the boys. He asked them, “Who are you?” and they replied “We are the Girl Scouts!” Baden- Powell was a bit taken aback “But there’s no such thing as Girl Scouts” he said.

“Yes, there are” they replied, “Because we are them!”

Scouting had started two years earlier in 1907, and it was proving to be so exciting for the boys that the girls wanted to do it too.

The girls had read Baden-Powell’s book “Scouting for Boys” and they had formed themselves into Patrols, and copied their brothers! In those days it was considered wrong for women to do the same as men, and for girls to do the same as boys.

Baden-Powell was worried that the boys wouldn’t like it if the girls were allowed to join, but when he saw how keen the girls were he decided they must have a Movement of their own, but with a different name, and activities suitable for girls.

Years later when Baden-Powell was asked who started the Guide Movement, he replied “They started themselves!” Baden-Powell called the new organisation ‘Girl Guides’. He realised the girls were doing Scouting because they liked the activities, so he was careful to include as much as possible of the Scouting programme to please the girls, but he changed some of the activities and challenges in order to please their parents! The Girl Guide Movement was officially started in 1910, so this year we are celebrating the one hundredth birthday - our Centenary.

The first big event this year will be on 22nd February when we celebrate World Thinking Day. The date was chosen as it was the shared birthday of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, and it’s a day when the girls are encouraged to remember each other, and Guides worldwide, and to strive towards international friendship and awareness.

Within a year of the birth of Guiding in the UK, Units sprang up in Canada, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and Sweden, and a year later in Australia, Ireland, The Netherlands and India. By 1920 there were over 183 thousand members in the UK, nearly 26 thousand in British Territories, and over 112 thousand elsewhere.

The first International Conference was held in Oxford in 1920, and then every two years afterwards. At the fifth Conference in 1928 the delegates discussed the idea of having an umbrella organisation to bring together the 26 countries where there was a significant Guiding presence at that time, and The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was set up (known as WAGGGS).

WAGGGS mission statement is: to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens in the world. We are a growing Worldwide Movement – aiming to build a better world.

Today, there are well over half a million members in 145 countries, and the Brownies have been busy making the flags of the nations to display around the Church today, to encircle everyone here, in the same way that Guiding encircles or embraces the people in those 145 countries around the world.

BROWNIES encircle the church with flags they have made representing nearly all the countries Guides are in.

In the Bible, in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 28, we read that Jesus said to his disciples “Go to all peoples everywhere, and I will be with you always” and in a way that is what Scouting and Guiding has done, as both Movements have spread all over the world, creating the worldwide families of Scouts and Guides.

Hymn: Father God, I wonder – this was also chosen by the Brownies – and it goes on to say

“I am your child, adopted in your family,

and I can never be alone because you are there beside me…..”


Last year Highbury Guides celebrated their 90th birthday, and their programme in the autumn term took them through the decades, trying activities from the very first Guide handbook that would have been used by the original Highbury Guides in 1919; they also tested the ration book recipes of the 1940s; and enjoyed the ‘flower power’ of the 1960s by making and planting flowers to share.

Throughout the term they compared the Guide programmes and were surprised and intrigued by the differences and the similarities.

Early Girl Guides practiced First Aid, Signaling, Drill and Stretcher work, and their badges included Cook, Sailor, Tailor and Clerk. By the end of 1910 there were 22 badges, including Telegraphist and Electrician.

The First World War gave the girls the opportunity to prove the usefulness of the skills they had learned, and silenced many of their initial critics.

Badges today include Communicator, Circus Skills, Culture, Discovering Faith, Film Lover, Hobbies, Survival, Science, Interpreter, Independent Living, Camper, Agility, Sports and Outdoor Pursuits, Music Group, Team Player, Team Leader, Active Response, Holidays, Find Your Way, Survival, Water Safety, Fire Safety, Personal Safety, World Cultures, World Issues, World Traveller and World Guiding.

Maybe the original Cooks’ badge is comparable to today’s Confectioner and Cook Badges?

The old Signaler and Telegraphist badges - to today’s Communicator?

1910 First Aid and stretcher work, compares to today’s First Aid and Healthy Lifestyle Badges?

And today’s “Traditions of Guiding” Badge encourages the girls to learn about how things were done by Guides in years gone by.

As members of the Scout and Guide Movements we each have a Promise, and Laws to keep ...

A comparison can be make between the Laws of 1910 and today …

In 1910 Baden-Powell wrote out the ten Guide Laws by hand [and he added an eleventh Guide Law which he described as ‘unwritten but understood’]

Guide Laws … 1910 1. A Guide’s honour is to be trusted.

2. A Guide is loyal to her King and her Guiders, her parents,

her country and her employers or employees.

3. A Guide’s duty is to be useful and to help others.

4. A Guide is a friend to all and a sister to every other Guide,

no matter to what social class she belongs.

