• Welcome Guest to the new look forum. For more information refer to this thread

What is Brownie Holiday like in 2017?


Beginner (10+ posts)
Due to *Reasons* we haven’t been able to offer our own Brownie Holiday since 2012 although we’ve Magic and Mayhem’d so the girls have had the chance to go away.

I’m thinking very seriously about starting the Going Away With scheme; I’ve got the books and that’s not frightening me. I’ve been Brownie Holidaying since 1993 and have done every leader role up to and including running our last BH as our Licence holder was under the weather. She is no longer with the Unit, hence part of the *Reasons*. The rest of the leader team is very keen on us offering our own Brownie Holiday.

What I’m wondering, however, is whether Brownie Holidays in 2017 are very different to 2012 and before? We’ve always had a lot of input from the girls and I’m CIEH qualified in Health and Safety so risk assessments hold little fear for me. I know that going away to PGL would be the easiest way to get 1 to 4 but I really want to offer the kind of Brownie Holiday we're used to.


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
I think that they can still be whatever you want to be...they need to reflect your units ethos and your strengths but challenge you all. You know your girls and what they are interested in...some want lots of crafts, some more outdoors..

In terms of what the rules etc are like, not a lot changes in many cases, it is still common sense but we need to record things better.

Fundementally, any holiday needs to be good, challenge the girls and give them the opportunity to stretch themselves.

Sent from my SGP712 using Tapatalk


Veteran (100+ posts)
I think things are just more relaxed now than they have been before e.g. traditionally we had cooks, waitresses and housemaids but at our next holiday we are going to offer the cooking duties to girls who want to earn the cook badge and will work on other badges with other girls at those times.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I'm doing my GAW and we're having a traditional style pack holiday. The Browmies will have their roles on a rota basis, and we're printing A3 posters and laminating them, so that they can be used in the future - we're using owl pictures from the internet, rather than pictures around our theme.

The Brownies decided that they wanted a pack holiday (and it coincided with a time in my life that I can do GAW). They have discussed and voted on their theme. They know that there will be jobs to do - and are very keen at this point! They have given me ideas on the activities that they want to do, based around the books (and one girl has lent her books to me so that I can read them beforehand).

A bit closer to the time, we will be discussing the menu, although as leaders, we have a good idea of what we are likely to be eating - the girls will still get a choice, but we will be steering them towards some foods and away from others. For example, they have already asked for the chippy, but there isn't one nearby. Also, we want our QM to be able to join in activities and to have a rest at times, so we don't want her to have to spend all day sorting fancy menus.

So our Brownies are having quite a bit of input. The leaders decided on the venue - it's local, I know it well, and for my GAW, I wanted familiarity. the girls haven't been before, so it's new to them.


Beginner (10+ posts)
This is just what I needed to hear as I was a bit worried that things would have changed so much I’d be going back to the beginning. I’m getting quite excited at the idea of us going on Brownie Holiday.

I like the idea that we don’t have to be so regimented about Cooks/Waitresses/Maids especially as we’ll have a new QM. I know from personal experience that sometimes you just don’t need really helpful help! We’ll talk it through as a leader team anyway and decide the best way to go.

I’m thinking of going to Foxlease as I’d say easily two thirds of my residential experiences have been there, the older girls know the site but the younger ones haven''t visited before so I think that's a nice balance.

Off to talk to our DC about starting the scheme...


Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
A lot of what was "traditional" was just that, nothing ever in a rule book. The more we heard someone doing something one way, the more we assumed that was the only way.

What's required of the leaders hasn't changed much in reality - you always did do risk assessments, but just not on a specific form but you did think through what could happen, what you'd do. Planning activities, budgeting, planning meals etc still the same - maybe different titles on qualification boxes, but the same practicalities.

Stuff like Cooks / Waitresses etc ...... you're right, sometimes that extra help isn't really much help at all! Having said that, half the experience is the girls learning those tasks, and learning of the concept about looking after each other / sharing the work, so it's good to get them involved somehow.


Veteran (100+ posts)
One change across this time that I have noticed that isn't so much to do with the planning, is that more Brownies have their own devices/ they are more integrated with their lives.
Some girls are used to as a part of their bedtime routine being allowed to watch films or programmes on a tablet (with parents insisting that "it's the only way she'll sleep"), or have e books rather than a physical copy.
Is the homesick girl going to try and FaceTime mum in the loos during downtime rather than asking to use a leaders mobile?

