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Brownies, a waste of time!

(375 Posts)
Growuppeople Mon 11-Feb-19 00:47:33

My daughter has been with brownies over a year, they have been on one overnight trip. My DD wants to do scouts but she’s so shy around boys. She wants to do camping, building campfires, adventures! Not knitting or art and crafts! I pay nearly £50 for uniforms, £10 for the “new book” and now I have to go bowling with them. I thought they would learn independence, health and safety among other important life skills. Am I wrong in thinking I’m wasting mine and my daughters time, she is learning absolutely nothing, or is she just with a rubbish group? What do all your brownies do?

halfwitpicker Mon 11-Feb-19 00:48:50

I thought you meant the cakes

Frogqueen13 Mon 11-Feb-19 00:50:18

My DD got kicked out of brownies. She loves scouts, shes camped indoors and outdoors, stopped in the sealife centre overnight in the tunnel, done cooking, first aid, shes currently working on global issues

Best thing I-ever did for her

GetRid Mon 11-Feb-19 00:53:46

Yup. Unfortunately I do agree with you, although I think the leaders try their best.

Our group does crafts, plays, cooking and some outdoor activities but mostly indoors. Meanwhile the scouts in the adjoining hut are having the time of their lives with fires and tents.

They do enjoy the old Brownie games and songs though

BarbarianMum Mon 11-Feb-19 00:55:23

Brownies (and Guides and Scouts too) are run by volunteers and the "flavour" of what's on offer varies widely depending on the interests of the volunteers and the amount of support they receive.

Your complaints about your dd's pack are exactly the same as mine were when I was a Brownie 40 years ago. I left. A better solution might be for you to get more involved with the pack and offer to organise some more adventurous activities for them.

shpoot Mon 11-Feb-19 00:56:42

Take her to cubs instead. Loads of girls at outs

Bryjam Mon 11-Feb-19 00:58:28

I don't think you can really be annoyed at brownies when your DD wants to do scout activities. It's not really brownies fault she is in the wrong organisation.

Lovingbenidorm Mon 11-Feb-19 00:59:14

I got thrown out of the Brownies.
We were asked to fill a match box with interesting things we found in the woods.
I found a poo

Jackshouse Mon 11-Feb-19 01:02:29

Yy to volunteering along side the other other adults but the leaders will be guided by the interests of the girls.

Growuppeople Mon 11-Feb-19 01:03:12

Thank you! Think I may do the one and only outdoor activity they do and get her into cubs/scouts. She’s so bored there, I’m hoping she may find a friend there as they would have the same interests? It jus seems so boring and “girly” she may get it from me grinwink

Growuppeople Mon 11-Feb-19 01:06:19

I understand about volunteering but why are scouts able to do a lot while brownies are are sat doing “arts and crafts” and games? She wants to learn about the “outdoors” just hope she can get song with the boys!

Growuppeople Mon 11-Feb-19 01:07:24

They also have a budget, how do the scouts manage to do so much and brownies seen robot do anything? Maybe it’s just my area?

Becles Mon 11-Feb-19 01:15:19

Scouts work in a group system and brownie and guide units are separate teams with little resource sharing.

The face you were asked to cover ratios to go bowling suggests the leader is struggling with little support. Each time you take a brownie out of the meeting place you need a ratio of 1:8, a home contact and a risk assessment and that's before you sort the logistics to do with transport, chasing consent forms and costings.

Scouts are a lot less encumbered by paperwork

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 11-Feb-19 01:29:50

The equivalent of Brownies would be the Cubs, not the Scouts (who are equivalent to Guides). I know you may just be using Scouts as sort of shorthand, but do check you are comparing apples with apples when you hear of the exciting things other groups seem to be doing. I would not be surprised if it was the way you say.

I remember my own experience of Brownies and Guides and how bloody boring it seemed compared to the things the boys did in Cubs and Scouts. Even when we went camping we spent most of our time building domestic furniture like bedding roll stacks and sink stands out of doweling and string so we could have a well-kept tent and camp kitchen. I refused after the time we went to a jamboree and the Sea Scouts next to us just brought a metal kitchen sink, shoved it on a couple of bricks and headed off to explore 2 hours before we could. To be fair to our leader in Guides, I later discovered she was going through a marital breakup in the last year or so I was in Guides. Surprised she kept it together enough to turn up each week really. The volunteers, even if they didn't do the activities I wanted to, did show a huge amount of dedication.

In any case, if your daughter is shy around boys the exposure at cubs may be better for her than letting her shy away in Brownies.

Taytotots Mon 11-Feb-19 01:40:43

Becles I'm not UK scouts so may be different but we have the same 1:8 ratios and forms for off site stuff so I would have thought UK similar. To be honest OP that's why I left brownies as a child - cubs were having water fights and camping and we were doing our hostess badge hmm. I had hoped it would have moved on but as it is so dependent on volunteer leaders will be down to what they are happy teaching. As said above maybe volunteer to lead some adventurous sessions.

