Update: This post was voted as a 2011/2012 GirlGuidesCANblog Big Deal Seal winner in the Growing Guiding category! Bravo blogger Sarah!
When I was chosen to be one of the Nova Scotia delegates to the International Camp in Guelph ’93, I was lucky to have the greatest Pathfinder leader. She helped me fundraise, taught me to properly pack and made sure I was well prepared before going. This included introducing me to the ‘camp blanket’.
I was in my seventh year of Guiding and had never heard of a camp blanket. Immediately, my mother and Pathfinder leader created a poncho and sewed on the non-program crests we had lying around. There weren’t a lot, but some. I had never really paid attention to them – my focus throughout Brownies and Guides had been the badges I had earned and been “tested” on, the badges that filled my sash that I proudly wore every week.
Over the two weeks at the camp, I became a trader aficionado. My traders, including handmade painted stones and local crests, never left my side. When I arrived home, the first thing I wanted to do was get these new crests on my blanket. Turns out that wouldn’t be the case, my new skill at trading meant I needed a bigger blanket. But trading, or earning them at local events weren’t the only ways I started gathering crests. My father, a member of the Armed Forces, was often sent away internationally, and always found time to meet with a local Girl Guide/Girl Scout member, or go to their store to pick me up a souvenir. As I began to travel more I did the same, starting a new addition wherever I go.
By now, in my 25th year of Guiding, I am on my third camp blanket. Blanket number two was filled and my mother would not take the crests off to re-sew onto the new one. She cut them out in patches and sewed that onto blanket number three. So now I have this heavy, very large poncho with giant patches of old blanket on it. To make matters worse (better?), everything came full circle in July 2010 when I went back to Guelph for an international camp. I came prepared with my special trader/keeper bag… and came home with 100 new crests, and no mother to sew them onto my blanket.
My boyfriend also refused to sew them on. When we took our first camping trip together, he gave me a weird look as I set up the tent and sleeping bags. “What is that large, two-toned grey blanket?” he asked. “That’s my camp blanket,” I said, thinking everyone knows what a camp blanket is. “I am camping, therefore, I have my camp blanket.”
The next morning, when he woke up with a back and face full of triangle, square and circle outlines (in the earlier banter I forgot to turn the blanket onto the non-crest side), all I did was shrug, and tell him that next camp trip I will remember. But that the next and all future camp trips we will bring the blanket. And on our trip to Hawaii in June he asked, when are we going to the Guide store?
Think I won’t be trading him or the blanket in anytime soon.
By guest blogger Guider Sarah of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Check out her own blog ‘Sarah Smells the Roses‘, as well as her blog posts for Girl Guides of Canada:
- Girl Guide Membership Expiry? Never!
- From Frazzled to Dartmouth Shore Area Special Events Team Member
- Princess Industrial Complex
- Bustin’ a Century Year Old Girl Guide Myth
- There Were No Sexy Nurses at the First Halloween
- Review for GGC of the Coleman Camping Cookbook and Meal Planner App
- Why Every Brownie Should Have a Camp Blanket
Where’s your camp blanket? We were inspired by Sarah’s blog post so much, that we’ve started a public photo set on our Flickr account to highlight your camp blankets! Email us your camp blanket photo to marketing1 (@) girlguides.ca and we’ll upload it to the set: Camp Blankets!