200 celebrate Brownies’ century at Big Birthday

Brownies at Wyndy Sayles, Whipsnade
Brownies at Wyndy Sayles, Whipsnade

If you were down in the Whipsnade woods on a recent Saturday evening, you were sure of a big surprise.

More than 200 Brownies from Dunstable, Toddington and Harlington gathered at Dunstable Division Girlguiding’s site, Windy Sayles, to celebrate the Brownies’ Big Birthday.

This year marks a century of adventure, friendship, community action and fun as Girl guiding’s most iconic section – the Brownies – turns 100.

From 6pm on June 21, a steady stream of excited girls, with their leaders, could be seen and heard winding their way across Dunstable Downs from the Visitors’ Centre to their final destination.

There were squeals of excitement as they followed the bunting through the woods, recognised Guides along the way and finally arrived at the camp site where they hunted out their accommodation for the night and laid out their bedding.

Fun and games were the order of the day for the next few hours. Brownies from all units mixed together completing quizzes, searching for giant jigsaw pieces in the woods and playing lots of games.

No Brownie ‘stay away’ would be complete with out supper and a camp fire. Fuelled by hotdogs, all 200 girls were in good voice as Guides and senior section members led the singing at least a dozen traditional Guiding songs.

Helen Christopher, of Dunstable Division Girlguiding, said: “The final surprise was a showing of the film Frozen. The girls sang along to the soundtrack and finally at just after midnight it was time to say goodnight.

“Most girls were settled by 2am and very tired leaders grabbed a few hours sleep before they were woken once again by the sound of singing! The only problem being, it was 4.15am!

“The event could not have taken place without the tireless support of the Guiding team that put it together, Trefoil Guild for cooking all the sausages and keeping the leaders supplied with tea, and Scouting Friends who put up and took down the tents.”