That was the question which I asked five older Brownies to answer for me last week. And then I asked them to plan some activities which would help the younger girls understand the Promise better.
They spent a week planning – once we’d discussed basic principles of how to plan activities, they told me to go away. So I did.
I went and took pictures of the other girls and what they were doing instead. I know when I’m not wanted!
The Go For It! group were playing a board game, eight girls were working on Becoming a Brownie, and the rest were making bird feeders.
There are four lines to the Promise, they said, so we’ll have four activities and take turns to do them all.
The first one will be about doing your best. We’ll get them to make a card for the adult of their choice, which says “I will do my best to… because…”. And the best one will get a prize.
Next, they’ll have to be true to themselves. They have to think of three facts about themselves, and one of them has to be a lie. Then they have to guess which one of each others is a lie.
Serving the Queen was a little bit of a stretch. One of the girls dressed up as the Queen, and the others had to serve her tea. While telling her about what they’d done to help the community. I’m pretty certain they only put that last bit in because I pointed out that the Queen doesn’t drink that much tea!
And finally, helping other people. At first they thought they should make fake wounds and teach people to bandage them. Then they remembered how long making fake wounds takes, and decided to simplify (for which I was very glad!). Instead, they gave each group a toilet roll, and asked them to make a mummy. The group that had the neatest mummy was going to win a prize.
I was very impressed with how well they’d worked together, with no supervision, to come up with some pretty good ideas. Some of them are a little bit of a stretch, it’s true, but they all sounded fun, and feasible, and as long as they explained them well enough…
So the next week they did just that.
We had a chat about one person talking at a time and how it made people easier to understand, and I reminded them that they would need to tell them the time limit otherwise they wouldn’t fit everything in, but then I set them loose and pretty much left them to it.
It wasn’t as chaotic as I’d feared.
Loud, yes, but they got all the activities done, and they even remembered to explain that they were supposed to be about the Promise.