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April 21, 2006

Beanies Galore

2006-04-21 brownies.jpg

When I was about seven years old, I desperately wanted to be in the Brownies. After some minor begging, my mother broke down and let me join. Let's say that I lasted about six months.

Group participation has never been my forte. Sawdust candles? Bah. Selling cookies door to door? Too intimidating. Camping with people I didn't know? Enough to constipate me immediately. There was nothing about the Girl Scouts that screamed Corie except one minor detail: the outfit.

There were always one or two kids who showed up for school in complete Boy or Girl Scout garb. The uniforms made me drool. The crisp shirts! The knee socks! And all of those patches! Now THAT was what I wanted. It was only until I realized that a) my mother would only buy me the sash and b) you had to actually EARN the patches that my excitement waned on the spot. Then reality set in and it was ugly.

The other day I was playing around on eBay looking for something completely different, and came across an entire world of vintage scout paraphernalia. I suddenly remembered an old idea for crap collection´┐Żold fashioned Girl Scout/Boy Scout memorabilia´┐Żand I could not help but dig deeper into the bowels of internet bidding. Finally, I found an old-style Brownie beanie-- the kind that ends in a little peak on the top of your head. Intrigued, I poked around some more, discovering a treasure trove of old Campfire Girls junk, Girl Scout pocketknives from 1930, and a bevy of old badges from the European version of the scouts-- Girl Guides. These patches are inarguably awesome. Why not buy a few, I thought, thinking that they would be fun for arts and crafts or perhaps to hang on the wall.

People, the bidders were RUTHLESS. Being the non-competitive person that I am, I gave up pretty easily, but couldn't shake the weird feeling that people were bending over backwards to buy old patches ripped off sashes for exorbitant amounts of money. The whole thing began to feel a little creepy. Of course, I did bid on a beanie, fifty discontinued Girl Guide patches circa 1950, and a Campfire Girls hat.

You see, all I wanted was the outfit. Call it vicarious, but there will be a bevy of memorabilia lying around the house soon. Thankfully, I no longer want to wear any of it. Except for maybe the beanie.

Posted by callalillie at April 21, 2006 7:00 AM | Old Enough to Have Way Back Memories , Random


I was kicked out of the Weeblows (sp?) and my sister was asked to leave the Brownies after my Mom was caught making Irish Coffee on a camp stove during a "wood fire" only camp out.

I love my family.

Posted by: Bill at April 21, 2006 3:40 AM

In our family making Irish Coffee over a wood fire would earn a special merit badge.

Posted by: Vickie at April 21, 2006 7:28 AM

i think you should wear all of it. sew the patches onto your bag. wear with pride.

Posted by: tien at April 21, 2006 9:27 AM

on my honor, i will try, to serve god and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the girl scout law.

Posted by: Lesterhead at April 21, 2006 9:29 AM

Wow. I forgot about that pledge.

Posted by: corie at April 21, 2006 9:35 AM

These posts bring back lots of memories...I was a Sprite and we sang our little song while dancing around the toadstool.
Sprites Rock!
The only bad memory I have was while on a Brownie camping trip I was told I had to eat my peas, for some reason I couldn't and still can't stomach frozen peas. I ate them and quickly preceeded upstairs to puke on our bunkroom floor.

Posted by: Kris at April 21, 2006 9:56 AM

I think you look very cute in that picture. I never had any Scouting desires when I was little, perhaps because the girls that were Brownies and the boys that were Cub Scouts were such rotten little shits to me. That turned me off. Still love the cookies, though.

Posted by: Divaah46 at April 21, 2006 1:32 PM

I was a CampFire Girl, and have been trying to find a BlueBird pin for my charm bracelet. I lost mine years ago in one of my family's moves. I've yet to find one, but eBay seems like a potential source- thanks for the idea! (If you get one in your lot, and are willing to part- I'll buy it!)

Posted by: Amanda at April 21, 2006 2:14 PM

I still have my Brownie pins. I keep telling myself I'm going to start wearing them around for ironic flair but I'm just not a pin person.

Posted by: kdub at April 21, 2006 3:46 PM

I think I only earned one or two badges as a girl scout, and my Mom used masking tape to affix them to my sash. Oh yeah.

Posted by: Page at April 21, 2006 4:33 PM

now that i think about it, i did earn my "wings," whatever that meant. i think i had to jump some sort of metaphorical bridge to junior girl scouts. that's when i stopped. not enough patches.

Posted by: corie at April 21, 2006 4:39 PM

I used to be a brownie...I would always join, then when it came time to go to YET ANOTHER boring, tiring brownie meeting I persuaded my mother to let me stay home.
then I suppose I was kicked out.

Posted by: Seton at April 21, 2006 5:34 PM

I remember being in the girl scout scene only to find out that the Campfire girls were the true rockers. So ,I defected and joined toe blue team, learned to wear a bikini and smoke all kinds of stuff. We were too busy to merit anything!

Posted by: Virginia at April 24, 2006 4:44 PM

What's funny is that I was always embarrassed out of my mind when I had to wear my uniform to school. I hated it! I think I still have the sash and badges (More trivia coming back to me by the minute! Patches were for participation in citywide GS events and stuff like that, badges were the ones you had to earn by completing designated projects)

Posted by: Liz at April 26, 2006 2:37 PM

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