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Keith Brown Owl receives special award

By Staff Reporter

AFTER three decades of helping young Brownies to receive scores of activity badges, a Keith volunteer has received a very special one of her own.

Nicola Smith was recognised for her 30 years of long service to girl guiding at a recent county gathering where she was presented with an award, certificate and badge.

The Keith mum-of-three has led weekly sessions for the 4th Keith Brownies ever since she was aged just 18.

Nicola Smith, from Brownie to Brown Owl.
Nicola Smith, from Brownie to Brown Owl.

She's seen hundreds of little girls take their promise and guided them through the myriad of activities which girl guiding offers.

The Brown Owl was aged just 7 when she first donned her uniform and promised to do her best. And 41 years on, she has done just that.

Nicola said: "I've never left! I went through the Brownies, Guides and Rangers and then started helping out, becoming a leader in 1989.

"It is a bit of work preparing for the weekly meetings, but I do get a lot of satisfaction from it."

As one of the longest serving leaders in the area, she's now welcoming the daughters of her previous Brownies into her 24-strong pack.

During the weekly Thursday night sessions, the Brownies – aged from 7 to 10 – are introduced to a world of new opportunities, challenges and fun.

As well as trying activities, girls choose from interest badges related to things they want to know more about.

They also take part in camps, holidays, day trips and the annual Remembrance Parade.

As well as volunteering with the Brownies, Nicola works in the canteen of a local primary school and manages the kirk shop on Keith's Mid Street.

In addition, she is Session Clerk at the Kirk of Keith: St Rufus, Botriphnie and Grange.

And for the last seven years she has been the voluntary leader of the town's Fly and Friendship Club, which provides entertainment and a social gathering for older people on a Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this year, Nicola's voluntary contribution to the local community was recognised when she was invited to the Queen's Garden Party at Holyrood Palace, which she attended with her mother Doris.

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