Uniform SWAPping

Girl Guides Uniforms

Girl Guides Uniforms

Guiding and Scouting are movements that are near and dear to my heart. I was a Girl Guide and my husband was a youth member with Scouts Canada. It was a no-brainer when our twins turned five, that we would put them in Guiding and Scouting respectively.

We love that these movements are uniformed and feel strongly that the kids learn and respect the importance and value in being part of a uniformed organization.

As a parent I feel I should be asking:

What becomes of these uniforms as a child moves onto another branch or
leaves the movement altogether?

Parents that don’t have other children to pass the uniform along to often throw the uniform out, sell it at a consignment store or donate it. Parents like myself, that have other children that will eventually need them hang onto the uniforms to reuse.

Here’s a thought – if we keep the old uniforms, why not implement a used uniform swap? Ask parents with girls moving on to other branches or leaving Guiding to put their used uniform up for swap or sale. I know I’d be happy with a used uniform in good condition. I mean realistically, the girls wear them once a week from Sept-June with the odd weekend outing thrown in for good measure. The uniforms are, for the most part, in excellent condition and have lots of life left in them when the girls are through with that branch!

Why not ask each division, district or community to do SWAPs? Running a localized swap would make it that much easier for parents to take part in the swap and to want to use this valuable resource.

As a closing thought, this past year, in honour of Guiding’s 100th anniversary in Canada, Guiding changed their Promise to include “I will take action for a better world”. Swapping used uniforms will save trees, reduce carbon footprints and teach our youth the value of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle!

By guest blogger Stephanie Nash
Mother of 3 and Guider with the 2nd Mount Hope Guides & Pathfinders
Do you know of a uniform SWAP happening in your community? Let us know about it!

This entry was posted in Girls' Guides and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Uniform SWAPping

  1. Katie says:

    This is something that happens quite a lot in the UK – especially in communities where there are a lot of poorer families. It is not unusual for uniform to be posted from one end of the UK to another to benefit a family that needs uniform – especially for girls who are in their final year in one section and parents don’t want to/can’t afford to buy for just one year. Some units also ‘lend’ 2nd hand uniform to girls for a nominal sum, with that money being refunded when the uniform is returned. Uniform is constantly being recycled in this way. Some parents sell uniform on eBay or similar, and quite often Leaders will buy this to go in a uniform ‘store’ for their units, or for their daughters!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I often pick up uniforms at Sally Anne or Valu Village and see if a parent wants it at the beginning of the year for what I paid. My daughter has had her brownie uniform even before she went to Sparks. Hopefully it will still be good next year.

  3. Laura says:

    My daughter’s dance school, let’s the parents hang their dance costumes on a rack, with a note that has the cost. Parents pay the school cash as requested on the note, the note goes in an envelope with the cash, and the parent takes the dance costume. This could be advertised to returning families that are graduating to higher branches, that they could bring their uniforms to registration night.

  4. These are all great ideas to facilitate the SWAP itself.
    So how do we let others know about the swap – as it happens? As Laura said, her daughter’s dance school does this in a way that makes things easy – haning them on a rack, with the price, etc. Should this be part of advancement?

  5. Ashley says:

    Part of registration. Or else, how would the new Sparks benefit?

    • Good point Ashley. It would need to be something all branches could work with. Thanks!

      • Dinah says:

        Hello GGC,
        So is this swap idea something that has been implemented? I’ve just enrolled my daughter in guides, and have been unable to find anything local (We are in Edmonton, AB) for second hand uniforms. I don’t recall seeing anything linked in the registration.

      • Hi Dina,

        Some units and local Guiding groups do organize their own uniform swap events. Check with your daughter’s Guider to see if there is a swap planned for where you live.

  6. Nancy Landry says:

    I have been making doll clothes for 18″ dolls and have a request for a Girl Guide uniform. Does GGC have a problem with this? Please let me know. I do not want to do anything that could get me in trouble. Thanks

    • Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for asking. Our Merchandise department says: “we sell GGC doll uniforms on our GGC online store for our GGC dolls. Please do not produce GGC uniform for your dolls.”

      In case, you have specific questions, I suggest sending them an email via this link: http://www.girlguides.ca/contact-us

      Yours in Guiding,
      Girl Guides of Canada -Guides du Canada

    • Steph says:

      This is not an unreasonable request. Canada always seems to be behind in the times.There are so many clothes for Girl Scouts but not Girl Guides. Maybe Mapalea would work with the Guides Canada to come up with something. What a great way to fund raise or make money for the troops.

  7. Bonnie Gayman says:

    I have a Brownie Girl Scout Troop in Douglasville Georgia. For World Thinking Day next year, our Troop wants to do Canada. I am looking to buy some used Canadian Girl Guides uniforms and any other items. I can’t find any used items on the web. Could anyone help me?

