DETERMINED brownie Louisa Souter-Frost has proved she can turn her hand to anything – from pet care and stargazing to circus skills and judo.
The versatile ten-year-old, who is a member of the 2nd North Petherton Brownies, has become one of an elite band of girls to add all 57 proficiency badges to her sash.
From mucking out the horses after her weekly riding lessons to reading more than 100 books in six months, Louisa has worked diligently over the past three years to lay claim to the rare achievement.
As well as caring for her six guinea pigs, growing vegetables for her family and taking up Judo, she also immersed herself in stargazing at the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth and performed a clown and mime act at a circus skills event.
Her quest for the 57th and final badge saw her lead six fellow brownies on a two-night camp in group leader Carol Spencer’s back garden to gain her advanced camper’s badge.
“We tried everything we could over a six month period to find a camp she could go on to complete her last badge and every time the weather put a stop to it, so in the end we decided to set the campsite up in my back garden,” said Carol.
“Although the weekend was damp, a plush cooker replaced the wet wood of an open fire, giving the girls a chance to prepare and cook meals whilst enjoying a fun weekend of ventures outdoors.”
Louisa’s family have played a strong supportive role in her achievements, with her dad Ray helping her record her work in journals and taking to the streets to video-tape her progress in cycle proficiency.
Her ultimate encouragement came from older brother Cameron, who inspired her to reach her full potential after becoming the first cub scout in Devon to gain all his badges.
“When Cameron completed his badges I said that I would do the same, and now I have,” said Louisa, who attends King’s Hall School in Taunton.
“I am really proud and grateful to all of the leaders and other brownies who have helped."
South West England girlguiding chief commissioner Solange Rebours said: “Guiding provides opportunities for girls and young women to reach their full potential in a safe girl-only space.
“I am delighted that Louisa has been able to enjoy all that guiding offers, as she has worked towards her badges and enjoyed many different experiences, supported by her leaders.”