Day 21 of the A to Z April Challenge: U for Uniform

24 April 2014

In 1907, Robert Baden-Powell held a camp for boys at Brownsea Island in Dorset to test his ideas with regard to setting up a scouting movement. Scouting was born and the following year, Scouting for Boys was published. Some girls – undaunted by the title – also started activities and in 1909, girls attracted Baden-Powell’s attention by gate-crashing the first Boy Scout Rally at Crystal Palace, asking him to offer something for them too!

The Girl Guide Association was formed in 1910, led by Robert’s sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, and just before the outbreak of World War 1, a junior section for girls under 11 was formed, called ‘Rosebuds’. On the Girl Guiding website, there are documents available detailing the changes in uniform over the last 100 years.

Guides acted as messengers of confidential information for Marconi Wireless Telegraph during the War and in 1918, Olave – Robert’s wife – was appointed Chief Guide. Olave and Robert were born on the same date – 22 February – and this became World Thinking Day in 1926, a day when members of Guide organisations belonging to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) think about each other.

Jeff Banks introduced new outfits in 1990 and Ally Capilleno designed new kit for the Brownies in 2002 to modernise the organisation, bringing the uniforms into the 21st century.

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