Sunday, 5 May 2013

Storytelling Sunday Three: Pick Your Precious



Storytelling Sunday Three? There is no excuse for not joining in with this one - everyone can do it! Pick Your Precious is about celebrating the little things you love: those souvenirs, bits and pieces, things from your past you can't bear to throw out. You know, the special little something you have tucked away in a drawer or up on a shelf? Or the thing you  love most in a room? Or the object you would save if you knew you had to leave the country? Your favourite things.

Ready to begin?

The Girl Guide Shirt


It's Storytelling Sunday! The fifth month of the year and already we have enjoyed a captivating collection of precious items and the memories they help us to hold on to. When I started out in January I had a rough idea of the stories I wanted to tell, for the first few months at least; but what I'm enjoying now is the way your picks are helping me with my picks. maybe that's happening to you too?

Two things led me to my choice for this month: the departure of The (Not So) Small One for her very first Guide Camp; and the thought that, in the end, the remembering is more important than the thing itself.


See, I still have my Girl Guide shirt. It wouldn't be one of the first things I'd grab if I had to leave in a hurry: in fact it took me a while to find it; but it has more memories bundled up inside it than many of the others things here I might count as precious. It's genuine vintage now: "antique" said the girl who slipped on her blue rugby shirt and a fleece before she left. I wore it with a hand knit for warmth, and my school uniform navy skirt, and my yellow scarf.

I relished every minute of Girl Guides. we weren't, as a family, especially fond of the outdoors, so camping and hill walking and orienteering were new delights. at school I didn't like sport, but at Guides I didn't mind getting hit with a ball or pushed off a bench. Guides was different. I slogged my way steadily through a slew of badges, stitching each one to my shirt with pride. I can chart my progress through the size of the stitches: by the time I was ready to leave they were finally as small and neat as I wanted them to be.

Each badge tells its own story: 

Camping? "Shut up Sian, we want to go to sleep."
Camp cooking? "Sian, if you eat that raw sausage, your insides will die."
Laundress (laundress? surely not any more..) "Now remember girls, if you stick chewing gum to your skirt, you can pop it in the freezer and let it harden. then it will be easily removed."
Reader? Nailed that one.

At the end I was awarded the Queen's Guide badge - that was as high as you could go - and a group of us all squeezed into our shirts (which were getting just a little bit tight) for one more ceremony, a presentation of awards by the local Duchess.

And then it was time to leave. The Leader of the Swallow Patrol had to learn to fly. Endings and beginnings, hanging up uniforms and moving on: they've been on my mind this week as The Tall One fitted himself into his school blazer for the very last time. When he isn't looking, I think I'll take the blazer and hang it beside the Guide shirt, let it hold onto its stories too. Maybe there'll be a smoky smelling blue fleece come back from camp to join them. How about it?


My story is done. How's yours coming? Show us some pictures, tell us the story behind whatever you choose: it's all good. Write your post, with an introduction linking back to Storytelling Sunday (so your readers get the idea, the more the merrier!) and come link us up. I'm looking forward to reading about your treasures..

..More information can be found on the Storytelling Sunday page. And, don't forget, any story will be welcomed. It doesn't have to be precious in any way at all! Whatever you have in your head will be just fine: small or tall, we'll read them all. And if you are reading in a Reader, click through now to join in...


41 comments:

Amy said...

I wasn't ever a Guide, but TE went through all of the cubs, scouts, venturers and rovers groups ... TNYO is following suit and enjoying every single moment. Isn't it amazing how many small badges can represent a time and a place for you, TE is the same, he unearthed his blanket which is covered in a swathe of badges and he could tell a story about them all. Would you believe it, his father also has a collection of badges and he too is reminded of the story of each one.

Melissa said...

What a wonderful precious item you've shared with us today, along with the memories. I was a Brownie Girl Scout for a short while and for many years still had my beanie & sash. They were lost in a move many years ago now, but I scrapped a layout with me in my Brownie t-shirt.

Hope you had a lovely NSD - my cropping buddies just left after 10 hours of scrapping & I'm heading to bed. Looking forward to reading everyone's stories tomorrow!

dogmatix said...

I was a guide for only 2 years but I still remember the crisp blue shirt, the necktie and the leather toggle, with the very cool hat that you could slant to the side. I don't think my parents have it anymore...I know I don't....but I am sure there must be a photo floating around somewhere.....!

Jennie Hart said...

I was a Brownie for a while, but not a particularly good one, it's a shame as looking back it would have been good for me i'm sure instead of the never-ending sport I played, a bit of balance I think.

I love how you have told this Sian, I don't know if I have said it recently but you are a very good storyteller :) I'm working on mine now! BBL

debs14 said...

