Girl Guide Blazers & Blazer Badges (UK)

This post was inspired by a post on Facebook sharing an old Blazer Badge for sale on eBay.

A decision was made by the Girl Guide Association in 1926 that “the question of including blazers as part of the official uniform of Guides or Guiders was considered. It was decided that this was an unnecessary additional expense, and therefore not agreed to.” (The Girl Guide Gazette (May 1926))

Blazers were recommended as an alternative, with the camp overall, to the full uniform (tunic and skirt) for Guiders in Camp by 1932, and were an expected part of the Sea Ranger No. 2 Uniform (Summer) by 1939.

A blazer for Guiders makes an appearance in the 1930 Price Lists. It is described as as Navy Melton Cloth, sizes 36in or 38in, and costing 25s. The same blazer was offered in 1931, but a new size –  34in – was added. In 1932, a new style, described as Navy Flannel (all wool) was offered, with the sizes and price remaining the same. The blazer was discontinued in 1937.

A blazer for Guides and Rangers was offered for the first time in 1930. The Price List for

Guide, 1933 Catalogue

that year describes it as Navy Melton Cloth, sizes 32in, 34in, and 36in, and sold for 12s. The price increased in 1934 to 12/6. A new size, 38in, was added in 1936. The price increased again in 1937 to 13s. The last mention of this blazer is in Price Lists for 1939.

Guide Wear by Bukta offered two Blazers for Guides in 1931. The first, called Buxcel, was of Navy Melton, unlined, in sizes 32in and 34in, at a cost of 11/6. The second, called Buxwin, was of Navy Soft Twill Melton, lined sleeves, in sizes 32in and 34in, at a cost of 18/9.

Blazer Badges were offered as Registered Goods on the Price Lists beginning in 1929 for Rangers, Sea Rangers and Guides, all costing 8d. It is possible that these badges were available earlier, as a decision was made in May 1929 that “blue blazer badges be instituted for Sea Rangers.” An Old Guide Badge was added in 1937. The last mention of blazer badges is in Price Lists for 1939.

Sea Rangers
Sea Rangers
Old Guides?

Happy World Thinking Day

new-brand-2016Happy World Thinking Day! The theme for 2017 is “Grow” and I thought it might be a good idea to reflect on how our Movement has grown over the years. We sometimes get discouraged when we struggle to find Guiders or when youth numbers dwindle – but as long as there are dedicated people (you) who not only love Guiding, but who also recognize the value of what we do, Girl Guiding & Girl Scouting will continue to thrive.

WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) was formed in 1928 at the 5th World Conference (Parad, Hungary), with 26 Founding Members – Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, India, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and Yugoslavia.

In 1930 at the 6th World Conference (Foxlease, UK) Brazil and Egypt joined the family! Unfortunately, contact was lost with Liberia, and their Membership was cancelled in 1931.

The 7th World Conference (Bucze, Poland) in 1932 saw Ireland added to the list, and the first Tenderfoot Members – Austria and China. Contact had been lost with Yugoslavia, and their Memberships was cancelled. Greece,  Portugal and Romania all became Tenderfoot Members in 1933.

Out Chalet hosted the 8th World Conference in 1934, where a special membership category was created for the Armenian Eclaireuses in France, who had been exiled from their homeland.

Following the end of World War II, WAGGGS Members gathered in Evian, France for the 11th World Conference in 1946. Haiti, Italy, the Philippines and Costa Rica were welcomed as Tenderfoot Members, but we sadly said good-bye to a number of countries where Guiding was now banned or the organization dissolved: Austria, China, Estonia,  Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Roumania. Contact had also been lost with Guiding in Iceland.

The 12th World Conference, held in 1948 in Cooperstown, NY, USA was jointly hosted by Canada, the United States, and Brazil. Pakistan, Italy, the Philippines and Greece were welcomed as Full Members, and Mexico and Liechtenstein as Tenderfoot Members. Sadly, Guiding was now banned in Hungary. Guiding would also be banned in Poland and Czechoslovakia by 1949.

Haiti and Sri Lanka became Full Members at the 13th World Conference (Oxford, UK) in 1950. Germany was also welcomed as an Tenderfoot Member.

In 1952 at the 14th World Conference (Dombas, Norway), Japan was welcomed back as an Tenderfoot Member, along with Panama, while Liechtenstein gained Full Membership.