Of course it's up to the leadership team to decide if this is allowed, and for parents to decide if it's worth the risk of letting them take their phone/tablet. But it might be worth deciding what your policy is going to be for the residential and then sticking to it (and making clear what the insurance situation is!).


They've only changed if you want them to. So you can look over what you used to do, and think about which of these things you still feel are valuable and important, which are not so important and might be dropped, and which you are quite keen to change.


Veteran (100+ posts)
I find the 'easiest' holidays as leader are the ones where the QM gets enough 'help' for the girls top complete their holiday/advanced badges but otherwise can just potter round in their own domain.
I used to be obsessive about giving them all 5 a day and drinking water but actually, just keeping an eye on everyone and giving everyone a chance to do something that they have never tried before is enough.


Veteran (100+ posts)
My experience is vague memories of a pack holiday I went to as a Brownie in the early 1990s and the last four years as a leader. My Brownies now are moving away from some of the old traditions (that had been instigated by a long since retired leader and carried on just because). We don't have them involved in doing dishes like I did as a Brownie because the place we go to has a dishwasher. It was on the chores list for years after we stopped doing it though!

We've always made new traditions like straight after breakfast on the last day, they pack and put their stuff outside (under cover if its raining)and clear their room, then inspection takes place when they think they're done. We also do the last days' lunch outside if at all possible and use individual boxes to do a packed lunch style thing (no washing up and minimal mess).

We do one or two food related activites (usually pizza decorating and something cake related), but they don't help with general food related stuff.


Guide and Ranger Leader
Nothing wrong with a bit of food prep by the girls taking it in turns - but only if it fits into the activities. If you're going to use ready prepared/frozen/tinned veg then that's fine too. Easy option would be to include at least one make it yourself type meal like make your own pizza (on a pitta bread or similar) or if you are going out for the day, each girl makes their own sandwiches - then they get what they want. (Remember to label them!!!) Really depends on your menu plan. If you're going to somewhere like PGL then that is catered anyway and you can concentrate more on providing the little extras round the PGL programme.

Its nice to do something that you wouldn't normally get the chance to do on a normal Brownie night. Good luck.


Veteran (100+ posts)
After a show of hands revealed every girl except one had a dishwasher at home, and several had parents who employed cleaners, we made sure that washing up and cleaning were really included in our last pack holiday. Theses are life skills that anyone might need, and despite the pulled up noses at having the clean the loos, every girl got on with the jobs allocated and tales of cleaning loos were in full evidence when they were collected by their parents. ( none of whom objected to it, but were more amused) The chores didn't take a huge chunk of time out of the holiday, and we still packed in lots of other things as well.

Inspection of rooms and points takes more of a back seat, we do check to see if the beds are tidy and made, but there is no points or competitive element.
Our menus reflect today's eating habits more, and are kept simple and healthy, as much for the QM as for the girls. Meal graces are now non religious thanks rather than prayers, and reflections and poems have replaced morning prayers.
We ask girls not to bring devices, their lives are full of them already, so a bit of space seems to work, and no one has yet complained about not having their phone etc


Veteran (100+ posts)
re mobile phones on pack holidays - we make a big, clear point of this at parents' meetings, explaining that we work really hard to keep the girls so busy that they will not have time to be homesick. Then we say that having a phone with her will completely undermine this. Everyone understands and we have never had a phone taken on holiday.

Rainbow Sunny

Regular (50+ posts)
we also do not allow girls to take mobile phones, making quite clear at the start and we have never had any complaints. we have had girls help in the kitchen with cutting, slicing, etc and making cakes to get their cooks badge; we also get the girls to wash and dry up all the plates,cups,cutlery and the adults do pots,pans, sharp knives and serving dishes - mots of the girls have found this a fun part of the weekend.

sandra 100

Veteran (100+ posts)
we had a girl on brownie holiday once who said I am not allowed to use knives, im not allowed to help clean, I'm not allowed to wash up she had done all of them by the time she had gone home I think sometimes it is easier for parents to do things for kids instead of letting them do things for themselves