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Arts & Culture

Day 9: Ophira Eisenberg, The 1980s Girl Guide

Isn't she cute?
Astrid Eisenberg
Courtesy of Ophira Eisenberg
Isn't she cute?

This is the ninth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

Yes, this is Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg, circa 1980, as a Girl Guide.

What's a Girl Guide, you ask? We'll let Ophira explain:

Girl Guides are the Canadian/British version of Girl Scouts but founded by Lady Baden Powell, and vaguely military. Our slogan was "Be Prepared". It's a good one; I still use it. And of course we sold cookies, volunteered at church sales, and went camping in the Canadian outdoors once a year.

You start in Brownies and then you "fly up" to Girl Guides. In Brownies we were organized in groups based on spirits – like fairies, pixies, elves and the such. I was an imp. I was so mad that I wasn't a fairy! And we all had songs. I can't remember the other ones, but the Imps song went like this:

We're the ever helpful imps, quick and quiet as little shrimps.

I have no idea why we thought that was okay.

In Girl Guides we were grouped by types of birds and I was a Kingfisher—so much better! Supposedly Queen Elizabeth was one too.

At the start of every meeting we chanted this as a group:

I promise that I to do my best,
To do my duty,
To God, the Queen, and my country,
To help other people every day
And to obey the Girl Guide Law

This has been updated to:

I promise that I will do my best;
To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,
To serve the Queen and my community,
To help other people and
To keep the Girl Guide Law

Long live the Queen!

Were you a Girl Guide? A Girl Scout? A Boy Scout? A member of another organized group activity involving patches, outdoor skills, uniforms and/or cookies? You are most welcome to tweet us photos at @NPRAskMeAnother, or tag us on Instagram with #askmeanother.

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