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Thread: Girl Scouts/Girl Guides in Sweden

  1. #1
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    Girl Scouts/Girl Guides in Sweden

    My daughter's Girl Scout troop is interested in Swedish scouting. We are having a booth about Sweden on February 22 'World Thinking Day'. I have looked up several sources like this one.Does anyone have information or personal stories that I can share with the girls or include in our display?

    We are planning on having a St.Lucia dress for trying on, a yule goat and lots of little saffron buns and potato rye bread for samples. We will also have some information/books about Astrid Lindgern, HCAnderson(Snow Queen one of the girls requested) and Linneaus. Are there any quick & simple crafts that 5-7 year olds would like? I know these are Danish but my grandmother remembered having hearts on her chistmas tree as a child so we are planning on having this as a craft for the other GSs at the event.

    Thank you for any assistance.
    Last edited by ladybright; Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Spelling
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    Senior Member Gustavus Magnus's Avatar
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    First of all, her name was Lindgren not Lindgerd, and HC Andersen was Danish. However, there is one author you have missed, Selma Lagerlöf who wrote both children's stories as well as more mature stories, and was the first woman to win the Nobel literature prize. She often wrote about folk stories, and are well worth a read.

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    Senior Member Liemannen's Avatar
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    It feels like an eon since I was a scout so I can't offer much help there.
    It was the same five associations back then.
    When I joined it was a bit different in that we were divided in girls and boys, as well as in younger and older scouts. The younger girlscouts were called "Blåvingar" (a kind of blue butterflies) and the younger boyscouts "Vargungar" (wolf puppies). I guess at about 1970 they changed that to three or four mixed-gender groups divided by age.

    The uniform was actually just a shirt, a scarf and some headgear. You wore ordinary blue-jeans with that. Girls could were a blue skirt instead.
    Most of the associations used the same model of blue shirt, but with different badges. The scarf and the headgear differed between the associations. In the association I was with, any group could adopt a scarf of their own, but few did. However, we sometimes got ourself a different scarf just for a special event like a camp or some long distant hike. We had a dark blue beret but seldom used it as the dress code was not very strict.
    When we grew older and could fit in army surplus (actually available in fairly small sizes) we often wore that at out-door activities, as it was cheap and very practical. The girls could of course never were anything that looked like a military uniform and replaced all buttons with yellow or cerise ones and added some colorful stripes here and there, or embroidered a big pink panther on the back of the tunic.

    When I started, at 8 years of age, it was mostly in-door activities. First aid, tying knots, lashing, sewing buttons and all that. One of the leaders would always read a passage from The Jungle Book, I remember. And then there were games of memorizing things or figuring out some kind of puzzle. I think most of the games and competitions were designed to teach us to work as a team, it was very much about the patrol solving a problem not the individuals. But when it came to earning merit badges you were of course on your own. Now and then we made some kind of crafts from wood, leather, bone or textiles. We also played a lot of rag hockey (sort of indoor hockey but with broomsticks and a rag, and very little contact).
    The times we were outdoor, they tried to teach us how to handle a knife and how to behave in nature. You were not allowed to carry a knife until you had passed a test and got a "Knivbevis" (knife certificate), a piece of cardboard with some printing and your name on it, to keep in your wallet. Whenever you did something foolish like throwing your knife or cutting yourself the leader would cut of a corner of the certificate. When all four corners were gone the certificate was revoked. Which meant that you never informed a leader when you had cut yourself but instead tried to bandage the wound with a handkerchief. Still got a few clearly visible scars on my left indexfinger.

    When we were about 12 years old it shifted more and more towards outdoor activities. Beside studying the wildlife we learned how to handle axe and saw, and how to make a campfire of course. But also how to put out a fire, how to help drowning people and stuff like that. And of course how to use map and compass.

    Our troop rented an old house by the church. I think it was the old resident of the parish clerk. That was where we had our den and kept our camping gear. There was also an annual Christmas fair where we sold stuff we had made and cookies our mothers had baked.

    Some of the larger city-troops had their own properties on the countryside, an old farm, a closed country school or something like that. Other troops could rent such facilities for a weekend and we went on these kind of mini-camps a couple of times a year. There were also competitions between patrols from different troops now and then.
    Each summer our troop would go for a week-long camp somewhere in the region. These camps could gather anything from 500 to 1500 scouts. At one occasion we went to a jamboree in Denmark.
    The association I was with was not affiliated with any church but it still had a Lutheran touch in that we sometimes held outdoor prayers or went to church.
    Came to think that even if we had mixed groups the patrols were generally not mixed. I don't think the leaders had any influence on this it just happened by itself.

    At about 14 we started hiking for more than just a day or so. And we also did some canoeing, but so far only on lakes and still water. After that almost all our activities were hiking and canoeing. Most of the times we had leaders but when we grew older they may sometime just set us of and then wait for us at the camp site.

    I quitted when I begun my military service, but still helped out with the younger scouts now and then for a couple of years.
    I had a great time and still see some of my old friends at rare occasions, but the only outdoor activities we do is to sit on the porch drinking beer.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Liemannen's Avatar
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    I'm surprised there isn't more information about Swedish scouting on the web.
    I only found this: http://www.ssf.scout.se/in-english/

    I notice that there is a new dark blue scout-shirt and the headgear is gone.
    http://www.getout.se/ssrscoutvaror/ click on "Scoutdräkten".
    More pictures below "Dräktordning" in the right-hand menu.


    Some random picture galleries on the web, might give you a hint of what they looks like.
    http://www.morascout.org/index.php?o...zoom&Itemid=44
    http://www.eksjo.scoutkar.se/avdaktuellt/aktuellt.html
    http://www.falkenscout.se/?i=photo
    http://www.miatorp.ssf.scout.se/inde...=16&Itemid=151
    http://www.he.ssf.scout.se/bilder.htm
    http://www.hornefors.net/Foto/FotoIndex.htm
    http://www.everodscoutkar.se/bilder.html

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    Senior Member Liemannen's Avatar
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    Making paperhearts is a good idea. It's not as easy as it looks but still not too difficult.


    I don't know if this is of any interest but here's how to make a kind of decoration from straw.
    http://www.hemslojden.org/filuppladd.../halmkrona.pdf
    http://www.spangmurs.se/Spangmurs_hu...r/image020.jpg
    I guess real straw is difficult to find this time of year but you can always raid your local McDonald's.


    My mother used to make stars from stripes of birch-bark.
    It might be too tricky for a kid but maybe you could try with some of the simpler models. And of course use paper or cardboard instead of bark.
    http://adventsstjarna.blogspot.com/2...verstjrna.html
    http://www.ullasnaver.se/Sortiment_f...45_6442079.jpg
    http://www.hemslojd.nu/bilder/4022.jpg
    http://www.lmgprodukter.se/p085.htm
    http://images.tradera.com/964/74988964_1.jpg

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    Senior Member Liemannen's Avatar
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    Another writer who wrote very good children's books was Elsa Beskow but maybe children of today find them a bit too childish, I don't know.
    But I remember that I really liked "Tomtebobarnen" (Children of the Forest), "Putte i blåbärsskogen" (Peter in Blueberry Land), "Tant Grön, tant Brun och tant Gredelin" (Aunt Green,Aunt Brown and Aunt Lavender), "Pelles nya kläder" (Pelle's New Suit) and especially "Hattstugan" (no English title).

    And then we have Viktor Rydberg, his "Lille Viggs äventyr på julafton" (Little Vigg's Adventures on Christmas Eve) is epic. So is his poem "Tomten" (Robin Goodfellow) though it may have lost some in translation.

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