Uniforms and Age levels in Norway

I looked at myself in the mirror just before leaving the house, setting of the Scout Parade on our National Day, 17th of May, and I thought, "it looks just like a photo from 1910, just in colors..!"

In Norway the "official English" is British, so officially we are called "Girl Guides" - but I speak and write American English - that is, I try, that's why I write "Scouts."

These are the age levels we have in Norway:
One can join Scouts at the age of 6: Then you are a "Rabbit" (Hare.) Yellow bandana.
From 7 - 9 : Brownie (Norw: Meis = a kind of little bird). Still yellow bandana.
From 10 - 12 : Junior (Norw: Stifinner = path-finder) Blue bandana.
From 13 - 15 : Senior (Norw. Vandrer = "Wanderer") Green bandana
From 16 - 25 : Senior scout II; (Norw: Ranger = "Ranger") Burgundy bandana.
From 25 and up: Leader; dark blue bandana or bandana in the color of "your" troop's age level.
Or you might just be an Adult Scout; dark blue bandana
All over Norway there are popping up "Once a Scout - always a Scout" troops, with "retired" Girl Scouts.

As you may see we can be active Scouts without being Leaders for a long time. The age limit for Seniors/Rangers was extended not so many years ago. The "Rangers" have a National Meeting once a year, and on this meeting they (we) decided to extend the age limit for Rangers from 18 to 25. I am in my last year as a "Ranger" now.

In Norway we all have the same uniform, no matter if you are 6 or 60, of course size varies, but ... :-)  It is only the color of the bandana which is different (and a few other details.) I am quite proud of our uniform. Though time has changed, and so has fashion, during the years since 1910, the Norwegian uniform looks like it did back then. Of course details etc. have been changed, but it is made on the same idea. It is kaki / beige colored - bandanas, stars, pins and badges tell about age and rank and so on.

The official skirt is kaki too, but you might wear brown / dark blue trousers or skirts. Among the older girls - the rangers - it has almost become a "fashion" to look old-fashioned; with the kaki shirt and a dark blue - ankle long- skirt, the hat and the belt in the waist.... look at an old photo of Girl Scouts in England in 1910!

Contributed by:
Ellen Anne Teigen
Adult, Baasmo Gruppe, Norway

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This page last updated September 24th, 1999