Lady Baden-Powell with Delegates from 27 Countries at the 14th World Conference

The 15th World Conference (Zeist, Netherlands) in 1954 saw the reinstatement of Iceland as a Full Member, as well as the addition of Germany as a Full Member and Colombia and Lebanon as Tenderfoot Members.

The 16th World Conference (Petropolis, Brazil) of 1957 was the first to be held in South America. Mexico and Colombia became Full Members, Austria was reinstated as a Tenderfoot Member, and Chile, Israel, Sudan, Guatemala, South Korea, Cuba and Congo (Brazzaville) were new Tenderfoot Members. Argentina and Myanmar were added as Tenderfoot Members in 1958, and Spain in 1959.

Japan was reinstated as a Full Member at the 17th World Conference (Athens, Greece) in 1960. El Salvador, Malaysia, Peru, Nigeria, Ghana, Monaco and Venezuela were added as Tenderfoot Members. Cyprus became a Tenderfoot Member in 1962.

Guiding continued to grow with Monaco, Argentina, Peru, Israel, Lebanon and South Korea becoming Full Members at the 18th World Conference in Nyborg, Denmark in 1963. Congo (Kinshasa), Thailand, Togo, Madagascar, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Portugal, Taiwan, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Iran, Ivory Coast, Jordan and Jamaica all gained Tenderfoot Member status. Sadly, Guiding in Congo (Brazzaville) was banned in 1963 and the Association in Myanmar was dissolved in 1964.

At the 19th World Conference, held in Tokyo, Japan in 1966, Jamaica, Panama, Malaysia, Taiwan, Venezuela and Nigeria became Full Members. Bolivia, Singapore, Malta, Ecuador, the Gambia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Zambia, Vietnam and Ethiopia were all admitted as Associate Members, the new name for Tenderfoot Member countries. Liberia was also welcomed back as an Associate Member.

Lady Baden-Powell with Delegates to the 19th World Conference (1966)

Otaniemi, Finland hosted the 20th World Conference in 1969. Austria, Trinidad & Tobago, Ghana, Iran, Tanzania, Spain, Guatemala and Kuwait were welcomed as Full Members, and Zimbabwe, Barbados, Guyana, Botswana, Swaziland, Kuwait and the Dominican Republic became Associate Members. Unfortunately, Guiding was banned in Cuba about this time.

Canada hosted it’s first World Conference (the 21st), in Toronto, Ontario in 1972. Zimbabwe, Singapore, Barbados, Malta, Sierra Leone, Thailand and Kuwait became Full Members, while Burundi, Surinam, Turkey, Cameroon and Burkina Faso were welcomed as Associate Members.

The 22nd World Conference (Sussex, UK) of 1975 welcomed Portugal, Kenya, Guyana, Sudan and El Salvador as Full Members. Liberia was also reinstated as a Full Member. Indonesia, the Bahamas, and Mauritius were new Associate Members. Guiding in Vietnam ceased to exist about this time.

Tehran, Iran hosted the 23rd World Conference in 1978, the following year Guiding in Iran would be banned. New Full Members were Jordan, the Bahamas, Paraguay, Zambia, Bolivia and Cyprus. Associate Membership joining were Hong Kong, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea and Nepal.

In 1981, at the 24th World Conference (Orleans, France), we welcomed Chile, Hong Kong, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Libya, the Gambia, and the Netherlands Antilles as Full Members, and Honduras, Fiji, Senegal, Rwanda, Bahrain, and Nicaragua as Associate Members.

The 25th World Conference was held in 1984 in Tarrytown, NY, USA. Bahrain, Uganda, Ecuador, Botswana and Nepal became Full Members, while St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, and United Arab Emirates joined our family as Associate Members. About this time, Guiding in Ethiopia ceased to exist.

The first World Conference (the 26th) to be held in Africa was held in Njoro, Kenya in 1987. Botswana, Indonesia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Turkey and Madagascar gained Full Membership, while Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Dominica, Oman, the Solomon Islands, and Tonga became Associate

At the 27th World Conference (Singapore) in 1990, the Gambia, Lesotho, the Dominican Republic, and the United Arab Emirates all became Full Members. Kiribati, Grenada, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Yemen became Associate Members, and Czechoslovakia was readmitted to Associate Membership.

The 1993 World Conference (the 28th) in Nyborg, Denmark saw Hugary, Latvia and Estonia readmitted as Associate Members, along with Aruba, the Cook Islands, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, and St. Kitts & Nevis.

