• View news archive >
  • Heritage Open Days 2020 : The Farmworker badge

    The Farmworker badge was an important part of guiding in the early days.

    The badge aims to help girls develop a greater understanding of the natural world around us and the process of farming.

    Over the years it has had a variety of forms.  It appears that until the 1980s there were a number of separate badges  for both Guides and Rangers that came and went over the years. These include Landworker,  Dairyworker  and Dairymaid, Farmworker, andBee-farmer.  There were also Friend to animals, Horsewoman, Poultry farmer and Rabbit keeper badges at various times. 

    Clockwise from top – Landworker, Poultry farmer, Rabbit Keeper, Dairymaid

    In 1983, a new Farmer badge was introduced which covered the former Dairymaid, Poultry farmer, Farmer, Rabbit keeper and Beekeeper badges.

    The images on the right are from Policy Organisation and Rules and Badge books in our collection. Click on the pictures to see a bigger image.

    Today, we still have badges relating to the outdoors for example Animal lover and Nature.

    Fun Fact!

    The Hints on Girl Guide Badges (published 1933) explains the kit Girl Guides must wear when completing the Farmworker badge. It states that kit should be workmanlike, loose, and quiet in colour. It also recommends wearing wooden clogs which can be purchased from Wellington Manufacturing Company in Glasgow.



    Below are some activities and challenges for you to try out at home. These have been directly inspired by or taken from the syllabuses of the Farmworker badge.

    Choose a challenge which appeals to you and have a go. There is no limit to how many challenges you can do. Do not forget to share your photos of what you have got up to with the Archive Resource Centre. You can email us at archivist@girlgguidingnorfolk.org.uk or find us on Facebook

    Challenge 1 – Do you know them all?

    “Know the part the following implements play in farm work: plough, harrows, Cambridge roller, flat roller, seed drill, manure distributor, horse-hoe, reaper and binder, mowing machine, tedder or swathe turner, horse rake, hay rake.”

    Challenge 2 – The 1938 Farmworker syllabus states that Guides should be able to know the breeds of cattle, sheep, or pigs native to her district.

    Research the breeds native to Norfolk e.g. the Red Poll and Norfolk Red Cattle. Can these breeds still be seen in Norfolk? Would you be able to recognise them on sight? Why not have a go at drawing your favourite Norfolk breed? We would love to see your drawings! The Farmworker badge also required girls to have fed calves on milk or a substitute for more than a week. If you want to know more about feeding calves check out this great video in which a modern-day farmer feeds his calves. 

    Challenge 3 – During WW1 and WW2 Girl Guide units often volunteered on farms, providing agricultural labour.

    This was important as many farms had a lack of male labour due to the war. Research more about this topic and the other ways in which Girl Guides helped the war effort. Challenge: can you find out how many hours of agricultural labour guides had to complete to gain their WWI War Service Badge. The website below might help!


    Challenge 4 – The syllabuses state that Guides should have been involved in planting and growing.

    Obviously, it’s unlikely that all of us have access to a farm! But maybe you could do some planting at home. It may be September but that does not mean you can’t get green fingered. Research what plants can be grown in September. You may need to be adaptable. If you do not have much room, think small.

    Challenge 5 -In the past badges were not mass produced. Girl Guides had to sew their own badges!

    Therefore, as a final challenge why not have a go at creating your own Farmworker badge. If you wanted to make a badge in the traditional design, try embroidering a circle of blue felt with the design from above. This website has images of all the versions of the Farmworker badge; why not explore the designs for inspiration.


    Alternatively, you could create your own design. What would an updated Farmworker badge look like? Think about how you might incorporate elements of farming and nature into your badge design. Your badges do not necessarily have to be sewn. You could draw, paint, or use a computer. We love to see your badge creations; don’t forget to share!

    Thank you for participating in our Farmworker badge challenges as part of our Heritage Open Days. We hope you have enjoyed yourself and maybe learnt some new things! Please share with us on Facebook what you get up to!

    © 2020 Design and content are the property of Girlguiding Norfolk and may not be reproduced without consent. All rights reserved | Site Map | Privacy Policy
    Website designed by HOTSHOTCREATIVE