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Posts Tagged ‘traders’

I’ve just come back from Bridging Friends Forever (BFF) Camp 2013 hosted by Girl Guides New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island at Snider Mountain Ranch near Sussex, NB.  Now that I’ve had a bunch of naps, I have so many stories to tell you.

There’s one about the great friends I got to see again.

BFF 2013 Mary Dawn Cara1

Photo Credit: Dawn MacNeill
Mary, Dawn and Me at the closing ceremony

BFF 2013 Deb

Deb’s photo is a little fuzzy… but she never sits still so that’s not unexpected. =)

BFF 2013 Lisa and the feathers1

Here’s Lisa and her feathers!

BFF 2013 Bridget

And my new friend Bridget – I can’t forget Bridget. =)

And the one about how important it is to work with a dedicated and hardworking team.  Thanks to our fearless leader Kim, and my co-volunteers Melanie and Shawna for doing such an awesome job – and for making it fun along the way.

BFF Kitchen Crew (without me) serving popcorn one night.  =)  Kim, Shawna, and Mel.

Guiders of the BFF Kitchen Crew (without me) serving popcorn one night. =) Kim, Melanie and Shawna.

That’s especially important when you’re serving 600 breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks!  (It wasn’t just the four of us, Snider Mountain Ranch staff and family members did the catering and we all worked together to make this work in the Guiding way).

BFF 2013 Snider Mountain Ranch Dining Hall1

The dining hall – made especially for us. I think it is going to be moved to shelter horses after we leave.

BFF 2013 Evacuation Drill1

600 of my closest friends. =)

There’s another story about a World Record!  Girls, Guiders, and Guiding friends from NB, PEI, across Canada and even from around the world made an incredible 19,953 Bracelets (the old record was 8,000!).

BFF 2013 World Record Bracelets1

World’s longest chain of bracelets. BFF Camp 2013.

BFF 2013 Heidi Bracelets1

My new friend Heidi (aka Blackie) and her bracelets. She started it all and did an amazing job. So very cool.

There’s yet another story about Hat Crafts and Traders.  You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing the distinctive BFF camp hats – all covered in traders.  Girls really got into this (so did staff at Snider Mountain Ranch … they now plan to incorporate it into their regular non-Guiding program).

One of the neatest ones I saw was the Dragonfly Knot.

And this one called “My pet Mummy. No food. No water. No litter. No mess.”  Very cute.

BFF 2013 hat crafts traders1

Then there are stories about what I learned at camp … you get lots of neat ideas for what to do another time.

Neat boot dryer idea.

Neat boot dryer idea.

And even more stories about how beautiful the province of New Brunswick is.   I arrived about 24 hours before I needed to get to camp so I visited Shediac and Parlee Beach.  I got to enjoy fresh clams, fish and chips and even muscles.  So yummy.

Before Camp Cara Parlee Beach

Me on Parlee Beach in my rain gear. I like rainy blustery days by the sea. =)

Parlee Beach, NB.  On this rainy day, I had the beach all to myself.  I got to walk for an hour to the sound of the waves.  It was pretty wonderful.

Parlee Beach, NB. On a rainy day before Camp started, I had the beach all to myself. I got to walk for an hour to the sound of the waves. It was pretty wonderful.

And also how beautiful Snider Mountain Ranch is – especially early in the morning.

BFF 2013 Foggy Morning1

Kitchen staff get up early enough to take fog pictures.

BFF 2013 the bridge1

The footbridge over to the Rocky Mountain camp.

BFF 2013 Snider Mountain

Everyone heading back up the hill after an evacuation drill.

I had a fantastic time.  Thank you to Girl Guides New Brunswick/PEI.  Until we meet again.

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2013-07-16 16.36.05 Swaps trillium flowers and OttawaTrading SWAPS is just one of many fun activities that you can expect to do at a Girl Guide camp.  SWAPs (Sharing With All People) are small gifts, tokens, crests, pins or crafts that you offer to the new people you meet – and they to you (just like a business card in an office).  At camp, they are great for breaking the ice with a new friend, especially if you’re shy.  After camp, they’re an excellent touchstone reminder of all the people you met.

In my opinion, traders need to be small, light, and easy to get/make – remember they have to fit in the bag you carry to camp.  Unique and personal traders are best… your trader should say something about you.  For example, as I’m one of only a few people going to camp from my area, my trader(s) will represent me regionally and as a crafter/crocheter.  Always try to put your name and maybe e-mail on your trader so your new friends can find you later.

