Simple SWAPs

Whether you’re attending camp, a council event, or an activity with a sister troop, SWAPS are a great way for Girl Scouts to break the ice and make new friends! This tradition of exchanging keepsakes first began on a large scale at national Girl Scout Senior Roundups in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Today, these friendship tokens are still traded and treasured by many as special memories of events or Girl Scout sisters.

SWAPS should:

  • Tell something about the givers or their group.
  • Represent the givers’ county, community, or local council.

Tips for SWAPs:

  • Think what you would like to receive from someone else!
  • Try to make them inexpensive, or out of used/recycled materials.
  • Try to bring one for each event participant and staff member.
  • Make SWAPs that can be worn, used, or displayed.
  • Make them small and portable!

SWAPs etiquette:

  • Never refuse to swap with someone else.
  • Avoid using glass or sharp objects.
  • Avoid using food products, unless they are individually wrapped.

Try making one of these SWAPS at your next troop meeting!


Fuzzy Caterpillars

  • Supplies: Pencil, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, fake leaves, safety pins, glue.

To make these adorable creatures, simply wrap pipe cleaners around a pencil in a spiral. Slide them off and glue on google eyes. Attach a safety pin to the back of a fake leaf and let dry. Finally, glue on the caterpillar and trade!







Bindle Stick

  • Supplies: Stick, string, cotton ball, fabric, safety pins.

Let’s go camping! Begin by wrapping your cotton ball in your fabric and tying the ends of the fabric together with a string. Wrap the loose ends of the string around the stick and knot again. Finish by adding a safety pin through your fabric!





Sleeping Bag/Bedroll

  • Supplies: Fabric, string, glue, safety pins.

Take a square of white fabric and cut a square of colored fabric that’s slightly smaller. Glue the two pieces together and roll together. Tie with a string and add a safety pin!



wp_20160424_085-e1558045390743.jpgWashcloth and Soap

  • Supplies: Washcloths, pez, glue, safety pins.

Cut small squares of washcloths and glue a piece of pez on it as the soap. Attach a safety pin to finish!





20d2a4ca266f4f8a228c935a04ff2ff3Mini Fans

  • Supplies: Mini Popsicle sticks, paper, markers, glue, safety pins.

Start by gluing the two ends of miniature popsicle sticks together. Cut small strips of paper and decorate as you choose with markers. Fold the paper accordion style and glue each end to one of the popsicle sticks. Glue a safety pin to the back!



f3bb6a5b756c61e8f6459537b519d570Cookie Sheets

  • Supplies: aluminum foil, cardstock paper, felt, hole punch, markers, glue, safety pins.

Cut squares of heavy paper and wrap with aluminum foil, taping the edges together on the backside. Use a hole punch to punch out circles of tan felt. Glue the felt circles on the aluminum and dot with markers. Attach a safety pin and trade!





  • Supplies: Paper, toothpicks, glue, safety pins.

Cut various size circles of red and white paper and glue together to create the target. Cut another circle out of a different colored paper and tape three toothpicks to it. Fold the edges of the circle together and glue shut to create the quiver. Glue both pieces together and punch a hole to put safety pin through.




For more fun SWAP ideas, check out our Pinterest board here!