A visit to Karori Brownies 2018

Alan shares information about Scotland

Karori Brownie leader Hannah likes to “open the Brownies eyes to different or new opportunities”. When she spotted one of Johnsonville’s posters advertising Scottish Country Dancing beginners’ classes, she asked if we could help with one of this year’s badges.

Scottish Country Dancing seemed to fit the bill, as the badge required the Brownies to find out about different cultures in their community and take part in a fun form of exercise they hadn’t tried before. So four of our members volunteered to go along to share some knowledge (and fun) with the Brownies at one of their regular Thursday meetings at St Anselm’s Church hall in September.

Unleashing the bagpipes!

The evening started with Alan sharing a bit of information on Scottish dress; the Kilt, the Sporran and the Sgian Dubh and then some history about the Gaelic language, the Scottish Thistle and the Vikings, and the History of Tartan. Elaine showed the girls some samples of different tartans and they took away a colouring-in page to design their own tartan.

Next the bagpipes were unleashed so the girls could see (hear) how loud they are close-up. Alan only played a short burst, as it is well recognised these days that the pipes can damage young ears. The girls all had a go at holding them and were surprised at how heavy they are.

Rod teaching The Kingston Flyer

Then it was over to Rod who talked about the history of Scottish Country Dancing and taught the girls a couple of dances; The Kingston Flyer and Room 1. Alan and Elaine joined in the dancing to help out, while Pat was busy taking photos. The girls were quick learners and everyone managed to get through both dances with aplomb!!

We all got a lovely bunch of lilies and a nice letter from Hannah: “Thanks for such a fabulous night. The girls learnt so much, as was evident from what they said at the beginning of the night (“Scotland” “Scotland” “Scotland”), to what they said at the end (“tartan”, “dancing”, “thistle”, “Gaelic”, “black knife”, “bagpipes”). I was impressed with how their dancing went too! Great presentations and teaching.

“Thanks once again for your organisation, time and passion. I’m sure many will remember this night. Lots of the girls talked about Scottish ancestors too, so maybe they will investigate more in the future as well.”

Photos: Pat Reesby

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