This year, I’ve got three traders…

  1. City of Ottawa lapel pins (courtesy of my City Councillor),
  2. Government of Ontario trillium lapel pins (from my MPP), and
  3. Crocheted flower pins that I’ve made.

Pins from your local municipality, province or area can usually be obtained for free if you ask early and politely.  To personalize these, I could either put a small sticker on the baggie they come in, or I could stick each pin through a card with my name and e-mail.

For my crocheted flower, I’m using the five petal flower pattern from Maize Hutton’s crocheted flower bouquet post and I’ve pinned a small card with my name and e-mail on the back of each flower.  Size works out to be approximately 1″ diameter.

Looking for more on the subject of SWAPS and Traders?

Happy trading everyone.  What was your favourite SWAP at Camp?

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The organizers of the indoor campfire a couple of weeks ago made a really beautiful gift for each of the participants.  I have been meaning to show them to you.  Thank you to Guider Judith and your team.

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I didn’t really finish up on my summer camp stuff from last year (Summer Camp: What the heck is a swap?) and, since I came across my traders from the Nova Scotia GG 100th Anniversary Camp I attended in August, I thought I’d write a post about what I’ve learned about swaps and traders.  Big thanks again to the Nova Scotia Girl Guides for their hospitality.  It was so much fun!

Swaps (or SWAPs – Sharing With All People… Guider Nikki – did you tell me that?) are things that you make in advance of a camp to share with the new friends that you meet.  You trade them – kind of like business cards.  It is a lot of fun – and it gives you an incentive to mingle too (and works as an ice breaker if you’re a bit shy about it).  My favourites, and therefore the most memorable swaps, are the personal ones.  Some were a lot of work… but not all of them.  Alberta Girl Guides Bright Ideas has a great handout too.

When to bring a Trader:

  • A big organized camp – Check your kit list or other notes in advance of camp – they’ll suggest you bring a trader or SWAP.
  • If you’re travelling and may meet Guiding friends… bring a trader.
  • Maybe your Brownie Unit is participating in a multi-level camp or is partnering with another unit to make up numbers at camp.  The unit could make a large number of one kind of trader to share with their new friends.  Make the suggestion to the camp organizer so that everyone knows to bring something.
  • Traders are great bridging tools for the girls too.  Have the girls make traders to give to the girls at a unit you’re visiting (or to your guests).

Here are some notes and ideas:

  1. The internet is a good starting point… check out this list of SWAPs ideas from About.com.
  2. Small plastic zip bags are great ways to make something you can’t usually pin to a hat, easily pinable (look for 1″x1″ bags for beading and jewelery found at the dollar store).  Add a safety pin and a label with your name and/or e-mail and you’ve got something personal and easy to assemble.  For example, one Guider put some Nova Scotia Tartan fabric and an explanation in a baggie.  Another Guider is a geologist and she traded a small sample of a local stone.

  3. Crests are great traders too.
    • There were a few people who made their own crests.  That isn’t a cheap option, but it is really cool – and I remember those folks.  If you go to a lot of camps, or are going to a big camp, this would be a good option.  A Google search finds e-Patches and Crests – they appear to be able to make a crest for you – and they’ve got some neat challenge crests too!
    • Commissioners also have their own crests… be sure to introduce yourself and maybe get a crest too.
  4. Laminate something… I got a bookmark from a girl from Britain that had UK flag stickers on one side, and a water saving tip on the other.  Fun, memorable and useful.   Also, Guider Kathleen printed and laminated small cards with her provincial flower on one side and her e-mail on the back.  Both good SWAPs all around.
     
  5. Shrink something… The waterfront staff and another Guider at camp made their traders from Shrink Art (Shrinky Dinks).  You can buy kits, but you can also Make your own Shrink Art.
  6. My favourite trader was the sea glass I got from Guider Marie.  It has (frustratingly!) gone missing in my move, but I had it hanging in my office for the longest time.
  7. Lots of people went to their local municipality and got pins to trade.  That was fun because you got to have a conversation about their area.  Items from “away” were pretty hot commodities.
  8. Do something unique to you… My Ontario Crocheted Trilliums were a hit and they represented me as a crafter very well.
    cropped Trillium

To sum up…

  • The best SWAPs are memorable and personal/regional.
  • Keep them small – you have to carry them to camp.  And the people you trade with will need to carry yours home too.
  • They don’t have to be a lot of work.
  • Don’t forget to put your name and possibly e-mail on it.
  • Add a safety pin on it so it can be attached to a hat.

Happy swapping!

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