leslie's guiding traditions

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As the May 1914 issue of the 'Girl Guides' Gazette' said: "What do you all think of our new corps of Girl Guides?  I think we are all agreed that much better work can be done when the girls working together are much the same age, and we have not found that it is practicable to include Guides of 14 and 15 with little 'tots'.  in the first place their strides are very different, they have not the wind to keep pace with big girls, although so many young people of the mature age of nine years, and less, are very keen about scouting, good signallers, and very anxious to join the Guides.  How do you like the proposition of calling the Cadets our Rosebuds?  We are all full blown flowers, and as the Rose is our Nation's Flower, Rosebuds would appropriately grow into Roses.  The Rosebuds would, of course, have a uniform of their own, the most approved idea being dark blue skirts and knickers, dark blue knitted jerseys, and dark blue knitted cap or Tam.  If we look at the Scouts' Laws for their Wolf "Cubs" we see that "Cubs" have only two promises to make, and, therefore, their Salute is the holding up of two fingers.  The 'Rosebud' will salute with two fingers when she repeats her Promise 'On my honour I promise that I will do my best; 1) To do my duty to God and the King, and 2) To do a Good Turn to somebody each day.'

The Rosebuds will have a Rosebud badge to wear until they can be admitted as full-blown Guides.  I have not room here to give the 'rosebuds' Laws at length, but will give them in full another time, and we shall be much interested to hear, at Headquarters, how you find the scheme works.  The proof of a great General's greatness is in his ability to get others to work for him.  Lieutenants and Patrol Leaders who really appreciate the responsibility given them, are of the greatest assistance to captains.  Captains cannot do all the work themselves, and, therefore, Patrol leaders are appointed who are capable and judicious, and are able to take a responsible position.  Such Guides are suitable to undertake the command of the 'Rosebuds' and to be answerable for their discipline and their well-being, and most interesting will be their privilege of training and bending the most pliable young sprigs, before they become hard wood, and grow into sturdy tree trunks whose shape and leanings cannot be altered.  Agnes Baden-Powell"

In the June 1914 issue, further guidance was given:

"Rose Buds - What a Rose Bud may not do.

A Rose Bub may not wear a Girl Guide's uniform hat.  Neither may she wear any Guide's Badges.  A Rose Bud has her own brooch badge.

She may not salute with three fingers, for a Rose Bud has only two promises to make, therefore her sign is the holding up of two fingers.

A Rose Bud cannot have the sky-blue neckerchief, but she may tie her hair back with sky-blue.

The age at which a Rose Bud may join the Baden-Powell Girl Guides is eight years, but she does not blossom into a full-blown Rose until she is eleven.

Now the Guides have their salutes and their secret signs, passwords, and laws.  The passwords for Rose Buds are as follows:-

Question - Dubesor a voyera?  Answer - Duba Mai!

When a Rose Bud is to be enrolled she has to make two promises, and says: 'On my honour I promise that I will do my best: 1) To do my duty to God and the King; and 2) to do a Good Turn to somebody every day.'

When a Rose Bud promises 'on her honour' to do a thing, that means that it would be a terrible disgrace to her if she forgot about it, or did not keep her promise, so when a guide says she will do a thing, you may feel perfectly certain that she will do it.  

Sir Robert Baden-Powell tells us how to make ourselves happy.  How do you think?  By running about and playing, or by tracking wild animals and getting to know all about their ways?  Yes, the Rose Buds do all these things and make themselves happy, but they have a still better way than that.  It is very simple.  Rose Buds make other people happy.  

Every day the Rose Bud does some kindness, it does not matte whether to a friend or a stranger, man, woman, child, or invalid.  The 'good turn' need not be a big thing, you may get a chance of doing an act of politeness in your home; you might help your mother, or do some little job about the house.  If you are out you might hep carry a parcel for an old person, or help take a little child across the street, or something of that sort.

No Rose Bud would accept money for doing a 'good turn' as you would not take any reward for doing your duty.

Rose Bud's Uniform - Dark blue knitted cap.  Pale blue hair ribbon.  Dark blue jersey.  Dark blue skirt and knickers.  Metal brooch Rose Bud Badge.

