Wednesday, 1 April 2009

baden-powell's badges

I've never had  a desire to join groups, you know like the Guides or Brownies. I had one sister who was a Guide and one who was a Brownie for a short while and I think my brother may have toyed with Scouting for a second or two, but I think it was just a sign of the times, the late sixties, early seventies, when it was more common than it is now. There was a friend who asked me to join Venturers with her but really when it came down to it I'm not one for organised activities. Group outings leave me cold. 
But Lord Baden-Powell was right about one thing- everyone loves collecting badges! It was a marketing coup!

Do the activity, get the badge, swap the badge, sew the badge on!
OK, I've gone a little badge-mad. I'm making friends all over Australia hunting down these little  suckers...... they want to know if I'm into Scouting....... and (shamefaced) I have to admit 'no'.
Once I explain they think it's cool and tell me stories about swapping badges with foreign scouts, sewing them (the badges, not the foreign scouts) onto a blanket with a head hole cut in the middle of it and sitting around a campfire snug-as-bugs-in-rugs swathed in a scouty rug poncho.
So this is part of the new winter cushion range. Scout cushions! Made from wool army blankets and scout badges. Jethro likes them, I think he wants to be a scout. 


  1. these a so great - i was a brownie and a guide (shhh) and i have a whole box of badges i've been meaning to sew onto a blanket. thanks for reminding me!
    p.s. did you know that there's a shop at guides HQ in melb where you can buy all sorts of pretty badges? (it's on russell st). i bet its the same for the scouts, too. you don't have to be a member to buy them, either, i remember sending some rellies in there once to buy some for me (yes, i may have been a bit of a nerd - but with v. pretty badges!)

  2. oh my god are you serious... you mean I dont have to wangle my toggle and I still get the batches that say I can whip up a sling from a torn shirt, tie all manner of sailing knots and and start a fire with two sticks... BRILLIANT.
    And dont even talk about the Venturers, if you were still interested in singing around camp fires, sans ciggies and brandavino with adults in walksocks you weren't related to then there was something very VERY wrong.
    Not that i'm being judgemental.

  3. Great minds think alike Pen! I was hand-sewing some recycled wool cushions before I came to the UK and one of the things I came across while op-shopping was a Brownie sash. I didn't have enough badges to decorate the cushion, so I started collecting travel badges instead. Still going strong here in Europe (I have one for each Italian city I've been to...) but I think it's outgrown the cushion!

  4. I went on a Venturers camp once.

    They saluted the QUEEN, dude!

    And I was the only one who laughed....

    Nice to see you channelling your energy there, Pen. Those cushions are magnificent.

  5. I have some trucker patches, if you're interested. I think they're Canadian...

  6. i just had to say hello-i was a brownie and a guide for sorrento and i so loved it at the time.mmmm

  7. I wear my ponchos every night in the winter - then sleep under a great big thick brownie/scout blanket... luv 'em and all they represent. well done pen, another corker. I'll email sooon, but a bit.. oh, you know, at the moment grrr aaargh! xxe


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