"Share With A Pal"
What to Make
What to do with them
"SWAPS" can trace their roots to POTLATCH the Native American custom of a ceremonial
distribution of gifts.
The "SWAP" was introduced into Boy/Girl Scouting/Guiding as a way to introduce
one Scout to another. The swaps were traded and a conversation would result
from explaining the swap. Many of these "SWAPS" started long friendships that
lasted although the two swappers may have lived in different countries. A SWAP
is usually, but not always,a small homemade item that represents the person,
their community, or their background.
The idea of collecting as many "SWAPS" as you can without getting to know the
person makes the item traded (or swapped) a "collectible". Most of the swapping
done today seems to have this idea rather than the traditional "SWAP" made to
build up a friendship.
In 1924 the Imperial Jamboree was held at Wembly England, which was open to
all of the Boy Scouts in the English Commonwealth. There was one group of Boy
Scouts who could not attend, these Scouts had been hospitalized for a long time.
Guiding/Scouting was very important part of many of these children's lives.
They wore their uniforms even if bedridden and they had regular Guide/Scout
activities. Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting/Guiding, was concerned
that these children could not take part in the Jamboree, so he came up with
an idea. Each of these children could make a "Mafuzziwog". Just as the boys
who attended were selected on their scouting abilities, these children would
be represented by the "Mafuzziwog" they made. A "Mafuzziwog" was a SWAP that
the Scouts could make out of items they could find around the hospital. Using
things such as tape, thread, bandages, and even chicken bones, each Scout made
their own SWAP. The best of these were displayed at the Jamboree. Hopefully,
they started some special friendships between the Scouts inside the hospital
with the Scouts outside.
The idea of S.W.A.P.S. started at the original National Roundup Conferences.
At that time a "S.W.A.P." was a little remembrance that one Girl Scout gave
to another. Swapping is a good way of starting correspondence with scouts from
other states and countries. For this reason you usually attach your name or
troop number and address for future reference.
S.W.A.P.S. can be simple or complex, cheap or expensive, whatever the creator
desires. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on S.W.A.P.S. Many people
make them out of scraps or natural materials. Most S.W.A.P.S. are made with
pins attached so they can be pinned onto a camp shirt or hat. S.W.A.P.S. are
little things that girls and leaders make to trade with each other at county
or national events. If you are making S.W.A.P.S. in your troop, you can give
the girls an assortment of beads, small wooden shapes, paints, markers, ribbons,
felt, fun foam, chenille stems, and let their imaginations go wild. S.W.A.P.S.
usually tell something about the person who made it or about the area or region
that they are from. They can also represent the theme of an activity or event.
S.W.A.P.S. are usually only an inch or two in size. Instruct the girls to create
their S.W.A.P.S. with a safety pin attached, or some way of wearing the swap.
Each girl should decide how many S.W.A.P.S. she wants to trade. S.W.A.P.S.
can be made during part of a troop meeting, during a special meeting called
for the purpose of making S.W.A.P.S., or with examples shown at the meeting,
with the S.W.A.P.S. to be made by the girls at home.
S.W.A.P.S. are traditionally pinned on a S.W.A.P.S. hat. This hat could be
part of your troop identification. Perhaps matching painter's caps in your troop
color. On the day of an event, each girl will come with her S.W.A.P.S. and will
mingle with other girls, trading her S.W.A.P.S. Leaders may want to come prepared
with a few extra S.W.A.P.S. for girls who were absent when they were made, or
who may have left their S.W.A.P.S at home. Other ideas are to make keepsake
boxes to keep them in or pin them on a tote bag.
The girls and leaders "S.W.A.P." these tokens with new friends they make at
various events. S.W.A.P.S. are made and given to promote friendship and to make
new friends. Swapping allows us to share our handiwork with other scouts and
to bring back a memento of a special occasion.
- S.W.A.P.s to be traded should be carried in a shoe box, baggie or pinned
to your shirt. S.W.A.P.s that are pinned to someone's hat are generally considered
off-limits unless they are offered to you as a trade.
I have heard the opposite is true. SWAPs on the vest are off-limits and SWAPs on the hat can be traded.
Who can confirm this?
- It is considered rude if you refuse to swap with someone who asks you. Be
courteous. If a person gives you a swap you really don't like, remember that
it may have come with the purest of intentions and the simplest of skills.
- If you don't like the item you have been given, or already have an identical
S.W.A.P, accept it politely, and give them one of yours with a Girl Scout
- ALWAYS say thank you! A Girl Scout is courteous.
- Never give a swap away that someone gave you.
- Always have a few extra S.W.A.P.S. on hand for those people who have few
or none. It is also nice if you give someone a S.W.A.P. who doesn't have one
to give in return. That is what being a Girl Scout is all about.
- Include the information such as your troop number, city and state on the
S.W.A.P. You may also want to mark it with the date or the event name to help
identify the S.W.A.P. later on. Tags can be easily made on the computer, cut
to size and attached to the pin.
- Swaps without a meaning - Should have something to do with the event, with
Girl Scouting in general, the troop or about the person who made it.
- Food items - they can't be kept as keepsakes and they attract bugs and
critters when outdoors.
- Flimsy swaps - they're heartbreaking for the creator and the recipient.
Make sure items are colorfast, the pin is secure and the item can hold up
to handling and transport.
- Leader-made swaps - items shouldn't be made FOR the girls by their leaders
- after all, what would the point be? Swaps should be designed with the age
and skill level of the girls making the swap. Don't give them something they
can't do on their own (or without minimal help).
- Forgetting the girls - Don't design swaps without giving the opportunity
for the girls to also make one for themselves. Otherwise, they won't want
to give it away!
- Too fast, too easy, too many - if all the girls in the troop each have
5 of the exact same fast and easy swap, they won't be one of the most sought-after
swaps in the group to say the least.
GUSUA SWAP Page
Share with a Pal (The Craft