Tests for Rose Buds:

a) Know how the Union Jack is made up, and how to fly it.  b) Know how to tie the following knots: reef, sheetbend, clove hitch, bowline, fisherman's and sheep shank, and understand their special uses.  c) Do the bending exercises with breaths as given in the Handbook for Girl Guides, on page 329, numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.  

Always salute the Union Jack when you come across one.  Give the full salute also on meeting a Guide Mistress, or when 'God Save the King' is played.

The half salute, raising your hand only as high as your shoulder, is used when you meet a Guide, or another Rose Bud.

Agnes Baden Powell"


The exercises:

"Stand upright, heels together, head up, chest out, shoulders well back and down.

1) For the Upper Body - From upright position bend to the front, arms stretched downwards, with backs of the hands together in front of the knees.  Breathe out.

Raise the hands gradually over the head and lean back through the nose as you do so - that is, drinking God's air into your lungs and blood.  Lower the arms gradually to the sides, breathing out the word 'thanks' (to God) through the mouth.

Lastly bend forward again, breathing out the very last bit of breath in you, and saying the number of times you have done it, to keep count.

Repeat this exercise twelve times.  Whilst carrying it out, remember that the object of the exercise is to develop your shoulders, chest, heart and breathing apparatus inside you.

2) For the Liver - With the feet apart, and standing upright, send out both arms, fingers extended, straight to the front, then slowly swing round to the right from the hips without moving the feet, and point the right arm as far round behind you as you can, keeping both arms level with the shoulders.  Then after a pause, swing slowly round as far as you can to the left.  Repeat this a dozen times.

This exercise is to move the inside organs, such as the liver and intestines, and help their work, as well as to strengthen the outside muscles round the ribs and stomach.

While carrying out this exercise, the breathing should be carefully regulated.  Breathe in through the nose (not through the mouth) while pointing to the right rear; breathe out through the mouth as you come round and point to the left rear, and at the same time count aloud the number of the swing - or, what is better, thinking of it as part of your morning prayer to God, and say aloud, 'Bless Tim', 'Bless Father', and any of your family or friends in turn.

When you have done this four times to the right, change to the other side; breathe in when pointing to the left rear, and breathe out to the right.

3) For the Back - Lie down flat on the floor at full length, stretch out the arms, and rest them ont he front of the thighs and not touching the floor.  Without lifting the feet from the floor, or helping yourself with your arms at all, raise the body very slowly into a sitting position.  Keep the knees stiff, bend forward slowly, and touch the toes.  Repeat seven times.

Beginners may have to put a coat or other slight weight on their feet at first, but with practice will soon be able to do without it.

4) For the Stomach - 'Cone Exercise' - Stand with the hands raised as high as possible over the head, and link fingers, lean backwards, then sway the arms very slowly round in the direction of a cone, so that he hands make a wide circle above and around the body, the body turning from the hips, and leaning over to one side, then to the front, then to the other side, and then back.  This is to exercise the muscles of the wast and stomach, and should be repeated, say, six times to either hand.  With the eyes you should be trying to  see all that goes on behind you during the movement.

A meaning attached to this exercise, which you should think of while carrying it out, is this: The clasping hands means that you are knit together with friends, that is, other Guides - all round you as you sway round to the right, left, before, and behind you; in every direction you are bound to friends.  Love and friendship are the gifts of God, so when you are making the upward move you look to heaven and drink in the air and the good feeling, which you then breathe out to your comrades all round.

5) For the lower part of the body - Like every one of the exercises this is, at the same time, a breathing exercise by which the lungs and heart are developed, and the blood made strong and healthy.  You simply stand up and reach as high as you can skywards, and then bend forward and downward till your fingers touch your toes without bending your knees.  You then stand with the feet slightly apart, touch your head with both hands, and look up into the sky, leaning back as far as you can.  

If you mingle prayer with your exercises, as I described to you before, you can, while looking up in this way, say to God 'I am yours from top to toe', and breathe in God's air (through the nose not through the mouth:.

