SWAPs, short for 'Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned somewhere', 'Shared With A Pal', or 'Sharing With A Purpose', is the famous girl scout tradition that encourages friendship between girls belonging to different troops. The girls make cute arts and crafts which are exchanged with girls from other troops. This act depicts the purpose of promoting friendship between the troops.
Ideas for the SWAP
It is not mandatory to spend a lot of money on the items that you make as you can use simple craft items as well. These SWAPs have pins at the back so that they can be pinned to bags, clothes, hats, or uniforms. These items can also bear the name, troop name, e-mail address of the girl who trades it. The rules and regulations of swapping may differ from troop to troop.
- Bottle cap
- Craft Foam (light colors)
- Safety pins
- Utility knife
- Ink pad (water-based)
- Use the bottle cap and pencil to make circles.
- With the utility knife, cut small circles from the craft foam.
- Press your thumb on the ink pad and gently press it on each circular foam.
- Attach safety pins at the back.
- Wiggle eyes
- Plaster of Paris
- Red and black paint
- Flat back pins
- Prepare the mixture of plaster of Paris and pour it into a spoon.
- Once the plaster of Paris has dried, remove it from the spoon and paint it like a lady bug.
- Attach wiggle eyes to the lady bug and glue a flat back pin to it.
- Craft foams (multi-colored)
- Safety pins
- Draw triangle shapes from yellow and tan craft foam to form a shape like pizza slice.
- Attach the yellow foam over the tan foam.
- Then, cut small pieces of remaining craft foams (red, green, brown) and stick these pieces randomly on the yellow foam.
- Attach a safety pin at a corner of the pizza slice.
Snowman in Bag
- Craft foam (red and black)
- Tiny transparent bags
- Safety pins
- Cut out hat and carrot nose shape from the black and red colored craft foam respectively.
- Put these cutouts in the tiny transparent bag and add white glitter in the bag.
- Attach safety pin at the end of the bag.
Brief History of the SWAP
The tradition of SWAP is said to originate from Native Americans. They used to swap colored feathers as a symbol of friendship at the Potlatch ceremonies. It is said that two Native American girls plucked colored feathers of a magical bird and gifted them to a colorless bird, to ensure that all the birds are colorful. In the remembrance of these two girls the Potlatch ceremony is said to be celebrated. Later Potlatch ceremonies were held on various occasions like wedding, birth and other celebrations. At the end of this ceremony gifts were given to the guests by the hosts.
The first official SWAP took place in Jamboree, England. This was held to cheer up the hospitalized boy scouts who could not attend the Boy Scout at Jamboree. The SWAP was arranged between the healthy boy scouts and the hospitalized boy scouts. The SWAP originated at the National Roundup conferences.
There are plenty of ideas and you can even come up with innovative SWAP ideas of your own. So, if you are about to attend a camp, then use these ideas and enhance your friendship with the girls of the other troops.