Kate Middleton didn’t look too thrilled to be in her Brownie sash and uniform circa age 8. But that didn’t stop the Duchess of Cambridge from giving permission for her photo to be used on the February/March cover of the UK’s Scouting Magazine. Meanwhile, Anna Wintour of Vogue, Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair, and the editor-in-chief of, oh, every British magazine out there would have given their left arm—or at least a badge for smizing—to get Middleton on their next cover.
So why is Middleton repping for the Scouts? Because the organization is one of five she has chosen to patronize as part of her royal rotation.
In early January, according to the Daily Mail, Middleton submitted to a background check to become a volunteer for the Scouts even though, hello, if there was any dirt on this girl it would have come out already. She also took the official Scout pledge: “On my honor, I will try my best to do my duty to God and to the Queen, to help other people, and to keep the Scout Law.”
Starting next month, Middleton will lend a hand at scout meetings in North Wales, where she and William live, working with kids ages 5 through 10. Apparently, she will even do some overnight camping with her troops. Bet she tells a good ghost story.
Chief Scout Bear Grylls—yes, the “Man vs. Wild” dude—is very thankful for Middleton’s support. “The Duchess has an incredibly busy life, which makes it all the more inspiring that she has chosen to volunteer alongside us,” said Grylls. “Over the last few years it has been our mission to make it easier for adults who volunteer with us to give as much or as little as they are able. It is how we change our society: many people doing a little bit.”
Apparently, England is experiencing a big shortage of Scout volunteers at the moment and many kids are currently left out of the program because of it. Grylls is hoping that Middleton’s participation will inspire others to join. Because, hey, people buy the clothes off her back—literally.
I think it’s cool that Middleton is volunteering for the Scouts. Like her royal highness, I was once a Brownie when I was a little girl. I can’t say that I learned big ticket values like honor and charity there—my parents were all over those—but Girl Scouts did teach me how to sew, twirl a baton, and make a pretty mean s’more. Plus, I got to march in my local Fourth of July parade, which was the coolest thing ever—even if I hated the brown uniforms and knee socks. Dear Girl Scouts: little girls like color!
(For those of you wondering, yes, the Girl Scouts of America are related to the British Scouts. In 1911, Juliette Gordon Low of Georgia met Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting. When she returned to the US, she quickly called her cousin and said, “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!”)
Do you have any Girl (or Boy!) Scout memories? If so, share ‘em in the comments.