Monday 20th January – Burns Night

This week we celebrated all things Scottish with Burns Night.  We started with Daffodil explaining what Burns Night was all about and reading out the first verse of one of Robert Burns’ most famous poems “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose”. Robert Burns (1759 –1796) was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Burns Night is the evening of his birthday (25th January) on which celebrations in his honour are traditionally held in Scotland and elsewhere.

Our first activity as a Six was to draw the Loch Ness monster by following a set of instructions read out by Daffodil; so for example, we started with “Draw 4 eyes” – despite no body being drawn yet and so on until we had 4 very unique looking Loch Ness monsters.  Photos to follow and Daisy decided that the Foxes was the most unique so they will receive an extra 10 points for their Six.  Next we tried some traditional and well-known Scottish food and drink:

Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s heart, liver and lungs; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach.  Haggis is traditionally served with “neeps” and “tatties”, boiled and mashed separately, and a dram (a glass of Scotch whisky).  Most Brownies were very brave and adventurous and tried a sample which Buttercup had bought and cooked for us.

Irn-Bru (“iron brew”) is a Scottish carbonated soft drink, often described as “Scotland’s other national drink” (after whisky).  Due to it containing caffeine, the Brownies only had a small sample of this to taste with most liking it.

Lastly, we all enjoyed a piece of Scottish Shortbread.  Shortbread originally came from medieval biscuit bread, which was a twice-baked, enriched bread roll dusted with sugar and spices and hardened into a hard, dry, sweetened biscuit called a rusk.  Everyone tried and enjoyed the shortbread!

After our little taster session, we continued the evening with our version of the Highland Games.  The Highland Games are events held in spring and summer in Scotland as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture. For our games, we just took part in 2 events:

Caber toss: A long tapered pine pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands. Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. Our cabers were a little lighter than the traditional pine pole as we used kitchen roll tubes.

Scottish hammer throw: This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one’s head and thrown for distance over the shoulder.  Our hammers consisted of a small cushion, wrapped round with string that the Brownies held on to so they could swing and then let go.

In their Sixes, the girls took turns to toss their “Caber” and their “Hammer” and Daffodil awarded points to each Brownie who threw the furthest.  The final scores were: Foxes 14, Hedgehogs 9, Rabbits 19 and Squirrels 6 points.  We finished off with a couple of games: Catch the Haggis and a Scottish version of Fruit Salad.  This week’s awards: Weekly Best Brownie was Jasmine for her great sportsmanship during our games.  Well done Jasmine who received a lovely certificate, and took home the trophy and one of our mascots for the week.

That’s it – we still need for more volunteers for our bag packing in February – several of the Brownies seemed really keen and we’ve asked them to talk to parents to register their attendance with Daffodil.

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