Every second Saturday at Woodside, the Girl Guide Movement is helping new Australians conquer their shyness and showing them the way to good citizenship.
Many of the girls have been Guides and Brownies in their own country and so have a link with their new land. Others are learning the Guides lessons of good fellowship for the first time.At a recent meeting of the Woodside Guide company the only Guide uniforms were those worn by two Guiders.
The three patrol leaders Irena, Genovaite and Lolita wore their colourful Latvian and Lithuanian costumes.Round them were girls, large and small, most of them with scarves tied round their heads and wearing long, woollen stockings.
The plaits, braided across their hair and the tiny, hoop earrings distinguished them from Australian girls.
Learning the signsAdelaide Guiders who visit Woodside to conduct these meetings were rather puzzled how to begin, because many of the children did not understand English.
They drew some of the Guide tracking signs, and immediately there was a ripple of excitement, and a dozen more signs appeared.
Hand signals and whistles have also proved helpful. Now more children understand the commands, act as interpreters for the others.
It was a very lively meeting that I watched. When the Guiders arrived, there seemed to be children everywhere. Finally they resolved themselves into two crowds — 22 Guides and 34 Brownies, not to mention at least six small brothers, who insisted on joining in.
Like competitionsThe children co-operated in games and Guide training. They were shown the Australian flag, and listened to an explanation of its significance. The Southern Cross fascinated them. They will be looking for it in our skies now.
They have a delightful sense of fun, and when the various patrols had a competition to collect the most brown objects there were ' peals of laughter, and the resulting piles included a heap of earth in a handkerchief, one brown stocking, a camera case, several brown shoes, and some tree bark.
The task of calling the Brownies' roll has been solved by the Brown Owl (Miss Marjorie Noel) . By the name of each Brownie, there is a space for each meeting. In this space each one draws something — a tree, a cat, a bird.Guiding in Europe began after World War I., and followed the ideals of the movement, which began in England in 1909 as an offshoot of Scouting.
In Lithuania the special task of the Guides was the preservation of their traditional games and dances, and national costumes were worn at all their festivals.A characteristic feature of Lithuanian Guide camps is the arrangement of patterned borders along the paths.
These are strips of gleaming white sand with designs made with pine cones and coloured patterns of black charcoal, red, and pounded brick and green pine tips.Soon the Woodside Guides will have Guide scarves, which South Australian Guides are helping to buy for them. On Christmas Eve, the Adelaide Guides are planning a party for them which will make their first Christmas in Australia one they will remember.
Miss Elise Wollaston is in charge of the Woodside company. She sometimes covers the nine miles from her home at Bridgewater by bicycle.Not only are these young new Australians enjoying all the fun of guiding, but they are learning that, when they go to their new homes, there will be Australian Guide companies waiting to greet them as friends and fellow Australians. — Helen Caterer.
Mail, Saturday 17 December 1949 p. 17