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What do the Brownies do?


SKL

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Just curious as to whether my kids are missing anything by not being in Brownies.  What do they do?

 

When I was a kid, all I ever heard about the Brownies troop is that they went bowling.

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Camping, hiking, boating, field trips, outdoor skills, earn badges, etc. . .

 

Except for the badge work, it really is all things you could do yourself, but it's on a regular schedule and with friends and no boys Bogarting the fishing poles, kayaks, or fire building :-)

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It depends on the troop. My oldest's troop met 1x/month for 1.5 hrs right after school. They had snack, did an activity relating to the Journey they were on (google for the Girl Scouts site and you can look inside the available Brownie workbooks and badge plans), then it was pretty much pick up time. They had several field trips in addition to the meetings: environmental museum (related to the water Journey), hiking, fire station, paper making museum, a movie premiere, one night at the Girl Scout Camporee... Some troop leaders are craftier than others. Hers were not into crafts at all.

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It's really up to the troop leaders.  Some troops do tons of stuff, others do lame stuff.  The journeys are kind of lame, but the badge work can be fun, and being a Girl Scout troop really opens doors to participating in cool events and visiting cool places in the community... I call up as a homeschooling mom and some places are like "Um, I guess, I'm not sure if we do that..." and I call up as a Daisy Scout troop leader and they're all "OMG we LOVE scout troops!  Come on down, any time!  We'll have goody bags for the girls!" It can also be a nice way to hand off stuff to some other adult... crafts, hiking, etc.

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It all comes down to the leaders, and somewhat to the council.

When I was a teenager, I went to town council meetings as my senior troop's liason.  I got so frustrated with a brownie troops leaders that I stood up and said I'd be happy to be their leader and actually DO things with them. So they gave me the troop when I was 17!  (With my mother's legal adult supervision.)

 

We did crafts for fun and to sell at the town GS flea market, parties, road clean ups, nursing home visits, a town-wide International Night, a wide variety of badges, and 3 camping trips before I went away to college.

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I now have "Do your ears hang low?" running through my head :lol: We sang that at EVERY Brownie meeting.

 

My experience with Brownies was much the same as SparklyUnicorn's.

 

I did move up to Girl Scouts which was my downfall. Completely not what I expected. I wanted to camp and hike the Grand Canyon like my brother's Boy Scout troupe not learn to crochet. I didn't last long in GS.

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I still remember many of the songs.  Did you sing Three Little Angels?  How about the Baby Bumblebee song (which ends in one puking up the baby bumble bee she swallowed)?  Or Make New Friends...

 

Silly songs...

 

Oh my - Yes! I'd forgotten about the others. Don't know Three Little Angels but Baby Bumblebee and Make New Friends were staples in my Brownie Troupe. At least now my mind can run a medley rather than just Do Your Ears :laugh:

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You know what is odd? We never did any hiking or camping stuff. No outdoor skills stuff. Not quite sure why.

Individual GS Leaders have a lot of autonomy. What you do is dependent upon the leaders in the younger years and the girls as they get older. I was a Leader for 7 years, and part of a homeschooling cluster of 5 co-op troops. Parent participation was required, so we were able to do a lot of things that required work and energy to pull off. It was great fun (despite the paperwork) and this was before Journeys or Daisies selling cookies.

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I still remember many of the songs.  Did you sing Three Little Angels?  How about the Baby Bumblebee song (which ends in one puking up the baby bumble bee she swallowed)?  Or Make New Friends...

 

Silly songs...

 

Don't know Three Little ANgels but I almost mentioned Make New Friends in my post. I also remember Baby Bumblebee

 

(Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold)

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I'm a co-leader right now. We play games and sing silly songs. Occasionally we do crafts. We do sell cookies and that finances the next year's activities. We donate some of our money to charity. We plan for the future--right now the girls are saving up to go to San Francisco when they bridge to Cadettes. We do some of the Journeys--whether they are dumb or fun depends on the girls and leaders. We also do the other badges offered at their level. They can be more fun than the Journeys sometimes. The girls make friends. My 3rd-grader's troop has been together since kindergarten. These girls have grown up together and while they aren't all best friends all of the time, but if you ask who they want to invite for parties or to hang out, it's usually their Brownie friends. They went to kindergarten together, but now the girls are at four different schools and homeschooling but the connection still pulls them together. I love watching them grow up together--that's probably the best part of being in GS and the most important thing about it. Is it the only way that could have happened? Of course not. But Daisies and Brownies has been nothing but positive for my daughter. 

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The brownies troops here do the same as the girl guides but at an age appropriate level, so camps, songs, crafts, service to others, etc.  The girls like it because they get to start earning badges on their own.  In sparks (the level before brownies here, they earn keepers as a group no individual badges).  Camps for brownies are often only 1 nights, whereas for guides they are 2 etc.  DD6 is thrilled that next year she will be 7 and old enough to be a brownie.  Now there is some groups where outdoor stuff is not emphasized at all, but we have a great troop out here and even the sparks have regular camps etc.  DD6 has had 1 day camp and 2 sleepover camps this year, and she has 2 out of town ones coming up in the next couple months.  Plus cooking days on a non=troop night, like when it is early dismissal the leaders pick up the girls from school (dd meets them at the meeting place) and they go and cook a meal together and have supper as a group, or this past early day they started learning how to sew and were making dish bags and camp blankets which they continued doing at their meeting the following week. With each level doing more of their own work, so sparks did not use the sewing machines, they were learning hand stitching only, brownies started learning the machine along with hand stitching, guides are making theirs completely on their own with the machines, though they are learning some hand stitching too.  Our troop meets weekly plus those bonus days which happen about once every 4-6 weeks.  

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Every time I see this thread title, my brain immediately jumps to Spiderwick Chronicles and house brownies who must be appeased with crackers and honey.   :)

 

Heehee, I immediately thought of the brownies in the Fablehaven series:  

Brownies come out at night and fix broken items. :D

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