Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Scouters (Leaders + Scouts)

Okay, I am inspired.

What is something that you can get for your scout leader or scout child for the Holidays? Scouting is one of the best experiences ever a child will experience. I personally never was a scout but as a scout leader I can tell you that if you have an awesome leader behind these kids, their possibilities of what they will learn and the bond they will form will be amorphous. I see my scouts as my nieces and nephews. They are very special to me not only because they are the future but because they are really awesome kids!

This just isn't a toy they won't get long use of... this is a lifelong gift for them!

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For Scouting Kids:

1) Their Yearly Dues for their Pack or Troop 
 The amount is very dependent on the troop or pack. Every pack and troop does their dues differently so ask the parent or pack/troop what they are!

2) Their Scouting Magazine 
I know boy's life, if bought through scouting, is $12 and I think it is more if bought outside of scouting.

3) Their Journey Book and Patch Set
This is for Girl Scouts. Check to see if their troop does journeys or not. It is required to start earning bronze, silver and gold awards. So it is vital for the scouts to do them starting Junior Year. A lot of troops put the cost onto the scouting family for the books especially.

4) Take them on an outing like to the farm, and get them the patch 
The cost is dependent on the activity but not all packs/troops go to all activities due to affordability. Like going to the International Spy Museum or the Wax Museum is $13-$25 a person not including the patch. The event does not have to be scout specific-- lots of museums and places have patches or pins for the scouts. They know we love our patches and pins!

5) Scout Uniform
Most parents would have bought this already but if they haven't this is a great gift. Some girl scouts for example, only have the sash. If you wanted to deck them out this is a great gift to get the official polo shirt for the girls. For the boys, they may not have the pants or socks that are asked of them. My pack and troop are very relaxed about uniforms.

6) Donations to their troops 
Any gift of any amount, especially around holiday time and in between fundraisers is great. I get my girls patches if they fund raise for the troop. Whether they donate or a neighbour does, in their name. It can be $5 or $50 or even more!

7) Camping Gear 
Examples include but aren't limited to sleeping bag, mess kit, water bottle, flash light, Bandana etc. You would be surprised how ill equipped some scouts are when it comes to camping. And they grow out of things as well. Like hiking boots.

8) Buying from their fundraisers (popcorn, cookie, fall product, etc)
My boys buy cookies from their sister every year like clock work. My daughter has bought fundraising tickets from my sons before. So have the whole family join in on it. It could be going to a fundraiser together, like a pancake supper for boy scouts, or father daughter dance for girl scouts, or buying candies from Fall Product.

9) A fun kit like knitting or crocheting or Wood working and get the patch to go with it
Sometimes the kids want to learn or do something their pack or troop won't cover. This is a great way to use it as a present for the child.

10) Hiking Stick
I am making these for my boys as they bridge over from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts. I am stoked to do it. It makes a great gift they will absolutely love and I know it!

11) Rope to learn knots and Klutz Rope Book
How many of us remember the knots we learned? Not me. So I love this so they can continuously practise the knots they are learning. Our boy scouts even have competitions for it and our pack won one!

12) Pass down your scouting memorabilia to them
I remember one of my boy scouts running down to show me the book his uncle had given him from when he was a scout. It was a bird merit badge book. He showed it off with great pride. So you don't have to have money to give a scouting gift. You can simply pass something down.

13) Send them to a summer camp (this is pricey but so worth it for them)
Summer camps for both boy scouts and girl scouts can get pricey, sometimes too pricey for my taste, and this is a great way to send them off to have fun for the summer (and really a present for the leaders and parents as well). They will remember it for the rest of their lives.

14) Practical Camping Gear that double for everyday 
If you live in a cold area, or like me a bundled inside as we speak, then you know the value of some good old fashioned items to keep you warm! wool socks, flash light, jacket, backpack hammock, water backpack

15) Ornament with their Troop Number on it
Often troops will do this but if not, this could totally be a yearly tradition. Especially for scouts that move often, like military kids, so they have different troops throughout different years. They would have troop ornaments from each year. How cool!

16) Girl Scout or Boy Scout themed tablet or phone cases with ear buds 
Great for older scouts of course. I know they like to bling their stuff out so this is practical and will be liked!

17) Girl Scout or Boy Scout Pocketknives
I can't stress enough that they should have had their whittling training first or about to get their whittling training. Scouts can't use their pocketknives without it. That being said, it is an awesome gift. If you go to the shops (boy scouts for boys and girl scouts for girls) you can find scout specific ones.

18) Send them to Jamboree 
This happens every couple of years and again, like summer camps, can get pricey. If you know of one going on that the scout can go to, I highly suggest it.

19) Scout Camp Games
These are cards, small game boards, whatever that they can take with them to camp. It will keep them occupied during down times at camp and can even make them new friends (while they keep the old, ha, see what I did there...).

20) Gimp/lanyard
When I worked at a summer scout camp, this had to be one of the most popular things about the camp for boys and girls. Seriously, they loved it! It was more popular than coffee was for leaders... just saying...

