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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  • Good lord I hope there isn’t a ban on blankets! Well actually, I know there isn’t! More and more of the Scouts in my Group are starting to get their own blankets, although I’m not sure about the fleecy ones some of them have! Could get interesting round a campfire!
    One of our YLs recently went to the winter camp at Gilwell and nearly emptied the shop of badges! He was most disappointed when I popped up to see the Troop at camp last weekend and he couldn’t show them to me. He’s off to the Jamboree in Sweden in the summer, so I’m hoping he’ll bring me a few back!
    I wrote a bit about my own blanket a couple of years ago, although it does have a few more badges on it now than in the picture. See here if anyone’s interested


  • I’ve certainly not seen that happen round here, as when we have Cub camp there are loads of blankets to be seen and so many different ones – it’s great to see such a large selection of blankets and badge.


  • I generally always take my blanket with me on camp. But campfireblankets were never a big thing with the leaders in the group that I grew up in… so it wasn’t until I started doing international stuff that I started to learn about them.
    There came a point when I had collected so many badges I figured it was a shame to have them hidden away in a box, so I decided to break the mold in my group and make myself a campfire blanket.
    Thing is, I now don’t use it for campfires, rather I generally sleep under it at camp. Instead I use a Mongolian jacket I got on another trip at campfire as I can move my arms easier. Mind you, I would generally let some of the kids sit under my blanket during the campfire, and I can usually see them checking out all the badges.
    I really need to get my rear in gear getting badges on it tho… am going to be collecting more this jamboree, and I still have (literally) over 100 badges to sew on from the last one!

  • Right that’s it – you’ve stirred me into action !

    I have dozens of badges from my days as a Scout & Venture collected from various camps etc. Some are collectibles – particular colour background on the Cumbria county badge and a Wolf cub badge from my old troop. Plus got loads of pennants picked up from various camp shops. Always meant to get a blanket but somehow never got round to it. Now that I am an SL, I need to set an example (plus it will go nicely on top of my sleeping bag on static camps – feel the cold a bit more now that I’m getting older!)