History of Guiding in Upper Hutt


Whether you were a Girl Guide or just a fan of their biscuits, they hold a fond place in many people’s memories. For its members, the movement created formative experiences, generated a sense of belonging, encouraged personal growth and community mindedness. It didn’t take long after Guiding officially started in NZ, for Upper Hutt to have its own divisions. This is all reflected in the heritage collection, with two large archive holdings that document Girl Guiding in Upper Hutt. These are the Pencarrow Province Collection, and the Girl Guide Association Collection.

The roots of the Girl Guide movement trace back to the early 20th century, with the pioneering efforts of figures like Agnes Baden-Powell, Juliette Gordon Low, and Olave Baden-Powell. What began as a series of gatherings aimed at fostering outdoor skills and character development burgeoned into a global phenomenon. Lt. Col. David Cossgrove, the founder of Boy Scout patrols in New Zealand, responded to his daughter Muriel's request for a girls equivalent by founding the Peace Scouts for girls in 1908. This pioneering initiative preceded the establishment of the Girl Guides in the UK by a few years. In 1919, the first Girl Guide company was started, brought over by women who were involved in Guiding in England. For a time, the two cohorts sat alongside each other, until they amalgamated in October 1923.

These two collections (which span from the 1930s to the 1990s) are a great example of the diversity of material that can be found within our archives. While primarily, what our archives are known for is photographs (with over 28 thousand digitized photographs available on Recollect) we actually hold a wide range of items, including ephemera, artefacts, scrapbooks, trophy’s and vinyl records

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Above: A range of pages from the Brownie Log Book for the 1st Upper Hutt Pack; 1951

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  Above: Registration Certificate for the First Upper Hutt Brownie Pack; 1931


Above: Selling Girl Guide Biscuits; ca. 1980s


Above: Guides attending the first ever Girl Guide Dominion Camp, which was held at Trentham in 1930


You can explore more of these collections by clicking here and here