21) Bandana Game
Go here to see it! Bandana and a game in one= It's a win for leaders and kids! 

For Scouting Leaders: 

1) A coffee card 
Seriously, though! I may or may not be on my third cup of coffee while I write this. Better yet, if it were me, just save money and go by me the coffee at Costco in the big tub and give it to me wrapped up. Cheaper than three cups of coffee out and it saves us all money. Ha ha. Okay, maybe a mix of both is a better idea... Ha ha.

2) Donation to the Troop 
Any amount is helpful. I speak as a leader that donations are very helpful. Right now, my troop is good. I would personally prefer something more personal. But some like donations in their name. So it is really knowing your leader.

3) A made coffee cup with their Troop Number and name on it 
You can get this done at places like shutterfly and the like. This could even be perfect with Gift #1. If you get the girl scout cookie coffee creamer though... I may look at you sideways. Didn't you know the cookies are better? Ha ha. Really though, I love coffee mugs and lots of people collect them.

4) The leader scouting scarf (girl scouts)
This item is a luxury. It is quite expensive, so no leader I know buys it for themselves. It is seriously more expensive than I would have ever thought it to be. I want to say it's something like $30-$40 so there is no way I am spending money on that because it is so much.

5) Handmade present from the kids (girls or boys) 
One of the cheapest but best present ever is something by our scouts. When it comes from the heart, there is nothing better. You know the scouts appreciate and look up to you. It is one of the best gifts is seeing their smiles and their appreciation. When they give hugs it reaffirms why I do this.

6) A framed picture of the troop or den/pack
 Dude, a serious dream of mine is to get all my scouts I have ever had in one room and take a picture with them and frame it. Why? I have had so many scouts... like over a hundred! So that would be no small feat. But it would mean the world to me.

7) Camping Gear
You may think, "don't you already have that?" But my tent I ended up using for all my scouts now has a broken pole. Someone broke my coffee french press. I lent, well okay, gave a water bottle to a scout. So we as scout leaders don't lose our stuff but it gets worn out, given out, or we don't have it yet. I go camping a lot and I love it. So anything is helpful. One leader said a parent bought her a nice sleeping bag that she still uses today! Ask your leader. They are bound to tell you want they or the troop needs.

8) A bottle of wine
Hey, we are adults that volunteer our time to lead, so,... All I can say, is please, thank you, and Syrah!

9) Paying for Training for the Leaders 
Ask before doing this. Some packs or troops pay for their leaders training. Some don't need it as they already have all the training. This runs expensive and sometimes the troop doesn't cover it for multiple reasons including just starting up.

10) Leader Uniform (for either Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts)
This can be helpful for any leader. I know girl scouts have an unofficial uniform. I don't really have the blue uniform that leaders are suppose to wear. I like the sash better so I do that. Plus, I can wear over my boy scout leader's uniform. Ask your leader what they may need.

11) Leader Handbooks (yes, there are many, so ask what they need)
Dependent which levels they lead, they may or may not have the current or future books. Often times, it is a personal cost. Someone bought me my boy scout leaders book and I was SUPER thankful for it. Thanks L!

12) Hiking Stick
We often carry so much on our backs as we hike so this is definitely something that is nice to have. Plus, it is just cool.

13) Babysitting + Movie + a dinner + have each kid say why they like their leader
Another leader shared this with me. I like it! Plus, what leader doesn't need a night out?! Nuff said!

14) Practical Camping Gear that double for everyday
Again, as I sit bundled here writing in my robe over my day clothes and under a blanket, these sound nice right now even inside and so useful for camping. wool socks, flash light, head lamp, jacket, backpack hammock, water backpack

15) Leader's retreat and bonding experience to an outing
This could vary between leader groups; Girl Scout Leaders- a spa, Boy Scout Leaders- peace in the woods or beer. This is a great joint parental gift to their leaders. Really. We sometimes don't have time to get together just to hang out so this is something that could build the leadership morale and friendship which only builds the leadership up that the girls and boys experience.

16) Ornament with each girls names and the troop number on it
I would LOVE something like this every year. I may have to get just a scouting tree but it would be worth it! I love keepsakes like this!

17) Girl Scout or Boy Scout themed tablet or phone cases with ear buds 
We all have these items so it's not just pre-teens and teens that could use this. Plus, having an extra case is never a bad thing and some how ear buds always end up where we can't find them. Actually, add ear plugs too.... Ha ha.

18) Girl Scout or Boy Scout Pocketknives 
Helpful for leaders just as it is for scouts. Especially since in the real world they are very practical for leaders to have and use.

19) Gift cards anywhere! 
Yes. Anywhere. The appreciate is what matters to me.

20) Appreciation
More than anything, we want to know what we are doing is valuable to your scouts and that you are enjoying the experience. If there is something we have done right, tell us. Often times, we hear what hasn't gone right. So kick some positive back to your leaders. Then they will know what works but they will also feel valued and will keep doing what they do best!

Want to share something you have gotten or would gift? 
Comment below and if you want, I will include it!

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