A camp blanket is individual to YOU – it is part of YOUR scouting history.
A camp blanket has two purposes:
1. to keep you warm at camp
2. it’s a place to sew on all those badges that don’t belong on your current uniform! These include badges from a previous section, badges that are only worn for a prescribed period of time and “blanket badges” or swapped badges that have never been on your uniform.
The blanket is “worn” around the camp fire to keep warm and is then used as a normal blanket at night over or under a sleeping bag.
A camp blanket is (usually) dark in colour and woollen.
Fleece blankets are starting to make an appearance BUT although they are lighter they are also far more likely to melt with sparks from the fire than traditional wool blankets and have the potential to catch fire if your child gets too close to the fire. They are also more likely to loose their shape when lots of badges are sewn on!
Obtaining Your Camp Blanket
Old woollen blankets can be found in your grandparents’ attic or in charity shops. Some army surplus stores also stock them and there are always plenty for sale on e-bay. If you follow the simple pattern below you can get 2 child blankets out of one army blanket.
You can buy fleece fabric from most material shops or Ikea.
If all else fails, you can buy a new badge blanket or a fleece poncho from Scout Shops Ltd.
However, we would advise against getting a section specific one if your child is in one of the junior sections as they may feel out of place wearing a Beaver when they are in the Scouts or someone will end up doing alot of sewing when they change blankets.
Making Your Camp Blanket
A camp blanket is usually made by taking a standard blanket and cutting a hole in the middle so that it can be worn like a poncho. The “hole” needs to be reinforced by blanket stitch or by sewing on some binding tape. A blanket can also be made by hemming one end and threading a cord through so that it can be worn like a cape. A third option is just to throw it over your shoulders with no holes or fastenings at all – it really is up to you!
Here are some patterns
A simple pattern, as modeled by Acorn, for 1 adult or 2 child blankets out of a single blanket can be found at E-patches simple pattern.
There are also more complicated patterns in this booklet: E patches book of patterns
Some people sew their badges on in “pretty patterns”, others prefer a more random look. Similarly some people start at the edge of the blanket and “work in”, others at the neck or the middle of one side and “work out”. Occasionally people also sew scarves or neckers from special events or camps onto their blankets as well.
A camp blanket is an “evolving” thing – as you add more badges, the look of the blanket changes and this is part of its charm.
Have a look on Pinterest to get some ideas.