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leslie's guiding traditions


In this item quotations are taken from Guiding publications which make reference to girls resident in secure institutions, using the terminology and attitudes of the time. There is terminology used, and viewpoints given which would be considered inappropriate in modern times.

The Auxiliary Branch was designed to provide Guide units for Companies in "Penitentiaries, Preventive and Rescue Homes, and Special Institutions."

1930 POR stated:

"1) Brownie packs, Guide or Ranger companies may be started in institutions for the guidance and training of girls taken from undesirable surroundings, or whose moral standard has been temporarily lowered. Companies may only be run in those institutions where the girls remain for a period of at least one year, and it is advisable to adapt the type of company to the average age of the girls who will become its members.

2) Companies are under the management of the local Commissioner, the Captain and the institution authorities.

3) Auxiliary companies are registered at Headquarters in the usual manner. In the event of a company being disbanded, notification to that effect must be sent to Headquarters, through the local Commissioner, and to the Head of the Auxiliary Branch.

4) Membership of the Guide Movement is voluntary and in no circumstances shall a girl in an institution be compelled to be a member of the institution company against her wish. Recruits should have three months probation before being enrolled.

5) Guide uniform may be worn if the sanction of the institution authorities is obtained, together with permission from the Auxiliary Branch. In all cases uniform must be the property of the institution or the Local Association, and must be relinquished by the Guide on leaving the Home.

6) Badges may be won as in Open companies.

Badge examiners may be selected by a Joint Committee of the Commissioner, Captain and institution authorities, but the badge examiner for the district should examine whenever possible.

Where so desired by the Head of the institution, the Semaphore alphabet may be substituted for the Morse alphabet in the Second Class Test.

Badges and awards are under the sole control of the Guide organisation, and can only be withdrawn by a Guider or her Commissioner.

7) Except in special circumstances, girls who have been Guides or Rangers previous to their admission to a training institution, and have Tenderfoot badges in their possession, must on entering the home give these up to the Guider in charge. (For exemption from this rule application must be made to the Head of the Auxiliary Branch.)

Should a girl wish to join the institution company, her own badge (if she possesses one) must be returned to her at the ceremony of admission. All Tenderfoot and Proficiency badges must be surrendered when the Guide leaves the institution, pending transference.

Service stars are not awarded in Auxiliary companies, but a Guide who is transferred to an Open company may receive stars according to the period during which she has been an enrolled member of the institution company.

8) A Guide or Ranger leaving an institution may, if she wishes it, be transferred to an Open company, on the condition that the head matron of the home is willing to endorse the Captain's recommendations. The Captain of the Auxiliary company should first write to the district Commissioner of the locality in which the girl is going to live, and ascertain from her whether a suitable company exists there, of which the Captain will welcome the Guide. Where this is the case, the Auxiliary Captain should the forward to the District Commissioner the transfer form, countersigned by herself and the head matron, together with the Guide's tenderfoot brooch, service stars, and any other Guide badges which she has gained.

It is urgently recommended that the Commissioner of the district to which the girl is transferred should regard as confidential all information which is sent to her by the late captain.

9) Captains of Auxiliary companies wishing to take any of their Guides or Rangers to camp must first obtain permission from the Head of the Auxiliary Branch, forwarding to her the cordial recommendation of the institution authorities. When this sanction is granted, permission to camp must then be obtained from the local C.C.A.'s through the usual channels.

10) No Guide or Ranger who has been a member of an Auxiliary company may receive a Guider's warrant under the following periods of probation: two years for a Tawny Owl's or Captain's warrant.

It is recommended that during the period of probation the Guide or Ranger should be a member of an Open company.

Application for the warrant must first be made to the Head of the Auxiliary Branch, and must be accompanied by a confidential report from the District Commissioner of the company to which the girl has been attached.

11) Commissioners and Captains are reminded that their position as Guiders of companies in homes and institutions can give them no authorisation to inquire into the past history of any girl who is a member of their Company.

Heads of institutions will appreciate their reticence in this respect, and will do all in their power to help Guiders by their advice concerning transfers and any other details needing their co-operation."

Sometime between 1957 the Auxiliary Section was disbanded.