6) For the Legs - Then reach both hands upwards as far as possible, breathe out the number of the turn that you are doing; then bend slowly forward and downward, knees stiff, til you touch your toes with your finger-tips.

Then, keeping arms and knees still stiff, gradually raise the body to the first position again, and repeat the exercise a dozen times.

Some girls find difficulty in touching their toes, but they should go on trying by touching their shins first; in a few days they will succeed in getting down to the toes.

In the January 1915 Girl Guides Gazette: "Rosebuds?  Should our 'Rosebuds' be given a different name?

Our 'Rosebuds' are growing rapidly in numbers, and making quick strides towards perfecting themselves in all their tests - but we hear they are dissatisfied with their name.  

Now can anyone suggest a really good name for these Guides to be?  Do you like 'Skylarks' (full of play, but soaring to higher things), Bantams, Wrens, or what?

Will you please put on your thinking caps.  The name should be attractive and at the same time dignified.

Mention if you are content with Rosebuds' - which name is associated with youth and sweetness, suitable for the ittle ones who wil blossom into Girl Guides.

Write your suggestion on a postcard, and send it to the Secretary, Girl Guides' Organisation, 116, Victoria Street, London, S.W., before February 6, 1915."

June 1915 Girl Guides Gazette 

"Rosebuds or Brownies?  Our Scheme for Junior Girls.

Which name do the junior girls prefer?  Some take one, some take the other - 'Buds' or 'Brownies' they are at any rate 'Bees'; and as they are so eager to be busy bees a scheme for their organisation and work is being completed.  It will shortly be issued from the Girl Guide Headquarters in the form of a leaflet.  

Roughly, the idea is to organise girls under eleven, eight to form a unit under a leader.  

The head of a Company consisting of not fewer than two units will be called a Company Leader and she will be at least seventeen years of age.

As Brownies become old enough it is hoped that they will pass on into Girl Guide Companies.

Brownies will have their own badge, a metal acorn brooch bearing the letter B, and their salute will be the holding up of two fingers.

Uniform, which is advisable but not compulsory, will consist of a brown overall, brown skirt and jersey or holland blouse, brown belt, brown shoes and stockings, brown hair ribbon, and hat or cap trimmed with brown.

A number of simple tests have been prepared which Brownies must pass on entering and before becoming second class and first class.

If any suggestions on the subject occur to our readers, or if they have any experiences to quote, we shoal be very grateful for them and should like to have them as soon as possible, since the rules are to be printed very shortly."

July 1915 Girl Guide Gazette

"Rosebuds or Brownies or -?

There still seems to be a good deal of difference of opinion as to the best name for the Junior branch of our movement.

Many do not care about the original name 'Rosebuds'; at the same time many others like it.  'Brownies', as suggested in our last issue, has many supporters - and also opponents.

One suggestion came, after the birth of the Junior Girl Guide*, that they should be called 'Heather Bells'!

'Kittens', 'Kiddies', 'Juniors', 'Mice', 'Rats', and all sorts of names - poetic, insulting, pathetic or humorous - have been put forward; but none of them seems to hit off exactly the right idea.

Now then, inventive Guides, come along - here is your chance.  Suggest a name!"


* Heather - a reference to Heather Baden-Powell, recently-born daughter of Robert and Olave Baden-Powell.

December 1915 Gazette

"From the particulars given on pages 4, 5 and 6, you will see that the Brownies are really coming into being.

Every Company of Guides should try to enrol a Company of Brownies; then as the bigger girls leave - as they must for various reasons - the gaps can be easily filled with girls who are already partly trained.

What a good name Brownies is!  Don't you agree?"


"The scheme put forward above is partly intended to draw opinions as to which is the name and dress generally preferred.

Of course, it is most desirable that the Junior Branch of the Guide movement should have a distinctive uniform of its own.  It is said that with boys this is a simple matter - their leaders are accustomed to sink their ideas in the interests of the whole, but with girls it is different 'tot demince tot sententice' - every woman has her own different opinion, I am told - mind you, I don't necessarily believe it.

I should, however, like to see the idea disproved by the captains of the Junior branch agreeing to adopt one name and one form of uniform for the whole sisterhood.