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Weekly Discussion: Is there a future for cloth badges

Is there a future for cloth badges? Please select up to 2 answers you feel best apply to you.

  • Yes

  • No

  • Mixed

  • Unsure

  • Yes (but only for certain badges)

  • Other


Results are only viewable after voting.

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
I've decided this week might as well have a theme- badges!

We all know that girls and adults alike can love badges. Many of us have tins, pouches and boxes stuffed with badges to go on blankets that no matter how much stiching we do seem to remain full. All of us will have had a badge hungry girl in our unit, always asking when the next badge is or bringing evidence in. But still there is one question I have started to ask myself.

About half of my unit put badges on their uniform, and from the other half around half of that tell me of alternative places they put them. Some add them to a swimming towel, one told me she has a folder, another says she keeps them all in her memory box. Its great that they all celebrate and treasure their achievements in a meaningful way to them. But there are one or two who always lose cloth badges, and one parent who chucks any non metal badges straight into the bin according to the unfazed and non fussed Brownie who didn't want it either- only metal ones count as they are the "proper ones". Metal badges are almost always the ones kept and worn. Less people have sewing skills.

Will there always be a future for cloth badges in Guiding?
 

Squirrel-Nutkin

The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
#2
yes, cloth ones if sewn on right are quite durable. Cloth also more comfortable to lean on/sit on/lay on. Metal badges can tend to break and fall off uniform and badge tabs based on promise badges that have fallen off girls as they run around and play. However for some badges that need to be easier transferrable (move to different bits of uniform), metal then better.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
Personally:


I think it would be useful for some badges to be metal but there will always be a role for cloth badges. They are very culturally engrained into Guiding and practically (cost, wear etc) it wouldn't make sense to change them. Having too many metal badges is clunky, messy and would ruin the material.

But I think that the Brownie six badges should be made metal and that there should be the option for the anniversary badges to be metal. When ever I have been involved with Brownies I have seen lots of six changes and girls can sometimes forget which six they are in, especially if they are new. Having a badge means that they can wear it straight away and change if needed much easier. With the anniversary badges its similar, and for Rangers especially the oldest it seems a little young to have a colourful number sewn on yourself.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#5
Personally:


I think it would be useful for some badges to be metal but there will always be a role for cloth badges. They are very culturally engrained into Guiding and practically (cost, wear etc) it wouldn't make sense to change them. Having too many metal badges is clunky, messy and would ruin the material.

But I think that the Brownie six badges should be made metal and that there should be the option for the anniversary badges to be metal. When ever I have been involved with Brownies I have seen lots of six changes and girls can sometimes forget which six they are in, especially if they are new. Having a badge means that they can wear it straight away and change if needed much easier. With the anniversary badges its similar, and for Rangers especially the oldest it seems a little young to have a colourful number sewn on yourself.
Our Brownies only move Six if it's to be promoted to Sixer in another Six - have never known of Brownies changing Six regularly. Does it not make it difficult to build up Six unity/pride, and for Sixers to develop Sixes into good teams?
 

Ech18

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
Well I think there is but then I like to show my guides and tell the stories of camp done and friends made and telling I can’t find my pin badge hat at the moment. I did tell one of my badge mad guides that a badge on a blanket should have a story to try and calm her a bit (didn’t work I apologised to her Ranger Leader last week!).

Guide metal patrol badges are a pain as they rip t-shirts but understand they might work with sashes. I am very tempted to get the Guides to choose where on their uniform they wish to display anniversary badges (because I really think they need to be on uniform) and then buy iron on velcro and do the badges before I hand them out. If they have no interest in keeping the old badge I’ll have it back! I can sew but I acknowledge some parents don’t have a clue hence the velcro.
 

Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#7
My backlog for sewing cloth badges on my blanket is one of about 30 years!

I've just cleared out my storage unit in Australia, and found all my metal guide badges (including those from Brownies, Guides, Ranger Guides and Rangers). That was a huge relief, as I wasn't sure where they all were, and the idea of having maybe lost my BP and Queens guide metal badges was too great to bear!

I don't know what to do with them now - they are currently all on a hat band that I used to wear on the akubra I wore to camps. It was very heavy, and as you say - metal badges can break and go missing easier than cloth badges that are sewn on.

