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The Trefoil Badge

Girl Guides float, Edinburgh 1979 (trainsandstuff)

World Thinking Day

Feb 22

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“About the year 1920 or 1921, when I was a Commissioner in the Girl Guides, I was surprised to find Guiders teaching their Guides to dance English Folk dances. On asking them why, when we had so many Scottish Country dances, their reply was, that they would like to teach the Scottish ones, if only they had a book to go by. This want of a book seemed to be universal, so I set to work to make a book."

~ Ysobel Stewart

Dance inspiration for the RSCDS courtesy of the Girl Guides! February 22nd marks the dual birthdays of Scouting and Guiding founders Lord Robert Baden-Powell Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and World Chief Guide who founded the organization in 1909. After the Armistice in 1918 when Ysobel Stewart became heavily involved in the Girl Guide Movement. In recognition of her services to Guiding, she was awarded the Silver Fish in 1925, the highest award for good service to the entire movement and bestowed only on very special occasions. The three-leaved Trefoil symbol of the Girl Guides represents the sun shining over all the children of the world; the base of the stalk represents the flame of the love of humanity; the vein pointing upwards through the centre of the Trefoil is the compass needle pointing the way; and the two stars represent the promise of duty and adherence to the Guide's law. This 40-bar reel has multiple reel types, turns, and circles of all kinds, reminiscent of the Trefoil and "The Good Turn" - another principle of the Girl Guides- trying to do a kind thing for someone else, every day! 💙 💛 ⚜️ ⚜️ ⚜️

The Trefoil Badge

Also known as World Thinking Day, February 22nd is the birthday of both Scouting and Guiding founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell and of Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and World Chief Guide. 


This day is celebrated annually by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

The preservation and popularity of Scottish Country Dancing owes much to Mrs. Ysobel Stewart of Fasnacloich and Miss Jean Milligan, who combined forces to form the Scottish Country Dance Society.

Interestingly, one of the original motivations of Ysobel Stewart, who was a Girl Guide Commissioner, was to collect and publish the Scottish dances she had enjoyed throughout her life to teach  to the young women in the Guides.


Mrs. Stewart approached Patersons, a Glasgow publisher to publish her book. Meanwhile, Miss Jean Milligan, a lecturer in physical education was teaching Scottish Country Dancing to her students at Jordanhill College in Glasgow. The publisher brought the women together and they formed the Scottish Country Dance Society on 26th November 1923. The goal of the SCDS was to publish dances and to support the revival of SCD. King George VI conferred the royal status to the Society in 1951.

In 2013 a Scottish Country Dance Challenge was created for the Girl Guides with different goals for Rainbows, Brownies, and Senior Guides!  Participating in a dance, designing a dance, learning a dance, creating a mascot, investigating family tartans, are all parts of the challenges to familiarize a guide with this historic dance form.

The Trefoil, used on the World Badge of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, is the unifying symbol of Scouts and Guides all over the world. 

For more on the trefoil symbols and their modern incarnations and meanings, click the vintage Canadian girl guide below.

The Trefoil Badge

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Trefoil Badge

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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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