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Scouts v Brownies

(11 Posts)
PatsysPyjamas Fri 21-Sep-12 18:30:06

For my daughter - what's the difference? Has anyone tried out both? Their websites are surprisingly unhelpful and I don't know anyone involved in either.

Ragwort Fri 21-Sep-12 18:34:08

How old is your daughter? The choice would be Cubs or Brownies if she is aged around 8. Scouts start at 10 and a half.

To be honest it will totally depend on the Leaders - most Brownie Packs and Cub Packs do a huge range of activities, following a badge scheme. It can involve cooking outside, learning new skills, visiting places, camping, games, arts and crafts etc etc.

I am surprised you find the websites unhelpful - I think they show a lot of information.

Ask around in your local area to see what is available (but you might find there is a long waiting list to get in ............. most Brownies and Cubs are hugely over subscribed).

shineygoldpenny Fri 21-Sep-12 18:36:13

Hi, I'm a Guide Guider. The main difference is that Brownies is an all girl environment and cubs/scouts will be a mixed environment if girls are admitted.

Both groups share the same general ethos and do similar activities when it comes to camping and outdoor activities.

If you want your daughter to have fun in an all girl environment, whilst learning life skills and independence at the same time, then Brownies/Guides could be for her. However, if she is more a Tom boy and not in to makeovers and all things pink and sparkly, she might choose Cubs/Scouts.

fridayfreedom Fri 21-Sep-12 18:39:04

depends on the kind of things your daughter likes. Brownies only take girls, cubs are mixed.
Activities can be very similar but scouting in general is not as tight on the health and safety, so they are allowed to do more but obviously risk assessed and within scouting guidelines.
Having been in both I think scouting is more fun but that's just my opinion.

PatsysPyjamas Fri 21-Sep-12 18:45:08

Hi Ragwort, thank you for replying. Maybe I am looking on the wrong sections of the sites. It seemed like you had to register even to find out where the nearest centre was and I could hardly find any info about what they actually do. My DH has asked at Beavers and they have a place. I didn't want to enrol without knowing the difference though.

Shineygoldpenny, that's kind of what I'm wondering. She is neither a tomboy nor a pink and sparkly girl, she's just... I don't know, average? Is cubs/ scouts a real mix of boys and girls now, or is it still mostly boys? I can't particularly see the benefit of an all-girl environment at the moment, but then again, she is a girl, not a one-of-the-boys girl, IYSWIM. She's almost 6.

JennyWren Fri 21-Sep-12 18:46:01

The main difference is that Brownies will only have girls smile. As a Guide leader I am biased, but I think that is great. Perhaps not so key at Brownie age, but at Guides it starts to be nice to have a girl-only space. Another difference is the age groups - they're not quite the same: Brownies are 7-10 years, Guides 10-14 years, whereas Cubs are 8-10.5 and Scouts are 10.5-14 (I believe - hopefully a Scouter will be along to confirm that).

There is also the meeting times/dates to consider - what is more convenient to you - and waiting lists. I can't speak for the Scout Association, but in many cases Brownie and Guide units operate waiting lists and there may not be a space at your local unit if you're looking for an immediate start.

Plus, Brownie units will vary a little, as will Cub units - they have a programme framework to follow, but all leaders have different skills and, in Brownies/Guides at least, they will take input from the girls themselves, so units may have a bias toward outdoor activities, sporty stuff, craft etc. All should do a bit of everything though.

Your best bet would be to ask around, and visit if you can, to see what appeals to you and your DD. You can find out where and when your local Brownie units meet through the website:

I hope this helps.

JennyWren Fri 21-Sep-12 18:49:09

Ah - I obviously took ages to post! The About Brownies pages start here: and there is also a section for Brownies themselves, which your DD mihgt be interested in:

RaspberryLemonPavlova Sat 22-Sep-12 21:48:40

DD was a Rainbow and a Brownie, then a Guide for a little while before switching to Scouts. She is an outdoor girl and this particular Scout group, which is excellent, suited her. Our local Guide group was very indoor, though I know this isn't always the case.

Part of me does think it would be nicer to be able to be in an all girl environment, but to be honest, it is a very large group (36) and they seem to form their own groups within that anyway.

titchy Sat 22-Sep-12 21:53:24

Try both for a term then decide!

BackforGood Sat 22-Sep-12 22:04:34

dd1 went to Rainbows, then Brownies. She has an elder brother who is very loud and enthusiastic and .... er.... tends to be once met never forgotten (!) so I thought it would be nice for her to go somewhere where she was just "dd1" and not "ds's sister".
She loved rainbows (5-7) and enjoyed the first few weeks of Brownies, but then began to get rather bored. Her brother was in a superb cub pack and she was very jealous of the activites he did. As soon as she was 8 she joined cubs. She's been all through cubs and Scouts and is about to move to Explorers. She's not here this weekend as she is doing a survival weekend out in a forest with no tent, just a sleeping bag, knife, and a cup. Wouldn't be fore me but She loves it. She's been abroad twice with them, and, over time done about 120 nights away. She's sung and danced in a professional theatre in a Gang Show. She's played chess for them and football for them. She's learned all sorts of skills for individual activities, and also - incredibly life enhancing IMO - her leadership, teaching, organising, and people skills have developed so much through what she's done.

What I'd say is, it depends very much on the individual packs near to you - you can do all this (well nearly) in Guiding or Scouting. For us, the local cub pack was far better than the local Brownie Pack, but where you live it might be the same, it might be the opposite. Either way, a good Scout or Guide Group is just such a brilliant thing to get involved in. The key difference (as everyone says) is that Guiding is just for Girls and Scouting is mixed.

exoticfruits Sat 22-Sep-12 22:07:12

Has she not said which she wants?

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