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!