The Beginning of Guiding

Here's another story posted by Wendy Baker to the Guide Mailing List:

Once upon a time many years ago there was a man who lived in England. That's where Queen Elizabeth lives. His name was Robert Baden-Powell, but everyone called him BP for short.

BP loved adventure. When he was a boy he sailed and camped with his big brothers. he loved the outdoors and when he grew up he became a soldier. Life in the army was exciting and often dangerous. After the was BP went back to England and retired from the army and he started Boy Scouts. Girls wanted to do the same thing that the boys were doing so he asked his sister Agnes to help start a girls version and they called it Girl Guides.

One winter BP was on a ship down south, on his way around the world and he met a young lady named Olave and they immediately fell in love. They soon married and she took over the Girl Guides.

Once when thee Baden-Powells were in Canada on a visit, Brownies gave Olave a special camp name. They called her "Sparkle" They said it was because she was like a spark that brightened the flame of Guiding. She was always seen smiling.

"Yes" she said, "Spark is the word but what about the last two letters, "l" and "e"? "They are the first and last letters of "Love" because we love you and we know that you love us," said the Brownies.

Nobody knew then that many years later there would be girls called Sparks. Olave would be happy to know that our Sparks learn to share and be friends.

BP was much older than Olave, but their birthdays were on the same day February 22, Having the same birthday was extra-special, and the Guide family all over the world knows that because it is the day that we call Thinking Day. It's the day when we think about Brownies and Guides and their sisters all over the world. It's when we try to do something that will help people in other countries. It's when we remember BP, who started Scouts and Guides and Olave, who was the World Chief Guide. (That's something live being a fairy godmother.)

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