Saturday, 1 May 2010


I used to be a Brownie, never a Rainbow or Girl Guide, but a proud Brownie! I was a Seconder and a Sixer in the Pixie pack. The best pack to be in of course!

These days however, the packs have animal names instead. Not quite as exciting and mystical if you ask me, but c’est la vie!

Just after I got back from holiday I was asked to do a talk about visual impairment at Brownies. I’d never really done anything like it before, but looked forward to educating the kids who were working towards their Disability Awareness badge.

Naturally, I took Calvin along who was ecstatic at the sight of little people! I also took my colour detector, talking dictionary, laptop with Hal, playing cards, pink cane and Braille magazine. Instead of lecturing them I asked if they knew what each item was, explained in more detail what it did and then let them have a play. Calvin was left until last and I got him to walk me around the hall and find the door. Afterwards, I let the girls have a go with him. I know I shouldn’t, but it actually worked really well. Calvin was surprisingly well behaved and after each Brownie squealed forward he proceeded to take them around the hall. They weren’t blind folded, so pretty safe.

A couple of days ago I was stunned to have three thank you cards posted to me. Bless them, they’d made them tactile and left sweet messages. I thought Calvin would have taken all the glory, but I got a few positive mentions too. They’ve got their badge now and hopefully they did learn something on the way!


Anonymous said...


It sounded like a good experience for you all!

Roshni said...

Awwe: so cute!! I was a brownie too and reading that brought back some fond memories, though, they didn’t do disability awareness in my day (oops that makes me sound ancient!), more power to them!
I love doing talks like that: I did one for a community group recently, and I was asking them to identify hazards and find solutions to difficulties blind people may face, we got on to talking about cooking, when a cute 7-year-old boy said “well, if I was blind, I’d just go to the takeaway every day!” (now why didn’t I think of that!). BTW, where can I buy a colour detector? The RNIB said they don’t have them and because I’m a lazy ass I thought I’d ask you from which company you boght it so I don’t spend all night net searching!

Terri said...

Your talk sounds like it went really well, i was never a brownie or guide but i'm sure its quite fun to be one. Its lovely they sent you some cards to say thank you as well

Roshni - You can buy the colour detector from cobolt, they are £50 and they dont work that well, but are ok if you want a rought idea they do the job. I sent mine back as it kept telling me everything was green or yellow!

Roshni said...

Thanks Terri, will check that out: given that I ware some of the oddest colour combinations (seriously, even worse than the worst Blind average), no one should be too surprised by the green/yellow gaff!