But I definitely see room for both metal and fabric badges. Fabric badges are much better for large collections, such as interest badges.
 

dragnilk

Regular (50+ posts)
#8
I hope there will always be a future for cloth badges. There was a photo spread of some of the new badges in The Guardian this weekend - where the creative director of the agency that designed the badges says: “We hope they all become real keepsakes. It’s nice to deal with embroidered badges rather than pixels all the time.” New badge designs for Girlguiding – in pictures
My camp blanket is one of my most treasured possessions, it is full of memories associated with the badges. I love going to events where people wear their blankets with pride and I spot an old badge that I also have. I've found that when the girls see my blanket they are inspired to start their own and pay more attention to their own badges.
 

victoria

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#9
All my girls have interest badges sewn onto sash's and challenge and official commemorative badges on the front of gilet, and fun, event and place badges on the back. If a parent or genuinely can't sew the badges on we offer to sew for a donation to the unit. All my girls are proud of the badges they have earnt. Some even buy a 2nd lot for their blankets or move the badges when they move up section.
 

Sunny2nd

Guide and Ranger Leader
GuiderPlus
#10
I have Guides and I'd love it if there were a set place for some "earned" badges to go on the uniform. A camp blanket is a great keepsake but I find the the "official" ones aren't really big enough and anyway I think it always looks better when everyone's blanket is different.
 
#11
Maybe it’s less of a problem now that’s GG have decided EXACTLY what we can and can’t do - and that there’s only 18 badges - but metal badges cost significantly more.

Does anyone know why only the brownies have a sash? I think the rainbows and guides should have the option.
 

fenris

fenris
GuiderPlus
#12
Maybe it’s less of a problem now that’s GG have decided EXACTLY what we can and can’t do - and that there’s only 18 badges - but metal badges cost significantly more.

Does anyone know why only the brownies have a sash? I think the rainbows and guides should have the option.
Guide one was dropped many years ago because it wasn't popular and sales were poor. Rainbows have never had one, but I'd suggest that's for the best. Brownies spend so much time picking up dropped sashes that wrap themselves around ankles or chair legs.
 

MiniMoates

Veteran (100+ posts)
#13
It's also good to keep in mind that even if the Guides don't display their badges, it doesn't mean they don't prize them. I never put my badges on my uniform circa 2003, but I kept them all in a safe place and when I returned as an adult and started a camp blanket, they all got sewn on there.
 

turnip

Veteran (100+ posts)
#14
Sashes are a lovely memento (I’m gutted that I let my mum throw mine away years ago. I’d loved brownies but didn’t get on at Guides so quit quite soon. I fell back into it as an adult completely by accident about eighteen years later... but after my sash had met its maker sadly!)

But they’re completely impractical! I only have a few brownies with them and they quickly get discarded especially for anything remotely physical. I’m sure the old Jeff banks era ones I had stayed put better! (Possibly rose tinted goggles there!) the sashes do look smart though, and the girls love filling them with badges they’ve achieved, and I love hearing the older ones tell the new ones about what we did to get each badge
 

Fox

Brownie-induced madness
#15
Our Brownies only move Six if it's to be promoted to Sixer in another Six - have never known of Brownies changing Six regularly. Does it not make it difficult to build up Six unity/pride, and for Sixers to develop Sixes into good teams?
If you have a drastic change in numbers or several of one six leaving, sometimes you need to start from scratch.
 

nutty_angel

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#16
I've had parents lose the metal promise badges in the wash and ask if there is a cloth version as they just chuck the rainbow's uniform in the wash when they get home and they forgot to take the badge off.
So I think cloth badges are more practical especially on their uniforms.
 

caroline68

Regular (50+ posts)
#17
I've had parents lose the metal promise badges in the wash and ask if there is a cloth version as they just chuck the rainbow's uniform in the wash when they get home and they forgot to take the badge off.
So I think cloth badges are more practical especially on their uniforms.
I don't see many of ours wearing theirs, but noone has admitted so far to losing one!! I expect they take them off to wash and can't be bothered to put them on again, only to have take it off to wash again next week, and they are probably somewhere at home. The cloth promise badges had just been made non uniform when we started 3 years ago, I remember thinking it was an odd decision in one way. I wouldn't mind buying them both, the cloth one would always be on the uniform and the metal one could be too, or kept safe at home in a little box somewhere!!
 

ker-stee

SGP Enthusiast
GuiderPlus
#18
I've had parents lose the metal promise badges in the wash and ask if there is a cloth version as they just chuck the rainbow's uniform in the wash when they get home and they forgot to take the badge off.
So I think cloth badges are more practical especially on their uniforms.
My Promise badge gets washed every time I wash my top and i've never lost it!
 

Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#20
My pride and joys are my polishable promise badge and world badge, plus my BP and Queens Guide badges. These don't go everywhere - but my camp blanket does! I've got a backlog of English badges to sew on it, and it's nearly full. I love taking it to camp and letting girls pore over it at badges from camps in the 80s, and badge swaps from international camps.

You can't do this with only metal badges. I did have most of my metal badge collection on a hatband when I was a Ranger, but it was eventually so heavy my head felt weighted down!