5. A Guide is courteous.

6. A Guide is a friend to animals.

7. A Guide obeys orders, of her parents, Patrol Leader or Captain, without question.

8. A Guide smiles and sings under all difficulties.

9. A Guide is thrifty.

10. A Guide is pure in thought, word and deed.

11. [This law is unwritten but is understood] A Guide is not a fool.

Today, although there are only six Guide Laws, the basic meaning remains the same, but they are in a language that can be more easily understood by today’s girls and young women.

Guide Laws … 2010 1. A Guide is honest, reliable and can be trusted.

2. A Guide is helpful and uses her time and abilities wisely.

3. A Guide faces challenge and learns from her experiences.

4. A Guide is a good friend and a sister to all Guides.

5. A Guide is polite and considerate.

6. A Guide respects all living things and takes care of the world around her.

When asked where religion came into Scouting and Guiding, Robert Baden-Powell replied:

“It doesn’t come in at all. It’s already there. It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding. Though we hold no brief for any one form of belief over another, we see a way to helping all by carrying the same principle into practice as is now being employed in other branches of education.”

Guiding spread across the globe with incredible speed, which meant that girls from a rich diversity of faiths were part of the Movement from the early years. African nations of all religions became members from 1910 The largely Muslim nation of Egypt joined in 1913 and Israel in 1919. The first Guide Unit had opened in India in 1911, although initially only for British girls, Guiding was on offer to Indian girls by 1916.

Baden-Powell’s vision was to include all races and nations, to unite them with a common framework of activities and attitudes.

This far-reaching goal meant that Guiding had to be adapted to suit the needs of each country and faith. An example of this was to be found in the words of the Guide Promise.

The Promise today, as in 1910, remains central to all our Guiding activities …

The original wording included the promise “to do my duty to God and my country” In India the word was changed from God to ‘Dharma’, meaning the righteous path.

In the UK, too, the words evolved, and in 1994 ‘to do my duty to God’ was replaced with the words ‘to love my God’ thereby explicitly including members from all faiths.

Today Guide’s Promise: I promise that I will do my best:

to love my God

too serve the Queen and my country

to help other people

and to keep the (Brownie) Guide Law.

In the Bible, in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 10, we read these words,

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

Guides across the 100 years of the Movement’s history, as part of a global community embracing many faiths and cultures, have been empowered to explore their own beliefs and the beliefs of others in a safe, informed and non-pressurised environment, just as Baden-Powell intended.

People sometimes ask why Guiding is referred to as a ‘Movement’ –

it’s because we move with the times, and endeavour to keep up-to-date with the ever changing requirements of the young people.

From the old ways we move to the new ways, asking God to keep us moving in the right direction, or in the words of the hymn we are going to sing now … “It’s from the old I travel to the new, keep me travelling along with you.”

Hymn: One more step along the world I go


Brownies will sing their old song:

“We’re the Brownies, here’s our aim, lend a hand and play the game. LAH!“

LAH! stands for the Brownie motto: Lend A Hand!

and their new song:

“We’re Brownie Guides, we’re Brownie Guides, we’re here to lend a hand,

to love our God and serve our Queen to help our homes and land.

We’ve Brownie friends, we’ve Brownie friends in north, south, east and west,

we join together in our aim to try to do our best”.

Brownies to parade in different uniforms through the decades ….

Comparison of Brownie activities ….

In 1914 Brownies did .…

In 2009 Brownies were helping to “Change the World” by ….

It doesn’t matter what they wore, or the activities they did, they were all Brownies or Guides who made the same Promise “to do their best” …..

Talk about doing our best to ‘Lend a hand’ and ‘help other people’ …….

We promise to do ‘our best’ but ‘our best’ is different for each of us. I was doing some photocopying recently, I put in the piece of paper I wanted to copy, and pressed all the right buttons, and the machine churned out 700 copies all exactly the same. I wondered what would happen if I put a Beaver, or a Cub or a Brownie into the machine … I presume it would churn out however many I wanted, all exactly the same! It would be very boring if you were all exactly the same like that, wouldn’t it?

But do you ever wish you were someone different? That you looked like someone else, or could play football like David Beckham, or play the flute like James Galway?

