Leslie's Guiding History Site



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Trefoil Guild - did it really begin in 1943?

Posted by Leslie on June 6, 2021 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

After a year during which pressure of work has meant many other things having to take a back seat - I'm now able to do some research work again - and maybe soon get back on the road visiting archives to learn more. 

Meantime, I've been doing some work on Trefoil Guild history - or to be more accurate, the pre-history.  The more work I have done, the more questionable the official start date of Trefoil Guild seems to be - but why not have a look at the page and judge it for yourself?

Badge Updates

Posted by Leslie on January 6, 2020 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Have recently been doing some updating work on the badge pages - adding in more badge images, more slide shows, and adding captions.  I've also been able to add to the information already there on end-dates.  Hope to add more details to some of the other pages shortly too.

Work in Hand

Posted by Leslie on June 25, 2018 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Have recently been doing some more general research, some of which will end up in 'Historian's Corner' and some in the main site.  I will also be working over the summer to try to update details for the new programmes coming in, and the related badges.  (Please bear with me - it will take time to alter all the references to 'current' programme to 'previous' programme, hence I'm claiming the right to take a year over transition too!

Updating will occur over the summer as time allows . . .

Programme Change

Posted by Leslie on February 16, 2018 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Guiding seems to have a custom of major programme change for all sections every 50 years - for after the major changes of 1966-1968 when the original Tenderfoot/Second Class/First Class was replaced by the 8-point programme for all sections, so in 2016-18 we have programme changes for all sections again, and as in 1968 there will be a structure running through the programmes of all the sections, with the aim of providing continuity and progression.  

Programme change also opens up opportunities for collectors and historians.  Now is the time for people to collect material relating to Rainbow Rounbouts, Brownie Adventure Badges, Guide Challenge Badges and Senior Section Octants, whilst it is available for collecting.  In a few years time some of it may be hard to come by . . .

Sea Ranger Ship Flags

Posted by Leslie on March 26, 2015 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (2)

A query from a friend leads to another bit of investigation work to tackle! I was asked about what sort of flags Sea Guide/Sea Ranger units had. Which led to an interesting search. The answer appears to be that initially they had the same sort of flags as other units - initially a navy flag with the First Class badge upon it, later a mid-blue flag with a world badge on it. It also looks like the trefoils of Ranger flags were enamelled with red/blue enamel as appropriate.

Later there was a change in policy, and Sea Ranger flags were changed to Burgees - flags which were more-or-less square shaped, with a swallow-tail, and each unit was free to create their own design to be cleared by headquarters. I have not yet narrowed down an exact year for the change, but we're working on that. Meantime I'd be delighted to receive info . . .

Senior Section

Posted by Leslie on September 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

So, as the "Big Brownie Birthday" draws to a close, so attention wanders towards the next group due to have a Centenary - Senior Section. Laying aside the question of whether their anniversary should be celebrated in 2016 (which would be 100 years since Cadets/YLs were founded) or in 2017 (which would be 100 years since Senior Guides/Rangers were founded), there is a lot of scope for research into Senior Section history, as they tend to be the section which receives scant attention in most of the history books (and doesn't appear at all in some!)


It probably isn't helped by the less-straightforward structure of the age group. After Cadets were started, within the Ranger section there were Senior Guides, then Rangers, then Sea Guides and Sea Rangers were added, then Sea Guides were dropped, then Air Rangers were added and the mainstream Rangers became Land Rangers to differentiate them from the 'Seas' and 'Airs' - then the Cadets and various forms of Ranger were all grouped together into "Senior Branch" as an umbrella title for the group, next the various sorts of Rangers were merged into all being Ranger Guides, and Cadets were abolished. Then Young Leaders were started (and could be considered a replacement), then "Senior Section" was created as an umbrella title to cover all members aged 14-26 regardless of whether they were Rangers, Young Leaders, Leaders, Unit Helpers, Trefoil Guild, Appoinment Holders or whatever (yes, another umbrella)!

Compared to Guides which stayed as Guides throughout the 100 years, or Rosebuds which became Brownies after a year, it's awfully complicated!


Nevertheless, as the oft-forgotten section, it's time to start collecting info on their history. All contributions welcome, as I work on refurbishing the Senior Section page . . .

Lones and 'Extensions'

Posted by Leslie on June 25, 2014 at 5:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The latest project is to do some more work on Lones and Extensions - the pages have been started, now it's time to do more research and develop them. 'Extensions' in particular, is one of the most interesting topics - Guiding was far ahead of it's time in promoting equal education and opportunities for the disabled, both the physically and the mentally disabled, at a time when most disabled children received little or no formal education - and in taking steps to integrate them into mainstream units. Lones showed the desire to reach girls who couldn't attend mainstream units - and of course, are an active section even today, with Lones units running up and down the country, and the internet having replaced the post as the ideal means of linking them . . .

Camps and Holidays

Posted by Leslie on July 19, 2013 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

With the holidays upon us, and with it the break from unit activities, I've found the time to add another section that I had been hoping to start on for a while - for what sort of Guiding history site could omit the history of Guide Camps?!


There is still much to add, but the start has been made and I will add more information as it becomes available . . .

Religion and Guiding

Posted by Leslie on July 11, 2013 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I have added in a new page on the current 'hot topic' - religion and Guiding. One of the main reasons for doing so is the amount of mis-information spreading around, in the media and elsewhere, about the topic - both from members of the public who mistakenly assume that Guiding is or was a Christian organisation, and, sadly, from Leaders and former Leaders who are under the same misconception. And yet, I was wary, because it is a controversial topic, mainly because so many of those who believe that Guiding was or is a Christian organisation , feel so strongly about it. The new Promise wording has caused some strong views and strong feelings. For that reason, I have included the quotes on religion from the handbooks, and rulebooks, of different eras, which I hope will clarify the true position.

One policy which is unchanged from the very start of Guiding is that members may only attend a service of another denomination or religion if they have written permission - for many years it was the only thing Guides had to have written permission for! It's also fascinating to see how, even in the first handbook of 1912, when Guiding had barely started to spread around the world, there was a clear recognition that Guides could come from any one of a number of religions, and that they were encouraged to view positively the beliefs of those from religions other than their own. So in some ways, perhaps the new wording of the Promise which is to be introduced in September 2013 - is closer to the intention stated in the 1912 handbook than any previous version of the Promise has been . . .




Posted by Leslie on February 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

With the anniversaries for Guides and Rainbows having passed, attention is now turning to the next section to get their turn - the Brownies. Although their history is fairly well recorded, a lot of work is still there to be done by the enthusiast - to look at how the programme has changed through the years - and how it hasn't! To record 'ordinary' unit traditions - opening and closing ceremonies, favourite games, how different events and festivals are celebrated, etc. If you are thinking of doing something history-related, it's not too soon to start asking your archivist about resources, and if you are looking to borrow items, getting your request in - already, demand is high and supply limited!