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 Post subject: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2020, 19:02 
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Seeing as it's "Thinking Day"! Do people think that EBD just lost interest in Guides, or that there was too much else going on in the Swiss years to have fitted Guides in as well, or a bit of both? Her interest seemed to have waned by the post-war years anyway: I can't remember either Mary-Lou's gang or the triplets being involved in anything to do with Guides or Brownies. There must have been some girls who were really keen on Guiding and weren't very pleased at being forced to give it up, though.

It might have been a job for Joey to do, especially with Miss Wilson being based away from the main school.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2020, 21:25 
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EBD was the kind of person who did have crazes. In the early books there's a lot about folk and folk dancing which , by the later books, had basically become just mentions so it may well have been that EBD was no longer interested in Guiding.

On the other hand, it might need to be considered that, by the Swiss books, EBD was no longer involved in Guiding as she had been earlier. Once she was no longer involved, she might have felt that she could not reproduce a realistic Guide experience. Folk and folk dancing are much more static compared to Guiding; they don't change much from generation-to-generation so mentions of it can be thrown in without much problem whereas the same is not true for Guiding. Many of her readers would have first hand experience of real life Guiding and discrepancies would have been much more noticeable than, say, the incorrect use of the 24 hour clock for times.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2020, 23:17 
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I think Mary Lou is in guides on the Island but I'm not sure we see the triplets heavily involved.

I think EBD lost interest in a lot of the recreational activities - Guides is abandoned and we hear less about folk as Victoria said. Hobbies also seems to become less individual and more about the Sale. Although I suppose there is a lot of mountain stuff in the Swiss books.

I wonder if it's also reflective of the school becoming less realistic - in reality the Swiss school would have been very exclusive whereas the school in the UK would have had a lot of familiar aspects for readers and the school in Austria generally feels quite plausible.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2020, 23:54 
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It's a shame about the Hobbies Club. Grizel's original idea was for something where everyone could have fun and do something that they enjoyed. By the time Polly Winterton arrives, she's told that her "hobby" has to be making something for Tom's dolls' house. Someone else - I think Jack Lambert - is told that she's got to pick a hobby and stick to it for a whole term. I appreciate that they didn't want to waste money on buying material that was going to be abandoned, but surely they could have let a 10-year-old kid mess about with some odds and ends until she found something that appealed. It just becomes an arts and crafts lesson, which is sad because the "hobby" element is lost, and there's no other time in their very busy schedule to pursue personal hobbies :cry: .

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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 02:06 
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In the early books, you read about girls working on their collections (e.g. rocks, paper dolls, Napoleonia, stamps). Once the Sale is instituted, there seems to be a shift towards making things to sell or exhibit, rather than private interests.

Perhaps any keen Guiders could have stayed at the Carnbach school instead of going to Switzerland?


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 10:31 
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They don't give up on collecting in the Swiss years (nor the UK ones - two girls collect feathers, I remember), nor is everything made for the Sale: OK, my main piece of evidence for the Swiss era is contained in Summer Term: both Sara Carlyon and Erica collect costume dolls, and the first thing Erica makes is a set of dinner mats for her former governess who has just got married.

It seems to me that with the Swiss books, EMBD did rather narrow her focus - and that may even have been at her publishers' suggestion, of course, what with the ever-expanding cast of thousands, the constant referral to past events and characters and a less familiar landscape. The three things that seem to me to get the greater part of her attention from then on are new main characters; the school and its culture and history/ traditions; and the ever-present extreme weather and geography.

Maybe Guiding was rather less popular than it had been, too - if you consider Barbara (1954) as the first proper 'CS in Switzerland' book, who was still writing Guide/ Brownie stories at that date?


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 13:22 
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I remember that ML has her Guide cord/belt with her when Emerence needs rescuing in Does It Again. Nancy Wilmot displays her lassoing skills in this incident.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 14:56 
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Alison H wrote:
It's a shame about the Hobbies Club. Grizel's original idea was for something where everyone could have fun and do something that they enjoyed. By the time Polly Winterton arrives, she's told that her "hobby" has to be making something for Tom's dolls' house. Someone else - I think Jack Lambert - is told that she's got to pick a hobby and stick to it for a whole term. I appreciate that they didn't want to waste money on buying material that was going to be abandoned, but surely they could have let a 10-year-old kid mess about with some odds and ends until she found something that appealed. It just becomes an arts and crafts lesson, which is sad because the "hobby" element is lost, and there's no other time in their very busy schedule to pursue personal hobbies :cry: .

Yeah, I really liked Hobbies Club in earlier books. Partly because it's the making of Tom, but also I've just read Jo Returns and there's a really sweet bit where Herr Laubach asks Jo to make his wife some jigsaw puzzles because she's ill and bored and lonely.

I'd have been rubbish at it though because I'm useless at most arts and crafts.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 18:14 
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I would also have been rubbish at arts and crafts.

