New recruits for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls

New arrivals from Peter Johnstone’s Spencer Smith Miniatures and their Shiny Toy Soldiers range of 42mm Little Britons LBB30 Boy Scouts – an ongoing project as part of my DMZ Demilitarised Gaming.

This figure have formed the bulk of my Boy Scout figures for Scouting Wide Games and provided the basic figure for my Girl Scout conversions.

New recruits parading in front of my reprint Camp Fire Girls USA 1912 handbook and original British Camp Fire Girls handbook 1925 with original hand-made handicraft cover with ‘Native American’ style symbols.

32 shiny new Boy Scout figures from Spencer Smith 42mm Little Britons STS Shiny Toy Soldiers range. These boys are not 42mm adult figures but scaled to fit.

Flash free, crisply cast and speedily despatched – excellent service, thanks Peter! Highly recommended! £1.25 each.

Camp Fire Girls

One patrol of eight with the addition of tissue paper skirts, bloomers or knickerbockers and some alteration of hats will make a Camp Fire Girls Group, either British Camp Fire Girls or American ones. These were a non-militaristic, more pacifist and woodcraft alternative to Scouts and Guides, founded in 1912 in the USA and 1921 (up to the 1970s) in Britain.

Image Source: Camp Fire Girls USA 1912 handbook

Their aim or object (1912) was “to add the power of organisation and the charm of romance to health, work and play.”

A bit like the “cloak of romance” of Wide Games that Baden Powell believed made outdoor games more interesting, almost roleplaying games?

Camp Fire (Girls) survives in a co-ed inclusive version today in the USA as Camp Fire.

I don’t think I will have any of my Camp Fire Girls in the now controversial ceremonial Indian robes, as these would not have been worn on tramps, hikes and Wide Games. I think there is already enough to the Camp Fire Movement to have no (further or future) need for these ceremonial robes anyway.

Uniform is optional” – Image Source: Camp Fire Girls USA 1912 handbook

The lemon squeezer Scout hat on the LBB30 Boy Scout just needs softening a bit to make the Camp Fire Girls. The existing Scout scarf should paint up to make the neck tie.

American Camp Fire Girls, if they wore uniform, favoured a white, khaki or green “Middy” blouse (from Midshipman- Navy?) with a sailor collar), wide dark neck ties like a scout scarf.

From the adverts, the Middy Top was based on some school uniforms or Gibson Girls types (Howard Chandler Christy) in WW1 US recruiting posters.

A bit more ‘uniform’ than the 1912 American version? Brown. Image source: 1925 British Camp Fire Girls handbook in my collection.

Uniform research screenshots from 1920s Everygirls Magazine (Camp Fire USA) https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000531331

Some excellent uniform reference Everygirl’s Magazine covers and adverts.

It looks like I might need to add a blanket roll to some figures as well.

“On a tramp” – Image source: Camp Fire Girls USA 1912 Handbook

Toot- toot! I think we ought to have a bugler!

Empire Patrol or World Scouts

I already have my ‘Empire Patrol’ of eight Boy Scouts, painted in old Britain’s shiny toy soldier style.

https://tabletopscoutingwidegames.wordpress.com/2020/04/03/empire-scouts/

Four of whom are dark skinned to represent African or Caribbean Scouts.

I already have four generic scouts with lighter brown skin that could be any group from Mexicans, Native American, South American, Maori or southeast Asians. I shall add four more to each group to make two full world or Empire patrols of eight.

This can take scouting Wide Games out into a much wider range of tropical or semi-desert landscapes or just visiting pre WW1 or interwar England for a Jamboree?

Girl Guide Patrol

Girl Guide Patrol

One patrol will be converted with skirts to become blue tunicked Girl Guides (uniform worn from 1910 onwards). I already have my Daisy Patrol (above) of the earlier khaki or loosely uniformed Girl Scouts in 1908/1909.

https://ehive.com/collections/3087/objects/191220/1921-st-johns-rangiora-girl-peace-scouts

The khaki ones can stand in for American Girl Scouts or Peace Girl Scouts in New Zealand (Above).

A lovely patrol photograph in my collection of an unknown early Baden Powell Girl Guides group (see the BPGG on some of their hatbands) with their staves, smart blue rather than khaki uniforms. Officers centre in slouch hat and cockade. C1910s to early 1920s.

