Hello Swamp Bloggers!

Welcome back to the blog. I hope you're having a wonderful week!

This week I was looking for writing inspiration for a blog post, and I glanced down and noticed the friendship bracelets on my arm. It made me wonder how many friendship bracelets have been made at camp in the years since its beginning. I'm sure there have been thousands made!

I then got curious and tried to look up the origin of friendship bracelets. It seems the exact origin is unclear; however, the sites I looked at said that it is believed to be influenced by decorative knot-tying practices originating in China and Arabia. The sites also said the bracelets themselves may be a Central American Indian craft.

Whatever the exact origin of friendship bracelets is, the tradition of making them is one that is very important and special to the camp culture at the Swamp. What is amazing to me about friendship bracelets is that each one has a story behind it that connects two people together. There are some bracelets that I can look at and remember the exact instance when that person gave it to me.

Another thing that is cool about friendship bracelets is that the concept is so simple. Although making them may be difficult at first, once somebody knows how to make them, they are a super easy and pure way to establish a friendship or to tell a friend you are grateful for them. Sometimes they can be the best way to show your love and appreciation at camp.

Personally, I have a couple of friendship bracelets that really mean a lot to me. I have one that I got from a camper while I was on a Swamp Corps trip. She wanted to fill it with wool to make it thick, but there wasn't anything like that there. So, instead she filled it with tissue. When she gave it to me, she told me not to get it wet or it might break, so I don't get to wear it on a regular basis. Yet, it's one of my favorite bracelets I've ever gotten, because it reminds me of my camper who worked so hard to show her love and friendship to me using the materials we had there.

The blue, red, and yellow friendship bracelet made for me by my camper on a Swamp Corps trip.

I asked one of my friends what their favorite friendship bracelet was to see what other stories people had connected to their bracelets. My friend, Jacob Williams, said:

"So, my favorite friendship bracelet is this really cool orange and yellow one. It's like a tube shape instead of being flat and the colors spiral around it. I got it from a counselor who was at camp for the very first time. I guess it was special because I got to see her experience camp culture for the first time, and it was encouraging that she took the time to make that for me."

Isn't it amazing the kinds of memories some strings can create? Some of our favorite camp stories may have been solidified into our memories by the bracelets we received from our camp friends. Try asking some other people what there favorite friendship bracelet is, and I'm sure there will be some kind of memory attached.

And, while you are away from camp, you can still make friendship bracelets for your friends. If you are looking for some tutorials, here are some links showing how to make a few different patterns:

Knotted ; Chevron, Diamonds, Stripes

I hope this blog has reminded you of some of your camp memories and, perhaps, inspired you to make some cool, new friendship bracelets!

Until next week, Swamp Bloggers!

Much Love & Respect,

Julie