Newjobnewstart Mon 11-Feb-19 02:31:31

Yeh my daughter goes to brownies decorates biscuits or does crafts most weeks. She only goes because most of her friends from school do.
She does get to enjoy scout activities tho as her dad is a leader. He once organised a nerf war and brownies were invited to join. A brownie leader from another group not related to this reported it and they werent allowed to join in as it was against their ethos!

zeroSum Mon 11-Feb-19 05:43:31

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MrsFTigalar Mon 11-Feb-19 06:00:43

I'm a Brownie and Guide leader, and - in our defence - we should be doing girl-led Guiding. So each term girls get a free reign to state all the activities/ outings/ games/ crafts/ holidays/ badges they'd like to do. As a leader I then build that into a term program with my team (if I have one) that correlates to our program, my skills and abilities, our budget, and what's realistic (no, we can't go to Disney on a Thursday night, but we could do some themed activities. The Division trip to Disney is every 4 years, you will get your chance to go).

I do more, bigger activities with my Guides, for instance, we're outdoors camping and building fires from after Easter to the summer holidays, but in part, that's because of their age, but also due to the time, space and resources available. We do have times where we're a bit more arty-crafty and others when we're adventurous.

I always say to people who aren't happy, to join, give up their time to run weekly meetings. You're obviously keen to improve your daughter's experience of Guiding and that enthusiasm is wonderful. I can't imagine a leadership team who would say no to an extra pair of hands and I'm sure you could help facilitate some more exciting activities.

And in respect to shooting, girlguiding don't do shooting (anything) at animal/ people shaped targets out of respect for members in countries where that's a real and terrifying part of life for girls and young women.

Oh and please excuse typos/ garbledness, I've been up since 4 feeding the baby and expressing.

dietcokemegafan Mon 11-Feb-19 06:15:04

Why don't you just move her to cubs?

Ragnarthe Mon 11-Feb-19 06:18:02

It's winter right now and dark in the evening so I doubt the cubs are out doing a camp fire every week at the moment.
I have done Rainbows, Brownies and Guides as a volunteer while my girls were involved and it does depend on a couple of things. The location of the meeting, the interests of the leaders and the wishes of the girls, also whether you have enough help in the form of parent support. By that I mean if you organise stuff will anyone turn up (one Rainbow unit I helped at no one would come on trips no idea why), and of course volunteering time to help and make suggestions. Do you have a skill you can demonstrate to the girls or know anyone who does? We had all sorts of "experts" come in and show us stuff.
I agree with others, could you try volunteering? I guarantee the leaders would be grateful.
Please give it a go before giving up on guiding, you are exactly what the movement needs

Cherrysherbet Mon 11-Feb-19 06:19:53

I don’t agree at all. My Dd has been going to Brownies since Sept, and I have been astounded by the amount of lovely things she has been involved in so far.
They play loads of team building games, make things, go on visits, activity days. She absolutely loves it. The leaders work so hard to ensure the girls have fun and learn new things. I also love the fact that it’s just girls, and they have so much fun together without the boys!
I think it’s great value for money.
Maybe it’s just not right for your dd?

ArmchairTraveller Mon 11-Feb-19 06:59:16

First of all, I think both organisations are fantastic, run by volunteers and the children that attend are lucky to have the chance.
But I agree that IME, the Brownie/Guide troops I know are quite girly and traditional nurturing female roles and tasks are the norm. The cubs and scouts were much more active, adventurous and more disability friendly (my two are both on the spectrum) This was true even when the cub/scout groups were run by women.
It’s all very well to say volunteer and change, but it’s very difficult to do that when the hierarchy is happy with the crafts, playing games and practising home making skills and don’t want change.

redhairedgirl7 Mon 11-Feb-19 07:00:26

For awhile my daughter was attending both rainbows & beavers then Brownies & Cubs. Initially this was because there wasn’t space at Brownies for her to move up and although her Rainbows unit was fab she was getting too old for it so Beavers was a good option while she waited for a Brownies place. However she really enjoyed Beavers (then Cubs) but found it different to Rainbows (then Brownies) so wanted to stay doing both. They were different evenings and neither organisation had an issue with her doing both.

Brownies she enjoyed as she was with her school friends (none at her Cubs so made different friends) but started to lose interest in the meetings. Also a few of her friends started leaving to attend different groups (drama, gymnastics etc). She started to prefer Cubs due to the camping, making fires, cooking, experiments, and running around so now (after 2+ years of both) she only attends Cubs.

Is your local Cubs on a different night to Brownies, could she do both? Alternatively Cubs normally let you attend for a few weeks to see if it even suits before signing up. My daughters closest boy friend tried Beavers with her and hated it as too loud.

I admire all those that volunteer running any groups (it’s hard work!)

What other groups are near you (drama, sea scouts, air scouts, gym, rugby, football, swimming etc) as maybe something else might suit her other than Brownies or Cubs?

Armadillostoes Mon 11-Feb-19 07:05:32

Wouldn't addressing her current shyness around boys be a positive of joining scouts? Encouraging her to see individuals as people first and foremost and not making assumptions based on their gender would be good. And getting to know individuals/making friends would be more effective in helping her with this than anything else.

BroomstickOfLove Mon 11-Feb-19 07:06:24

My local brownies was like this, too, so DD didn't go, but she's recently joined Guides where they've done a real mixture of activities: making fudge, learning how to tie different knots, playing games, astronomy night, making zipwires.

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