I went to Brownies once. Never went back! I can't remember why I did'nt like it but I bet my mum was glad she hadn't paid out for any uniform before I went!
My daughter went to Brownies but did'nt make it to Guides. But I do have her yellow and brown uniform up in the loft with all the other uniforms both kids had over the years.
Great choice of precious and yes - keep that blazer and school tie!

Missus Wookie said...

I was a Girl Scout and slightly thrown having done archery and canoeing to arrive in the UK and be faced with laundress and childcare... oh and to be told all my US badges didn't count :sigh:

No idea where the various badges and uniforms went but went up to Venture here in the UK.

Thank you for those memories - I've never scrapped any of those, hmm think I can feel some story collecting going on.

Maria Ontiveros said...

I was a girl scout and have my sash with its variety of badges and pins. I have some very fond memories of the badges I earned. Feeling a bit sentimental, as I remember my mom (the nurse) helped my troop with the first aid badge.
Rinda

Sheena said...

I can totally relate to your story Sian x
As a Queens Guide myself I remember owning one of those blue blouses with the pockets stuffed with things I thought I would need ... pen... string...2p for the phone !!!
Many thanks for sharing you have me reminiscing over my morning cuppa :)

Miriam said...

I wonder if I have my boys scouting blanket? I do have a video of him preparing for his first camp though.
What a wonderful post today Sian and this month, so far, and I have read 8 stories I have ideas for 3! Oooh I love StS...

Becky said...

I was never a Guide or a Girl Scout, but I did go camping with my family a couple of times which I enjoyed. Ben was a Scout and in time a Young Leader, Penny went right through to Guides, but after the first year gave it up as it wasn't really for her. However, I spent hours sewing badges onto Ben's camp blanket - he seemed to go for every one going! Loved your story and great that you still have the shirt. We still have Ben's blanket here, ready to give to him when he has a house big enough to store all the clutter he has left behind here!

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

Sian, what a great read! Your story recounts accomplishments both big and small. I like the idea that your shirt is a container for the memories you cherish and that you can mark your progress by the quality of your stitching. And, especially, it's terrific that you are planning to hold on to your children's memory containers until they are old enough to care about the memories they represent.

Thanks again for hosting Storytelling Sunday. It's great fun to spend time with friends, both old and new, finding out a little about what is precious to each of them.

JO SOWERBY said...

I so wish I stil had my guide and brownie badges, well the cloth awards anyway. I do have my metal badges so that's good. I remember doing the safety in the home brownie badge and the first aider GG badge b ut apart from that my memory is rather poor. I too loved being part of the fun. We went on several camps including a big one at Petworth House. Sadly I got myself a job which involved working Friday nights so GGs went out and money came in. I still remember many of the fun things we did though like the sponsored walk where we all ended up 10 miles off course because the naughty scouts had changed all the signs and our parents had to come collect us from Worthing. What larks,
Jo xxx

Alison said...

I went to Brownies for a while, but gave up very quickly and never got as far as Guides...lots of lovely memories on that shirt! Will be back later with my story
Alison xx

Elizabeth said...

I never had the opportunity to be a Girl Scout. I did envy those who participated though. All their badge covered sashes really impressed me. You had a good number of badges, too. And, you were awarded with the Queen's Guide badge--that sounds really good to me!

Jennie said...

Lovely memories Sian - I was a Brownie - but didn't go onto be a Guide for long as our Brown Owl - who was also our Guide Leader had to give up for health reasons and no one could be found to take over. You are such good writer - I love to read your stories! J xx

Irene said...

Hello Sian Finally able to re-join SS. It's been a while...
I bet you were a wonderful GG and I love how you describe the stitching on of those badges, how your needlework improved. Rachael now has most of my needlework. The stitches show my life's journey too.
Hoping for some time to catch up on your previous blog posts. Have missed reading them. x

Abi said...

I love this Sian. One of my close friends at uni was a guide and is now a guide leader. She loved her time guiding and has proudly shown us her queens badge that she has pinned to her board in her room! Hope TTO leaving school hasn't been too hard. I know the time was bitter sweet for my mum watching me leave!

Gail said...

I love how you kept your shirt. We didn't have shirts when I was in Brownies and Guides, instead we had dresses. I don't have it but do have at least some of my badges. Congrats on being a Queen's Guide, that must have taken a lot of work.

Jo said...

Great post and what a host of memories in that shirt. I'm sorry not to be joining in the with story telling this month but I'm away at the moment, I have a great precious for next month though :)

Ginger said...

I love all your little memories attached to each badge ;)I was never in the girl guides but had friends that were and they always seemed to enjoy it! I sure like the cookies they sell door to door!

