Check out what a group of young girls in the Lake District did to raise money for the charity Children with Cancer UK. If you think that being a Brownie is boring then you need to seriously think again.

These awesome young girls (Brownies aged 7 to 10) are an outdoor inspiration and true kids of the wild. Not only are they expert bakers, they are sturdy hikers and such determined fundraisers that I can only pay tribute to a movement which even I thought had lost sight of its origins and outdoor emphasis.

Image of girl in yellow Brownie jumper offering cakes to walkers on steep hill with stunning lake view below

Caroline’s friend Rachel offering charity cakes to tired walkers in the Lake District

On hearing Caroline was undergoing intensive radiotherapy in America for her cancer, a friend in the 1st Skelton Brownies wanted to fundraise in Caroline’s name. The pack made her an honorary member and each Brownie sent a get well card to her in America.

Image of bald headed child cancer patient behind table of get well cards wearing Brownie sash and carrying Brownie investment certificate

The Skelton Brownies and Guides raised an incredible £1300 for the charity, joining the Mr Men or Little Miss Marathon Challenge. The seniors baked 26 types of cakes to sell to fell walkers in the hills along with tea and coffee while the Rainbows and Brownies took part in a number of sponsored challenges including identifying 26 plant and insect species and a 26 Mr Men obstacle course.

Their determination and concern had a hugely positive impact on Caroline during a very tough stage of her treatment. THANK YOU to everyone at 1st Skelton for being a shining example of friendship, service and community-mindedness.

Image of newspaper cutting of Brownies' charity fundraiser

Brownies, and the Guide movement in general, have suffered a decline of numbers in recent years. Girls in brown dresses (is this The Sound of Music gone wrong?!) were not deemed ‘cool’ enough for modern Misses so girls often join Cubs (see below) or sadly, don’t join any of the outdoor kids movements at all.

I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide, later joining Venture Scouts (now Explorers) and becoming a warranted Cub Scout leader and Venture Scout Leader – posts will follow on the excellent Scout movement in future.

Wild Grandma (my Mum) became a Guider for a few years and my sisters also loved Brownies and Guides and credit Guiding with firing their appetite for camping, the outdoors and adventure. The Skelton girls have opened my eyes to the importance of having a girls’ outdoor movement, for our women of the future, and I like what I see. Keep up the great work girls!

Image of two children in colourful outdoor clothing standing on stone monument steps

Rachel and Caroline several years ago

Caroline has miraculously been in remission since October 2017 and we are travelling to meet the Brownie pack next month, most of them for the first time, to enjoy a Spy Camp Sleepover with them in Caroline’s new role of honorary Brownie. We can’t wait and no doubt you will read about it here soon.

Guiding and Scouting are great ways to get your children outdoors and adventuring if you don’t have the time, energy or training yourself.

Why not get your children involved now?

Get Your Kids into Guides or Scouts

Find your local Brownie or Guide group here, or your local Scout troop here. For traditional Baden-Powell Scouting click here.

Learn About Childhood Cancer

Read more about Caroline’s cancer journey at Caroline’s Rainbow and her story from her teddy bear’s perspective at Otto the Bear.

Find out more about the charity Children with Cancer UK where Caroline agreed for her patient story to be featured to help raise awareness of childhood cancer in the UK.