leslie's guiding traditions

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The First Class badge was introduced in 1910, and continued until 1968, as part of the programme.  On joining a Guide unit, a girl would work on her Tenderfoot test, and then on her Second Class.  (the small oval in the middle of the larger badge is the Second Class badge).  Guides who had gained Second Class then worked for their First Class badge.  Although every Guide was encouraged to aim to be First Class, not all succeeded.  The test in 1912:


Before being awarded this, a girl -

Must have Second Class Badge.

Must have won the Ambulance Badge.

Must have at least 1s. in savings bank, and show book.

Must have knowledge of cookery, able either to skin and cook a rabbit, or to pluck and truss a bird (or signed certificate), and cook or bring a cooked pudding or meat stew cooked by herself.

Show knowledge of the history of the place, whereabouts of ambulance, police, fire, telephone, stations, etc., and draw roughly a sketch map.

Give correctly the Guides' secret passwords.

Bring skirt or blouse all sewn by herself, or equivalent in needlework.

Swim fifty yards, or show a list of twelve satisfactory "good turns".

Judge unknown distances, heights, size, numbers, etc., within twenty-five per cent. error.

Show points of compass without a compass.

Bring in a Tenderfoot trained by herself.

In 1960, the test was:


1) a) Have passed the Second Class Test.

b) Show that she is growing in understanding and practice of the Promise and Law, and has a good influence in the Company.

2) Have camped at least a week-end in a Guide camp.  (If this is impossible the Commissioner and Camp Adviser may give permission for the Guide to sleep in a hut).

3) a) Read Scouting for Boys (Boys' Edition) or The Wolf That Never Sleeps, or another life of Baden-Powell.

b) Prove her knowledge of the origins and history of the Guide Movement, including the international aspect.

NOTE: This may be done in a way chosen by the candidate and approved by the Commissioner, such as compiling a book, or giving a talk.

4) Understand the meaning of thrift and show that she has endeavoured to prevent waste in six practical ways, three with regard to her own property, and three with regard to that of other people.

5) Cook Test

a) Cook and serve unaided a two-course dinner for a small number.  (Indoors or out as chosen by the candidate).

b) Answer simple questions to show understanding of a balanced menu.

Alternative: Hold the Cook Badge.

6) Needlewoman Test

Make a simple garment, darn a stocking, and patch a worn article.

Alternative: Hold the Needlewoman badge.

7) Child Nurse Test

a) Make at the test a timetable for the routine of a child for a day in summer or winter.

b) Keep a child or group of children aged 3 to 5 years happily occupied for one hour.

Alternative: Hold the Child Nurse Badge.

8) Go on foot for an expedition of not less than 6 miles.

9) Know the Rules of Health and prove that she is trying to keep them.

10) Swim 50 yards.*

11) Throw a rope accurately three times out of four.

a) Over a beam or branch approximately three times the height of the candidate.

b) Within easy reach of a person 12 yards away.

12) Have an intimate knowledge of the neighbourhood within a radius of half a mile (town) or one mile (country) of her home or Guide H.Q.  Direct a stranger to the nearest doctor; telephone, pillar box, poat and/or telegraph office; garage and/or petrol-filling station; fire, ambulance, police, and railway stations, etc.; give approximate time needed to reach each place.  At the test draw a rough sketch map showing the way and the distance from one given point to another.  Know to what places the main roads lead.

13) Use a compass and find sixteen points by the sun and stars.  Read a map.

14) Take two Guides (not First Class) for a half-day hike, when possible following a map.

NOTE: The tester may accompany or join the Guides at any point.  They are to be judged on general turnout, programme, organisation, manners, care of other people's property, clearing up, enjoyment, type of food and method of cooking.

15) Be prepared to treat for shock following an accident; arrest bleeding; treat a patient unconscious from accident, fit or fainting; resuscitate the apparently drowned, using the Holger Nielsen methof of artificial respiration.  Know how to deal with fire, ice, and electrical accidents.

16) Change the sheets of a bed with the patient in it.  Show how to prevent bed sores and make an ill or old person comfortable in bed.  Use a clinical thermometer.  Dress a wound.

* NOTE: A Guide living in a locality where conditions are such that it is not possible for her to learn to swim, may, as a parallel test, take one of the following badges: Athlete, Cyclist, Fire Brigade, Hiker, Horsewoman, Land Girl, Pioneer, Stalker, Woodman.  Permission to do this and the decision as to which clauses of which badge are to be taken must be obtained through the usual channels from the Country's headquarters.  A Guide in an 'active' company who, owing to a minor disability, is not allowed to swim, may also be permitted to take a parallel test.  In such case a doctor's certificate is required.