A determined Brownie has not let the West’s record-breaking downpours stop her reaching a rare achievement, gaining all 57 Brownie proficiency badges.
Tenacious ten-year-old Louisa Souter-Frost, from Somerset, has been working diligently for the past three years turning every-day situations into ways that can help her gain all the badges she needed to complete a “full sash”.
Her enthusiasm saw her notch up 56 badges, from artist to world traveller and from circus performer to stargazer, but when it came to the final badge – for camping – the deluges of 2012 looked like putting a dampener on the her ambitions.
For six months the wet weather continually water logged Huish woods near Taunton, where Louisa, a member of 2nd North Petherton Brownies, had planned to take five members of her pack for two nights, camping in tents and cooking on an open range.
After seeing Louisa’s plight, “Tawny Owl” Carol Spencer came to the rescue. “We tried everything we could to find a camp,” she said. “In the end we decided to set the campsite up in my back garden.”
Although the weekend was damp, a plush cooker replaced the wet wood of an open fire giving the six a chance to prepare and cook meals while enjoying a fun weekend of ventures outdoors and creating coloured glass trinkets with a theme of spooks and sweeties.
She first joined the 500,000-strong Brownie movement in Exeter and began her quest during 18 months spent as a member of the 49th Exeter (Heavitree) Brownies, before her family moved to North Petherton.
Other tasks Louisa completed to win reach her tally included mucking out the horses after her weekly riding lessons at The Little Meadow Riding Stables in Bridgwater, caring for her six guinea pigs, growing vegetables for the family meal table and taking up judo. She read more 100 books in six months to gain her book lovers’ badge, and visited the Norman Lockyer observatory at Sidmouth to gain her stargazers’ badge.
Her family supported her throughout, with father Ray helping her record her project work in journals and take to the streets videoing her progress in cycle proficiency. Her older brother Cameron inspired her after being the first Cub Scout in Devon to gain all his badges.
Louisa said: “I am really proud and grateful to all of the leaders and other Brownies who have helped. When Cameron did all of the cub badges I said that I would do the same, and now I have.”
Chief Commissioner Solange Rebours said “Guiding provides opportunities for girls and young women to reach their full potential in a safe, girl-only space. I am delighted that Louisa has been able to enjoy all that Guiding offers as she has worked towards her badges”.
BADGES OF HONOUR
Agility, Artist, Booklover, Brownie Camper, Brownie Camper Advanced, Holiday, Holiday advanced, Brownie Skills, Traditions, Circus Performer, Collector, Communicator, Computer, Cook, Cook Advanced, Craft, Crime Prevention, Culture, Cyclist, Dancer, Designer, Disability Awareness, Discovering Faith, Entertainer, Environment, Finding Your Way, Fire Safety, First Aid, First Aid Advanced, Friend to Animals, Gardener, Hobbies, Healthy Heart, Home Safety, Home Skills, Hostess, Musician, Number Fun, Out and About, Rider, Road Safety, Science Investigator, Seasons, Speaker, Sports, Stargazer, Swimmer, Swimmer Advanced, Toymaker, Water Safety, Watersports, Wildlife Explorer, World Cultures, World Guiding, World Issues, World Traveller and Writer.