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The origin of SWAPS is Native American. Potlatch is the ceremonial exchange of gifts practiced by Native Americans of northwest coastal tribes. The idea of Girl Scout SWAPS was started at the original national roundup conferences. At that time a SWAPS was a little remembrance that one Girl Scout gave another.

SWAPS are handmade: the girl is giving a part of herself to show friendship. SWAPS are exchanged at national conventions, council events, wider ops, service unit or neighborhood events, troop meetings and most frequently at day camp.

They can have a tag attached with the event name and date or the troop number, council name or state.

Swapping promotes friendship. It encourages girls to talk to other people. SWAPS are great mementos of a good time as well as a great way to share something about where we live and what we do.