There was once a camel who lived in a zoo, and he didn’t like looking similar to the other camels, he wanted to look really different and be able to do different things too. One night when all the camels were asleep he set out to explore …. and he came to the elephant house. “I wish I had big ears like an elephant” he said to himself, and all of a sudden he grew big ears and became a camelephant! He was very proud of his big ears, and he walked on round the zoo, until he came to the antelope cage. “Wow! What wonderful antlers those antelopes have” he thought, “I wish I could have them!” All of a sudden he grew great big antlers on his head, and became a camelephantelope! He felt even prouder as he carried on walking around the zoo, and he came to where the pelicans were asleep. “What wonderful beaks those pelicans have – I wish I had a beak like that” he said to himself. You can guess what happened – he grew a big beak and became a camelephanteleopelican. As he continued strolling around the zoo, dawn was beginning to break, and the birds were just starting their morning chorus. He arrived at the canary cage where there was a lot of ‘tweet tweet tweeting’ going on. What lovely voices they have” he said, “I wish I could sing like that!” And he too started ‘tweet tweet tweeting’ – he became a camelephantelopelicanary! When he arrived back at the camel house, his friends were beginning to wake up, and they looked at him and started to laugh – they had never seen a camelephantelopelicanary before! He didn’t like being laughed at, and he said to himself “I wish I looked like I used to look yesterday” and he immediately became a proper camel again, and he too woke up from his dream!

Although we all look like human beings, God has made us all different, all capable of doing different things, and doing some things better than others, but he does want us to try to do our best at whatever we are doing, even if we find some things really difficult.


There is a saying that the fools wander – but the wise travel. Some people ‘wander’ because they don’t know where they are going or what they want. Other people ‘travel’ because they have a destination to reach. Which are you - the wise or the foolish? If we go on a long journey we need a map of some kind to refer to you, or a ‘satnav’, to guide us. We might have to refer to it to save getting lost! We might need it because we are lost, and with it we can find the right road again. In our journey through life we can find maps and guide books in the great holy books of the major faiths through which God shows the way – and we refer to the Bible for our guidance. As Brownies and Guides, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, we have a set of laws and a Promise with God at its heart. If we really do our best to keep both we can’t go far wrong. We need a centre to our lives. If ‘self’ is at the centre of our life, and we think only of ourselves and what we want, then we will be unhappy, and we will wander. BUT, if God is at the centre, then life will have a purpose, we will be happy, and we will travel.

Reading: Base on the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5. 1-12 and on the Guide Laws:

Happy is the Guide who can be trusted in all things;

for she will be a strength to many.

Happy is the Guide who is already ready to help;

she will gain more than she gives.

Happy is the Guide who forgets herself for others;

she will never know the meaning of loneliness.

Happy is the Guide who knows the true meaning of love;

for love is of God.

Happy is the Guide who has respect for all living things;

she will find god everywhere.

Happy is the Guide who has learnt when to obey;

for she is fit to lead.

Happy is the Guide who can laugh when life is hard;

for hers is the strength of courage.

Happy is the Guide whose time is God’s;

she will be ready for anything.

Happy is the Guide who knows the true value of everything;

for she will never waste anything.

Happy is the Guide whose life is controlled;

for she will bring light into dark places.

Hymn: Give me joy in my heart

Give me love in my heart

Give me peace in my heart

Reading: Isaiah 56. 6-7

The Lord says to those foreigners who become part of his people, who love him and serve him,

“I will bring you to Zion, my sacred hill, and give you joy in my house of prayer.

My Temple will be called a house of prayer for the people of all nations.”

Prayers: Ideas from Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides

Brownie 1: Loving God, we thank you for the beautiful world you have made:

for the animals and birds,

fish and insects,

rivers and streams,

fields and forests,

sea and sand,

fruit trees and bushes,

and colourful flowers.

Brownie 2: Please help us to care for our world,

and to always think about the environment

and about all the things we can recycle.

Brownie 1: Thank you for the lovely food we have to eat,

and for clean running water in our homes.

Brownie 2: Please help us not to take them for granted, and not to waste water.

Cub 1: Thank you for our families and our homes.

Thank you that we can run about and have fun with our friends.

Cub 2: Please take care of everyone who is sick, and those who are sad.

We pray especially for Matthew and Christian’s Nanna.

Cub 1: Please help the doctors and nurses

and everyone who looks after people who are unwell

in hospitals or at home.

Cub 2: Thank you that we can come to church

and that we can pray to you, and thank you,

and say we are sorry, and ask for your help.

Guide 1:Thank you for the opportunities we have in our lives,

and for the good education we are given in local schools.

Help us not to take these privileges for granted.

Guide 2 Today we pray especially for the people affected by the earthquake in Haiti,

for those who have lost loved ones, and those who are injured or homeless,

and we pray for those who are doing their best to help the situation.

Guide 1 We also pray for people involved in the war if Afghanistan,

and for those affected by human disagreements in other parts of the world.

Loving God, grant peace to the world, we pray.

Diana: Thank you for the worldwide Scout and Guide Movements:

thank you for the fun and excitement we have as members,

for the challenges we tackle, helping other people in various ways,

and for the opportunities we have for adventurous activities,

to travel to other parts of the world,

making new friends and helping to bring peace.

We thank you, and we ask you to help us always to do our best

to keep the special Promises we have made. Amen.

Hymn: We are marching in the Light of God

Love of God

Power of God

The Grace:

Music as the Colour Parties leave – “Sisters in Guiding” on CD 2 track 33

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