June 23, 2008

Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Information & Patch Collector's Resource Blog FAQ

Frequently asked questions pertaining to this blog

Since this blog was created last autumn, I've received a wide array of emails from many fellow GG/GS members and collectors, quite a few of which often touch on the same subjects. As such I thought that my readers might find it useful if I had a FAQ section in which I provide answers to the most common questions that I receive in regards to Girl Guiding and Scouting topics. This page will be updated as the need arises, and in case this section doesn't cover your query, I look forward to hearing from you any time you'd like to chat about the wonderful world of Guiding.

Are you associated with WAGGGS?

No, we are not associated with WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) or any other official Girl Guide or Girl Scout group, and make no claim whatsoever to be. This website is a personal blog, wherever possible I've striven to ensure that all information is/was as accurate as possible (or have given further explanation if I was uncertain as to the factuality of something), but I am not an authoritative expert on the subject of Guiding – just a woman who is passionate about the subject.

Do you trade/sell patches?

I, as an individual, most certainly trade patches (and the like) and am always interested in trading with people from Canada and around the world (please check out my dupes and traders list and email me if you'd like to trade or discuss trading). I'm also personally interested in buying patches, especially Canadian ones. However, this site does not sell any patches (or anything else for that matter). If you're looking to buy patches, try contacting the Guide and/or Scout shops in your area or joining some of the free online patch trading groups (garage sales, online auction sites, secondhand shops, and flea markets are also all good places to look for patches and Guiding related items). This site also has a regularly updated list of other online patch traders, which you may really find of interest if you like to collect and trade GG and GS crests.

Can you help me find this patch/pin/crest/stamp/button/uniform/postcard/etc or answer this question for me?

Time permitting, I'm always willing and happy to help fellow collectors. But do keep in mind that I never make any claims of being the biggest Guiding expert in the world, so I may not be able to answer all of your specific questions. If your question pertains to Guiding in Canada (the GGC), there is a somewhat better chance that I can help, as this is the area that I have the most experience with. If I don't know the answer to your query, I'll certainly do my best to point you toward someone/the appropriate Guide/Scout administrative body who may be better able to assist you.

Do you have a list of all Councils, Areas, Districts, Divisions, Troops, etc in my country?

As each country choses to divide the Girl and/or Scout groups in their country up based on their own geographical layouts, not all countries are divided (and subdivided) the same. At this time I don't have a list of all of the “divisions” of each country, I would venture to guess that even the people at WAGGGS would have a bit of time compiling a list such as this.

As a point of reference for US Council patch collectors, you may find this list of 319 GSUSA Councils helpful (please note that as of August 2006, the number of US councils has shrunk dramatically and new councils are being formed still at this time, so this list is more for people who are into patch related collecting, rather than for current geographically factual purposes).

Canadian Guiding is divided into far more groups (geographical regions) than our Scouting sisters to the south. In fact, over 1,600 past and/or present Canadian Areas, Divisions, and Districts have been identified, though the GGC itself, does not (to the best of my knowledge) put out a list of A/D/Ds for the general public, so it can really tricky at times to find an accurate list. That said, some people have worked tremendously hard to compose their own lists of Canadian A/D/Ds. Two such diligently hard working souls are Louise St. Germain and Ursula, whose lists are the best that I know of anywhere on the web.

A small number of links to the geographical breakdowns of various world countries (such as England and Australia) can be found on our Patch Trading Directory page, but there are very few such links (in English) available on the web. If you live in other parts of the world, your best bet is to contact your National Girl Guide or Scout body and ask them for further information on the geographical breakdown of your country.

I've heard that Ontario no longer uses the A/D/D system is this true?

Yes, it is true. I am absolutely not an expert on what led to the Ontario Council's decision to do away with the A/D/D system, but I do know that in its place, Ontario now uses the Administrative Community system. Instead of having Areas, Divisions, and Districts, the province of Ontario is presently divided in 39 Administrative Communities (ACs), which employee a single tier system (as opposed to the A/D/D three tier system). Each of these Communities is represented by at least one Administrative Community Leader, whose role is much akin to that of a District/Division Commissioner. At this time the Ontario Council (which includes the territory of Nunavut) is the first Provincial Council to adopt this new system, as far as I'm aware.

For more information on these recent changes (right from the source!), including a page which describes where the geographical boundaries are for each Administrative Community in Ontario, please use this link from the official Girl Guides of Ontario website. Or alternatively, you can also reach the Council by phone at (1)-416-920-6666, by fax at (1)-416-920-1440, or by email.

What's a camp blanket?

A camp – or campfire blanket – is a a blanket (homemade or store bought) which is often made of fleece, flannel or another sturdy material onto which a person may choose to sew (or glue, or otherwise attach) items such as Girl Guide/Girl Scout badges, sashes (often with badges), crests, silks, patches, scarves (neckerchiefs), and other mementos which they have either earned through their time in Guiding, bought (as in crests, etc) or traded with others (such as Area or Council patches).

Such blankets are often cut/sewed to form a poncho or cape shape, which allows their owner to wear them at certain types Guiding events such as camps and some kinds of day trips. Campfire blankets are not a mandatory part of the Guide/Scout uniform or protocol, and are merely a fun expression of one's interest in Guiding.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to camp blankets, each person's own whim is what dictates how their blanket (if they wish to keep one) will look (some people also like to embellish their blankets with embroidery, wool stitching, glitter or other decorative means). In addition to (or instead of) a campfire blanket, some folks like to use camp hats, scarves, vests (fleece vests work well for this), sleeping bags, and other linens as a means of displaying and collecting their patches, crests, badges, silks and the like. Campfire blankets are popular with those involved in Boy Scouts too, and a mixed Scout-Guide jamboree or other camp (as with girls only Guiding camps) can be a terrific place to see a wide array of campfire blankets.

Will you add my link to this site?

If your website/blog/forum/Yahoo Group/etc directly relates to some aspect of Guiding (such as Guiding in your country/location, patch trading, SWAPS, and so on) and is not a link-bait site, yes, there is a very good chance that I'd be more than glad to add your link (please contact me via email). This site is all about the sisterhood of Girl Guiding and Scouting, so the more pertinent links, the better.

Page last updated on June 23, 2008