Warmest congratulations to Emma Guthrie, the young lady from Laurieston, on her appointment as Girlguiding Assistant Chief Guide as reported in this newspaper a week or so ago.
She will be heading up the leadership of the largest uniformed organisation for girls which, along with various other similarly focused groups, provide routes for young people to follow challenging roles for personal development and fulfilment.
The Scouts, from which the Guides were formed, owed their start to Robert Baden Powell who, at the time, was an officer working alongside the BB founder William Smith.
There he introduced Scouting badges to the BB before setting up a camp using BB boys and some from a public school at Brownsea Island, the upshot of which was the formation of the Scouts in 1907.
Baden Powell remained an Honorary Boys’ Brigade vice-president for his whole life.
Some meetings of interested ‘guides’ took place as early as 1908 with the Association of Girl Guides being set up in 1928 by Agnes, the sister of Baden Powell.
Similarly, after the formation of the BB in 1883, there was interest from girls in Scotland and the Girls’ Guildry was established in 1900 with similar organisations in Ireland (Girls’ Brigade) in 1893 and in England (Girls’ Life Brigade) in 1902. The ‘‘Guildry’’ was set up by Dr W F Somerville, a close friend of William Smith.
These three groups came together in 1964 as the current Girls’ Brigade.
The BB, like previous developments in Scouting, has recently introduced an Association of Girls within its ranks. Emma’s late father, George, an editor of this newspaper, was also the captain of the 2nd Polmont BB Company centred on Polmont Old Church.
Best wishes to all our ‘‘brothers and sisters’’ as their volunteers strive to enhance so many young lives.