Canada’s second World Conference (the 29th) was held in 1996 in Wolfeville, Nova Scotia. We welcomed the Czech Republic, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Ivory Coast, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Oman and Yemen as Full Members. Poland and Congo (Brazzaville) were readmitted as Associate Members, along with new members Belarus, the Maldives, Mauritania, Samoa and Slovenia.

Dublin, Ireland hosted the 30th World Conference in 1990, with Latvia and Poland being reinstated as Full Members, along with Namibia, Slovenia, St. Lucia and Tunisia. Guinea, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine were admitted as Associate Members.

The 31st World Conference was held in 2002 in Manila, Philippines. Belarus, Antigua & Barbuda, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Rwanda and Senegal were new Full Members, and Estonia was reinstated. Malawi, Chad, Qatar, Armenia and Cambodia became Associate Members. Sadly, we said good-bye to Indonesia as their Association resigned in favour of membership in WOSM.

The first World Conference (the 32nd) to be held in the Arab Region was in 2005 in Amman, Jordan. Benin, the Central African Republic, Qatar, Romania and Togo became Full Members and Mongolia was admitted as an Associate Member. Tuvalu voluntarily resigned their membership in 2006 after struggling to maintain a viable organiation.

wagggs48707_fThe 2008 World Conference (the 33rd) was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Burundi, Chad, Dominica, Malawi and Russia became Full Members, while Hungary was reinstated to Full Membership. Congo (Kinshasa) and Lithuania were readmitted as Associate Members, and Syria joined the world Guiding family. Unfortunately, the memberships of Samoa and Vanuatu were both cancelled after unsuccessful attempts to reengage Guiding in these countries.

The 34th World Conference was held in 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and saw the reinstatement of Congo (Brazzaville) and Congo (Kinshasa) to Full Membership, along with Cambodia, Grenada, San Marino and Swaziland.

At the most recent World Conference (the 35th), held in 2014 in Hong Kong, Myanmar became the newest Associate Member of WAGGGS. At the same event, membership for Uruguay was cancelled.

From our humble beginnings, with just 26 member countries, WAGGGS had grown to include 10 million members in 146 countries around the world. The 36th World Conference  will be held in September 2017 in Delhi, India. Who will join our worldwide family this year?


Olave, Lady Baden-Powell’s Standard

Based on an article from Ontario Newsletter, Girl Guides of Canada – Ontario Council, Summer 1974.

In 1922, some of the County Commissioners of England felt that their Chief Guide of England should have her own standard and decided to make one for her. The standard was designed by Rachel Kay Shuttleworth and took 3 years to complete. The English Commissioners were joined by their Overseas counterparts, who helped cut and embroider each emblem. When all was completed, it was assembled on a silk, swallow-tailed burgee.


(Image above is a cloth badge – do you have a picture of the actual standard? I’d love to see it!)

The measurements of the finished Standard are:

  • Width at hoist end – 27″
  • The Fly is tapered from the top end down to a width of 15″
  • The length along the lower edge is 106″
  • The Fly is double round at the end, the division at the end of the Fly being 2 1/2″

Each part of the design has its own meaning:

  1. The golden trefoil on azure represents the three-part Guide Promise
  2. The blue sea has silver waves that stretch the entire length of the burgee and there are silver dolphins in that sea to show that it is sea-water. The three red ships with white sails are carrying the Guide programme to all parts of the world. In the midst of the Sea is the Gold Fish Award presented to Lady Baden-Powell by the Commissioners of England in 1918 and is worn only by her.
  3. Two red bands carry the motto BE PREPARED and the Powell family motto in Welsh “AR NYD YM PWYLL PYD YW”. (Where there is a Powell there is safety.)
  4. Between these bands are white tents on a green ground representing the outdoor part of the Guide programme.
  5. In the Fly are the British crown and the crest of the Powell family. The name Baden has always been a Christian name. It became hyphenated with the family name of Powell in the case of the Founder, Lord Baden-Powell’s branch of the family, by his mother to honour her husband’s name Professor Baden Powell. This was enacted by Deed Poll, September 21, 1869.
  6. In 1930 when Olave, The Lady Baden-Powell was acclaimed the World Chief Guide, two hemispheres were added to the burgess. These hemispheres are 2″ down from the top edge and 2 1/2″ from the right of the trefoil (looking at the front or obverse side). There is 1 1/2″ between the hemispheres and the first dolphin. The latitude and longitude lines are embroidered with silver threads and the outside of the hemisphere is a thicker silver thread. The original embroidery of the countries having been done with very, very tiny French knots.