Monday, 10 July 2017

Are Brownie sashes too small?

A lot of people commenting recently that Brownie sashes are ridiculously small.  The Brownies can’t possibly fit all their badges on them, indeed even the gilets fill up too fast. 


At first this confused me.  After all, a Six Badge, a Name Tape, a Country badge and a Pot of Gold badge don’t take up much space and still leave plenty of room for a Promise Badge – and even once you add three Adventure Badges, a Sixer or Second badge, a GFI Guides badge and an Interest Badge per year, that still leaves plenty room for any extra Interest Badges a Brownie might choose to work on outwith the unit, or ‘nights away’ badges if your Region/Country does them.


But then I realised.  These will be the units whose programmes are led by badges official or unofficial.  Their girls will be doing 2 or 3 badges a term, sometimes more than that, plus getting badges for every outing and residential event they turn up to. 


In recent years there has been an explosion in badges.  We never used to give out badges at Brownie holidays (other than for those who were tested for Interest Badges such as Cook or House Orderly during the event).  Now many units wouldn’t dream of not issuing at least one badge to everyone, ideally several.  We never used to give out badges for those who attended a Brownie outing or Revels.  Now many units automatically do.  We never used to give out badges for those who took part in a unit project (other than to those who hadn’t already gained the Venture badge at a previous event).  Now many units do.  We never used to give out badges for themed nights or terms.  Now many units do.  We never gave out badges for taking part in community activities such as Thinking Day, Remembrance, or Saints’ day, civic parades etc.  Now many units apparently do.  We never gave out badges for activities outwith the unit such as organising or taking part in charity fundraising events, winning national competitions etc where they weren’t directly Brownie-related.  Now many units apparently do.


Yes, the badge sash used to have plenty of room, with even the very keen Brownies able to fit on their last few badges without difficulty, but that was before the explosion in badge giving over the past 7 or 8 years.


So, which situation applies?  Is it that the sash is ridiculously small?  Or is it that the number of badges being dished out has become ridiculously large? 

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