    Thank you
    Bonnie Gayman

    • michelle tovey says:

      i have a very small sized sparks shirt if you would like it -perhaps for a badge from your unit contact me if your interested:)

      • Bonnie Gayman says:

        Yes I would love to get a Sparks shirt. I can pick out some patches from my Council that I feel you would like.

  8. Pingback: The Spirit of the Season | GirlGuidesCANBlog

  9. michelle tovey says:

    i found my own personal brownie dress tucked away in my nana’s closet- fortunate for me my youngest in sparks can actually fit into it-sadly my girl in brownies cant fit into it- but neither wants to wear my treasured uniform its the old brown dress:) but we had enrolment of our sparks n brownies and i proudly hung there for others to see.Being a sparks leader and mom of a brownie i try to recycyle the uniform tops- but now they all want the newer tops as they have been changed.

  10. Roshael says:

    Hi there,
    I love the idea of swapping, but we are just starting out so I don’t have a uniform to barter with.
    Just a family who’d be sooo happy that we will not only save on our funds, but definitely put someone’s old uniform to great use. And then we can hand it over when we are done with it.
    Our daughter will be joining Sparks and we need to get the entire uniform. I was wondering if anyone has one for sale or to give to her?
    Thank you in advance!
    We live in North Delta, BC Canada.

  11. Lesli says:

    I too am looking for used sparks uniforms, I have 2 girls starting this year so it could get expensive, they are both around size 6-8. Please let me know if you have any your girls have outgrown – we’re in Burnaby BC

  12. Linda says:

    why are the uniforms soooooo expensive,geez…1st you want almost $100 to join.. then the uniform cost is another 80 or so. Why?

  13. Lindsay says:


    My daughter is just starting. This is a great idea.

  14. Hollea Larochelle says:

    I am looking for a complete brownie uniform pants, shirt, badge sash, scarf, pin and book size 7/8 I am thinking that since there is some girl guide uniform swap facebook groups but none in BC that I just might start there and see what I can do. Former brownie leader, assistant commissioner for guiding, former beaver, cub and assistant district commissioner for Scouting. Mother to a Guider who went through guiding and grandmother to one in 2nd year Sparks and another who will start sparks next year 2017.

    • Roshael says:

      Hi Hollea,
      My daughter will soon be going into her second year in Brownies and I was just lucky that she still just fits into her uniform that I was able to buy through Craigslist. We had to travel a long ways to get it from North Delta to North Vancouver, but it was worth it.
      My suggestion is to put up an ad or search Craigslist, OR else phone up some of your local GGC groups as the Leaders may know about a parent who is looking to donate or sell their daughter’s uniform.
      Good luck and best regards in Guiding,

  15. Julie says:

    I am looking for a used Sparks Uniform as well. I have checked everywhere online and have been unsuccessful. My granddaughter is registered and needs a uniform. The swap idea is fantastic.I was a guider and both my daughters were in it but even if we kept our uniforms they keep changing them so we have to keep buying them.I live in Edmonton, Alberta so if anyone could help we would be really grateful.

  16. Sarah A Prior says:

    Here in Hamilton Ontario, Anyone with a Sparks uniform, old navy pants are $10 right now so I don’t think I need those but looking for the rest? Size 7 I’m guessing. Have any SWAPS been instituted?

  17. Angie says:

    I am looking for whole set for brownies
    uniform size 7/8. I am in Richmond,BC Anyone would like to sell? TIA.

  18. Tracy says:

    I am looking for a Sparks uniform in Edmonton.

  19. Lesli says:

    I am looking for a large or medium Guide shirt, with or without the scarf. We are in Burnaby BC, but I can pick it up anywhere in the Vancouver/Lower mainland area. I have an XL guide shirt I could trade if you have one that is too small, or we could buy it from you and save the XL for 3rd year!

  20. Lesli says:

    I am looking for a L or M guide shirt in Burnaby BC to buy or trade for an XL guide shirt, I can pick it up anywhere in the Vancouver / Lower Mainland area. I could also use a scarf if you have one but we have one of the older style scarves for now. I have an XL shirt that is like-new that we could trade if you have a guide shirt that is too small, but would prefer to buy yours and save it for 3rd year as I have 2 girls.

  21. jennifer says:

    Looking for a gently used Sparks & Brownie uniform for my girls

  22. Anne-Renee says:

    I am looking to purchase sparks t shirt small for my daughter. Thank you

  23. doreen baldwin says:

    Do you know of one in surrey langley or vancouver area? Or anywhere close to these locations

Leave a Reply