I promised a better look at our newly acquired, hyper-adorable uniform for Brownies in the Philippines.
I don’t have many hard facts about this uniform, but there are plenty of clues.
The dress has no labels or manufacturing marks, so it likely was homemade. It is pale brown linen.
A card in the pocket says it was donated by Mildred “Connie” Conrad in March 1987, but it is obviously much older. This was part of a large donation that included flags for every country represented; the US flag included only has 48 stars, suggesting the 1950s or earlier.
The Philippines is an exception to the “Girl Guides” naming pattern used by most countries in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The first troops in the Philippines were established by families of US servicemen stationed there. They were registered in New York as Girl Scouts, much like Troops on Foreign Soil. The original charter for the Philippines was issued in May 1940, but the organization had to be significantly reorganized and revived after World War II.
The dress has several patches, badges, and insignia:
These look like the Golden Hand and Golden Bar emblems used by American Brownies between 1926 and 1937. The Girl Scout Collector’s Guide explains,
The Golden Bar rank represented a bit of the Golden Ground that the Brownie stands on ready to lend a hand. The Golden Hand rank showed that the Brownie could really lend a hand.
The other shoulder has a Brownie Six emblem, council strip, and troop number.
This looks like the “Little People” emblem, which was introduced in 1929.
The dress includes eight badges, sewn around the waistband. These resemble badges earned by Girl Guides, especially as US Brownies did not earn badges before 1986.
Now, for the hard part, can anyone identify the badges?
Based on current and vintage Girl Guide badges, my best guess is:
Writer, Knitting, Swimmer
Swimmer, Housekeeper (or cooking?), Jester (Blue Skeletor? He’s kinda creepy.)
Jester, Toymaker, Discoverer
Badge #8 is on the back of the dress. Perhaps Softball? Athlete?
I’ll share some of the other vintage uniforms, but don’t promise to do all 50!
©2017 Ann Robertson
10 thoughts on “Brownies in the Philippines”
Just a thought on the badges – I think the second badge from the left is Artist, not knitter – paint palette with brushes and the final badge (#8) is actually knitter – two brown needles crossed through the ball of yellow wool, with and end of the wool hanging down below
#8 looks like perhaps knitting. I have a white felt that is very similar.
I agree that #8 is a ball of yarn with 2 knitting needles (not a softball).
Hi Ann. This is very cool! Where did you get them? In addition to being a relative of Juliette Low, I was a Brownie in the Philippines! My family lived in Manila 1963-1968. I have a great photo of my mom (Daisy’s niece) with then First Lady Imelda Marcos at a GS convention–have to find that.
Definitely. That would be an awesome photo!
I still haven’t found it but did find one of my Brownie troop in Manila! How do I post it?
It has been a while, in fact, close to a year, before I could revert to you. Unfortunately, the most and best qualified person to help us with your question has been sick. I cannot assure an answer anytime soon, but I promise, once I get someone to help us identify these badges, I would definitely message you!
Chebelle A Velasco
Girl Scouts of the Philippines
Great news, Chebelle! I look forward to hearing from you.