The danger of doing anything with older kids is that you’re automatically volunteered to do the same things with their younger siblings.
It is for this reason that I find myself the leader of both my older daughter’s Cadette Girl Scout troop, and my younger daughter’s Daisy troop. I don’t mind, actually. I find it’s much easier the second time around – I know the activities that are going to work well and those that are a bust. I know the outings and hikes around here that are worth doing and what age they’re manageable for the girls. I’ve got most of the jargon and the lingo down now.
One of the things I had to learn about with my older daughter was Girl Scout swaps. I don’t remember doing Girl Scout swaps when I was in scouts, but now every time we go to an event with other Girl Scouts, everyone’s trading swaps and checking out each other’s swaps. If – like me – you are unfamiliar with Girl Scout swaps, the word is actually an acronym. S.W.A.P.S. = Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned. The idea is that each girl makes enough for all the other girls outside her troop at an event (if there are hundreds, maybe just pick a certain number to give out). For each swap they trade, they get a different one in exchange. So if there are girls from all over, they could go home with tons of tiny little Girl Scout swaps pinned all over their uniform or hat.
We also make them to commemorate a fun outing as a troop. Last summer, when we went camping, we made these little campfire swaps during the afternoon to celebrate our trip. They were very simple and quick to assemble, but I think they look so cute! Here’s all you need:
Campfire Girl Scout Swaps
- red, yellow, and orange pipe cleaner
- one small safety pin per swap
- pruning shears (to cut tiny sticks…if you’re not allowed to cut and use the sticks in your area, precut some from a tree or bush at home to bring)
Cut 2 inches of each color of pipe cleaner. Line the three colors up together, and twist one time around the tiny branch. Slide a safety pin through the back of the pipe cleaners and pin the swap to your uniform or hat. That’s it!
Do you have any swaps your troop loves to make?
For more Girl Scout ideas, try one of these!
–Creative Story Orbs (for the Junior Scribe Badge)
–Making Fairy Gardens with Girl Scouts