I think your idea to keep the jacket near your shirt is a good one!

Hope your week is a good one :)

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

I was a Brownie & then Girl Scout for a period of about 6 years. I'm pretty sure that's where my dislike of camping, if not began, at least crystalized. I'm a fragile flower. I need a real mattress & climate control & hot running water. I barely survive a 12 hour power outage. :)

I did have a lot of badges though - sewing & cooking & archery & hiking are the ones I remember but my sash was quite full when I stopped Scouts.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

I love your story this month, Sian, and the tales that each of those badges conjures up for you. It's lovely! I can't help but believe that your girl will have similar tales to tell about her own badge-memories one day.

Susan said...

Great story. I was in the Guides for a couple of years but think I only ever earned 4 or 5 badges. At the time it seemed that so many of them involved going out into the community and meeting/talking with people and I was too shy for that. I stuck with the ones I could easily complete at home. My guide uniform is long gone, along with the badges.

Ruth said...

I stopped at Brownies, but I did go camping with another cadet organisation and squashed a frog. How was I suppose to know that he'd taken refuge under my sleeping bag?
Amazing that you still have that shirt and yes, pinch TTO's blazer. I'm keeping tight hold of TBC's very first one (which lasted of all about 3 months!)

S said...

Did you get a badge for sewing on all those badges? I was never a girl scout, as we call them here, but my daughter did two years of Brownies when she 5 - 6. Her badges were temporarily adhered to her sash (with a no-sew option), and then they all ended up in a scrapbook.

Mitra Pratt said...

Such a nice story! Made me think of campfires and ghost stories and girls hanging out!

Karen said...

I can see how your Guide shirt is so precious to you. Never having been a brownie or a guide I took my guide promise in my 40's when I became a brownie leader. I too would keep TTO's blazer.

Sandra said...

In this throw away society that we live in, I love that you've kept this wonderful memory.

I wasn't a guide, but I was in the brownies ... An Imp! Very apt lol

Sandie said...

I wasn't a Brownie or a Guide but I was Brown Owl and ran the unit for over 20 years. Like you I kept my daughters uniform, complete with all the badges. Happy memories.

Alinor said...

that sounds awesome, i would have loved to do that as a kid!! did you saw the movie Moonrise Kingdom? i'm pretty sure you would lvoe it!

Louise said...

how funny - I packed up no1 son's scouts jumper on Saturday. One day i'm sure he'll enjoy looking at it again...like you. A wonderful story Sian and i'm sure that shirt has more to tell x

Cheri said...

I was never in scouting. My girls never asked to join when they were in school, so we didn't pursue it. Now I'm thinking maybe we missed out...

Barbara Eads said...

I was a Camp Fire girl and proudly display my "vest" with all of its beads and badges in my scrapbook room. However, with the exception of the "candy" patches, I don't really remember what they all mean. You have a great memory. Sounds like a scrapbook page to me!

Kirsty.A said...

I love how often reading someone else's SS post reminds me of something to post. I have actually got a post about my Guiding memories in draft, but I ran out of time to finish it off this month. Maybe next!

Lisa-Jane said...

You faired much better than me at Guides - I hated it! I quite liked Brownies but I was rather at the whim of my mum who decided which pack I went into for everything and hence guides wasn't good at all! She even had to come and get me from the Isle of Wight after 2 days of a 7 day camp! Anyhoo, great to be back in the story zone :-)

Karen said...

I was a Camp Fire Girl briefly. My family did not camp, nor did either of my parents have much interest in outdoor activities. The final blow came one year when I was required to sell candy as a fund raiser. I think my mother bought it all as I was way too shy to approach the neighbors. Your storytelling, as always, is delightful!

Carmen said...

I always wanted to do Brownies and/or Guides but it wasn't to be. I love this story Sian :) And keep looking at my 'baby' in her blazer. Knowing soon she wont be wearing it anymore - though I think she probably can't wait!

Jane said...

I was a Guide for a while but it was my sister who went on to get her Queen's Guide badge.

Ifa said...

Great story. I was a Brownie and was excited to join Guides when I went up to senior school. Sadly I dropped out. I don't remember any of this, I can only assume I dropped out as I wasn't in the school photos for Guides later on.

alexa said...

Brilliant that you still have it, with all those hard earned wonderful badges ... Yes, the blazer of TTO would be a worthy companion. I have been wondering how it is feeling for you, now his last regular day has come and gone ... Precious indeed.

Chipper said...

I was never in guides but my kids were in Beavers, Cubs and then Scouts. I have their shirts with their badges on them! LOL I have been too busy to join in with STS these past few months. I don't even think I will make it this month. But I do love the stories.

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