West Suffolk: Badges of honour for nine-year-old Brownie as she completes a full set of 57
- Credit: Archant
From fire fighting and scuba diving, horse riding to resuscitation – nine-year-old Olivia Coe has done it all in her quest to become Suffolk’s most decorated Brownie.
Around 18 months ago the young member of the 1st Ixworth Brownie pack, near Bury St Edmunds, embarked on a quest to gain as many activity badges as possible - and she has just completed the 57th and final one.
According to Olivia’s dad Tim, the Guiding movement’s county commissioners have confirmed that no other Brownies in the county have achieved such a feat in recent times, and Guiding UK confirmed that it was “very unusual”.
Olivia, who is a student at Ixworth Primary School, initially set out to beat her sister Alex’s record of 41 badges, but her mother Wendy says her hyperactive daughter got “carried away.”
Mrs Coe said: “Her first badge was designing and she seemed to zip through the first 30 or so. Alex managed 41 badges but never quite finished so that gave Olivia a bit of incentive to get beyond that.
“She is a good all rounder and enjoys everything from writing and science to sport – I suppose you’d describe her as a bit of a swot.”
Olivia, who also plays hockey for Bury Under-10s, encountered a few problems on route to getting a uniform full of badges.
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“She had fun with the first-aid badge trying to find a dummy to practice on, but we are really proud of the fact that she never gave up. She worked hard for all of the badges and we have always been very strict about her sticking to the criteria.”
Olivia had to master a diverse range of skills to attain her target.
She told the EADT: “My first badge was ‘designer’ and I had to come up with an outfit to wear on holiday, design a cover for my favourite book and create something that would make an elderly person’s life easier.
“For the last badge, world guiding, I had to do things like make a friendship circle of paper dolls and colour each one in a different Guiding uniform from around the world.
“But my favourite is my ‘Brownie holiday advanced badge’ and I got part of that by going to Kenya, which was really interesting.
“There’s so many to do, I nearly decided not to finish them but I’m glad I did. My parents are really pleased with me, but my sister thinks it’s annoying!”
Olivia was presented with her final badge this week. A spokeswoman for Guiding UK said: “It’s very unusual to achieve all 57 badges because they cover such a broad spectrum of activities and subjects.
“People don’t realise how much the Brownies have to do to achieve each badge.
“It is great that Olivia has been able to make the most of everything Guiding offers while working for these badges. She should be very proud.”
Some of the Olivia had to do for some of her badges:
Learn to play piano
Go scuba diving
Ride a horse
Learn how to resuscitate someone
Cook an African style meal
Perform circus tricks
Give a public speech
Make a poster about endangered animals
Look at ways to help the environment