a HUGELY popular Brownie group in Belper has just celebrated its 50th birthday.
The 1st Belper Brownies pack saw in its half century with a trip down memory lane and a birthday party.
First, past Brownies and Guides were welcomed to an afternoon of nostalgia at the pack’s headquarters in Belper on Saturday, January 15. There were old uniforms on display, including some from as far back as 1936, as well as numerous other Brownie outfits from subsequent decades.
Photographs from the 1980s and 1990s were displayed and got visitors to the drop-in session chatting about old times.
Then, in the evening, the girls in the current pack enjoyed a birthday party.
Helen Allsop, the pack’s leader, said: “We played party games, sang Happy Birthday, and had a lot of fun. It was a proper party night. The girls loved it.
“The afternoon was really good as well.”
The popular pack, which is for girls aged between seven and ten, has 24 members and a waiting list of a further 18. They meet on Thursday evenings. Helen was delighted with the landmark achievement. She said: “It is just fantastic. It is such an achievement that something can be going strong still after so long.
“It is a nice landmark. Let’s keep it going!
“The girls love it and you can see it in their faces.
“We do all sorts of things — craft activities, outings, bike rides, pack holidays, walks, swimming, roller skating, ice skating.
“Following the principles of Guiding, we aim to stretch the Brownies to help them work independently and as a member of a team, while encouraging them to think for themselves and develop their skills, whilst also having fun.”
Helen has been with the pack for 24 years. She became assistant leader in 1987, before becoming leader in 1992.
She replaced Mary Jackson, who became assistant. They swapped roles because Mary had just been appointed division commissioner.
The pack has three others who help. They are Jude Swift, Katherine Jackson and Kim Parkin. All five have done the Girl Guiding leadership scheme.
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