I do think that by the end of the series a lot of the 'fun' had been wiped out. The hobbies club was all about the sale and on one of the half-term trips the girls were told to limit their spending as the sale coming up. Not very fair and not really the business of the staff member.


Last edited by Audrey25 on 23 Feb 2020, 18:15, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 18:14 
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Me too, but Joey collected stuff associated with a historical figure - Napoleoniana! - and Grizel collected pictures of famous sportsmen and the Royal Family, and I'd be up for any of that :lol: . Nothing I made would be fit for the Sale, but give me history, sportsmen or Royals and I'd be fine!

Wasn't that the Coming of Age trip? It was a big thing for the girls to see where the school started, and they were being expected to hand over some of their pocket money to fund the building of the chapels - and being guilt-tripped by league tables showing which form had given the most - and then they were told that they had to save money to spend at the Sale :roll: . The Tyrolean years were much more fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 18:23 
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I collect pictures of the royals, the Kennedy family, Grace Kelly, vintage clothes, quotes etc etc on pinterest. I suppose that might be acceptable in a modern Hobbies Club.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 19:42 
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Noreen wrote:
Maybe Guiding was rather less popular than it had been, too - if you consider Barbara (1954) as the first proper 'CS in Switzerland' book, who was still writing Guide/ Brownie stories at that date?


Verity Anderson went on writing Brownie stories into the 1980s and Purnells were publishing collections of Guide or Brownie stories certainly until the end of the 1970s.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 23 Feb 2020, 21:21 
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Thanks, Victoria - I suspected that that was the case. That suggested to me that it was a loyal but slightly shrinking audience.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2020, 14:45 
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The girls in the Sleepover Club series were Brownies and it is featured in several books. G was very fond of the series so we had quite a few of the books.

Until recently, Girlguiding published a Brownie Annual at Christmas. We would buy a copy and the girls were able to take it home for a week which was very popular. I had the Guide Annual in the Sixties.

The CS in Switzerland sounds very boring with just the Hobbies club whch is compulsory. My day school had a current affairs group, the Dorcas Society and Scripture Union - all optional.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2020, 00:06 
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I am of the opinion that there were several more clubs and activities about which we never hear or of which we hear only in passing.

For example, in the prefects meeting at the beginning of (I think) Ruey, the prefects discuss and agree to set up a debating club - of which we never hear again.

There are various mentions of choirs (each of the chapels has a a choir and there's often choral singing at the plays and sales). Now they may have been adhoc - got up for each occasion separately but it seems likely they existed through the school year and had regular practices.

Similarly the orchestra.

There seems to have been some form of prefect-run games club. It was possible for the games prefect to ban Jack(?) from attending the prefect-run practices which she could hardly have done if they were compulsory school games.

Mary-Lou offers to help Rosamund develop her photographs. Use of the dark room might have been part of the Hobbies Club but must have involved some form of "extra" fee.

The incident in which Len falls onto her oil painting sounds like an Art Club expedition although it's not described as such


Even the library might have been a separate "activity". In one of the Tyrol books, there's mention of collecting subscriptions. There are books in the common rooms donated by the girls themselves which are clearly available to allcomer (Rosamund asks if she can have a "lend" of them) so you might not need to join the library if you weren't much of a reader


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2020, 00:31 
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Jenefer, that's an interesting point. The CS seems to go in for activities that are mandatory and all inclusive. Everyone goes on rambles, everyone goes to outings at the lake, everyone does gardening, folk dance, choir, the pageant, skiing, hobbies club. Church is mandatory. Evening entertainments are done by a whole form at a time, on a schedule. When they had Guides, it was almost mandatory - girls who didn't participate got punishment sewing with Matron instead.

The only things that I can think of that were not all-inclusive were being on the sports teams (and it was the prefects that decided who did those) and private music or art lessons, which had to be arranged by the parents and cost extra.

I went to a day school, and we had extra curricular music groups, drama club, sports teams, student council, the yearbook club, and various other optional activities. Even in class, band, art, music, home-ec, shop, etc. were optional electives where you had to choose which you took. And of course outside of school people had hobbies, clubs, lessons, part time jobs, garage bands, art or electronic projects, church involvement and so on.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2020, 08:14 
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The choir and the orchestra, as well, although I don't know when the people in either those or the sports teams found time to practise!

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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 25 Feb 2020, 13:28 
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I like the idea of clubs and societies as it would give the girls some choice and individuality, but EBD is usually anxious to show the whole form and often the whole school engaged in the same activity.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2020, 11:14 
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When they had Guides, it was almost mandatory - girls who didn't participate got punishment sewing with Matron instead.(Jennifer)

This always struck me as wrong,not everyone wanted to be in the guides and surely it was unfair on them, and Matey, to punish them.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrapping Guides
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2020, 12:06 
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That really annoys me too!

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