Is There a Blanket Ban?

One of the best things about going on camp for me is getting the Scout Camp Blanket out, not only does it keep me warm at night or around a campfire, but it gets you talking to strangers. The reason being is that it is covered in scouting badges from all over the world, and is often a draw for the Young members and fellow leaders or blanket holders. I’m at the point now, where my wife has one and my two boys now have their own too. If we’re at a Scout campsite, you can guarantee we’ll be there searching out the badge boxes rather than the sweet tins. We obviously buy a site badge at each site we go to, which is great, especially for the young members. My boys remember every camp straight through a blanket badge. I have since found that when you get your family into having a Scout blanket each, that means less money to spend on badges for your own blanket. Doh! That’s only because it’s addictive.

But wait, where have all the camp blankets gone? Have they been banned? Are they unfashionable? Sadly I see less and less these days when I go camping. But I want to reverse this trend. I was inspired to start mine when I was a Scout, on camp once the Scout Leader came out of his tent with a blanket on him ready for the campfire. But this was no ordinary blanket, this blanket was completely covered with 100’s of Scouting badges from everywhere it seemed. We all sat round looking at the various badges, and it bought home to us Scouts, that Scouting was truly international and in almost every country of the world. But the best thing about every single badge on that blanket was that there was a story, joke, friendship or quote behind every single badge. This is wonderful, this is what Scouting is about, it’s about bringing everyone young and old together in friendship. But along with this, I have never seen two camp blankets the same, everyone is unique. There are no rules on how you lay the badges out, what badges you put on it or how many, it’s your blanket. Now you have to choose whether to sew or glue.

My boys can tell you a story behind each of their badges, and this is why I encourage all of my Cubs to get a blanket. I encourage everyone in scouting to get a camp blanket. Come on, it can be a treasured item, put whatever you want on it, but just get one and get sharing all those interesting stories.

Twitter: @CilBen

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