Olave the Bear

When I made my new camp blanket early last year, I discovered that metal badges had come off my old blanket (namely my yellow and blue trefoil badges from my time as a Guide). I didn’t want to put the remaining ones back on because if wrapped it around you and leaning against something, metal badges are not the most comfortable! Then I stumbled across this post at The Guide Life about her mascot bear. I thought this was a genius idea, and I asked her about where she got the camp blanket poncho.
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The lovely ‘TheGuideLife’ replied back to my comment quickly saying she got the blanket poncho at Blankets for Bears. It’s run by a leader who makes them, and sells them via her facebook page. I was super lucky she had a leader poncho for a bear in stock and she sent me it as soon as she received the paypal payment. A few days later the bear I ordered from Build A Bear arrived in the post too. I found my old senior section badge tab and the metal badges I had in a box and immediately pinned them on the poncho. I decided to name her Olave, after Olave Baden-Powell. She does still need some clothes for under her poncho (and I think some wellies?).

Thank you so much TheGuideLife and Blankets for Bears for being so kind and helpful. 🙂

If anyone knows of a place where I could get a bear sized leader polo/hoodie, please let me know!

A beary nice way to celebrate turning 100…

Since August we have been discussing (or more I’ve been urging them to discuss) what we could do to celebrate the Senior Section’s centenary. There is a big camp happening run by our national branch but it unfortunately hits on the first weekend of the school holidays – traditionally when just about every Scottish family takes off on their family holiday before the English schools break up and the going on a holiday prices sky rocket even more. The other plan was to head down to Manchester with another unit for a ball – but again it fell during school holidays when a lot of their families have plans to be away.

And so it was jokingly suggested that we should have a birthday party at a certain bear making children’s shop. One that I may or may not be employed by (and regularly have Guides, Commissioners and Senior Section poking their heads into just to see if I’m working that day -lol!). This branch does ‘VIP’ bookings where they’ll open the shop an hour early on a Sunday just for the party only, and we decided to do that. We bought some fabric paints and I purchased some plain t-shirts for the bears and the Rangers decorated them with a centenary theme ahead of the party.

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Some of the centenary t-shirts

We were also lucky that the metal Senior Section Spectacular badges had arrived in the Scottish Guide Shop that week, so with a teeny bit of budget stretching, I got each of the girls a badge. I then wrapped the badges and their t-shirts in paper and hid them around the shop before they arrived. We were also really blessed as the girls were older and the shop wasn’t open they were allowed to try out the machine that makes the bears (under supervision from staff!).

Four of the Rangers had not yet made their promise, despite being members for almost a year (or more) and they decided they’d like to make their promise at the end of the party. The bears also took part, and I was ordered to ‘help’ the bear I was holding raise his right paw in a three fingered salute so he could make his promise too.

I think the girls had fun doing it (there have been a few pictures of bears appearing on facebook), and hopefully it’s a memory and keepsake to take with them to remember their days as Ranger Guides. It was also an opportunity for two of the Guides who are thinking of moving up to Senior Section after the summer (they decided to stay an additional year after doing Free Being Me to do their Baden Powell award) to join with the current members and get to know them a bit.