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SWAPS Inspiration: Summer Adventure Edition

It seems like only yesterday we were planning for summer 2020 - prepping our camp bags and bathing in the sunny weather outside. Today, it feels like summer is right around the corner! All kids love the promise of summer: a time to pack up the school books, hit up old friends that haven't been seen for a while, venture into the great outdoors, and camp. Every summer is full of Girl Scout adventures with Girl Scout sisters - how fast those days fly by. When the summer ends, we are found exchanging email addresses and friendship tokens with new friends, and saying goodbye...

If your girl is headed to camp or another traveling adventure this summer, exchanging SWAPS (“Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere”) can help her hold onto the magic of the season a little longer (and remember the friends she made during her trip). Summer is full of sunny, nature-inspired ideas, so I’ve scoured the internet and pulled together some of the best crafts for summer SWAPS. Click through the idea bank below with your girl for some inspiration and get started on her SWAPS creation before she heads off on her big adventure:

Camp Activities

Camp is full of fun things to do, from climbing on the high ropes course to singing at campfire. So why not make a SWAPS inspired by your favorite camp activity?

More Camp Magic

  • Camp in a bag—because sometimes you wish you could just take camp home with you.

  • Sleeping bag—roll up some felt and tie with embroidery floss to make this camp comfort must! Write a secret message on a piece of paper and roll it up inside for a personal touch.

  • Lantern

  • First aid kit—take healthy risks, and be prepared for the bumps and bruises that may happen along the way. Or show some love with these cute bandages.

  • Tents, tents, and more tents

  • Pathfinding—let this compass guide you.

  • Dunk bags

Summer Daze

Do your splendid summer plans include adventures other than camp? Try making a beach in a bottle or a tasty looking sweet treat so your new friends can carry summertime with them all year long.


“We don’t have time to make SWAPS but we want to take part in this kooky tradition. What should we do?” There are many websites and Etsy shops that sell ready-to-make SWAPS kits (in fact, quite a few of the links on this list will connect you directly to shops that provide kits). Simply do a quick search for “Girl Scouts SWAPS kit” on the internet and you’ll discover a whole treasure trove of options.

“Where can we get supplies?” Use your resources wisely and dig through leftover troop craft supplies. If you’re looking to buy supplies, visit a Michaels, Jo-Anns, or any local craft store, and you’ll find all the SWAPS supplies imaginable.

“What’s the history of SWAPS?” Check out SWAPS Inspiration: Golden Gate Bridging 2017 Edition, where I go into detail about their origin and also include some beginner how-to’s from GSUSA. Thank you to our Girl Scout sisters in Northern California for all of these wonderful SWAP's ideas!

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