Experimental figure conversions

The final eight Scout figures are for experiments in conversion – they may become extra Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts, American Boy Scouts or even a few Kibbo Kift with their strange Saxon cloaks and hoods. Maybe even a wandervogel (pre-scouting German Youth Movement). If these prototype conversions work, I can make up more …

BFI film clip The Kibbo Kift and screenshot of archive film from History Today magazine interview 2016 with Arabella Pollen. https://youtu.be/fYwoCgoGOAI

And if I need more figures to experiment with, I’m sure I can easily order some more from Peter at Spencer Smith Miniatures.

This DMZ Scouting Wide Games Project should keep me busy whilst War trundles on in Eastern Europe.

Blog posted by Mark Man Of TIN, May Day 1st May 2022

8 thoughts on “New recruits for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls”

  1. Excellent additions, filled with great potential! Fascinating information I will come back to later when I have more time. Great to see the Kibbo Kift picture too. It is such a pity the books on them are sooo expensive, especially the Pollen one. Loads of pictures on line of Kibbo Kift iconography, tabards, tents etc just ripe for modelling.
    P.s it is a joy to be able to leave a comment without hassle, it is not this in bloggerdom 😦

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    1. Thanks Alan. I am still scouting and skimming through the available online scanned scouting and guiding journals for Wide Games and uniform materials. Then the trans-formation can begin of figure conversion with file, snippets, tissue paper, PVA glue and paint.

      Maybe you can access the Kibbo Kift books through inter library loan if this facility has come back through your library branch? As you say, there is much information online including from the recent exhibition.
      Glad you can leave comments easily – my computer often keeps making me ‘anonymous’ when I leave one on your blog.

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  2. Very interesting, not my usual point of interest, but still interesting…if that makes sense.
    Wargamers tend to often possibly have butterfly minds, flitting from period to period.
    I don’t from interest to interest as well..wildlife, books, classic cars, aeroplanes, etc. Absolutely no excuse for ever being bored, or having nothing to do!

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    1. It is a great thing to never be bored!
      Wargamers’ Butterfly Mind describes me well, flitting from one period and enthusiasm to another. I would have used this as my blog name, but some fellow sufferer had already registered this!

      Scouting Wide Games is keeping me busy, whilst being put out of sorts of my usual khaki gaming by current events in Eastern Europe. It’s all uniform reference in the end, whether it’s Napoleonics or a Camp Fire Girls outdoor trekking uniform of the 1920s. It also balances out or fills a tiny social history vacuum out there on the web.

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  3. I had no idea what a Middy was. Definitely some blanket rolls and maybe even the odd sweater tied around?

    Plenty to keep you busy with that fine cohort of figures. You seem to be well away with this project, the research and the ideas keep coming.

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    1. Middy must be from a sailor jacket – a Midshipman’s? Some of the girls are wearing blue middies and sailor neck scarves, effectively a loose sailor suit. Still quite fashionable for youngsters from Edwardian and Victorian Times?
      It seems to have been the Girls outdoor school and sports blouse / shirt / jacket of its time, certainly in America. Basketball, Volleyball, our soccer and hockey amongst other outdoor sports were encouraged by the US Camp Fire Girls.
      A Midi reminds me of a Cornish sailors fisherman’s smock or a Norfolk slop.
      Some of the Howard Christy Chandler WW1 US Navy Girl recruiting posters and his Camp Fire Girls fundraising poster magazine covers are very similar in style and clothing.
      I am working out how to customise these Camp Fire Girls for the outdoors, filing down and softening the hats, adding blanket rolls, etc, sweaters round the waist, bloomers and shorter knee skirts etc.
      The White Midi was jokily impractical. Overall quite a practical outdoor kit for a girl for the time, when mountaineers were still going up Everest in tweeds.
      The joy of geekdom, sharing my research notes to a largely disinterested world!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, not entirely disinterested! Though I know well enough about sharing my own personal trivia to a bemused internet.

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  4. Fascinating stuff yet again even if not to my taste and some great research too. Certainly makes a good alternative to normal wargaming things for sure. Regards.

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