We get emails every year with the question, “We are so excited to make swaps but we still don’t get what they are? Help!”

Don’t stress over swaps! They are a fun Girl Scout tradition that we carry on at Twilight Camp.

We jokingly refer to them as “micro craft projects.”  Go take a look at any of the photo galleries under the Swap menu above and then come back here. Do you see how diverse they are?

  1. Many swaps reflect the theme of camp that year. In 2017, our theme is “Star Wars.” What do you think of when you think of a Star Wars? Do you think of all the different characters, space ships, planets, etc? How could you make a small micro craft that reflects any of those?
  2. If you are a volunteer, you could make one that goes with your camp name. If your camp name is Oreo, you could make one that looks like an Oreo cookie. Check out the Oreo cookie swap in the Food Photo Gallery. (Remember NO food or candy in your swap – the bugs get into your swap collection after camp is over.)
  3. Do you play a sport? Why not make a swap that represents your sport?
  4. What’s your favorite animal, GS tradition, flower, movie, car, whatever!?! There are very few rules about what your swap can be.  There are a few – please read the Do’s and Don’ts below.

Do’s – They are:

  1. Small, usually no bigger than 2″x2″ in size.
  2. Inexpensive, usually no more than 1-5¢ each. Depending on materials used, the Camp Director has been making 400 every year for about $10 – $20 usually.
  3. Can be made from standard crafting materials like beads, fun foam, paper, wood, fabric, yarn, pipe cleaners, pom poms, etc… Many of the cutest we’ve ever seen are from recycled materials like bottle caps, soda can tabs, puzzle pieces, bread tabs, you name it!
  4. They need to have a place to poke a small (1″) safety pin through and hold on securely.
  5. It’s fun to attach a small label with who the swap was received from on it.  Click here for a Word document you can use. It’s best to download and save to your computer before editing.

Don’ts:

  1. Do NOT use any food (noodles, dog biscuits, nuts or seeds, etc) or candy as part of your swap.  It either dissolves or gets eaten by bugs later on. Campers also eat the candy or chew on the gum. We are horribly worried that someone is going to choke on a big wad of gum while running around camp.
  2. Use any breakable materials like glass or any that have sharp edges.

If you want to see some swaps in person:

  1. If you are a member of the Tustin East Service Unit, ask your troop leader to show you the 2015-16 Swap banner that was created for each troop.
  2. You can come early to one of the adult volunteer training sessions listed in the TC Calendar and look at the swap examples on display.

We will also continue to load more examples on the TC Facebook and Instagram news feeds. We will also load more into the Photo Galleries under the Swap menu above. We also have a Pinterest Board of 100’s of swap ideas loaded onto our gallery pages.

Bottom line – swaps are small, fun “micro-craft” projects.  Some of them are super simple and others you will stare at and be amazed.  Pick one for you to make where you will not spend a ton of money and you will have fun making it over and over again to make enough for you to trade and make new friends.  To see quantity suggestions, click here.