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Scouting is a way of life in our family. Personally, I’ve been involved in Girl Scouts since I was in second grade, and with Cub Scouts since my son became a Tiger four years ago. My youngest brother is an Eagle Scout, and that has been a driving force for both of my children to work towards their own scouting goals, just like Uncle Charles. Holidays and birthdays always have clothes and toys, but there are usually a few scouting related gifts too.
Currently, I have a second-year Girl Scout Brownie and a first-year Cub Scout Webelo. My oldest is only 10 years old, but these are gifts that I have gotten them in the past or they will be getting this year. I do not separate which gifts are for Cubs and which are for Girl Scouts. Both scouting organizations have different programs, however, there is nothing stating that they both can’t do the same activities if they are of interest to the children.
Gifts for Cub Scouts & Girl Scouts
There is an official Cub Scout pocket knife, and an official Girl Scout pocket knife. In addition, any knife from Victorinox Swiss Army is a good choice. Just remember, it is up to the Den Leader or Troop Leader whether or not your scout may bring a pocket knife to meetings, camping trips, or other events.
At some point in your child’s scouting career, they will go on a camping trip or an indoor overnight. They are going to need a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags have ratings depending on the temperatures you will be exposed too. A slumber bag, the cute ones with your child’s favorite character, are fine for the indoor overnight at a museum or even for a summer campout. If its going to even have a chance of cold, get your child a proper sleeping bag! This may mean that as they get older and more involved in camping they have multiple sleeping bags for various types of weather.
Patch Collector Album
Scouts are known for their patches, and there is extremely limited uniform space for them. Instead of losing the patches, I recommend all of the families involved with my troop/den have a patch collector album. This is like scrapbooking for scouts, and makes a great memento for your child as they progress through scouting. The patches just slide into the spots, similar to how you would store baseball cards. The album also makes a lovely display piece at an Eagle or Gold Award Court of Honor to commemorate all that your scout has achieved.
Everyone should know how to sew. It’s one of those life skills that is quickly becoming a lost art, especially with our children. A basic sewing kit with a few needles and threads is really all they need. Scouts should be able to sew on their own patches/badges by the time they are in 6th grade. By then, they have the manual dexterity to manipulate the needle and thread and take ownership of where the badges are being placed on the uniform. Prior to that, teach your child how to do a few basic stitches, sew on a button, and mend a hole in their clothing. As they progress through scouting, as well as through life in general, this is a skill that they can always come back to and won’t have to rely on others.
From building birdhouses to driving nails for string art, from creating Pinewood Derby cars to learning hot to tap a maple tree there is a need for a basic tool set from very early on in scouting. I have had Daisies and Tigers who need to use a hammer and screwdriver to complete a project. Bears and Webelos have several advancements specific to woodworking. Brownies & Juniors have incorporated woodworking into take action projects, and even into Bronze Award projects. In some cases, the families are asked to bring the tools that are needed to complete a project. Having a small, portable tool set that your scout can use on his/her own puts the responsibility back on your scout for completing a project or advancement.
Pinewood Derby Accessories
Many Girl Scout Service Units and Cub Scout Packs hold annual Pinewood Derby events. In addition to the car forms, there are some other accessories that are a benefit to your race experience – tapered chassis weights, pro-graphite for the wheels, and an axle puller and inserter. Please remember, before modifying your Pinewood Derby car in any way, check the rules and regulations for your units race. You don’t want to do anything that will get you disqualified.