February 12, 2010

One Guiding grail down, so many more to go

After more than two years of patiently waiting and previously always being out-bid on eBay, this month I was finally able to win one of my Girl Guides of Canada “holy grails”: an All-Around Cord!

Interesting, whereas in auctions past I’d bid (usually along with several other collectors) on the cord itself, this time around I ended up coming out as the lucky winner on an auction that included a Guide uniform (the late 20th century royal blue dress style) and a necktie. Even with shipping (from a location within in Canada), I ended up getting the cord (which is in fairly good condition, the ends are a bit worn, but the body of the cord itself is highly presentable) for an absolute song!

I’ve yearned for an All-Around Cord (sometimes also referred to as an “All-Round Cord”) since I was a girl (I started my Guiding journey as a Pathfinder and as such had already bypassed the branch [Guides] in which a girl could earn the All-Around Cord), and though I earned my Canada Cord (which I love and treasure to this day), I could never shake off my longing for one of the gorgeous blue and white tasselled cords that the most accomplished of Guides had earned.

I’m on cloud nine this week because my newly won Cord has arrived in the mail and is every bit as wonderful in person as I always dreamed it would be. Yet as all collectors know, so much of the thrill of collecting any category of items, is the t hunt itself. We love finding those pieces that are chief amongst our most desired items, yet also greatly enjoy knowing that there are still (often many!) other items that we’re still looking for – at least this is how I personally feel.

The spectrum of Girl Guide and Girl Scout collectibles is a vast one that encompasses many decades worth of items and thousands upon thousands of pieces that one could potentially be on the prowl for. My own GG/GS collection is fairly diverse (I collect patches, proficiency badges, pins, GGC uniforms and scarves, stickers, buttons, magazines, books, dolls, etc), but naturally there are certain items that pique my interest the most and which I’m forever trying to track down.

Having now acquired an All-Around Cord (and prior to that an All-Around Cord pin, which was another one of my biggest GGC wants), I find myself reflecting on my other “Guiding Grails” (that is to the say those elusive items that we collectors are always trying to track down, much like some seek the Holy Grail of biblical and Arthurian legend).

Topping the list of hard to find items that I’m most interested in right now, are Canadian Area/Division/District (and provincial) patches from the Yukon, NWT and Nunavut, as well as those from my home province of British Columbia (I’d especially love to find more patches from the Thompson-Okanagan/Okanagan-Similkameen region of the province), and from Calgary, Alberta (all of these geographical locations are near and dear to my heart for various reasons).

Ranger badges (though it’s been a number of years since they were in use, at one point the GGC Ranger programme included proficiency badges), certain older Brownie and Guide badges that I’m lacking (such as the Brownie Baton Twirling badge), and also newer badges from all levels of Guiding are high on my list, too.

Perhaps however, the Guiding article that has most moved into the spot where the All-Around Cord once sat on my list, is the (even harder to locate!) Gold Cord, which was in use during the mid-20th century, specifically from the 40s or 50s until the 1970s (I could be mistaken, but it’s my understanding the Gold Cord was the predecessor to the Canada Cord for older Guides in the days before the Pathfinder programme was in place; a smidge more info on the topic can be found on the site VintageGirlScout.com).

I’ve not been able to find very much information online about the Gold Cord (which is not the same thing as the modern day Chief Commissioner’s Gold Award) so far, but just as I’ll cheerfully continue to hunt for the Gold Cord, I’ll search more about its history.

{So elusive is the Gold Cord in fact, that I've not even tracked down a photo that I'm 100% certain is of it! The image above is from an eBay.uk sale that I discovered after it had ended (drat!) a few weeks ago, which listed this tasseled cord as being a Gold Cord. I do not know however if it was a Gold Cord from Canada, the UK or elsewhere, or if it is in fact an actual Girl Guide related cord at all. If anyone can provide more information on this cord or the GGC's Gold Cord, I would be most grateful.}

This post isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about my Guiding Grails, but as it’s a rare occurrence for me to actually find (and come into possession of) one of my most sought after of Guiding items, I really wanted to share my happiness with my readers and fellow collectors.

As always, I would love to hear about your own grails of GG/GS collecting, and welcome your comments and emails on the subject.